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Objectivist Essays or Lectures on Drugs

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Does anyone know of any essays or lectures written by objectivists on the topic of drugs? I have never seen anything by Ayn Rand or Peikoff on drugs.

I can't think of essays or lectures, but plenty of references to drugs.

One can cetainly apply her principles to the topic of drugs. What are you searching for?

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Peikoff has discussed drugs a few times in his podcasts, but I think only in reference to medicine. I don't recall him going on in depth about recreational drugs.

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There’s a very recent Peikoff podcast bit on drugs, where he acknowledges that his own work has been chemically enhanced.


Michael Stuart Kelly has written quite a bit about addiction, if that’s what you’re interested in.


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From Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of her Q&A, New American Library, 2005.

Lecture, "Apollo and Dionysus" (Boston, Ford Hall Forum, 1969)

Q: What is your view on laws against cyclamates and marijuana?

A: I do not approve of any government controls over consumption, so all restrictions on drugs should be removed (except, of course, on the sale to minors). The government has no right to tell an adult what to do with his own health and life. That places a much greater moral responsibility on the individual; but adults should be free to kill themselves in any way they want.

It is the moral responsibility of the individual not to take substances that destroy his mind. I would fight for your legal right to use marijuana; I would fight you to the death that you morally should not do it - except that in a free society, I wouldn't have to deal with you at all. What the government should do is protect citizens from the criminal consequences of those who take drugs. But drugs would be much cheaper if it weren't for the government, as liquor was much more expensive under Prohibition. Bootleggers didn't want the repeal of Prohibition, because they made a fortune. Similarly, the underworld is spreading drugs. It would be cheaper, easier, and morally more vicious on the part of the drug addict if drugs were legalized.

She goes on to talk about cyclamates and pick fun at Ralph Nader.

I personally think her evaluation of marijuana and its use is much too critical. She, along with nearly any person over the age of 30 at the time, put it on the same level of 'seriousness' with heroin. But to her credit, the research wasn't there, and her point wasn't so much her appraisal of drugs or marijuana, but the need for government's hand to be taken out of the meal bag.

There's a few other passages in the Q&A, but they're by and large rehashes of the above. Hope that helps.


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