Drugs

On this point, I beg to be distinctly understood. No person can use tobacco, in the least degree, without injury.
~ William Andrus Alcott, M.D., The Use of Tobacco: Its Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Effects on The Human System (1836). XVI: Who Suffer Most from Tobacco

I'm an idiot anyway, but sometimes you feel like an idiot times ten when you're stoned.
~ Billie Joe Armstrong

Tobacco neither altereth health nor hew,
Ten thousand thousand know that it is true.
~ William Barclay, Nepenthes, or the Vertues of Tobacco (1614).

Look, just in the context of school, we know that marijuana negatively affects concentration, focus, memory and retention. Hello out there? Concentration, focus, memory and retention. If you were in school, arguably, concentration, focus, memory and retention are important things.
~ William John Bennett, CNN TV "Access" (2 May 2002). William Bennett: Today's pot is more dangerous

The drug problem is fundamentally a moral problem -- in the end, a spiritual problem. It is seeking meaning in a place where no meaning can come.
~ William John Bennett, Speech at the Southern Baptist Convention, New Orleans LA (11 June 1990).

I don't do coke or crank or any other sh[*]t like that -- I smoke pot. It's just a plant, and I get sh[*]t for that. They say drugs are drugs, which is bullsh[*]t. ... I'm not tellin' people that they should smoke pot, too -- that would be wrong and hypocritical -- but I do support people's freedom to do what they choose.
~ Chuck Billy

The sweet post-prandial cigar.
~ Robert Williams Buchanan

[M]ore people die every year as a result of the war against drugs than die from what we call, generically, overdosing.
~ William F. Buckley, Jr., in National Review (1 July 1996). The War on Drugs is Lost

The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.
~ William F. Buckley, Jr., in National Review (29 April 1983).

[T]he cost of the drug war is many times more painful, in all its manifestations, than would be the licensing of drugs combined with intensive education of non-users and intensive education designed to warn those who experiment with drugs.
~ William F. Buckley, Jr., in National Review (1 July 1996). The War on Drugs is Lost

Those who suffer from the abuse of drugs have themselves to blame for it. This does not mean that society is absolved from active concern for their plight. It does mean that their plight is subordinate to the plight of those citizens who do not experiment with drugs but whose life, liberty, and property are substantially affected by the illegalization of the drugs sought after by the minority.
~ William F. Buckley, Jr., in National Review (1 July 1996). The War on Drugs is Lost

A junky runs on junk time. When his junk is cut off, the clock runs down and stops. All he can do is hang on and wait for non-junk time to start.
~ William S. Burroughs, Junkie (1953). Chapter 10

I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. ... The question "Why did you start using narcotics in the first place?" should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Soft Machine (1961).

I had not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous grey wooden flesh of heroin addiction. ... I did absolutely nothing.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Naked Lunch (1959). Introduction, Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness

I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.
~ William S. Burroughs, Junky (1977 edition). Prologue

I'm running out of everything now. Out of veins, out of money.
~ William S. Burroughs, Lee's Journals (1955).

Junk is the ideal product ... the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Naked Lunch (1959). Introduction, Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness

Junkies have no interest in sex and they have no interest in other people except as suppliers of junk. They go around looking younger for a few days. Then they need more.
~ William S. Burroughs, Just One Fix (1992 single). Quick Fix

My experience as an addict was very useful to me as writer: the whole syndrome of addiction and withdrawal and the extensions of that and other forms of addiction. It gave me a great deal of material. A writer can profit by something that someone else may not be able to profit from at all. Yet they were very disagreeable experiences. Very boring experiences.
~ William S. Burroughs (1978 interview), Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Jan-Mar, 1981). William Burroughs: A Sketch

Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Naked Lunch (1959). Introduction, Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness

(1) Never give anything away for nothing. (2) Never give more than you have to give (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait). (3) Always take everything back if you possibly can.
~ William S. Burroughs (on the basic principles of dealing heroin), in Evergreen Review, Vol. 4 No. 11 (Jan/Feb 1960). Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness (1959)

Take a look at the knee-jerk, hard-core sh[*]ts who react so predictably to the mere mention of drugs with fear, hate and loathing. Haven't we seen these same people before in various contexts? Storm troopers, lynch mobs, queer-bashers, Paki-bashers, racists -- are these the people who are going to revitalize a 'Drug-free America'?
~ William S. Burroughs, The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960 (1991). Foreword

The idea that addiction is somehow a psychological illness is, I think, totally ridiculous. It's as psychological as malaria. It's a matter of exposure. People, generally speaking, will take any intoxicant or any drug that gives them a pleasant effect if it is available to them.
~ William S. Burroughs, Interview in The Paris Review, Issue 35 (Fall 1965). The Art of Fiction No. 36

The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Naked Lunch (1959). Introduction, Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness

Marijuana is like Coors beer. If you could buy the damn stuff at a Georgia filling station, you'd decide you wouldn't want it.
~ Billy Carter

I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.
~ Billy Collins, The Art of Drowning (1995). The Best Cigarette

"Drops," you are a darling! If I love nothing else, I love you!
~ (William) Wilkie Collins, Armadale (1866). Book IV, Chapter X. Miss Gwilt's Diary

It's not call cocaine anymore. It's now referred to as "Crack Classic."
~ Billiam Coronel

The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,
Makes half a sentence at a time enough;
The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,
Then pause, and puff -- and speak, and pause again.
~ William Cowper (of tobacco), from Poems by William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1782). Conversation

A smoky future never looks bright.
~ Bill Dodds, 1440 Reasons to Quit Smoking: One for Every Minute of the Day (2000).

