by Ludwig Wittgenstein

God clearly wants you to fritter away the next four (or five) years in a pathetic drug-induced stupor. Otherwise, why would He have provided such a bewildering cornucopia of excellent head-twisting substances for your enjoyment? And a strong, resilient body clearly designed to absorb copious amounts of self-abuse? And all those extra brain cells?

So, in a paroxysm of pious religiosity, The Stranger has asked me, former college drug dealer extraordinaire, to provide some basic information regarding some of the more popular manifestations of God's mind-altering bounty, based on what I've seen. I'm always glad to help out.

("pot," "weed," "reefer," "grass"): Only losers don't try weed in high school. But in case you didn't, you can still join the winning team if you hurry up and smoke some now. Smoking pot leads to complicated elliptical thoughts and fries your short-term memory--to the point that you can't remember why you're thinking the bizarre, convoluted shit you're thinking. It's a rarefied form of stupidity, one that many people consider entertaining. But being stupid gets old after a while, and as a general rule of thumb, only degenerates, hippies, and Stranger editors smoke grass after age 25. It also makes you paranoid and hungry.

Ecstasy ("MDMA," "X," "E"):
On Ecstasy, you and your friends will look hideous to everyone else--pasty, clench-jawed, wraithlike--but you'll be too in love with each other to notice. Don't forget to drink lots of water, and don't take this drug with your enemies or you'll regret it. Even if you take X with friends, expect regrets the next day. This is because you will be overcome by a desire to bathe with your friends, and they with you. Depending on how attractive your friends are, this can be very fun, though you'll still be embarrassed later. Most men cannot achieve an erection on Ecstasy, or if they can, they can't attain orgasm, which is frustrating in the short term but a very good thing in the long run, for obvious reasons.

LSD ("acid") and Mushrooms ("shrooms"):
These are hallucinogens, which is a fancy way of saying that they cause you to see shit that isn't there. Examples of shit you will see: Walls will appear to breathe (which is cool), your jeans will appear to be covered with words you can't quite read (which is frustrating), moving objects will leave colorful trails (which is okay, except when friends wave stuff in front of your face), and oncoming headlights will fracture into blinding kaleidoscopic rainbows (which means you shouldn't drive). An acid trip lasts 12 to 14 hours, and only the first four are actually fun; mushrooms are better because they last only half as long. Also, your mouth will taste like someone is rubbing a stainless steel spoon against your tongue. Eat lots of candy if that bugs you.

Cocaine ("blow," "snow") and Crack ("rock"):
The primary effect of cocaine is an overpowering sensation that if you snort one more line, then you'll feel good. It's a nightmarish state of endless dissatisfaction. Everyone who regularly uses this drug--and it's pretty addictive stuff--inevitably becomes a crabby, self-absorbed asshole. When you were in elementary school (i.e., the '80s), coke was tantamount to being artsy, sophisticated, and rich. Then crack--a smokable form of the drug--came along. Crack is nasty and evil. If you smoke it, you will ruin the rest of your (short) life. You will age 25 years by the time you flunk out and find yourself toothless, covered with open sores, and peddling your ass on the street for change. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing romantic about such a life. (The same fate awaits you if you try heroin, though it will take slightly longer for your teeth to fall out.)

Speed ("meth," "crystal," "tina"):
Speed is basically cut-rate coke for rednecks, the uneducated, and the doomed. For every ounce of fun it provides, it will extract a pound of your humanity. Don't do it.

The Stranger understands that, unless you're a Republican, it's inevitable that you will experiment with drugs. The key is to never do a drug that requires shoving a needle into your arm, and to show a little moderation. Aristotle, a smart gay guy in Greece, argued that moderation and self-control are the keys to a good life. Take his sound advice. Drug addicts have no friends, have no lives, and never get laid. The Stranger expects you to do better than that. And so does God.

Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein did not actually write this piece. But since drug use and drug dealing are illegal, we can't tell you who did.