Recreational Drug Bars - Buzz Bars
Making bars selling recreational drugs safe is a matter of preventing people from getting too high, and monitoring people who manage to do so anyhow. It isn't much different from what these kinds of places do right now, except they would be required to do it better. That might be a good thing even aside from the question of legalization, might it not? It took us a long time before we started placing some responsibility on bars for preventing people from drinking and driving, but finally deciding to do that has helped save lives. Now imagine bartenders trained, motivated, and armed with all the tools to help you battle alcoholism. Imagine servers capable of saving the life of someone who collapses on their dance floor. With technology now changing how we interact at many levels, making a real-time universal purchase database part of how bartenders monitor customers is not a stretch at all. Take financial incentives out of it by eliminating tipping, and make buzz server a licensed profession with solid medical and psychological training, and suddenly you have bartenders that serve your interests, not just your drinks.
An establishment serving a variety of buzz drugs is definitely not the same beast at all as one serving just alcohol. Such a place would be far safer than a bar with just booze. Today's bars and clubs have customers who come in already high on illegal drugs, or that go take them in the bathroom, and then mix them with alcohol - which in the case of many buzz drugs is the very worst thing you could mix with them. A buzz bar would serve you quality buzz drugs at safe doses, and would not serve you anything that could be dangerous in combination with what you have already taken, because they would know exactly what that was. They would not have to guess at what point they should cut someone off, they would have the data on their screen as soon as they swiped your card, adjusted for your age, weight, gender, and past record of sensitivity. Serving someone beyond that point would not simply be unprofessional, it would all be on record and they could lose their license. They would serve a lot of customers who choose not to have any booze at all - which would generally be safer and healthier than if they had been drinking alcohol.
Restaurants and such could be safely allowed to sell blue dot buzzes. Overdose is not possible on blue dot substances, nor can they be mixed in a way that is dangerous. Your neighbourhood alcohol bar could also sell blue dot buzzes, if they didn't want to go through getting licensed for full status as a buzz bar.
Buzz bars, which could include places set up as dance clubs or in cafe format, would have the full range of buzzes on offer. In fact, as already mentioned their shops would have stuff stronger than what is available in regular shops, and in the bar you could get things not available at all except directly from a buzz bar server. Their mission would be to serve everyone, even people in severe addictions, so that nobody turns to illegal drugs, and do so safely. The strongest stuff would only be for addicted people known to have high tolerance, the buzzes that have tricky aspects would be dosed out only under a server's supervision in order to ensure safety. Most of their customers would have no buzz use issues, but bars would be designed primarily with consideration for the ones that do.
Let us first consider the buzzes only available from a server in a buzz bar. The pages that discuss each one will go into detail about how they work, how they would be sold, and why. Here is an outline of that. The buzzes limited like this would be: MDMA, DMT, salvinorin A (which is the active ingredient in salvia divinorum), and hallucinogen-strength ibogaine. All of these buzzes can cause problems if you get the dose wrong, and individual sensitivity is highly variable. It may surprise you that MDMA is on the list - ecstasy has become pretty common in certain scenes and people take it lightly. A small minority of people are highly sensitive to MDMA and can be killed by a typical dose. Few people realize that. Most users also don't realize that hangovers from MDMA can last over a month and cause real problems - inability to concentrate, depression, dizziness, blurred vision... Actually ecstasy has even more complications than these, there are a number of reasons for proposing it be tightly restricted. Hopefully having access to so many other buzz drugs, and being properly informed about why the risk justifies the restrictions, would prevent an illegal market in ecstasy from persisting. As for DMT and salvinorin A, the difference between a dose that causes light perceptual distortions and wonky thinking, and one that plunges you into a vivid waking dream that feels very real while it lasts, is a very slight thing. It takes a pro to get it right the first time, every time, and that pro would then note your dose on your record. Possibly users who are experienced and judged sufficiently mature by the servers could be permitted to buy a prepared dose to take home from the shop, otherwise people really need to be supervised. Ibogaine at hallucinogenic doses is also very intense, and for some is hard enough on the body that they probably shouldn't take it. Servers would need to screen you first to decide if you can take ibogaine that strong, and you ought to have medical assistance within reach just in case something goes wrong anyhow. The possible consequences of taking these hallucinogens unsupervised, at least for users that are not well experienced, would probably make people okay with these restrictions.
