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Everyone You Love Did Drugs

There's more to drug use than stereotypes.

It turns out that a lot of accomplished, well-respected historical figures did drugs. From Winston Churchill taking amphetamines to Thomas Edison lacing his wine with cocaine, not everyone who uses narcotics is a hopeless basket case living in a dumpster. While some drug users spiral into addiction and crime, others go on to become president. It's time to debunk the age old stereotypes of the back alley dangerous dealer or the lazy stoner when, according to the National Survey on Drug Use, roughly half of all Americans have tried an illegal drug.

In the latest "Mostly Weekly" host Andrew Heaton breaks down the cartoonish Drug Warrior portrayal of drugs by showing some of the beloved historical figures who used them, including:

Mostly Weekly is hosted by Andrew Heaton, with headwriter Sarah Rose Siskind.

Script by Sarah Rose Siskind with writing assistance from Andrew Heaton and Brian Sack.

Edited by Austin Bragg and Siskind.

Produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg.

Theme Song: Frozen by Surfer Blood.

Song: "Burnt to a Crisp or Bloody as Hell" by TeknoAX

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  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Everyone You Love Did Drugs

    If I thought you'd pay up, I'd bet you $1,000,000 you're wrong.

    some of the beloved historical figures

    Way to move the goalposts.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    When my Grandma was dying in agony she was HIGH AS SHIIIIIIT on heroin.

  • PatGo||

    And she was still dying in agony? Curious!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Mom had gall bladder surgery. I walked into her room to find her staring at the ceiling.

    "What are you looking at, mom?"

    "Oh, I'm just watching the clouds go by."

    "Mom, we're indoors, that's the ceiling."

    "Oh, so this is why people do drugs!"

  • ||

    Way to move the goalposts.

    Edison *may* have imbibed cocaine along with his wine at unknown dilution. As little as 20% of people surveyed admit to using illicit substances at least once in their lives.

    It's schadenfreude-y that they undermine the idiocy of "2-types of drug users" by effectively implementing a one-drop rule.

    I've seen a marijuana once, I even had a hacky sack made out of hemp, does that make me a user?

  • Zeb||

    How about alcohol? There's really no good reason it should be considered a separate category from other drugs.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    That's a fair question. Would you smoke marijuana if it didn't get you high? I drink alcoholic beverages, but never enough to get drunk (except for twice in my life). Is marijuana something you can enjoy the taste of and limit yourself to a small enough amount that you don't get high?

  • Zeb||

    I know people who do like the activity of smoking pot, but don't want to get high. I am of the personality type that likes getting a little high or buzzed on alcohol (getting properly drunk is losing it's charm as I age), so that wouldn't really do it for me.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Like many other people, I drink several types of alcoholic beverages because I like the taste. If I drink enough to start feeling a buzz, I stop because, to me, that's too much. The only thing I've heard from the warriors for drugs is that people should be able to get as high as they want whenever they want. I certainly think people should legally have that option though it's not for me. But I'm getting tired of the opinion that drugs are only ever a good thing.

  • Zeb||

    I'm certainly not one to claim that all drug use is just fine. I've seen enough shit to know that's not true. And even with a drug like pot that I consider to be fairly benign and sometimes beneficial, people can and do use it to their own detriment often enough.

  • Netizen_James||

    >But I'm getting tired of the opinion that drugs are only ever a good thing.

  • Netizen_James||

    "I'm getting tired of the opinion that drugs are only ever a good thing."
    (I'll try this again with different quote-delimiters)

    What a monsterously foolish strawman.
    Please name the names of those who have ever argued or asserted that "drugs are only ever a good thing"

    None of the legalization advocacy groups make that assertion - not NORML, not SSDP, not LEAP, not anybody.

    So who is it that is making this claim that you're arguing against?

    N_J

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    So who is it that is making this claim that you're arguing against?

    Every time I've seen the argument made that drugs aren't necessarily a good thing in themselves, some dickhead, such as yourself, busts onto the scene and starts ranting about how drugs are perfectly fine. That people who don't like drugs are a bunch of anti-drug, Puritanical assholes. That everyone should be able to do as much drugs as they want whenever they want with no consequences. Maybe some will even think they're clever and throw out some old Latin saying. Scroll down some for more examples.

    I think drugs should be legal for everyone. I think people should be able to smoke, snort, eat, or stuff up their ass anything they damn well please as long as they're not bothering me. But don't think you're going to make me believe that doing anything mind-altering is ever going to be good for your body. Don't expect me to feel sympathy for people who OD. Don't expect me to be happy about being forced to help people who OD.

    And most importantly, stop shooting yourselves in the dicks by arguing with people who agree with you about drug legalization.

  • Netizen_James||

    I have never once said anything of the sort.
    That you would start off with pointless name-calling, and the proceed to continue with the same foolish strawman attack simply paints you as not very clever, not to mention rude.

    the plural of anecdote is not 'data'. No, no matter how you claim 'every time', that's just bullspit unless you can name names. And you can't name ME, because contrary to your bullspit assertion, I have not once, not on this thread, not in usenet posts to talk.politics.drugs back in 1996, and not in my 21 year history of arguing with prohibitionist puritan morons on the internet have I ever once asserted that 'drugs are perfectly fine'. And no, even the latin post below is not making the assertion that 'drugs are perfectly fine'. That's the strawman fallacy that you're engaging in. Whether you have the intellectual capacity to recognize that or not.

    Perhaps you just have a knee-jerk aggression reaction to anyone who disagrees with you in any way. There are a lot of folks like that. Don't feel bad. You can get over this hyper defensiveness by simply recognizing that not everyone knows everything, and that sometimes you might actually just be wrong about something. Take a step back, use reason, not emotion.

  • Netizen_James||

    If you knew the facts of this subject, you would know that nobody, ever, in the entire freaking history of the planet Earth, has anyone died of an 'OD' from cannabis. Nobody. Ever. The theoretical toxic dose based on rat and monkey studies would require someone to smoke something on the order of five pounds of pot by themselves within a few hours, which is simply physically impossible.

