Using a psychoactive substance for anything other than a pressing medical issue is strongly condemned in modern civilized society. Alterations to the mind are viewed as ‘unnatural’, and not conductive to leading a productive life. But are the governments’ and mainstream society’s viewpoints on this matter rational and correct? Or is the subject more complex than it is made to appear?
Below I will briefly cover a few of the most popular points used to justify the continued illegality and societal condemnation of drug use. This is not an academic or scientific post and simply serves to provide some basic logic and clear some mental cobwebs that mainstream society as a whole has allowed to build up.
Drug use is unnatural
One problem with this perspective is that people do not have a “natural mindset”–the food we eat, the water we drink, even the air we breathe alters our neurochemistry. Life is full of events that change how our mind perceives things.
The argument that the mind should not be altered by “drugs” is ambiguous by nature and caries with it difficult to accept connotations; from this perspective, watching a surreal film is acceptable but causing a similar mental effect through any other means is not. The reasoning behind this argument is similar to the type used to justify religious and spiritual belief, and should not be taken seriously by a rational society.
Drug use is unhealthy/dangerous
Drug use can be dangerous and unhealthy. So can drinking too much water.
Responsibility, intelligence and knowledge all play key roles here. Depending on the circumstances, drug use can indirectly increase one’s overall heath, or lead to death. The statement “driving kills” is just as accurate as “drugs kill”. Generalized statements just don’t work here, the reality is much more dynamic.
Drug users are desperate
Desperate, easily addicted people are attracted to drugs. Drugs themselves rarely create desperation where it did not already exist. Self-medicating is a common practice that can have unexpected consequences for those who get in over their head. Stable, happy individuals with lots to lose will generally stay away from drugs, mostly due to the illegality of many substances, as well as the social stigma.
Using drugs will land you in jail
As far as illegal drugs go, probably true. But everything from coffee to melatonin is a drug. Having a limited and stereotypical viewpoint on what constitutes a drug is problematic. As long as government agencies can demonize a category of substances, and then add new substances to that group arbitrarily, it shows society is not using its collective brain.
Societies allowing their governments–that are supposed to be protecting and serving them–to manipulate and control them in this manner creates an issue that goes far beyond being prohibited from putting certain substances in your body.
And the point is
Perhaps taking some mescaline would be the best thing for you right now, and perhaps it would be the worst thing. How a particular drug will effect a particular person is a highly nuanced issue involving a number of complex variables. Like all things, drugs use can destroy or make a person.
One thing is sure though: society’s current stance, to simplify such a complex matter as ‘bad’ by way of a blanket ban, is an insult to human intelligent.