Sheldon Cholst received his BA from New York University, where he studied medieval literature and folklore.

Upon becoming interested in the Freudian interpretation of literature, he decided to study psychoanalysis. He was awarded his MD from the Long Island College of Medicine and was a research associate in the Department of Neurophysiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he engaged in studies of animal hypnosis. From 1953 to 1955, Dr. Cholst served in the U.S. Air Force, becoming chief psychiatric officer at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. He was the Director of the Child Guidance Clinic of University Settlement House as well as an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry of the N.Y.U. Medical School. No effort has been made to alter or edit the following essay, since much of its interest and value derive from the fact that it was written by a trained psychiatrist while under the influence of hashish.

19 Jan. 1965

I am writing now of the effect of hashish. I smoked it in a cigarette. Had some childish thoughts or memories-of me as a child knocking over a refrigerator and then hitting my mother for being mad at me and jumping into the fireplace and emerging unscathed and saying look what a delusion of grandeur I am. Unscathed-I can now do anything. I stopped doing hypnosis when I age-regressed a patient who got all shook up at the experienceapparently he remembered it and also saw a drawing he did at 5 in kindergarten. He remembered the President was Hoover Coolidge which he didn’t remember when he awoke. Hashish I think does something similar and makes you
Younger by far Than ever you are

So it makes you a child again-in mind or emotions or soul or unboring restless behavior. You move easily in thoughts and fantasies-one to another like a child. More honest (like seeing paintings without the brainwashing of prestige or learning) but you are still a grownup. Both child and grown-up at the same time. Lothar Gidro-Frank, a psychiatrist and friend of mine, did an experiment years ago in which he age-regressed someone and found the person had electronic muscular changes similar to what is obtained by a Babinski reflex. (The big toe goes up when the sole of the foot is scratched or indented with a pin or a key from the heel around the outer aspect to the big toe, describing an elliptic semicircle). Now with hashish there was a tendency for my big toe to move upward. My muscles were very relaxed and the general reflexes accentuated (knee and elbow). Now after the wearing off of the effect, I have the distinct impression of no Babinski and my reflexes at knee and ulnar are what they usually are for me. Tentatively then, the hashish affects the pyramidal tract in some way producing the minor changes listed before and is similar to hypnotic age regression. Thus I was adult and child at the same moment. The fountain of youth has been found. The child lives in a world of wonders, he searches, finds, turns away and is afraid of

find. commitments (emotional and otherwise). He has turned off adult reality-“what to do. but walks on a line. One returns in a sense to a very youthful state and doesn’t need the motor nerves to escape. But now he is both-so he feels “high. for in the real world the concern with danger. geniuses) retains always part of himself as this curious. where to go.” Were he able to be so as an adult at will (and only the good and decent truly want this freedom) he would continuously feel “high” and would know of no difference in states. Thus a man who is “stoned” is in a sense desirably paralyzed (partially or wholly) without the need for that motor activity which is indicative of the adult world.. The limitations of motility of the adult world (reality. For the highest types of humans are very restless. and all the restlessness is taken care of in the mind. When a child reaches the age of 18 months (average) he is then able to walk or run away from danger and go to pleasure. under hashish. place. run towards. area 4.” tall like an adult and yet still a child. certainly. etc. part of the cortex and brain. Now he. and so his motor nerves are no longer charged with the job but return to a primitive early state. child-like self. need no longer be concerned about the environmental dangers which he previously concerned himself with and compromised with. trees. fight. laws. frustrate himself. what am I allowed to do” and has returned to the life of the free. before that he is at the mercy of his parents and the particular environment he’s in. tries this and that and looks wondrously and newly at the butterflies. fate’s very prancing self-all these are overcome in one fell swoop-for with a few puffs of a cigarette one gets a new childhood approach. That society causes pressures against absolute freedom goes without saying. naïve. It is the ultimate cure for boredom. search. “Man is a very restless animal”-and the highest types are the most restless-looking for challenges-traveling lands afar-creating new things-for what has been done is already done and thus would be a bore to do-but the limitations of the adult life-money. One is already there and so the hashish is like removing the motor cortex which occurs in the real life in a man who has a “stroke” or in tumors interrupting this pyramidal. Scientific discoveries are by and large done by non-conformists who do not allow the written word or the prestigious person to influence them from studying the materials themselves and reaching their own opinions-they are not afraid-like the child who fears nothing. wander. the presence or not of a lover. have made him dress a certain way. No longer to go out and kill a tiger or hunt the wooly bear or see what lies over the mountains-that can be done too-but here he has instant joy. think. the self that probes. and says why are the stars in the sky and where are we going and why-interminable questions of honesty which the many adults have gotten pat answers for from their parents or books or famous people-or fear to ask for fear they’ll look and sound ridiculous and thus will not be accepted by the milieu and thus . that does not take rules easily. think.) are gotten rid of. experiment. fear of evil.being hurt or “put down” by adults. Children have Babinskis until about 6 months of age-before they could walk. and so the artist-that individual most desirous of freedom-no matter what field he is in-longs the most for the hashish release so that he can pursue and feel his joy in self as a child-for the child is the most free-not having yet been brainwashed into conformity-and the artist (and also the great artists. listen to rules. primitive child who wonders in his happiness. O wonder of wonders! What more can this “child at heart” want-for that is what a “head” or hashish taker who really “turns on” is. that does not believe unless he has checked it out himself. time. for the nerve sheaths are not fully myelinated except during this first year of life. One’s mind is free to wander. run away. keep himself from being free-“able to do what he wants to do what he wants when he wants to do it. insecurity.