Cannabis does not cause death or organ damage. It is one of the safest drugs in that way, safer than aspirin, which kills thousands every year.
~ William S. Eidelman, in The Los Angeles Times (1 May 2005). Witnesses to Pot's Medicinal Value

Chemical roulette is a dangerous game with many losers.
~ William A. Emboden, Narcotic Plants (1972).

I never smoked a cigar in my life until I was nine.
~ W.C. Fields

Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.
~ John William Gardner, The Recovery of Confidence (1970).

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.
~ Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper, in the New York Times (14 April 1954). Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie

And on the seventh day, god stepped back and said, "There is my creation, perfect in every way ... oh, dammit I left pot all over the place. Now they'll think I want them to smoke it. ... Now I have to create republicans."
~ Bill Hicks

How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn't that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition and lies? I think it would be news-worthy.
~ Bill Hicks

I'm a heavy smoker. I go through two lighters a day.
~ Bill Hicks, (1988).

I have something to tell you non-smokers that I know for a fact that you don't know, and I feel it's my duty to pass on information at all times. Ready? ... Non-smokers die every day. ... Enjoy your evening. See, I know that you entertain this eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke, but let me be the 1st to POP that bubble and bring you hurling back to reality. ... You're dead too.
~ Bill Hicks

If you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD's and burn them.
~ Bill Hicks

They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it's not worth the f[*]cking effort. There is a difference.
~ Bill Hicks

Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is mearly energy condensed through a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, life is only a dream and we are the imaginations of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather.
~ Bill Hicks

Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn't the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit ... unnatural?
~ Bill Hicks

All dope can do for you is kill you ... the long hard way. And it can kill the people you love right along with you.
~ Billie Holiday

If you think dope is for kicks and for thrills, you're out of your mind. There are more kicks to be had in a good case of paralytic polio or by living in an iron lung. If you think you need stuff to play music or sing, you're crazy. It can fix you so you can't play nothing or sing nothing.
~ Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues (1956 autobiography).

There isn't a soul on this earth who can say for sure that their fight with dope is over until they're dead.
~ Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues (1956 autobiography).

I told [reporters] that I sprinkled marijuana on my organic buckwheat pancakes, and then when I ran my five miles to the ballpark, it made me impervious to the bus fumes. That's when [Baseball Comissioner] Bowie Kuhn took me off his Christmas list.
~ Bill "The Spaceman" Lee (on pre-game habits), quoted in Tales from the Red Sox Dugout (2000).

Smoking's a way to let you down slowly from a ballgame. It also makes you use less of the resources around. It makes people better in the way they act towards society. Everybody's nicer. It's hard to be mean when you're stoned.
~ Bill "The Spaceman" Lee

Something was definitely happening to me ... my brain would start clicking into another dimension or time warp ... it was as if everything was in 3-D, and I could visually grasp all three sides at once. Aside from that, I didn't get much of a buzz.
~ Bill "The Spaceman" Lee (on using pot).

The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything.
~ Bill "The Spaceman" Lee

I have a terrible drug problem I cannot control. I need help. ... I hope they put me in a drug program here. I have a sickness.
~ William Ligue, Jr. (on attacking Kansas City Royals first-base coach Tom Gamboa during the Sox-Royals game held September 19), The Daily Southtown (Telephone interview; 31 October 2002). 'I disgraced Chicago': Ligue apologizes for Comiskey attack

No cigar-smoker ever committed suicide.
~ William Maginn

Bob Dole admitted he used cocaine when he was in college, but then Coca-Cola changed its formula.
~ Bill Maher, ABC TV. Politically Incorrect

This is tough love to a wonderful, high-performing kid. Sometimes, you got to take that kid to the woodshed to get them straightened out.
~ Bill Martin (on undetectable steroids' use within USA Track & Field), Statement after USOC executive committee session, Cleveland OH (17 October 2003).

I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?
~ Willie Nelson

I'll support a war on drugs, but not a war on flowers or herbs.
~ Willie Nelson, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart (2006). How High Is Up?

