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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Drugs

Don't leave your kid Home Alone (get it?!)

While we're on the topic of misunderstood definitions and controversial standpoints, let's talk about drugs. When most hear "drugs," their mind immediately jumps to illegal drugs, but a drug in essence is anything that is not exclusively a food item that has some sort of affect on the body. This effect can be "good" or "bad" medicinal or toxic; it doesn't matter--they're all drugs. 

Drugs can be made from natural ingredients or synthetic ones. Nature has produced some of the most deadly substances and man has created some of the most curative ones, and vice versa. Each society decides which drugs are acceptable and unacceptable, but some seem to forget that it's a dynamic process. In this country we take laws very seriously, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but people seem to suffer from a good deal of amnesia. Coke, meth, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, shrooms, and opium all used to be legal. Other drugs, such as alcohol, used to be illegal, but now are legal again; in some countries alcohol is still completely illegal. 

For a number of reasons, our policy makers have decided that the drugs that are "OK" for general consumption are caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Some seem to think this is because these drugs are less harmful or less addictive than illegal ones, which is sometimes, but not necessarily, the case. Nicotine is more addictive than many illegal drugs, and alcohol is more damaging, for example. The most obvious comparison is between alcohol and marijuana. I personally enjoy both, and believe that they should both be legal, but if you read the science it's crystal clear that alcohol is way worse for you and way more addictive. 


I have also met a number of people that seem to think consuming illegal drugs has a moral implication. It's true that there is a relationship between excessive drug use and some morally questionable behavior, but it makes no sense to say that someone is a "bad person" for sampling a drug that happens to be illegal. If Mother Theresa snorted a little heroin one evening to relax, it wouldn't nullify her long day of helping and do-goodery. 


In the nonhetero community, drug use is more prevalent, although not necessarily drug abuse. I have read claims attributing this drug use to psychological coping, but I think it's also because nonheteros make the realization that just because society as a whole doesn't accept something, e.g. their sexuality, that doesn't mean it actually makes any sense to follow the rule. 

There are other ways to have a good time for sure; only being able to find thrills or happiness through chemicals is depressing and probably not a great long term strategy. But I've met intelligent, driven, and philanthropic people who use or have used drugs to varying degrees. The president used drugs, Steve Jobs used drugs, hipsters use drugs, fratty bros use drugs, and your Mom and Dad probably used drugs, so chill the fuck out. You can obviously also not use them but still not judge others for using them.



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1 comment:

  1. The type of person who wants to ban alcohol is not the type of person one would want to have a drink with anyway.

    I think people who are "clean" to the point of sterility, and those who even go far enough to advocate banning whatever specific drug they don't like, are rather dull individuals. It's no surprise that some of the greatest minds and personalities of history were avid drug users of some sort.
    Most were smokers or drinkers, but some were fans of other shit too.

    I just can't imagine sitting down with someone like Sartre at a cafe or bar, and listen to him rant on about how he hates cigarettes, weed, alcohol, etc.

    But I can easily imagine that happening with a fanatic of any stripe.

    P.S: Weed should be legal.

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