    Most of the people who promote and support the War on Drug-Using-Americans, the ones who are not merely clueless lemmings, are in fact puritanical assholes, or racist bigots who don't care that the point of drug prohibition has always been racist, from 'them chinks with their opium dens' to 'them cocainized negros' to 'them Mexicans with their marijuana'. it's always been about THEM. US vs THEM. why, they'll seduce our white women! dey took r jobs! rabble rabble!

  • Netizen_James||

    If you want to deny the clear clinical evidence and experience of thousands of users of cannabis who have experienced ZERO negative health effects as a result, you are free to hide in your factless bubble, right next to the rwnj faux-news bubble where Obama was a Kenyan Muslim Communist, rather than a pro-choice neoliberal Christian centrist.

    And yes, the 'holier than thou' cannabis hypocrites who decry cocaine or heroin users are just as annoying as the 'holier than thou' ethanol hypocrites who decry cannabis users, and also just as annoying as those who think they're better than everyone else because they don't use any 'mind altering' drugs except for porn and gambling and other endorphin/dopamine triggers like running 10 miles. These are right up with the folk that condemn those who consume meat, dairy, or eggs, because of 'the suffering of those poor animals'. Self-righteousness is a big part of the 'self-serving' cognitive bias.

    N_J

  • hello.||

    If you want to deny the clear clinical evidence and experience of thousands of users of cannabis who have experienced ZERO negative health effects as a result, you are free to hide in your factless bubble, right next to the rwnj faux-news bubble where Obama was a Kenyan Muslim Communist, rather than a pro-choice neoliberal Christian centrist.

    There it is.

    There is, in fact, multitudinous evidence that cannabis has negative effects on health, intellectual development, and memory. But you would rather ignore it all and preach like a raving moron about how cannabis has ZERO negative health effects. All alone in the pantheon of mind-altering substances. The only drug in history with no side effects and no tradeoffs.

    Self-righteousness is a big part of the 'self-serving' cognitive bias.

    Apparently self-awareness isn't.

  • Netizen_James||

    "There is, in fact, multitudinous evidence that cannabis has negative effects on health, intellectual development, and memory."

    So why don't you share with us some of this journal-published clinical or epidemiological data which demonstrates that EVERYONE who smokes even a TINY amount of cannabis is going to die of some horrible pulmonary disease or end up intellectually incapable of running the Slurpee machine?

    Oh - there is no such data? Oh, the data shows NO association between cannabis usage and cognitive deficits? (AmJEpi 1999;149:794-800) Oh, the data shows NO association between smoking cannabis and incidence of lung cancer? (CancerEpiBioPrev 2006;15(10):1829–34) Oh, the editors of The Lancet concluded "moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health"? (Lancet Vol352 No9140 p1565)

    Yes, that's exactly what I was saying. What was it that you thought you were saying? Have you actually READ any of these 'multitudinous' studies? Do you have the science background to properly assess those studies? Or do you simply accept what the NIDA and DARE tell you?

    Frankly, you strike me as uninformed on the subject in general. Perhaps you could do some work upgrading your knowledge of the issues involved here. Or else you could ignore this subject, and just stay out of the way of those of us who have been fighting against bigoted authoritarians for the last several decades. Either way...

  • Netizen_James||

    Do you really not understand that there's a difference between pointing out that there exist people who have used cannabis without experiencing negative health effects, and claiming that NOBODY has EVER experienced negative health effects from smoking cannabis?

    Or are you just being a knee-jerk emotionalist, and reacting emotionally to what you THOUGHT was being claimed, rather than taking the time to actually read and understand what was being said?

  • Tionico||

    The real wrinkle with marijuana legalisation is there are quite a number of known and proven benefits to some medical conditions that are regularly helped by the use of certain types, or fractions, of marijuana. AND there are ways of administering THOSE helpful parts of the plant in ways that are NOT psychoactive. In other words, some can get cured and not get high at all, all from the same application of the marijuana derivative.
    Trouble comes, though, in that per existing federal laws, NO usage of marijuana is legal anywhere in the US. THEY lump non-psychoactive valid medical treatment with the stoner strung out on heroin or coke or opium. In fact, "schedule one", the joke of a category FedGov has listed for marijuana, means by definition it is both highly addictive (it is NOT) and has NO effective use as a medicine (decidedy NOT true). And per those bogus laws, any use is in the same category. And VERY illegal.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    SLP,

    N_J burned your dumbass into a pile of smoldering ashes.

  • Netizen_James||

    What's your definition of 'drunk'? You cannot drink alcohol without the psychoactive effects. If you think otherwise, you're lying to yourself. So maybe you weren't 'drunk', you were at least a little 'loose', maybe even a little 'tipsy'.

    And similarly, one can ingest a small amount of cannabis and get 'buzzed' which is not the same as 'high' which in turn is not the same as 'stoned'.

    And even so - what's so wrong with getting 'high'? Is that such a problem for you that I giggle to myself while watching The Late Show after smoking a bowl that you should want my liberty to be denied by the State as a 'criminal'? Who have I harmed? Where's the victim? Can there be a 'crime' if there is no victim?

    Yes, everyone who drinks coffee is a drug user. Everyone who drinks alcohol, regardless of how much, is a drug user. Everyone who uses tobacco is a drug user. If you believe that caffeine, ethanol or nicotine are not 'drugs', then you're using the political/legal paradigm, not the medical/scientific/reality paradigm.
    N_J

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure Sparky doesn't want you to be denied your liberty or labeled a criminal. He just doesn't like intoxicating drugs much.

  • Netizen_James||

    He's certainly free to eschew whatever drugs he'd like.
    Just as I should be free to ingest whatever drugs I'd like.

    That's freedom, ain't it?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    What's your definition of 'drunk'? You cannot drink alcohol without the psychoactive effects. If you think otherwise, you're lying to yourself. So maybe you weren't 'drunk', you were at least a little 'loose', maybe even a little 'tipsy'.

