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What is the objectivist view on drugs (illegal) and the government's role in them?
That drugs should not be illegal, and that the proper role of government w.r.t. drugs is to enforce ordinary rights-related property law pertaining to drugs (enforcement of contracts, prohibition of force and fraud).
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As for using drugs, Ayn Rand was against using what she called "mind-altering" drugs. (at least that's the term I think she, or Dr. Peikoff, quoting her, used) However, she wasn't against alcohol.(in moderation)

I personally have been known to eat the occasional pot-brownie (especially when I was on a non-alcohol diet for a few months), or light a joint when someone had it.

I wouldn't try to go out and "score" or maintain a relationship with someone who deals pot though, so for the most part I stick to beer. (Not because of what Rand said-I don't think it's imoral to smoke pot-, but because it's illegal, and it's really not worth the risk. A couple of beers relax me just fine.)

As for doing hard stuff, heroin, coke, speed, that's obviously wrong, under any circumstances. (because it's addictive and it does prevent you from being rational- both the addiction and the drug) Agh I sound like Nancy Reagan.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Government have no right regulating drug sells, or any other personal property for that matter.

But just because people can sell whatever drug they want doesn't automatically mean you should buy and use whatever drug you feel like.

Drug dealers have their right to sell their property, and you have your right to not buy any.

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I never understood why many people who disapprove of drug use in general, approve of alcohol consumption or cigarettes. Someone might never be friends with someone who smokes weed on regular occasion, but would be friends with someone who goes out and gets drunk on a somewhat regular basis. Marijuana has proved to be less damaging to one's short term and long term life than alcohol consumption. There is no good science in on whether or not it actually makes an individual stupider or not. I've known people who smoked pot all their lives, and who don't have lung cancer, while those who are cigarette smokers are diagnosed almost across the boards.

I rarely smoke weed, unless I find it appropriate to the situation. The same goes for alcohol. In moderation, these things do minimal damage to any part of your body and/or mind

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I never understood why many people who disapprove of drug use in general, approve of alcohol consumption or cigarettes.
I think because drugs are never good, whereas alcohol is bad only if overused. (I have no position on moderate cigarette use).
Someone might never be friends with someone who smokes weed on regular occasion, but would be friends with someone who goes out and gets drunk on a somewhat regular basis.
That would be inconsistent.
Marijuana has proved to be less damaging to one's short term and long term life than alcohol consumption.
No, that's not true.
There is no good science in on whether or not it actually makes an individual stupider or not.
There's plenty of evidence that pot necessarily makes you stupider, at least temporarily, in contrast to ethanol which only has that effect with high doses.
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I think because drugs are never good, whereas alcohol is bad only if overused. (I have no position on moderate cigarette use).That would be inconsistent.No, that's not true.There's plenty of evidence that pot necessarily makes you stupider, at least temporarily, in contrast to ethanol which only has that effect with high doses.

1. Alcohol is a kind of drug, not something separate from marijuana.

2. You're mistaken. I wasn't saying that pot didn't inhibit your ability to think while on it. I just haven't seen much of anything to indicate that marijuana has severe, long lasting mental affects.

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2. You're mistaken. I wasn't saying that pot didn't inhibit your ability to think while on it. I just haven't seen much of anything to indicate that marijuana has severe, long lasting mental affects.

While Dr. Drew Pinsky is a radio/TV doctor (never a good thing), he is also a real doctor, with a long history of working with addicts (off camera), and plenty of first hand experience with them:

Member question: I have smoked pot for a number of years as an antistressor. Currently I'm having thick sinus congestion and very bad headaches and sore throat. I also have ulcerative colitis. What treatments can help me regain my health as I am very tired and in a lot of discomfort? I want to quit the smoke altogether.

Dr. Drew: You no longer use marijuana as a stress reducer. You are an addict and this addiction will not stop without treatment. I would suggest you look into Marijuana Anonymous. You need careful supervision when you stop this drug. There is an extraordinarily high incident of suicide in the first six months of marijuana abstinence.

