So as atheists, I'm curious to hear how everyone feels about mind altering substances and their potential uses and harmful side effects.I'm also curious to hear your stance on the idea of a "drug war".I've just never had an opportunity to grill this demographic about it.I'll tell you now, I'm a major advocate for ending marijuana prohibition.I also (in spite of what at first seems like common sense) believe that opium and cocaine should be legal.I believe the FDA should get involved with the practice of reviewing and approving for use, synthetic recreational drugs.What do you guys think?

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Well said.  Atheists merely mean we share the common understanding of there is no god.  We can differ on other issues but you know, thats ok too, at least we wont throw god in eachother's faces. ^_^

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It seems, if you make something illegal like recreational drugs, people will use the black-market to acquire them.  Given that, I would choose to make every drug legal and amiable over the counter.  The FDA wouldn't regulate the way they do now.  Instead, I would have the FDA prove the claims of the manufactures and label products explaining the uses, different dosages, side-effects, and possible dangers.  This would allow cancer patients, the terminally ill, terminal pain patients, etc to use any medicine they choose.  From my experiences with the FDA, they're not regulating but controlling the market for established corporations.    

DMT anyone?

DMT should have it's own thread here. 

Eric, I agree with you that persons using marijuana are not endangering their own health and it is their decision to to do so even if they were. When you say provided whatever they decide to do does not interfere with my (or your) property rights or liberties,is where things change.It is a fine line and often difficult to asses when an individual's rights infringe on the rights of others. It is the impairment of their judgement and reaction time while carrying on their regular daily activities that concerns me. Wouldn't you say the guy that just smoked a joint and is now driving the cab, bus, or aircraft you are in is interfering with your and others safety. Or the same guy driving in the opposite direction on the highway.Or the same guy accidently starting a fire in the complex where you live. Is he the best person to judge whether he is interfering with the rights of others, because I am sure he would argue thet he isn't. He can operate that way a thousand times and nothing happens but just one time where his impaired judgement is responsible for an incident is one too many. Obviously the war on drugs is not working but I think a free hand in the use of recreational drugs use would be much worse than you imagine.

It's not the act of smoking the joint or driving a cab that's dangerous, it's the combination of the two. I carry a lifelong injury inflicted by a completely sober man who happened to be a reckless idiot. It's the specific dangerous acts that should be regulated, not the supposed causes. If a guy smokes pot all day, but never starts any fires, why should he be prosecuted? If a careless cooker burns down the apt. bldg., but is sober, should we cut them some slack because they weren't stoned when they did it?

A drunk driver is dangerous, but drinking alcohol is not outlawed. We tried that before, and the results were far worse than the original problem. The War on (some kinds of) Drugs is orders of magnitude worse than Prohibition was.

I totally agree, Ator it is not just the smoking of the joint but the combination of driving with it that is the problem.I also agree if the guy wants to smoke pot all day that should be his preference.The problem is what is he going to do that day that will effect the lives of others. We often see the terms "drunk" when talking about alcohol and "stoned" when talking about drugs.These symptoms are obvious to everyone who sees someone in that condition. I am talking about the influence of smaller amounts that impair your perception and reaction time but aren't as obvious to everyone else. What are the chances, for example, of the guy that smokes some pot or has a few drinks and eventually makes a bad decision and does something that effects the lives of other people.If he did that knowingly shouldn't he be responsible for his actions? As far as the guy acting like a reckless idiot, he should be held accountable for his actions as well. I know proving responsibility is difficult in some cases, but I don't see any other solution. Unfortunately people who cause problems for themselves and others as a result of sober stupidity are difficult to deal with. If you could be charged for being stupid we would all likely be written up from time to time. I just think that legalizing most drugs as Eric suggested, would increase the downside. The war on drugs is obviously not working but I don't agree that legalizing them would make the big picture any better either.  

Take a look at Portugal. They decriminalized EVERYTHING there 10 yrs ago, including coke, meth, heroin, etc. Treatment is available for walk-ins, and for people who still manage to get into drug-related criminal problems. Overall use has gone down, abuse has gone way down, and criminal gangs are making much less money off the deal.

Btw, not to be over-sensitive, but it's Artor, not Ator. If you've ever seen the D-grade movie "Ator the Fighting Eagle," you'll understand why I'd rather not get called Ator.

That's all great for Portugal. ( I hope you have your facts correct). But we know that there are Christians in the government and Christian voters that criminalize drugs and don't want them legalized. Which is why I think we are discussing The War on Drugs in an atheist board.

Seems like it's winding down and the more colorful elements have been eliminated. 


NIH just released a study. This is a government study, you realize. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana helps the body kill cancer cells.


The study:

The dumb down:


I have been a casual smoker of marijuana for about ten years. By casual, I mean, once every couple of weeks, sometimes couple of months, when a friend brings, etc. I have been a drinker for about the same amount of time. I have never hurt anyone while high on THC, physically or verbally. I cannot say the same for my alcohol experiences. 


I have not done any hallucinogens, but I want to try them. The amount of poison large corporations put into your food have more long term ill effects than magic mushrooms. Europe has 3,500 banned chemicals in food. In the US there are 6. LSD is a value changing drug, another one I would like to try. For those of you who have been crapping on them as harmful or this or that, there are risks with every drug you take and I refer you to Bill Hicks.



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