    If I start feeling buzzed or tipsy or whatever word you want to call it, I've had a bit more than I should have.

    And similarly, one can ingest a small amount of cannabis and get 'buzzed' which is not the same as 'high' which in turn is not the same as 'stoned'.

    Great. I don't use it so I don't know that.

    And even so - what's so wrong with getting 'high'? Is that such a problem for you that I giggle to myself while watching The Late Show after smoking a bowl that you should want my liberty to be denied by the State as a 'criminal'? Who have I harmed? Where's the victim? Can there be a 'crime' if there is no victim?

    I don't give a shit what you do with your spare time as long as you're not harming me. You've clearly mistaken me for an anti-drug warrior.

    Yes, everyone who drinks coffee is a drug user. Everyone who drinks alcohol, regardless of how much, is a drug user. Everyone who uses tobacco is a drug user.

    I don't drink coffee or smoke cigarettes either.

  • ||

    And even so - what's so wrong with getting 'high'? Is that such a problem for you that I giggle to myself while watching The Late Show after smoking a bowl that you should want my liberty to be denied by the State as a 'criminal'? Who have I harmed? Where's the victim? Can there be a 'crime' if there is no victim?

    I'm not sure if you should inhale more to get more mellow or less to make you less paranoid. Neither $park¥, Zeb, nor myself has any intention of taking your weed away. It's just a polite question among gentlemen. I've never knowingly used marijuana and have sorta been conditioned off of it as every contact high I ever had came with uncomfortable headaches. $parky¥'s question seems straightforward and without malice to me.

  • Netizen_James||

    There is no such thing as a 'contact high'.

    That's as mythological as angels, demons, honest politicians, and dealers lacing pot with PCP to give away to unsuspecting teens.

    This 'holier than thou' attitude on the part of those who choose to eschew intoxicants is almost as annoying as those who think that THEIR religious beliefs are the only ones that could possibly be true.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    This 'holier than thou' attitude on the part of those who choose to eschew intoxicants is almost as annoying as those who think that THEIR religious beliefs are the only ones that could possibly be true.

    I can only imagine it's just as bad as the attitude that drugs are fine for everyone and anyone who says otherwise is some kind of puritanical zealot.

    Holy shit you're dumb.

  • ||

    Holy shit you're dumb.

    Yup. Especially considering that I distinctly do not eschew intoxicants and wasn't asserting in earnest that a contact high existed as much as saying every time I was in the presences of an abundance of marijuana use I didn't find the experience pleasant. Specifically allowing for the fact that others have had different experiences.

    It's almost like Netizen_James is one of the new Poe's Law parody accounts but only having come across it in the niche of this topic makes it seem like it's an actual, live moron.

  • Netizen_James||

    and I never said that you did eschew intoxicants, Mad. I was clearly referring to others.

    And if you use words like 'contact high', don't be surprised when people don't magically comprehend that you're not asserting the existence of such 'in earnest'. We can't read minds you know. All we have is the words that you type in.

    That you don't like large groups of cannabis users is not even close to being the same thing as your original claim that the 'contact high' give you a headache.

    N_J

  • ||

    And if you use words like 'contact high', don't be surprised when people don't magically comprehend that you're not asserting the existence of such 'in earnest'. We can't read minds you know. All we have is the words that you type in.

    That you don't like large groups of cannabis users is not even close to being the same thing as your original claim that the 'contact high' give you a headache.

    Except that I didn't say I don't like large (or small) groups of cannabis users and don't particularly care whether contact highs or hotboxing are a valid phenomenon. I'm fine with large groups of marijuana users on TV and in large outdoor venues and/or with lesser amounts of marijuana. It's in small indoor and close quarters when the air is approaching saturation with smoke that I actually do get a headache. And technically, this isn't what a contact high, myth or reality, is or was. I don't generally get headaches and I do have a few rather unique triggers (e.g. quercitin). I can only assume that a toke or bong hit would exacerbate the issue just as if I'd taken a quercitin pill or drank an energy drink that contained it.

    I meant what I wrote. So did $park¥ you're the one too blindly intolerant to even conceive that we don't exactly care about your particular habits or indulgences.

  • Netizen_James||

    And again with the BS strawman. Where did I say that 'drugs are fine for everyone and anyone who says otherwise is some kind of puritanical zealot'? Nowhere. So why are you attributing that claim to me? Because you can't argue against anything I actually said.

    I'd have thought that folks at Reason would be more likely than others to use reason, rather than fallacy and hyperbole, in their arguments.

    Guess I was wrong.

  • PatGo||

    I get the mother of all splitting headaches just from the tiniest whiff of marijuana smoke.

  • ||

    Is marijuana something you can enjoy the taste of and limit yourself to a small enough amount that you don't get high?

    Inhaling burnt weed without cannibinoids? You mean smoking? With the invention and rise of vaping, it would seem that pretty much anything that isn't cyanide gas falls into the "Yes" category on this issue. Even before, secondhand smoke and contact highs were a thing.

  • Trollificus||

    What makes you think "high" is a binary, either/or condition?

    If you drink alcohol, it has an effect, even if you don't classify yourself as being "drunk". There's some vasodilation, a (temporary) increase in energy, then a little loosening of conscious and subconscious social restraints, eventually ramping up to levels of raucous social expression, singalongs, white people dancing and eventually unconsciousness.

    Same with pot. There's a low level with positive effects on mood and appetite with little to no cognitive effect, shading into slight mood elevation, then unorthodox thought patterns and eventually ramping up to "Dave's not here, man." stupor. But yeah, couple of hits can be enjoyable and not leave one anywhere near "stoned" as the stereotypes portray.

    It is embarrassing to have someone in high office* who subscribes to the "Reefer Madness" model of marijuana intoxication, though.

    *-see what I did thar?

