Poppers to be Banned?

I haven’t written in a while. I wish I could say it was because I was out actively fighting for my politics, putting my body on the front line of the social wars instead of writing another griping think piece. But really I was just lazy. And since the gay marriage issue was resolved I hadn’t found anything to rile me up. But now the Therapeutic Goods Administration has moved to ban the sale of recreational poppers.

And I am fucking pissed.

I love amyl. Every amyl. From the mellow daze of Jungle Juice to the head rush of Iron Horse. Give it to me and I’ll sniff it.┬áIt frees the mind, loosens the hole and heightens sensation. It is perfectly safe and non-addictive. At worse you’ll get a burnt nose. And what gay guy hasn’t woken up after the weekend without that at some point and continued to be absolutely fine.

It is my right to put whatever I want in my body as long as it doesn’t hurt other individuals or society through increased costs to health and policing. But this right is under threat. And who is trying to take it away?

Ophthalmologists.

Fucking eye doctors. They report an increase in retinal damage from amyl nitrate. Except they don’t have any data or solid evidence. But that hasn’t stopped them lobbying the TGA to ban amyl, nor has it stopped the TGA from considering it. That is the most fucking Australian response ever: We don’t have any evidence, or data, or really know what this is, so we should just ban it.

This is blatant homophobia. It reeks of old fashioned moral panic about the sex lives of gay men. That anything to do with anal is icky and must be controlled. Meanwhile, at the new injection room, drug addicts are given needles by the taxpayer to inject any actually illegal drug they want, including ice. And then when they leave, high and psychotic, they are free to wander into the primary school next door. But a bit of sniff in my own bedroom is too dangerous?

The TGA will make a decision in September. If poppers get banned I’ll do the patriotic thing and set up my own underground bath tub distillery. I’ll sell them across the country hidden in packets of frozen peas, the way I hide them when my parents visit.

In the meantime, we should remind ophthalmologists that we are the captains of our own bodies and that their job is in the crows nest, not the boiler room.

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