not too bright. these people want the closed in adult life. but the gates are . prestige. prestige. too brainwashed. renders it unnecessary and sends it to the path of the old paralyzed man or the unfully formed nerve heads of the child. They have sold their souls (their honesty. this antidote for restlessness that is frustrated.” By and large. There is no earthly reason for it. And if he is with congenial friends he finds himself happy with them too. and acceptance by society. their desire for freedom. So too with the need and desire for hashish among those who know and have experienced it. Legislation in an overpopulated society should be against those who commit heinous crimes of violence or deception but not for thinking or feeling a certain way or acting a certain way with friends that causes no harm to others and certainly not to society. and become truly a man. The drug hashish. this instant joy and relaxation. find. this resin from female Cannabis sativa flowers. “What need to run to and fro which is inhibited anyway and also here in my mind I explore. lose my boredom. this drug.closed in because of overpopulation and the consequent limitations on freedom. too. money. and even go to jail. the “fountain of youth. this chemical age-regression that allows us to be young and old at the same moment of time. inhibits it. So hashish obviates the motor cortex. in general. Like being in two places at the same time when one crosses the international date line in the Pacific on the same day an experiences the unreal “way out” sensation of being in two places at the same time-it is just such an unreal feeling that comes up in the hashish smoker. The legislation against homosexuality and other sexual acts between consenting adults is similar to the legislation against hashish. Society fears letting down the gates. too conformist. this smoke when inhaled does the same as Aladdin’s lamp and brings out the genius in the inhaler for he becomes fresh and comes fresh to thoughts and ideas and he joys with laughter at his childhood pleasure. but there are some on the borderline who are too afraid they will like it too much and be drawn into the artistic or free life thus losing out on their Faustian bargain. a human being who finds truths in this state.not receive some of the gains-food. These people who either constitutionally or environmentally cannot or do not want this release into childhood life-they will not “turn on. dignity for all mankind) for the mess of pottage called financial success. their insistence on truth. sees pictures for what they really are and is still an adult with all the years of memory and experience to probe. those who wish to smoke already do. This smoke like from Aladdin’s lamp that contains the genie that brings all things to the wisher. You cannot legislate homosexuality for sexual urges cannot be repressed except by causing the most grievous harm to the repressing individual (virtually all is not repressed) but these people become paranoid. honor. too limited. This hashish. find an outlet for my restlessness.” causes no harm-for what harm is there in being a child in the heart and in the mind-and those who do not have this capacity-those who are too square. these leaves of marihuana this poisoner of frustrating reality. this chemical. How joyous is this state-like love-for in love with another one is completely free to be oneself in its noblest meanings and My love is like hemp That brings me to faery lands afar.” they will not feel “high. insecure.

So rare is this that I have not yet seen a clear case but its possibility remains. They. autos. but it puts a pressure on them that shouldn’t be there. But if. 1965 As a corollary. but the ways of the East were good prior to the advent of the young West who went out to conquer and plunder and despoiled the East and leaves it where we now find it. They will do it anyway. Happiness should be the key goal of life-human happiness-and hashish is able to help us in this. There are those who overindulge in alcohol and get into car accidents causing harm. Even in love some will hound and badger another or nag them or treat them like a dog. I should like to state that there is a fear on the part of the general public that this drug or others will cause violence or crime. at least. it is just a question of recognizing that in a world of difficulties. He who is evil is evil and will do so no matter what job or drug he takes. to laugh without harboring a fear of prison or other similar dangers. come what may. But the good will never murder although it is conceivable that in some extremity unbeknownst to themselves. Whether they use drugs as the excuse or money. they can get strong enough to handle and control the evil which is the best way. They want to “turn on” the world and they want men free to be free if they wish in the real world if possible thru proper and decent legislation of economy and politics and at least in the meantime a freedom of the mind purchased at very little cost in the form of smoke from this remarkable Aladdin’s lamp. for what would their lives be but a prison-for those who have found their freedom limited in society and so they really have nothing to lose. The evil will commit evil. indolent. If only we could ban evil or the evil ones we’d have no evil problems. . Others remain cool. formed a culture which allowed for these private escapes into freedom in the mind. their actions predispose to murder or they are placed in such extremity that they might protect themselves and thereby cause an accident. limitations. 7 Feb. But they will do it and some will murder in the name of love. job in the military or police or even in love. In the West until the past 100 years there was a great deal of physical environmental freedom but this has almost gone. There are evil people and whatever they come in touch with takes on their odor. should be banned along with hashish. fate’s harrowing movements. faced with their older culture and population. There are many who fear man would become poverty stricken. power. and succumb to the ways of the East. suffering in body as much as Western man suffers in soul. some will murder in the name of money or governments or power or institutions or religions. and until we find a way to live comfortably and freely with each other and the East the least we can do is not imprison those artistic searchers for truth who use hashish as escape into freedom. the good are not attacked. But they have and do gain tremendous freedom and joy when they partake and they wish all who could also share and enjoy could come over and do so.already down. So given the circumstances some violate public policy to such an extent they get put away. at least society ought to allow people to enjoy their mind’s play. money. alcohol. They might also do this with hashish or even with nothing at all but psychological problems. So if the laws are consistent then love. The man who is arrested for selling hashish has usually been bothersome to others and comes to their attention and they put him away-if he is cool he is not bothered.