  • Flinch||

    Nobody would smoke marijuana without the high. But, there are some people who would love to have a garden of bright green buds and don't smoke: the smell is wonderful all by itself. Now... if some clever chemist could create an air freshener that smelled like indica but wouldn't land anyone in jail because of active ingredients, he or she would probably be a millionaire. Bury your nose in a half pound of something primo if you ever get the chance and tell me I'm wrong...

  • sudon't||

    The interesting thing is that alcohol, like drugs, can be abused. But the vast majority of drinkers, about eighty-percent, are not problem drinkers. The numbers are nearly identical for other drugs. The vast majority of drug users, around eighty-percent, are not problem users. That would seem to indicate that they are not separate categories when it comes problem users.
    It's worth keeping in mind that drug prohibition was initially about racism, and to some degree, still is. This business about "health and safety" was only resorted to when overt racism went out of fashion. It's just a rationalization.

  • Zeb||

    Yes, how dare a comedic video use hyperbolic statements!

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Zeb, sometimes you take things too seriously.

  • Zeb||

    I won't deny it.

  • Tionico||

    but the drugs they took when they took them were not illegal. those were different times.

    And this FACT is strong evidence that making them all illegal, as we've done, is what leads to the dead ender living in a dumpster and raiding Mickie D's rubbish tip for slightly antique Big Macs. Or living under the bridge on the way out of town.

    Which leads most intelligent folk to conclude that the proscription of such substances is ridiculousl even criminal, and the war on those substances is naught but a form of Robbing Hood.... government employees in strange looking costumes and tin bangles on their chests, and a significant heater at their hip, playing cat-and-mouse with the public to try and work up HOW to frisk them of "something of value", or at the very least, their liberty, then let the magistrates relieve them of the requisite "something of value".

  • Netizen_James||

    Everyone needs to read and understand this:
    "At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.""
    (from https://harpers DOT org/archive SLASH 2016/04/legalize-it-all/ )

    Those who want a broader historical view need to read:
    http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/3jcl/3JCL29.htm

  • R. K. Phillips||

    Well, let's see: do you love someone who NEVER took a single drink of alcohol or caffeine? Who never puffed on a cigarette? Who never took an OTC sleeping draught?

  • fafalone||

    And if I thought *you* would pay up, I'd take you up on that bet and collect my $1,000,000 after a short conversation about what a drug actually is and the lack of word 'illegal'.

  • zonevazo||

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  • zonevazo||

    I just started 7 weeks ago and I've gotten 2 check for a total of $2,000...this is the best decision I made in a long time! "Thank you for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to make extra money from home. go to this site for more details..... www.startonlinejob.com

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Joke's on you, I don't love anyone, including myself. Also, blacks were more wealthy 50 years ago.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The Beatles did drugs?!? [drops monocle into cocktail glass]

  • Sevo||

    Glad I checked first; you beat me to it.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and I heard some rumors about the 'Stones, too.

  • ||

    Oh, please. Next you're going to tell me that Led Zeppelin weren't sober, either.

  • Sevo||

    Fleetwood Mac? Pure as the driven "snow"...

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I think the biggest shocker on that list is The Beatles.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yet Lou Reed didn't need drugs at all. And he's still pumping out hit after hit. Coincidence?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Snake Plissken is dead.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Turns out he was just in Nebraska.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Drugs should be legal, that's fine, but they are not a good thing. They are a crutch and some of them are wildly addictive. Pretending they are cool and everyone does them is a wrong message to send to young people, wait till they grow up and they have friends overdose, commit suicide because of drugs, sabotage relationships and jobs because of addiction, become generally worthless individuals, etc. This is not everyone and many people can handle them but it seems dumb to not talk about this. They have many dangers in their use.

  • Murray Rothtard||

    swimming and skiing and bikeriding are also dangerous. and fun. but i guess not everyone can handle them why don't we take about these dangers all the time?

    (i even heard that bungee jumping is a gateway to the more intensely dangerous skydiving)

  • ace_m82||

    Bike riding is dangerous, but you'll live longer by doing it than you will by staying at home (statistically speaking). Health outcomes are better, even if every now and then someone is flattened by a truck.

    Heck, if someone's gonna get hit by the truck, it'll probably be me. I ride about an hour a day.

  • Tionico||

    Yep. Took one of those online "what age will you be whenyou die?" surveys online a few years back. It put me at 103, then said it docked me about six years because Iparticipate in a "hazardous activity", cycling. BUT< said cycling adds to my life expectancy by its health benefits.

    So Ill keep riding till I can't, If that comes at 109, fine, if it comes from that truck naiing me, oh well. At least I'll go out doing what I love to do. ANd, except for the brute trauma, be in better health than most folks half my age.

  • ||

    they are not a good thing

    Like guns, drugs are neither good nor bad. They can be used for either good or bad.

  • ace_m82||

    they are not a good thing

    I wouldn't imagine you're in mind-shattering pain right now or you'd quickly change your tune...

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    That's one way to miss the point.

  • ace_m82||

    How is that missing the point? Drugs are tools. They can be used for good or bad. If you're in extreme pain, they can be a literal life-saver!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Because this was JoeBlow's thesis: "Drugs should be legal, that's fine, but they are not a good thing. They are a crutch and some of them are wildly addictive. "

    In your case, they are a crutch used by people with pain. Crutches can be helpful things. A literal crutch is also a helpful thing. JoeBlow's thesis though is even if they should be legal, that does not mean they are a good.

  • Murray Rothtard||

    oooooooohhhhhhb.

    so crutches are helpful but not good.

    thanks for clearing that up.

  • Murray Rothtard||

    also, his thesis was explicitly "they are not a good thing."

    you phrased it as if he remained agnostic and was pointing out the lack of causality from "should be legal" ---> "good"

    that isn't what was going on.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    also, his thesis was explicitly "they are not a good thing."

    Oooooohhhhh

    So everyone should be snorting 10 lines of cocaine a day because it's perfectly harmless. Got it.

  • ace_m82||

    Abusus non tollit usum.

    When they still used the language of Cicero they knew you're wrong.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    When they still used the language of Cicero they knew you're wrong.

