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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I agree. I am for legalizing drugs or at the minimum decriminalizing them and making research studies more accessible as the ethics boards make them very difficult with too many regulations with human participants..

Okay... sorry... I'm trying to figure out your stance.

 

You are against prohibition and think drugs like marijuana should at least be decriminalized if not legalized, but you are also against their use and would like to see users in rehab and so on...

 

Is that about it?

Yup. I believe that legalizing drugs takes the stigma away from the "illegality" of the drugs that entice many youth; and providing clean drugs to addicts rather than "laced" up drugs is safer. On top of that, the drug war is a mess and the ones who are profiting the most are the murderous drug cartels (particularly in Mexico) when we could be providing clean drugs to those who are going to use drugs and to tax them which would not only end the drug war in which so many murders are taking place along with the billions of dollars each year, we would be able to create revenue for the states through the applicable taxation that legalization would provide. We would free up resources and be able to better educate our youth about the dangers of drug use in a much more controlled and efficient manner.

 

In countries in which drug use is legalized or at least decriminalized; the rate of drug abuse is much lower than in the countries where there are drug wars and illegality of drugs. Saying this, we should not tell our youth it is "safe" to do drugs and that it is "good" for you which some drug users of this thread seem to advocate.

Smoking of any kind is to me a strong indicator of the lack of self confidence and the resulting lack of character. Being young it takes much more intellectual effort and guts not to smoke than what it takes to smoke. I don't care what you smoke - cigarettes or marijuana, it is still unhealthy in a degree not acceptable to me. In this day and age there is enough evidence demonstrating that smoking of just about any kind is unhealthy and for this very reason smoking is deeply irrational. For marijuana we know that it damages the brain - it is not without reason that the term "pothead" exists. I am aware that my opinion is quite controversial but as they say, the truth hurts.

great dane you ever drunk alcohol before? or how about even a cup of cofee or tea? you know that caffeine can damage your brain?

 

"Caffeine is one of the most extensively consumed psychostimulants in the world. However, compared to short-term effects of caffeine, the long-term effects of caffeine consumption on learning and memory are poorly characterized. The present study found that long-term consumption of low dose caffeine (0.3 g/L) slowed hippocampus-dependent learning and impaired long-term memory. Caffeine consumption for 4 weeks also significantly reduced hippocampal neurogenesis compared to controls. From these results, we concluded that long-term consumption of caffeine could inhibit hippocampus-dependent learning and memory partially through inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis."

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X07005682

 

and comparing someone who smokes weed occasianally with a pothead is like calling someone who has 3 beers a month an alcoholic

And for that very reason I don't drink coffee nor tea - early on I simply observed how uneasy and sometimes even desperate people get when they don't get their daily caffeine fix. Some people can't even perform without coffee. It's sad really but I don't consider it nearly as nasty a habit compared to smoking which is simply just plain filthy and there is also the passive smoking aspect which really pisses me off.

Katie, you have my respect :) There is only one thing harder than not getting started at all and that is quitting it again!

As an atheist I am very big fan of being rational and doing a substance is just the opposite. Yes, I consider it almost just as irrational as believing in God. One has to remember that one can live and have a lot of fun without ;)

I can't speak for everyone, but all of the cannabis users I know don't smoke to cope or to hide from life or because they need it, they smoke because it's fun and social.

Yes, its a fun experience.  Its a popular misconception that the only reason people use drugs because they have issues or need it to cope.  Cannabis is far safer than any other legal high, and you dont have to smoke it to get the effects.  There is a time and place for everything, but I dont think your a bad person if you partake in weed (or whatever).  

I’m all for legalizing marijuana but, I don’t really see the benefits in legalizing hard drugs. I would like to see the decriminalization of drugs to a certain extent. I don’t think addicts belong incarcerated with violent criminals.

What do you mean by not seeing the benefits in legalizing hard drugs?

It's the menace of addiction to "hard drugs" that is actually the greatest scourge to society (especially the underclass) and to the addict. It is these drugs, the expensive crap, for which addicts will just about do anything to retrieve it that needs to be distributed, clean and safe at cost prices by the government to utterly destroy the trade and create the necessary access to contain the problems.

First I will apologize to Eric for rushing to judgement on his obviously pristine character. Artor asked what I knew about Eric that everyone else didn't ? I have to say his initial statements that he was"a major advocate for ending marijuana prohibition" felt that "opium and cocaine should be legal" and the "FDA should spend their time approving recreational drugs"  obviously gave me the mistaken impression that Eric had more than a passing interest in the area of the recreational use of drugs. Obviously he was expressing his opinion about other people that use drugs, not himself. Eric's scorn for anyone with a distaste for the non-medical use of drugs (like that was a bad thing) certainly makes him appear somewhat judgemental as well. Artor states that even athiests moralize and that brings me to the point. It appears that a lot of contributors to the site seem to be seeking other common character traits, likely similiar to their own, to associate with athiesm. I don't think they will find them. The only true thing athiests have in common is their non belief in matters of religion.Can athiests be homophobic? Yes. Can athiests be judgmental? You bet they can.Don't look for athiests to be anything but athiests and you won't be disappointed. Judging from some of the postings, athiests can be assholes too.

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