Reader Email

Hey Mo,
long time reader of the Stool both Boston and Philly. As a pretty standard white guy who is into jambands like Phish, Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic and one who has had his share of experiences with hallucinogens, I gotta ask, “Have a majority of black people actually tripped?” I mean you hear it all of the time. “You must be trippin” or “Bitch be trippin”. I have always wondered if LSD, mushrooms and the like are big with the black population?

As always Viva La Stool and FIRE ANDY!

Kevin E.


That’s the short answer. Black people generally aren’t into hallucinogens and “trippin” has never meant catching visuals while waving one’s hand in front of the face. But this does bring up the cultural differences in drugs between urban and suburban youth (read: black kids and white kids). There are some drugs that white people do that blacks just aren’t up for.

Anyone who has taken a 100-level African American studies course can tell you about institutionalized racism built into the American justice system i.e. the uneven penalties concerning different tastes in drugs between the races.  One of these examples were the much higher penalties for crack possession than powder cocaine possession, which ended up locking a large percentage of black people up while leaving coked-up white businessmen with a slap on the wrist.  Differences in taste have existed since forever and are easy to spot,  but it’s harder to distinguish WHY these differences exist.

With crack and coke the explanation probably resided with the cost and availability, but with other drugs the reasons are more nebulous.  Even with the world’s most popular and universally-accepted drug marijuana, anyone in America with a radio can tell you about the cultural differences concerning use. Black people smoke blunts, white people smoke bowls. Both sides are still doing the same drug, but the cultural differences remain. Hand a black guy with few to no white friends a bong and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

LSD and shrooms are what I like to call “white people drugs”. Can’t explain exactly why black people aren’t into LSD and shrooms as white people are, its just been that way since the beginning of time. Maybe it goes into white people (for better or worse) being stereotypically more adventurous than blacks.  Maybe it has to do with black people’s distrust of anything associated with the supernatural (you a demon).  Maybe it has to do with the fact that white people just tend to do more drugs in general than black people.  Whatever the case, as it stands today LSD and mushrooms are 100% some white people shit.

I actually did shrooms for the first time maybe a couple years back and didn’t enjoy it at all. Just felt nauseous and woozy and…velvety if that make sense. Didn’t like it, but I didn’t “see” anything either. Maybe had I seen the wall melting or experienced any of those feelings my white friends raved about I’d be a fan, just so happens it didn’t work that way.

But to answer your question, Kevin — no. I would say the majority of the black population have not tripped.