    You're still missing the point. I know you don't think you are, but you are.

  • ace_m82||

    You're still missing the point.

    No, you are, because you argued:

    So everyone should be snorting 10 lines of cocaine a day because it's perfectly harmless. Got it.

    To which the answer is Abusus non tollit usum. Do you deny that?

    Drugs are neither "good" nor "bad" of themselves. They can be used for good or for bad. His line is:

    Drugs should be legal, that's fine, but they are not a good thing.

    But at times they are a "good thing", like when you've just broken several bones and they give you Morphine for your pain.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    oooooooohhhhhhb.

    so crutches are helpful but not good.

    I need to stop arguing by proxy. Particularly because I don't agree with his point regardless. But yes, one could argue they are useful but not good. If you see someone using a crutch they might be helped by it, but it is not good in comparison to just being able to walk without a crutch. I believe this is the argument he is trying to make.

  • Kivlor||

    I need to stop arguing by proxy. Particularly because I don't agree with his point regardless. But yes, one could argue they are useful but not good. If you see someone using a crutch they might be helped by it, but it is not good in comparison to just being able to walk without a crutch. I believe this is the argument he is trying to make.

    I thought the point was that a crutch can be used for good reasons, but it's not good in itself. And if you never give up using a crutch it causes atrophy, and that is very bad.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I meant in a more recreational manner.

  • Zeb||

    Yes, there are many dangers. But most people who do drugs (which is a ridiculously broad category) don't end up doing the things you list. All else being equal, yeah it's probably better for most people to abstain from getting heavily intoxicated very often, or at all. But it seems to be a part of human nature for many people to seek out mind altering substances. And most people who do so don't end up ruining their lives.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I did my fair share and had friends who did too. Most are fine with good jobs. Some went completely off the deep end. I just honestly feel young people are sold an innacurate bill of goods on drugs. I smoked SOOO much pot. I hated it but did it because everyone else did it, because I was bored, because I was lonely. For lots of dumb reasons. I think it messed with my mood. I think it did for my brother too, made him depressed.

    This is not what we are sold watching the goofy antics of Seth Roger in Pinneaple Express. And yeah, cocaine movies usually end up with the dude arrested but man he has such an awesome time in orgy parties and making millions that it makes it worth it! Kids usually have no idea what they are getting into because no one is honest with them about drugs, they either lie and say it will kill you or it is awesome, smoke weed everyday like Dr. Dre and be cool.

    So maybe this is another reason to legalize, more honesty about drugs. They really are not that cool, just something to do that may kill you like drinking too much will.

  • Zeb||

    Although I am a bit of a cannabis enthusiast myself, I'll agree that some people do get carried away extolling the virtues of smoking weed. I think there are many good things about it, but that doesn't mean it's a unalloyed good and everyone should do it. More honesty from both sides of the debate would be good.

    And yes, the real reason to legalize isn't that drugs aren't so bad, but that it's just evil to criminalize people simply for potentially self-destructive behavior.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I had friends who could do all their homework, all their readings high. I couldn't. I had friends who could be very social and outgoing when high. I became anti-social and nervous.

    In the same vein, I like to drink but it is a pretty worthless action also. Wastes money and sometimes makes me feel sick. Not a good thing either. Sometimes a nice thing to do, but not good or useful.

  • Netizen_James||

    I think that the SouthPark people handled it pretty well in the 'Future self and me' episode:

    "The truth is, marijuana probably isn't going to make you kill people. Most likely isn't going to fund terrorists, but pot makes you feel fine with being bored and it's when you're bored that you should be learning a new skill or some new science or being creative. If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you're not good at anything." Randy Marsh, SouthPark

    N_J

  • cravinbob||

    You are the voice of reason...and "Reefer Madness" was classic cinema.
    Your are stereotyping things that you have never witnessed. You have no medical degree. You have balls to comment with ignorance- tennis balls, golf balls and Cinderella balls.
    Attempting to share your "wisdom" on the pitfalls of Freedom and that you want to send a message to young people is all for naught as I have warned them you are on the way. They told me they already knew that and have practiced derision and ridicule for you. Having people laugh in your face is a change from the behind your back laughter..
    I advise you stay home and mow that lawn of yours.Your driving is the most dangerous thing to society,
    "Wildly addictive" "cool" are fun terms, now explain in-depth what addiction is and get it right this time Whitebread.

  • Netizen_James||

    This is how our society current handles the dangerous and addictive drug ethanol:
    * We punish those whose irresponsible use harms or endangers others.
    * We assist those who wish to reduce their use or abstain completely with doing that usual social supports. (aka AA)
    * We protect both consumers and neighborhoods with manufacturing, purity, labeling, and point-of-sale regulations, including restricting purchases to those over the age of majority.

    Is there any logical, valid, evidence-based rationale why this paradigm would not also be adequate for OTHER dangerous and addictive drugs? Even the really nasty ones like meth or PCP or cocaine or heroin?

    And if there's anyone who thinks that cannabis is in any way, by any measure, anywhere NEAR the threat to public health that alcohol is, they need to do a BUNCH more research and try hard to think like doctors or scientists, rather than cops, politicians, or lawyers.

    The most significant risk currently associated with cannabis is ending up in prison. Get rid of that, and it's about on par with caffeine as a public health hazard.

    N_J

  • Mickey Rat||

    "While some drug users spiral into addiction and crime, others go on to become president".

    I don't think those things are as different as you want them to be.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They are truly a gateway to a perverse lifestyle.

  • Hank Phillips||

    You included Richard Feynman but left out Murray Gell Mann. One of the DNA laureates, I believe Crick, the freethinker, also tripped. More mathematicians take acid than go about turning themselves in for it.

  • ||

    One of the DNA laureates, I believe Crick, the freethinker, also tripped.

