Thou shall not envy! It is said, in the Bible, exact location if you want to travel there is Exodus 20:17 and fortunately you will not need a VISA. It is very clear that you should banish your desires for whatever does not belong to you, in the same robustness and manner in which Okonkwo was banished from Umuofia for seven years, only that you have to exile the desires forever and ever, amen! Out of all the unrealistic things the Bible requires from us, to not envy remains one of the most difficult to achieve alongside the mighty and merry, fornication (when I am in a good mood I call him Reason-Why-Most-Of-Us-Are-Here).

That this is an unrealistic expectation is not my opinion, and even if it was my opinion it would be informed because plethora of research backs it up. Of course, envy makes us feel ugly for experiencing it. It is an emotion we want to make go away as quickly as possible or better yet, be able to stay above it in the first place. However, according to evolutionary psychologists, envy is a natural condition that has deep biological roots. Sarah Hill and David Buss explained in their research titled The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy that we experience envy because it has enabled us to evaluate our position in the competition of resources. Only limited resources are competed for, stupidity and ignorance are abundant resources, they rarely invoke envy, but the same cannot be said about money and success in general. Social comparison is the way we determine where we stand and how to adjust. Hill and Buss cite research showing that humans respond to envy with submission, ambition or destruction.

Just look around you, maybe even within yourself, what have drugs done to us to deserve the castigation and condemnation we direct towards them? It can only be envy, we are jealous of their success. Drugs do not claim to be good at this and that; they just get the job done, always! My drug of choice, C 2H 5OH, usually expressed in percentage on beverage labelling does not claim to impair driving ability and not do it, it does, all you have to do is give it time and concentration. The unholy herb, the recreational cannabinoid, gives you the classic high it promises to give, all the time, no questions asked, no procrastination. The self-discipline and work ethic that drugs have are amazing. You would have to be from another planet, if success like this is anything you cannot be envious of.

Our issues with drugs do not end there, at them being successful in their area of specialty and us being envious of them and wishing we were equally successful in areas of our choice, the war on drugs also has to do with the clarity of thought that we tend to achieve while under their influence. A man finds himself, to his great astonishment, suddenly existing, after thousands and thousands of years of non-existence, he lives for a little while and then, again, comes an equally long period when he must exist no more. Under normal circumstances, the heart rebels against this, and feels that this cannot be true, but that is not the case under the influence, at that instance your heart does not switch to rebellion mode but instead you get a chance to look upon life as an unprofitable episode, disturbing the blessed calm of non-existence.


Listen to what Jean-Paul Sartre thought many many years ago, he thought that ‘every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance’. Yeah right, sounds fancy, sounds applicable to human beings but Jean surely did not have drugs in mind. How shortsighted could he have been? We are born with no clear purpose; well it should not be surprising since we are just a dot in the greater scheme of things although we highly regard ourselves. As we continue to navigate through this life we are condemned to by being born (without our consultation and consent), we import purpose from our surroundings and live our lives to fulfil this established purpose.

This is not the case with drugs, they are properly planned for, conceived with a clear reason and continue to exist to fulfil the purpose for which they were established for. Maybe exemplifying with socially unacceptable drugs above was a bad idea, but bad ideas deserve a chance to prosper too, equality means affording equal opportunities. Socially acceptable drugs have the same formidable discipline as their frowned upon cousins, anti-retrovirals need no introduction especially after what they have done for us as a country. From where I stand, I envy drugs with all that I have, particularly their ability to get the job done, on time and as promised.