The syndrome of marijuana addiction is always the same: A profound euphoria is experienced, usually after the second or third exposure to it, and from that moment on the addict pursues, preoccupies, or uses that drug every day. Somewhere down the line, exactly what you are experiencing develops; the addict gets depressed, has trouble sleeping and being motivated. Of course, the addict's response is to smoke more or better pot to deal with "the stress," which only accelerates the decline into depression.

What a contrast to the nonsense out there about how marijuana is not as addictive as alcohol or cigarettes, or the idea that it isn't bad for one's health.

Here's some other quotes-all from first hand experience with addicts:

Especially for teens, says Dr. Drew Pinsky. For them, using marijuana increases the risk of developing mental disorders by 40 percent.

"Those kids that had no pre-existing depression, cannabis, marijuana, pot, absolutely there is no doubt, induces depression, induces psychotic states similar to schizophrenia."

"It's so funny to hear people talk about marijuana as just marijuana, because those of us who work in the addiction field have been struggling with this drug for years. Some people, clearly a genetic sub-set of individuals are highly prone to the addictive potential of this drug."

"When people are addicted to cocaine and marijuana and methamphetamines, the drug they end up missing the most is the cannabis. It's the one they love."

To be fair, he also said this:

"Go ahead and legalize it," Dr. Drew said, to the cheers of students. Dr. Drew went on to explain that the country was still using a law dealing with "illegal" drugs that dated back to the early 1900's. "To say that it [marijuana] is worse than alcohol or other drugs is ridiculous..."
Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I thought the only medical syndrome that has been attached definitively to pot is amotivational syndrome, and that is after long time continuous use. As a person who smoked quite a bit of weed when he was a young teen (from age 12 to 16) I can honestly say that I have never experienced depression or a "psychotic state similar to schizophrenia".

I've also been much more screwed up from binging on alcohol than from pot.

Wow, I sound like a poster boy for what not to do with your life :?

Oh well, I haven't had a toke since I was about 17 and in spite of how it sounds I do not have to attend AA meetings :lol:

Part of the problem with pot today is that hydroponically grown stuff that is so common today is about 10 times stronger than the best natural stuff of my day. So I guess I'm saying that my first hand data is about 25 years out of date.

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I thought the only medical syndrome that has been attached definitively to pot is amotivational syndrome, and that is after long time continuous use. As a person who smoked quite a bit of weed when he was a young teen (from age 12 to 16) I can honestly say that I have never experienced depression or a "psychotic state similar to schizophrenia".

I've also been much more screwed up from binging on alcohol than from pot.

Wow, I sound like a poster boy for what not to do with your life :?

Oh well, I haven't had a toke since I was about 17 and in spite of how it sounds I do not have to attend AA meetings :lol:

Part of the problem with pot today is that hydroponically grown stuff that is so common today is about 10 times stronger than the best natural stuff of my day. So I guess I'm saying that my first hand data is about 25 years out of date.

I've never smoked pot or done any sort of drugs (accept alcohol when I was a teenager, which I now regret) except those used for medical purposes (antibiotics, etc.)...so I honestly hadn't thought too much of it. The folks who used to smoke it in high school always told me there was nothing wrong with it...and even today, I know of a few people who smoke it and they insist that it is perfectly safe.

...so today I am reading this post...and just decided to google it, and found that it apparently can have a negative impact on reproductive organs, contribute to lung cancer, can exacerbate anxiety and depression, and is immunosuppressive (not surprising)...which can open up a whole 'nuther can of worms. This is aside from the obvious affects it has on your mind (altered perception, etc.)...

...what is a little surprising is that being immunosuppressive, why would doctors give it to AIDS and cancer patients? It could kill them even quicker...or are the patients just resigned to dying?

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"Drugs are bad, mmkay?"

I've had quite a lot of friends and acquaintances that use marijuana both recreationally and habitually. I can say from my own qualitative observations that the amount of weed smoked doesn't seem to affect the individual negatively psychologically - rather that the individual's reason to smoke is the reason it can have negative consequences. If it's used in avoidance behaviour, then it will probably have pretty negative consequences psychologically.