    Crick is known to have used LSD, Kary Mullis fully credits LSD for his discovery/invention of PCR (a practice I despise). Neither is a particularly good example of a 'good' drug user (at least not now). Mullis rather actively denied the existence of HIV well after it had been demonstrated by pretty much every biological metric (including the one he invented) and Crick was a rather open advocate of eugenics. Not that drugs should be illegal, just that if you're trying to bust the violent/stoner drug user myth, I'd keep the wraps on Mullis and Crick.

  • ||

    a practice I despise

    Ascribing your success to drug use that is. PCR can be cumbersome at times, but I've got no moral qualms against recommending it.

  • Zeb||

    What if it's true?

  • ||

    What if it's true?

    It's not. It's one thing to ascribe a portion of your success to the drugs or suggest that the drugs helped, but to ascribe the whole thing or nearly the whole thing your subscribing to animism and giving agency to inanimate objects and amorphous substances. And, from my background with illicit substances it prejudicially generates a falsehood or stigma that cuts both ways; "People who do X must be on drugs and to do X you have to take drugs." I admit that there are, or probably will be things in the future that generally render this notion true, but I'd *never* have conceived of PCR without LSD or I'd *never* have overcome PTSD without cannabis seems like a pretty blatant lie to me.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think you can really know one way or another for sure if they could have had those insights without the drugs. But I'll agree that ascribing the whole thing to LSD or whatever is not really true.

  • ||

    It's not.

    I guess I should maybe cache this statement a little better as well. Kary Mullis said in his autobiography, "It [taking LSD] was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took." If you didn't know Kary Mullis was Grade A kook, you might've just gotten the impression that LSD was more critical to the invention of PCR than chemistry, biology, and math.

    I know Feynman, Erdos, and others have made similar overtures about their drugs of choice but, IMO, they pretty generally acknowledge their talent, brilliance, or commitment to their work and suggest that the drug advances or enhances it rather than supplanting or eclipsing it.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I can't argue with you there. The person with their talents and knowledge is always the main thing, even if drugs do help sometimes.

  • Netizen_James||

    Sure, we'd have come up with the structure for benzene eventually, even if Kekulé had never had his dream, but to say that the dream was irrelevant is a bit of a stretch. Like claiming that nothing would have been different about their music if the Beatles had never done LSD.

    These sorts of 'faux-dependencies' are pervasive though:

    "I'd have NEVER gotten sober if it weren't for Jesus and the Holy Spirit..."
    "I'd have NEVER been able to come out to my parents as an atheist without a shot or two under my belt"
    And so on.

    Same sort of dynamic there, right? No different from praying for your football team to win, or praying that your town doesn't get destroyed by the tornado that took the neighboring town...

  • Mark22||

    Crick was a rather open advocate of eugenics

    Crick advocated positive eugenics, an ideology which advocates the use of reproductive and genetic technologies where the choice of enhancing human characteristics and capacities is left to the individual preferences of parents acting as consumers, rather than the public health policies of the state. Heaven forbid we end state-run eugenics programs (which is what the West effectively has right now) and leave family planning and reproductive choices to individuals!

    Early 20th century progressive eugenics was rooted in erroneous beliefs about the connection between heritable traits and race (the traits are heritable, but they are not linked to race). Early 21st century progressive opposition to parental choices is based on the erroneous progressive belief that human beings are blank slates. But however progressives get the science wrong, the answer is always totalitarian government. In the early 20th century, progressives advocated for racial segregation and forced sterilizations, in the early 21st century, progressives advocate for forced association and state imposed equality of outcome.

  • GeneralWeygand||

    If meth wasn't so widely popular white collar/tech types there wouldn't be such a demand for it. Or so I have read.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Definitely amphetamines in general used to be popular with a certain type of researcher. I believe Paul Erdos was particularly famous for this.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Definitely amphetamines in general used to be popular""

    I think you could leave it at that. When I was young my friend's father was a truck driver. He's nickname was Benny. I didn't get the reason for that until later in life. What's funny is most people called him that and it was no big deal. But this was late 60s, early 70s.

  • Trollificus||

    Back in the late 60s, early 70s they used to prescribe methamphetamine and cross tops (whites) for everything from weight loss, to fatigue, to asthma and bronchitis. I self-medicated with them to deal with the distressing weekend symptom of "can't drink no moar", which it was effective in alleviating. Of course, when you're under 20 and a description of your urination involves the words "milky discharge" it's pretty easy, if you are non-suicidal, to make speed the first drug you ever quit.

    Very "useful", very "fun" and VERY physically destructive. It is the opposite of marijuana in that it will destroy you, and incarceration might save your life, where the physical effects of weed are mostly benign and incarceration might destroy your life. Generalizations about drug use are probably unwise, as the word "drugs" is applied to things that are far too different from each other to allow for useful generalizations.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    Actually, the three super pot heads that I know HAVE been destroyed. They are not the people they once were. Yeah, they have jobs, families, etc., but the abilities that they once had simply no longer exist. No more brilliant thinking, no rebuilding cars from the ground up, and so on. Of course, once could say essentially the same thing about heavy drinkers; the real difference being that most of those I knew whose drinking altered their lives are now dead.

  • Sevo||

    In WWII, Monty handed it out like candy to his tankers, and the Navy pilots were a lot braver because of it.

  • Zeb||

    And the whole Nazi war machine ran on meth. Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, but they got shit done.

  • Mark22||

    If meth wasn't so widely popular white collar/tech types there wouldn't be such a demand for it. Or so I have read.

    Also popular with the Nazis. Apparently, meth has a long tradition with progressives and their friends.

  • Netizen_James||

    The Nazis were neither progressives nor socialists. They were rightwingers, fascists. Interested in power remaining in the hands of the wealthy, with no interest in mercy, compassion, democracy or 'rights'.
    The first thing the Nazis did when they came into their power was get rid of independent labor unions.
    Progressives and socialists LIKE labor unions.
    Who hates labor unions? Corrupt robber barons and industrialists looking to exploit the labor of the poor for their own profits. That's who.

