Rick James was right: cocaine is a helluva drug. Then again, so are mushrooms, MDMA, LSD, alcohol, and good old reefer. Over the past 20 years, I’ve indulged in my fair share of recreational self-medication. I’m lucky and not predisposed to addiction. If you don’t have an addictive personality, then drugs can be f*cking amazing.
Psilocybin opens the mind and lets it heal, THC calms the soul and nerves, MDMA (molly) makes you all about the love. Alcohol is fun. There’s a reason cocaine has tainted 90% of the bills in circulation in the United States. And the effects from the designer drug depicted in the new film, Urge, which leads to a rather insane drug-fueled bacchanalia… well, those look incredible.
The 20th century’s war on drugs turned out to be a farcical and tragic experiment. We blew more coke, smoked more weed, and dropped more acid than ever. Luckily, today the war on drugs is giving way to a more progressive mindset, in which we can study what these drugs actually are, and maybe find some benefits. Did you know that Molly is getting approved for couples’ therapy?
While the experts busy themselves with that, let’s look back on some of the craziest, most drug and alcohol fueled melees had by people who just wanted to party, man.
Dock Ellis’ No-No
Dock Ellis was a character. He’d show up to practice with hair curlers in his hair. He didn’t shy away from hitting batters whenever he could. He voiced his opinions about racism in America and the MLB without hesitation. He was a larger than life athlete. And the man liked to get high. Not just regular high. Really, really high. So high that Ellis once said that pitching a game sober was the scariest moment of his life.
Back in the 1970s, steroids were fairly uncommon. What was common were uppers like Dexamyl and Benzedrine. It seems like 90% of baseball players in that era were high as f*ck on amphetamines, or speed. It kinda puts the whole steroid epidemic in perspective. Then again, cocaine was the preferred drug of choice for baseball players in the 1980s. I mean something has to get you through nine god-awful boring innings, right? And can we really expect our athletes to stand around for three to four hours at a time with some light running once or twice a day without a little chemical assistance?
Dock Ellis took it one step further. On a misty day in June of 1970, Dock stepped onto the mound and pitched a no hitter against the San Diego Padres while high on Dexamyl, Benzedrine, and LSD. He’d been getting some r-n-r in L.A. with an old friend and dropping acid, as you do. Then he lost a day, again, as you do. He’d already dropped some more acid when he was informed he was due to pitch that day. Dock high-tailed it down to San Diego. He scored some Bennies from a female fan who sat near the dugout with a golden bag full of pills. I guess those are what they call the good ol’ days, assuming you loved speed. The cocktail of drugs in Dock’s system gave him a focus. He claims not to even have seen the batters, just the calls from the catcher. That focus waned when he actually pitched. He threw balls into the dirt, into the stands, and into batters. He dodged fly balls fearing for his life. He even made a tag on first. But no one got a hit on him.
Not bad for someone as high as a Georgia pine. But, then again, just about everyone was probably high on amphetamines that day.