‘Get High on Life’ battlecry of former Marine busted, discharged for drugs

article from 1982 Pendleton Scout

The Pendleton Scout

Feb. 25, 1982

‘Get High on Life’ battlecry of former Marine busted, discharged for drugs

“When I found out how to get high on life, I stopped getting high on drugs.”

This was the message of John S. Duff, a former Marine discharged from the Corps in the early 1970’s for his involvement with narcotics and marijuana.

He spoke with more than 150 Camp Pendleton Marines Feb. 18 at the Base Theater about his personal experience with drugs and what it did to him. His credentials were based on having “been there,” and his wisdom was simple: Care about yourself enough to stay away from drugs.

Duff was discharged from the Corps under other than desirable conditions, and after 10 years of selling and using drugs was finally rehabilitated through NARCONON, a national drug rehabilitation organization. He presently serves as the director of NARCONON’s education program. Traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada, Duff presents drug lectures to audiences ranging from parents to students to military members.

“I get high on life,” he says. “I want drug users to become successful individuals who care about where their lives are going. Doing this, they can get high on their own accomplishments instead of drugs. I stay high most of the time, but I don’t use drugs to get that way.”

Duff also spoke on the topic of using drugs to deal with stress, a recourse he advises against. “You can’t solve your problems or work out your stress with drugs,” said Duff. “That only inhibits your ability to think clearly and hampers you in putting your ideas to work.”

Having been on the inside, and now looking from the outside in, Duff concludes that the military is no place for drug users. “I got kicked out of the Corps, I know a Marine can’t be ready to fight for his country if he’s strung out on dope. I’m thankful I never had to find that out firsthand.”