My own experience has ranged from cloudy, foggy thinking and paranoia to coughing and increased hunger. Generally, the negatives associated with pot smoking has been greater than the positives for me, so I usually turn down offers, and definitely don't go out looking for it. Same thing for alcohol, although I do enjoy a beer or whiskey and coke with dinner and stuff. My binging days are behind me, even though I'm only 24. that in itself has had negative consequences with some friends, but I'm alright with that.

All I can really say is use in moderation. I think that's easier to apply in general with alcohol and marijuana, but not so much with cigarettes and other drugs where there are physiologically addictive chemicals baked inside, so that you're hooked on the first or second use. The exception with alcohol would be with people who have alcoholism, but in that case, they still had the choice not to resort to alcohol use in the first place. And I think there are people who are more susceptible physiologically to addiction in general, due to how their brain is wired.

But otherwise, I think if drugs were legalized there would be safer drug use. Competition would cause drug cartels to increase product safety, purity and effectiveness or they'd go out of business. They could supply a safe environment and materials to get high, along with (possibly) help to get off serious addiction.

I dream of a world where drug lords are asking for government bail-outs.

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...what is a little surprising is that being immunosuppressive, why would doctors give it to AIDS and cancer patients? It could kill them even quicker...or are the patients just resigned to dying?

I think here it's a quality of life decision. In terms of cancer patients, chemotherapy often causes nausea and they can't keep food down. Since it's better to eat food rather than be given nutrients intravenously, the docs give the patient marijuana so that they can decrease nausea and pain caused by chemo. I didn't know AIDS patients were prescribed pot, but I imagine it's for the same reasons as with chemotherapy - that the drugs they're given have pretty serious negative effects to eating and pain etc.

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While Dr. Drew Pinsky is a radio/TV doctor (never a good thing), he is also a real doctor, with a long history of working with addicts (off camera), and plenty of first hand experience with them:

What a contrast to the nonsense out there about how marijuana is not as addictive as alcohol or cigarettes, or the idea that it isn't bad for one's health.

Here's some other quotes-all from first hand experience with addicts:

To be fair, he also said this:

I think there is a difference between a casual marijuana smoker and the retarded potheads you find wandering aimlessly in every American high school. Those were the people i used to be friends with, and yeah, when you smoke pot a lot it does kind of put you in this constantly stupid state. I think this is a direct result of using the drug though, and can be solved by simply getting off the pot.

Thankfully I don't hang around drug addicts anymore. I don't find a drink or even a toke to be immoral every now and then, but I avoid it. I despise party kids, who cannot have a good time with a group of people without getting f***ed up. That probably is my main reason for avoiding drugs; avoiding those people.

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I think here it's a quality of life decision. In terms of cancer patients, chemotherapy often causes nausea and they can't keep food down. Since it's better to eat food rather than be given nutrients intravenously, the docs give the patient marijuana so that they can decrease nausea and pain caused by chemo. I didn't know AIDS patients were prescribed pot, but I imagine it's for the same reasons as with chemotherapy - that the drugs they're given have pretty serious negative effects to eating and pain etc.

Yeah, marijuana isn't supposed to be curing anything. It is supposed to be blocking the immense pain and suffering caused by chemo.

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I personally have been known to eat the occasional pot-brownie (especially when I was on a non-alcohol diet for a few months), or light a joint when someone had it.

As for doing hard stuff, heroin, coke, speed, that's obviously wrong, under any circumstances. (because it's addictive and it does prevent you from being rational- both the addiction and the drug) Agh I sound like Nancy Reagan.

So Marijuana doesn't inhibit your rationality?

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You can get high even though that might infringe on my personal rights as long as my property rights are protected? You're suggesting that we can control the behavior of drugged individuals or that they can control their own behavior.

What is being suggested is that I can control my behaviour at all time. If that proves not to be true, and I violate your rights, then you can put me in jail.

