Ok, lemme get this straight: the guy who thought he was orange juice was in your
town? I heard he was in my
town, and my town is in the antipodes
For the purposes of this WU, 'drugs' will refer to the controlled substances social conditioning makes us all think of when people say 'drugs'.
Anyway, let me make it perfectly clear where I stand on this. My best friend and cousin can no longer relate to me because I didn't keep up with the cocktail of drugs they've been spending their wages on for the past three years (don't get me wrong - they're rich (er than me) and have mucho savings and are still good people). I myself have just the other day had an acid flashback (never leaves your system? Ludicrous, but probably based on the flashbacks phenomenon).
Scary stuff. Fact is, you take large quantities of mind/body-altering chemicals and chances are you'll end up different to how you started. If they're poisonous, you'll probably end up sicker than when you started too. Undoubtedly in a fair few cases you end up 'worse' than when you began (I have the 's because I agree with dead's subjective idea of bad). That orange juice guy, regardless of whether he was interred in Sunnyside, Christchurch New Zealand or wherever you guys are from, is someone who deserves our pity. I would have to say that going through each day in fear of spilling myself would be far more terrifying than anything I myself have ever experienced. Drugs are dangerous, no question. To some more than others, but you always run a risk in taking them.
This does not stop me from refusing to bow down to such narrow-minded views as no comply's "There is no good reason for drugs. None.". It has not stopped me from becoming the president of our Campus's Legalize Cannabis Society. It does not, in other words, make me think of drugs themselves as bad, or as people who take drugs as bad.
Where did this idea come from? The social stigma attached to recreational drug use is something I find quite bizarre. Judging people as 'bad' because they are taking a risk is an unconscionable abuse of some arbitrary idea of morality. The 'moral' thing to do would be to stand by ready to help those who do develop problems (and for those of you who hold that this is too late, I reply that punishing someone before the commit the crime is too early, speaking metaphorically of course) and to not judge those like myself and my fellow university potheads or trippers who suffer not at the hands of our recreational habits but rather at the hands of the 'moral' members of society who somehow (and I doubt I will ever understand how this is so - my working theory is they're bigots) think it's ok to condemn someone whose only crime is allowing certain molecules into their body.
Whew, step away from the argument, Pseudo. Take a breath...
Perhaps a better phrase than 'Drugs make people bad' would be 'Taking drugs always involves a risk, and severely fucks up some'. Over 70% of my age group in my country has taken at least one illegal drug - are those who agree with this node's title going to say that each and every one of those people is bad? Sure, bad as in they broke the rules, but since when were rules actual arbiters of true morality? 'Bad' I think is completely the wrong word. It implies some sort of moral failing, whereas the 'bad' we see most often in those who are hardcore fucked-up from drug use is more of a pathetic bad. A pity-worthy bad, even those who have to steal to support their habits are worthy of our pity, those who lose control of their own lives through an addiction, pity them. Help them even.
If our laws allowed for people to be open about their drug usage, then people on the downward spiral could be seen and helped, without legal coercion. If they allowed the quality and purity of drugs to be monitored for toxic dilutants, then the dangers of 'street drugs' would be significantly mitigated. If society today stopped judging those who take the option of recreational drug use, so much fear and pain would be ended. For those of you who 'have friends who screwed themselves up with drugs', remember that I do too, and keep in mind that you don't know what it's like to see someone's face go blank and hostile or smug and condescending the instant they discover you take drugs. I've been judged by people who, I have only a slight (moral) hesitation in saying, I am a much better person than. Smarter, kinder, emotionally more accessible, and they see fit to let their opinion of me turn on one fact: that I smoke pot. They can do this because they believe that drugs make people bad, and this makes me angry.
This idea is evil, I've decided. If you want to judge someone purely on their yes/no answer to 'do you take drugs', I just wish you had a wider view of right and wrong so that when I told you to cram it up your ass it would hurt more. Sure, some people wipe out on drugs, but we should be helping them and not condemning, either them or those who like myself and many others here on E2 and around the world have no difficulty being sane, normal people (who ingest psychoactives).