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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Listen, personal experience is not science. It is entirely possible you use responsibly and find smoking 'pot' (or better yet use evaporator) all in all beneficial for reasons that you attribute to smoking cannabis.

But if you want to counter a scientific argument, use science, use weaknesses in the research, methodology, overstated conclusions identify and attack underlying assumptions, point to contradictory results from other research and so on. Never choose - if you can at all avoid it - to use a poisoning the well type of fallacy. If Big Pharma conspiracies exist, state your case explicitly. Don't leave it at unfounded insinuations to suggest sinister motives to prevent some secretly known glorious truth, yours namely, from coming out. 

It makes you look empty handed and helpless or worse. It might even make you look like a "grab em and stab em" Jim Carrey type of dupe.

You are attacking the source of the evidence?? These are independent scientists and researchers who do INDEPENDENT studies and they are provided as research articles and journals on PubMed along in their own independent journals; you are quite comical and naive. These were not research studies done by the government, this is called science through experimentation and research.

Actually it doesn't really matter whether the scientists are independent or not. You can't bribe facts.

This guy, thank you. Sassan I can post more relevant studies that say marijuana is good for you. I'm not saying it's good for you, but to each his own. I don't have ADHD and I think it's very ignorant to say adderral is better than pot, very... ignorant...

Not ignorant - if prescribed by a doctor for a certain disorder that it actually targets and helps with focus and motivation rather than self-medication of another drug that is harmful and is not particularly effective for those specific purposes.

I didnt self medicate myself, I wanted to get high. Easy as that. Also I may add that it has brought me closer to a lot of family members and friends, and also boosted my artistic skills... I draw better and learned guitar and piano. Now, I do take credit because it was me who did all of this, but I'm not sure if I would have if it wasn't for pot. Also I'm more intellectual and ambitious than a goo majority of my friends, a number of whom are straight edge. Just some personal information. My GPA is mediocre, low 3s, but that's because I get lazy. THAT you might be able to blame on pot... Might...

There are already a lot of mind-altering drugs available, both legally and illegally.  Coffee, tea, hormone replacement therapy, anti-depressants, thyroid extract, alcohol, levadopa, valium, aspirin, codeine, chocolate, nicotene, marijuana, heavy duty narcotics.


And heaps more. 


Whether they are helpful, useful, necessary, llife-saving, function enabling, recreational or relaxing all depends on what substance is taken in what quantity, when, where, how and by whom and in combination with what other substance, medication, physical condition or mental state.  Whether the results are generally positive or negative depends on how safe the substance is, how much the user understands about what makes it safe or unsafe, whether it is used under professional supervision and whether the substance is subject to legal consequences or threats if used, with or without a medical prescription. 

While I think the ban on some substances is a vote-catching attempt, there are substances that are so dangerous that it is responsible civic behavior to allow them to be used without appropriate supervision.  Not all of these substances are currently placed under such restrictions.  Alcohol, in large and regular quantities, is very dangerous;  in small and regular doses is beneficial.  There is no doubt that smoked nicotene is dangerous to one's health but is not that much more dangerous than smoked marijuana (although its effects on driving and vehicle operation are not as great). 

Some substances are not safe when used in combination with others. Valium, for example, increased the effects of alcohol several times.  Few medical practitioners make this clear to their patients or see that they are properly monitered.


In general, I am in favor of controls on substances that could damage or kill users or those around them or, at the very least, the provision of a compulsary, free, school-delivered, honest and down to earth education on the effects, side-effects, uses and dangers of all substances that are available, legally or illegally, in a community.

I get to see the underside, the hidden, and the unsavory side of everyday people and their families. Having clients from administrators to cement layers to rehab clinicians and from the very poor to the very rich, they use various substances, abused and otherwise, and I find no pattern of detriment to their apparent success in life. Librarian meth-heads. University fundraiser pot-heads. Five-star restaurant owner drunks. Even, lawyers in the raw.


I know a family that has to avoid specific substances because it causes them to experience rapid aging, and I've seen that same substance used by others that appear to have found the fountain of youth. 


I know someone that must consume "protein shakes" to keep from having a psychotic episode, because the prescription drugs make this person loopy, blubber a lot, and illicit one's just increase the frequency of "the voices" they hear.


I know a family in nearly complete denial about one of their family member's drug use, theft for drug money, and angry thugs bringing their "business" in the middle of the night. Nearly complete denial save for every family member also deadbolts their bedroom door, day and night.


I know someone whose sex addiction causes this person to travel the world looking for new conquests and seek the doctors to make life more accessible through a chemically enhanced life. 


They teach. They run companies. They construct houses. They report your news. They save the environment. They promote education. They bring you the products you use in your daily lives. They even work on the plane you are about to board. You would be surprised who is using. Addicts are all around us, and not just casual users. And they pay money to their dealers.


If all illicit drugs were legal, we could study their effects on us without fear of jail. We could be informed. We could spend money on rehab centers for those people that want help getting off drugs. By lifting the ban on drugs we could be cutting off the supply of money to drug lords, thereby destroying the cartels that decapitate enemies at the borders. Are there any examples of the effectiveness of legalizing drugs in any countries?


From what I've seen, and this is strictly anecdotal, thought, and observation and not scientific by any means, but the war on drugs creates enemies where none would have been in the first place. Humans use drugs. Period. Get over it, and lets learn how it works. 


I don't have an aversion to addicts. It's their choice. I've asked myself: Are we preventing delusional religious experiences by arresting crop harvesters or home-labs? Are some of the greatest works of art due to drug use? Are countries with legal "hard" drugs seeing fewer cases of child drug abuse? Is drug use evolving? I see no evidence that suggests we need keep making more laws to prevent more people from using yet another recreational drug, and it seems to me that the reassignment of drug enforcement and other such agencies would make the world a safer place.


These high-horse opinions about how other people should not put stuff in their bodies rubs me the wrong way. Although I'm not a user, but I might want to be some day, and I sure as hell wouldn't care for any holier-than-thou opinion on how I should act. Inform me, sure. Call upon the almighty word of statistics that show how many die from drug use, sure. Show me studies about how many brain cells are killed from use, ok. Then back-off; I don't need preaching to like I'm a heathen that needs church. I got rid of that drug a long time ago.

Portugal decriminalized EVERYTHING, even heroin, meth & coke, 10 yrs ago. The results have been very promising. After an initial spike in use, the number of abusers and even casual users has dropped off. People with drug problems can freely seek help, and people caught in drug-related crimes are sentenced to rehabilitation instead of prison.

I think that drug taking without reliable medical supervision is harmful.  I also believe that marijuana laws should be changed and people incarcerated because of the strict injunction against it is equally harmful.


I see no reason to glamorize drug taking, considering recreational drug use as a total waste of time, not illuminating anything rational or reasonable, and disagree with Sam Harris in that it's o.k. under certain circumstances to use LSD or anything else.


I see the public ingesting all kinds of crap daily and this doesn't bode well for a healthy society.

I was gonna give my two cents, but then I realized Sassan was here and being his usual self, so I'll just "like" it instead. Party on, party people.


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