These bar-only buzzes demonstrate how broad the spectrum of experiences on the buzzes to be legalized really is. Somebody having a few tokes of cannabis is really on a different page than someone having a few methylphenidate drinks, who is on a very different page than someone having an experience on DMT. It would probably be natural for different venues to specialize mostly in one category of buzz - depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogens - or to have different spaces within them designed to cater to people on different kinds of highs.
It was mentioned under the Buzz Shop section how buzz bars would have stores attached to them. It would be important to the proper function of these stores that they be staffed by the staff of the bar, in fact the bar counter could simply extend through the wall between the two entities so that the servers on duty can just move down the bar to serve customers in the store. Knowing the bar store clients well is the key to those clients being responsibly and respectfully served. Bar stores would be meant for heavy users, so much so that milder buzz products would not be sold there in order to discourage moderate users from coming in. Everything would be behind the counter and many things would not be sold to anyone whose record did not already indicate they were going through an addiction. The layout and ambience would emphasize the need for people interested in that level of use to be in an ongoing dialogue with their servers so that their health can be properly monitored. Maybe a good way to go would be to just make the store an area of the bar where the customer's side is divided off from the rest of the bar, but otherwise is a lot like pulling a stool up to the bar. When the server comes to take your order, she'd have a minute or two to check in with you, out of earshot of other customers. If it is appropriate to talk longer, you are already sitting down and have a degree of privacy. Because the person taking your order is someone you see all the time when you go to your bar, you will probably feel comfortable with them and recognize that they know you. These things are essential in order to work over time with an addicted person, get their buzz drug use down to a sustainable level, and keep them in good health while addiction lasts.
From what has been said you may already have a sense of what going to a buzz bar would be like. Let's walk through the process to imagine the details. You would come in, maybe with friends, sit down, and order. You could pay for someone else's order if you want, but each item would need to be registered to the record of the person who consumes it, so everyone's license would be scanned. If the venue was a dance club, a situation where individuals are hard to keep track of, it would be necessary to go up to the bar yourself in order to get something. The purchase record would function in real time with previous data on you, so as you continued to have drinks or maybe something to smoke in the bar, the server would see an assessment of how buzzed you were each time you asked for something. Your record would note what doses you have taken in the past of each buzz drug, and if ever you had had an incident with something in a buzz bar, that would be noted too. So, even if you were unusually sensitive to something, or unusually insensitive, or had acquired tolerance due to excess use, servers would have the right serving dose for you. If it was appropriate they would give you a stronger brew than what most people get. After all, the point is to keep you from seeking stuff outside the legal system, and keep you where you can be properly monitored, not off on your own. They would not serve you anything that could be hazardous with the buzzes already in your system, and they would not allow your dose of anything to get higher than you can handle. If you were insistent you wanted another round, they could in some cases suggest alternatives - they might say, you have had enough GHB for a while, why don't you chill with some grass or a little salvia. If you tried going elsewhere in hopes of getting served beyond a safe limit it wouldn't work, every server anywhere would access the same live-updated record when they scanned your license, so if you had been cut off in one place, you'd be cut off everywhere.
Every now and then things would nevertheless go wrong. You may be new to a buzz and the servers might not catch that you have an unusually high sensitivity to it. In the early days of legalization, people might sometimes combine illegal substances obtained elsewhere with things bought legally in the bar, go too far and overdose. To eliminate the dangers of such events, and to underline the central goal of safety in a legal system, servers would have the training and the equipment for emergency first aid for anything that could happen on the premises. All buzz bars would also have a 'chill lounge' - a small, calm, quiet area set aside just for people feeling unwell or upset, where they can settle down and staff can assure that everything is okay. It would be right by the bar area and only people taking a break and maybe a friend or two could be in it. Staff would monitor it continuously and provide anything needed - a quick check of blood pressure and such, some activated charcoal, a snack, a blanket, a cold pack, a barf bag, stuff like that.
We have looked a bit at how servers would keep an eye on customers that are nearing or in addiction. On the next page we will look at the various ways servers and other staff will specifically help people in this situation to step by step overcome or at least control an addiction.