If you are suggesting that my using drugs constitutes a violation of your rights, I suggest you prove that first, and only then start talking about restricting what I may or may not use.

Until then you are the one violating my rights by using the weapons of the government to dictate what substances I may ingest, buy or sell, thus initiating force against me. By doing this to me, you are acting like every thug, and you lose the right to be treated with the respect I generally extend to my fellow human beings.

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So Marijuana doesn't inhibit your rationality?

It does inhibit my thinking, so does alcohol. There's no way I can solve a problem after three beers with the same ease that I can solve it sober.

However, whether I smoked a joint or had a few beers, it is my experience that I would still know how to go about solvintg the problem, it's just that it wouldn't go as fast. Of course it doesn't matter, since I only drink or smoke once all my work is done.

So, the answer is that the ammount I smoked never caused me to stop thinking rationally, but it does obviously slow me down, just like alcohol. (in fact I would say alcohol is a bit worse)

But I guess you can say it inhibits my rationality, in a sense. It however doesn't prevent my rationality completely. For the tasks I set up to accomplish for the few hours while under the influence, I have plenty of ability to reason left.

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As for doing hard stuff, heroin, coke, speed, that's obviously wrong, under any circumstances. (because it's addictive and it does prevent you from being rational- both the addiction and the drug)

So, the answer is that the ammount I smoked never caused me to stop thinking rationally, but it does obviously slow me down

So by that logic if someone only injected a little bit of heroin or snorted a little bit of coke it would be ok. As long as it didnt stop them from being completely rational.

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As for using drugs, Ayn Rand was against using what she called "mind-altering" drugs. (at least that's the term I think she, or Dr. Peikoff, quoting her, used) However, she wasn't against alcohol.(in moderation)

I personally have been known to eat the occasional pot-brownie (especially when I was on a non-alcohol diet for a few months), or light a joint when someone had it.

I wouldn't try to go out and "score" or maintain a relationship with someone who deals pot though, so for the most part I stick to beer. (Not because of what Rand said-I don't think it's imoral to smoke pot-, but because it's illegal, and it's really not worth the risk. A couple of beers relax me just fine.)

As for doing hard stuff, heroin, coke, speed, that's obviously wrong, under any circumstances. (because it's addictive and it does prevent you from being rational- both the addiction and the drug) Agh I sound like Nancy Reagan.

Actually, cocaine, speed, and heroin (in moderation, however small "moderation" would be in their cases) does not alter the mind in the sense Rand blasts - i.e., in the sense that it alters perception of reality as any dose of LSD high enough to affect the brain would do. To tone down heroin a bit, take classic old opium smoking - it leads to many similar physical "joys" and mental "opening-ups" as alcohol gives in relationally similar moderation.

Rand and Peikoff may not know this, but through no fault of their own - their general rejection of any drugs and the subsequent disinterest in studying how it would effect their bodies is proper. However, they're still right; even though alcohol is addictive, it takes a much longer time and many indulgences that surpass moderation to take hold, whereas with cocaine and heroin, comparative "moderate use" (in the sense of results similar to moderate use of alcohol in singular instants) can quickly lead to one's capacity for choice being pressed - or, if moderation is passed - completely squashed. One cannot "moderately use" heroin for a week without the chemicals blasting the body in its absence, more or less maintain its moderate use for a lifetime while avoiding addiction completely, as one can with alcohol. Thus, they are still correct in maintaining that it is improper for a rational person to use.

Should still be legal, though.

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So by that logic if someone only injected a little bit of heroin or snorted a little bit of coke it would be ok. As long as it didnt stop them from being completely rational.

What logic is that?

The logic according to which one may use pot and coke interchangeably in a sentence, because there is no fundamental difference between the two? I don't subscribe to that "logic".

In fact I didn't present any "logic". I simply assessed a concrete scenario: me smoking pot from time to time. I stated what was my first hand observation of its effects on me. The only principle I applied is that "direct observation is valid".

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