If a man wishes to rid himself of a feeling of unbearable oppression, he may have to take hashish.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Ecce Homo (1888). Why I am so Clever

Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols (1888). Things the Germans Lack

I agree with (hippie leader) Wavy Gravy. There's blood on heroin and cocaine.
~ William L. Pickard, Jr., The San Francisco Chronicle (June 2001). William Pickard's long, strange trip: Suspected LSD trail leads from the Bay Area's psychedelics era to a missile silo in Kansas

I'm not a drug user at all. Nor do I synthesize controlled substances or distribute them. I don't even drink. A big drug experience to me would be a cup of coffee.
~ William L. Pickard, Jr., The San Francisco Chronicle (June 2001). William Pickard's long, strange trip: Suspected LSD trail leads from the Bay Area's psychedelics era to a missile silo in Kansas

If someone wants to do drugs, as long as it doesn't affect anyone else in a violent manner, as long as he or she isn't corrupting minors or driving under the influence or endangering others, shouldn't a person have that right?
~ (William) Brad Pitt, in Esquire Magazine (October 2006).

I don't smoke. I used to smoke. ... And as I go down the years from when I used to smoke, it's more and more irritating to me that those who do don't pay any attention to those who don't care to. And it may well be that we have to see that those who don't smoke are protected from those who do.
~ William D. Ruckelshaus, Tobacco Institute Newsletter, Number 39 (22 December 1971).

Drug use and procrastination often go hand in tourniquet.
~ Will Self, from Junk Mail (1995). Introduction

So I was smacked out on the Prime Minister's jet, big deal.
~ Will Self (having been dismissed as a columnist by the "Observer" after taking heroin), in The Independent on Sunday (20 April 1997).

What are politicians going to tell people when the Constitution is gone and we still have a drug problem?
~ William Simpson, in Time magazine (14 May 1990). American Notes North Carolina

I have lung cancer. Take some advice about smoking and losing from someone who's been doing both for years. If you haven't smoked, don't start. If you do smoke -- quit. Don't be a loser.
~ William Talman, American Cancer Society TV Advertisement (September 1968). Antismoking Public Service Announcement

The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish: it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected: in fact, I must out with it -- I am an old smoker.
~ William Makepeace Thackeray, from Sketches and Travels in London (1856). Mr. Brown's Letters to his Nephew: Mr. Brown the Elder Takes Mr. Brown the Younger to a Club

I've never heard of anybody smoking a joint and going on a rampage. It makes you lie around on the floor and look at the ceiling. What's wrong with that?
~ Billy Bob Thornton, in TV Guide Magazine (November 2000). Billy Bob: No Rampage

There is a central human experience which alters all other experiences. It has been called satori in Japanese Zen, moksha in Hinduism, religious enlightenment or cosmic consciousness in the West ... (It) is not just an experience among others, but rather the very heart of human experience. It is the center that gives understanding to the whole. ... Once found, life is altered because the very root of human identify has been deepened. ... The drug LSD appears to facilitate the discovery of this apparently ancient and universal experience.
~ Wilson Van Dusen, Psychologia, vol. 4:11-16 (1961). LSD and the Enlightenment of Zen

I did LSD in the hospital, never on my own. I did it in a controlled environment to try to find things out about myself. ... A psychiatrist told me I should take some LSD trips.
~ Andy Williams

The desire for instant gratification is at the heart of substance abuse. We want to "feel good," so we drink, or we smoke, or do anything to get a high. Soon we are unable not to want it, and an addiction is born.
~ Angel Kyodo Williams, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace (2000).

So, big surprise, I just stopped smoking
Yeah, la di dah, now don't remind me
I think I'm going insane.
~ Dar Williams, in All My Heroes Are Dead (1991 album). Stop Smoking

You're assuming I used drugs. When you say drugs, what exactly do you mean?
~ Ricky Williams, The San Francisco Chronicle (21 November 2004). NFL dropout Ricky Williams chilling in Sierra: He's been found studying the healing arts

Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.
~ Robin Williams

About a year ago I had what I consider a very religious experience. I took LSD, a full dose of LSD, and later, another time, I took a smaller dose. And I learned a lot of things, like patience, understanding. I can't teach you or tell you what I learned from taking it, but I consider it a very religious experience.
~ Brian Wilson, The Los Angeles Times (1966).

A year later, I had my first experience with marijuana, and I found my drug of choice -- next to food, which has been the most powerful drug in my life, and probably always will be. But I loved the feeling of being stoned, and the smell and taste of pot -- I still do.
~ Carnie Wilson, Gut Feelings (2001). Songs, Sex, and Smoke

You don't need to take drugs to hallucinate; improper language can fill your world with phantoms and spooks of many kinds.
~ Robert Anton Wilson, Chaos and Beyond: The Best of Trajectories (1994).

After all, in spite of opinion, prejudice, or error, time will fix the real value upon the discovery, and determine whether I have imposed upon myself and others, or contributed to the benefit of science and mankind.
~ William Withering (of the drug digitalis), from An Account of the Foxglove and Some of Its Medicinal Uses (1785). Preface

It's time for members of Congress to take off the blinders to the suffering they have caused through intolerant and politically motivated drug laws.
~ Bill Zimmerman, on U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative et al. (14 May 2001).

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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William