    N_J

  • Cloudbuster||

    The Beatles, Gertrude Stein and Cary Grant did drugs? Thanks Reason! That totally confirms drugs are great!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Steve Jobs used drugs, and look what happened to him.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    He died!

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Not from anything related to drug use. His death was more probably related to his diet as a "fruitatarian"

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Couldn't resist.

  • lap83||

    but Stanley Kubrick didn't use them and he's also dead

    I just don't know what to believe anymore...

  • lap83||

    but seriously, I think he had an interesting take on the subject

    "No. I believe that drugs are basically of more use to the audience than to the artist. I think that the illusion of oneness with the universe, and absorption with the significance of every object in your environment, and the pervasive aura of peace and contentment is not the ideal state for an artist. It tranquilizes the creative personality, which thrives on conflict and on the clash and ferment of ideas. The artist's transcendence must be within his own work; he should not impose any artificial barriers between himself and the mainspring of his subconscious. One of the things that's turned me against LSD is that all the people I know who use it have a peculiar inability to distinguish between things that are really interesting and stimulating and things that appear so in the state of universal bliss the drug induces on a good trip. They seem to completely lose their critical faculties and disengage themselves from some of the most stimulating areas of life. Perhaps when everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful."

    As someone in a creative profession I mainly agree except for one small exception: caffeine
    If you are in a creative job and you can function without coffee then you're probably a wizard

  • ||

    As someone in a creative profession I mainly agree except for one small exception: caffeine
    If you are in a creative job and you can function without coffee then you're probably a wizard

    That's weird because I have used caffeine (and... similar) to the extent that I would take it before bed to wake up in the morning and, having gone through that, I find an analogue to what Kubrik suggests, with coffee. Caffeine (or other) are biases people towards doing *something* that they lose concept of whether they should be doing anything or if there's even anything to do.

    Also, as I kinda indicated with Kary Mullis above, if you consider yourself to be creative and can't create without caffeine, it makes for some interesting questions about how actually or naturally creative you really are.

  • quantumFog||

  • NoVaNick||

    Determining which drugs are good or bad is up to those in power. Cocaine and its derivatives have been used by dentists as local anesthetics, and of course, opioids until recently were a legitimate drug. Even Ecstasy was prescribed as an antidepressant until the 1970s. Prescriptions merely control access to who gets the drugs, and the medical and pharma establishments want to keep it this way. On the right, you have the "all drugs are bad" Sunday school teacher types. On the left, you have the push to classify common substances that might be habit forming (such as nicotine, alcohol, and sugar) as drugs in order to control access and raise taxes. Its about power and control, but its aesthetics that seems to be what defines a drug.

  • ace_m82||

    It turns out that ecstasy is a great drug to treat PTSD.

  • NoVaNick||

    So too is Ketamine (aka Special K). But these have only been in clinical trials as far as I know.

  • Brandybuck||

    Cleaning out the bathroom cupboard at my mom's house, discovered a vial of the old teething syrup she used to use on me. Which grandma used on here. Primary ingredient: Cocaine.

    That's right, the grandparents and sometimes parents that you dearly love, were raised on cocaine. It's a helluva drug!

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    There are some really stupid discussions going on here. Also, blacks were more wealthy 50 years ago.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I only want to do you right

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Define "drugs"

    I may or may not have used drugs in my time. Of course, that was in the 60s and 70s, and as is well known if you can remember the 60s and 70s you weren't really there. I was there and can't remember a lot of it, so ....

  • n00bdragon||

    I thought the argument for drug legalization was that it's not worth the government's time or money nor the government's place to stop people from making bad choices, not that bad choices really aren't that bad.

    When you argue that a narcotic isn't "bad enough" to be prohibited you indirectly imply that there is right to prohibit something that IS "bad enough"; that it's just a matter of where that line in the sand is drawn. I'd be really shocked if that were the angle of libertarian party at this point, but more and more I feel like most of the "libertarian" party really just wants to smoke a joint and doesn't give a fuck about limited government.

  • PatGo||

    "more and more I feel like most of the "libertarian" party really just wants to smoke a joint and doesn't give a fuck about limited government."

    I emphatically agree with you and have felt this way for decades. The druggies have hijacked a legitimate movement for freedom. One of the planks of the Communist Manifesto is get people hooked on drugs. Drugged people don't fight for freedom. Most of this stuff just plays right into Communist hands.

  • Trollificus||

    You can't reject people who agree with you just because their understanding of the issues is more visceral than intellectual, though. Can you? That strikes me as an example of the old adage "The worst enemy of Libertarianism is libertarians.".

    Your reservations might be valid for some anti-Drug-War or just plain "I like drugs, mmmkay?" folks, but in my case the experience of using drugs was the first validation of some innate contrarian impulse, the sensing of an logical disjunction: "The people who say this is wrong, are themselves wrong. Where does this error originate?".

    Years of absorbing the intellectual detritus of the "late 60s, early 70s counterculture" and trying to sort out the self-indulgent, unserious, and the "passing as serious but actually just stupid dressed up in tie-dye" from that detritus ultimately led me to the iconoclasts, contrarians, anarchists and courageous free-thinkers whose conclusions form the basis of libertarianism.

  • Trollificus||

    I'm still working on how libertarians can take an innocuous statement like "Of drug use and drug prohibition, it is the former that is most consistent with personal freedom and libertarian principles." and turn it into savage flame war material.

    Or, my more general example:
    REASON: The sun comes up in the East
    Reason commenter #1: Fuck off, slaver.
    Reason commenter #2: You know who else came up in the East?
    Reason commenter #3: REASON has clearly been hijacked by the East-rising cabal.
    Michael Hihn: Is this an attack on ME? AGGRESSION!! Third time in this thread (links below)!! Furthermore...

  • DiegoF||

    I am damn near pissing myself even as I type. And not because I'm on drugs!

    The one tell of your spoof would be the striking lack of HTML tags on Hihn.

  • n00bdragon||

    >"Of drug use and drug prohibition, it is the former that is most consistent with personal freedom and libertarian principles."