They will use the drugs anyway-for it is a life need that they have discovered and if they had not discovered it their lives would be so tortured and suffering as to belie description. far outdistancing those who prescribe the drug rarely or even frequently. I have seen physicians err with dosages to the extent of their own care and interest whether it be with insulin. brings on good. They are no different from other groups of people. Students today finish high school and know nothing about life or even their own bodies. Some are excellent. I have seen them make mistakes. Like art.” or even just “feel good”-should have the right to ask someone’s help (a physician) or to obtain and use the drug themselves or give them a simple test such as is given to get an auto license. organ function. And all people who wish to try and use the drug of their choice to “expand their consciousness. I have seen them operate on nonexistent conditions unnecessarily. and some bad-or any field. He who will misuse his license will-but it will all be on his own head-and if he harms others he would have done so anyway and there is no point in punishing the many because of the few. Nor should hashish or hashish-takers be branded evil. 2 hours later The laws should be against evil acts not the drug or chemical or means that is used prior to or with it or is used in the name of. and some bad. or even antibiotics and heart drugs. but only the evil should be branded evil. For someone to have a license to dispense drugs is like having a license to paint pictures. techniques. antidotes. I have seen them operate without the proper preparation out of a greed and a hunger for prestige and recognition.Since evil contained is not evil And good sustained. I have seen mothers overdosed with demerol give birth to somnolent. They are users themselves. I have seen bad drivers get licenses. They know needles. dying children. there are some great artists. but no good driver has failed to receive his license to drive (to my knowledge). some mediocre. that far surpass the knowledge of the average physician-for they have made it an important study-their lives depend on it-their lives are on the line at each moment they live. gauges. The laws against hashish should be repealed and those who are transgressors against the public good should be punished just as disorderly conduct by an .” “learn further truths. So human beings can be good or evil. Many evils were done in the name of God but this does not make God evil. tranquilizers. many mediocre. I have seen physicians overdose patients with consequent danger and even death on more occasions than I have seen non-physicians give themselves medicines that proved harmful. Society must eventually become charitable to dissident groups and allow them the same rights it allows others. Education should include a full study of medicine for the child-not grammar or French or History-to the extent that they are taught. 2 hours later Those who take drugs such as hashish or even heroin or LSD have a remarkable awareness of the drugs they take.

Others of less intelligence do not perceive this and think they themselves correct. To be good is to be nice-to be nice is to let people have their own way if they can. I do not accuse those who are unaware. But I obey a higher law and would be a criminal to support a wrong by inactivity. but a crime is committed by those who have sponsored and legislated and supported actively or by assent and inactively have allowed a situation to come about that inhibits the non-outward harming activity of hashish smoking. but I would accuse myself if I did not take all conceivable action towards remedying a bad situation.alcoholic or even an ordinary citizen is. To be evil is to be nasty-to insist on your way being the only correct way. Society here participates in the crime. The good and decent want these needs fulfilled. and if I did not speak up on this subject and attempt to change it I too would be committing a crime-against humanity. or it will open up into a truly freedom-loving happy society both for the limited and the unlimited. and I may be accused and even suffer the indignity of imprisonment for having smoked hashish or having written this piece and would be and am a criminal in the eyes of the local laws. whatever they may be. personal needs. Those who will work will and there is more good and honest and really productive work forthcoming from a satisfied person-satisfied according to his own individual. A crime occurs where one person interferes with the free will of the other who causes no harm or interference with any others. . the evil do not see the variety in human beings and wish limitations. He who is most intelligent perceives as if by giant antennae the intense variety in people and thus cannot limit them if he can help it for he sees their various needs intently. In the case of smoking hashish no crime is committed by the smoker. I have no argument with those who wish to limit me and others of the good who wish no limitations on their goodness. The world is at the crossroads now and either the limitations will win and a structured pigeon-hole society will form. thereby tending to inhibit the freedom of others around them.