    But that's not the statement being made here. The statement is "drugs aren't as bad as prohibitionists make them out to be". It's not an innocuous statement.

  • Mark22||

    The people who say this is wrong, are themselves wrong. Where does this error originate?".

    But those people are right: drug use is either harmful itself or a symptom of other forms of harm. The largest group of drug users are teenagers, stuck in a meaningless educational system, and the costs of drug treatment and rehabilitation are largely socialized. Since we socialize the cost of the consequences of drug use, teenagers don't see the massive harm from drug use and erroneously believe that drugs should be legalized because they are harmless.

    Those "free thinkers" you admire so much are the people who voted in massive government handouts and ran up a huge government debt. The tax payer has to pay for their missing retirement savings, the kids they fathered out of wedlock, their substance abuse treatments, and their obesity-related chronic illnesses.

    Libertarianism doesn't say "eat, fuck, and spend without government interference", it says "eat, fuck, and spend without government interference and be forced to live with the consequences".

  • Netizen_James||

    >When you argue that a narcotic isn't "bad enough" to be prohibited you indirectly imply that there is right to prohibit something that IS "bad enough"

  • PatGo||

    That is a very irresponsible headline. Most people I love NEVER did drugs. I never did. My husband never did. (Doctors gave him drugs behind his back when he was in the hospital and it killed him). My sister tried it ONCE. My parents never did. Our kids never did (seven of them) as far as I know, except one smokes an occasional cigar. I'm sure most of our grandkids never have. My mother-in-law never did drugs. I don't love the Beatles or Cary Grant, and I despise Carl Sagan. I don't know enough about Gertrude Stein to care. That leaves one out of five that I have some feelings for: Thomas Jefferson. You know what? We're all sinners. Every one I love is a sinner. But there are different sins. Just because you think half the people did drugs doesn't make it so, and one sin is just as bad as another. But in general, it is foolishness to write a "you" message for a headline. You are guaranteed to be dead wrong about a LOT of people.

  • DiegoF||

    LOT was no sinner; he refused to do drugs even when in a town full of partiers! But his wife wasn't so free of temptation, and it got her turned into a pillar of cocaine for her shortcomings, as a final irony. At least I think. There's a lesson in there for all of us.

  • Mark22||

    That leaves one out of five that I have some feelings for: Thomas Jefferson. You know what? We're all sinners.

    Jefferson took opium because he thought it was a better and safer treatment than what the physicians at the time could provide, and he was probably right, despite the consequences. He didn't violate any laws, and such use wasn't considered a "sin".

  • Netizen_James||

    You do understand that caffeine, nicotine, and ethanol are all 'drugs', don't you? As are aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and dextromethorphan.

    Didn't ANYONE you ever loved ever smoke a cigarette, or drink a glass of wine? None of them EVER took any cough syrup, or pain-reliever for a headache?

    If so, then they DID use drugs, you've just fallen victim of a concerted effort on the part of the government to separate those drugs that are above-ground and produce tax-revenue (nicotine and ethanol) from those drugs that are underground and produce no tax revenue.

  • Mac61||

    The Beatles don't advance the argument. Their insipid syrupy pop songs made middle school girls scream,
    but other than that they were just naricisstic pop stars infatuated with themselves. "No one I think is in my tree / I mean it must be high or low, that is you can't you know / tune in but it's all right / that is I think it's not too bad." Wow. Amazing ideas, skillful poetry. Then go on to "Imagine no possessions" when you have assets of $250 million. After 29, you don't do jack shit, but instead lay in bed with a plastic bag of your own waste as a companion. A better case would be made for the Rolling Stones' use of heavy narcotics while turning themselves into a worldwide brand and billion-dollar corporate juggernaut. The Beatles' music is pablum, and their drug use only made them more self-indulgent. Good to see that LIbertarianism's main cause continues to be unlimited drug use and putting forth inarticulate lazy potheads for president. You should overtake the Duopoly within 50 years, maybe 45. Dream on.

  • vek||

    LOL

    Rolling Stones vs Beatles argument in 2018!

    I'm going for the Beatles out of those two BTW. Stones are good, but the Beatles had such a volume of very good, but mostly not great, songs. That gives them the lead.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    The Beatles had a huge volume of songs, and of essentially different genres. One can argue that they invented prog rock. When someone calls it "pablum" I've got to believe that they've not heard 1/10 of the 500 or so songs attributed to the Beatles as a group (not to mention solo efforts.)

  • vek||

    I've done a number of drugs. So have both my parents. I turned out fine, all is well. That's because I don't have an addictive personality. Some people can't hang with some shit... I have had many friends who COULD NOT HANG, and fucked their lives up good. Doesn't mean it should be illegal.

  • Mark22||

    Maybe everybody YOU love did drugs. Nobody in my family or among my friends did drugs.

    the cartoonish Drug Warrior portrayal of drugs by showing some of the beloved historical figures who used them

    Historical figures didn't have much of a choice other than to use opium and marijuana; these days, we have pharmaceuticals that generally work a lot better.

    Now, I'm all for drug legalization, but even if legalized, I still wouldn't use drugs recreationally.

  • J. Allen II||

    I was always staunchly anti-drugs until I started reading Tim Ferriss' works. He's such a likeable, levelheaded guy. If he finds huge benefits in drug use, then it's worth reconsideration on my part.

  • J. Allen II||

    I was always staunchly anti-drugs until I started reading Tim Ferriss' works. He's such a likeable, levelheaded guy. If he finds huge benefits in drug use, then it's worth reconsideration on my part.

  • Kate Spenc||

    Famous people are just people with their needs and weaknesses. Everyone wants to relax, relieve stress sometimes and it's up to you how to do it. For someone it's drugs, for some it's food, cigarettes, coffee, sport etc, it depends on preferences. Moreover, take a look at the names, this historical figures lived with a huge responsibility on their shoulders and needed a boost for brain at least. So, before judging, try to achieve such highs and live in such pressure.

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