Alright, already! I've gotten many replies to this, most of them arguing about points I did not make here. So to sum up the node, before you read it: Most nodes about drugs that I've seen take a very one-sided approach: drugs are cool. I'm not saying everyone is weak-willed, but many people are easily affected by impressive documents (no, of course not YOU). Most nodes which are supposed to be informative give only the positive side of drugs. For some reason, the possibility of flashbacks 20 years later and such unimportant information seems to be omitted. I've seen more than my share of the negative. When you DO choose to write about something, remember that what you write could affect someone, so, especially when writing about something that could kill someone, try to give the full picture. That's it. Too many people don't realise the power of the pen. The original node ensues:

Oh, I'm sorry, did I say the problem with nodes condoning drugs? I meant the problem is nodes condoning drugs.

Picture if you will the following scene: a 16-year old boy has just been offered by some friends to take acid with them. He knows drugs are bad, so he says no. But then has a fight with his parents. He chances upon a wonderful node explaining what acid does to your brain. It looks cool. Just like LSD, but no side effects are written there (he doesn't even know acid and LSD are the same). Cool. Then he sees a daylog of someone writing under the influence. Awesome!. People do it, and enjoy it. It's probably not too bad! So he calls up his friends, and says he's in. They go to the tracks, take some LSD and he gets hit by a train.

I guess everyone should be allowed to write what they want and say what they want. Unfortunately, most people are easily influenced by what they read. Especially when what they read seems to be very scientific and precise, like the Psychedelic Guide. This was written by someone who knows what he is talking about! The highs look great! What about the lows? What about bad trips? What about flashbacks? What about permanent mental effects? Oh, no, no need to mention them. In fact, some of them are not even known.

So I see a node on mushrooms. They look good. Maybe it even says that there are NO side effects. I look around. I see 5 more nodes saying how mushrooms changed people's lives. But I don't see any nodes by people who are in mental institutions because they took mushrooms and lost touch with reality. Why is that? Don't they have the internet in mental institutions?

Drugs are NOT COOL. Drugs can fuck up your life for ever. Even cannabis, a soft drug, has at least one seriously hallucinogenic variant. If you're not aware you took it, you might just try to fly. I actually know someone who almost got run over by a car because he didn't know what was in his joint. It was either a really strong variant or was laced.

Before anyone takes any drugs, they should know what they're getting into. This is not some 'Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine' situation. You're playing with your nervous system, you're playing with your brain. You're playing with your life.
A node that say drugs are cool could just have ruined somebody's life forever.

P.S. Not that I give a shit about how much reputation this node has, but it has been taking a bit of a hammering. I personally don't downvote something because I disagree with it, but your votes are yours to do what you want with. Just one tiny request, please: if you DO NOT do drugs, and DOWNVOTE this node, could you please /msg me about it? I will not hold a grudge, I promise, but I would like to know. Thanks. (Also, if you DO do drugs, and UPVOTED me, I would appreciate a /msg).

I don't usually like replying to replies, but Nanosecond asked me to, so I will. ink- said marijuana is not hallucinogenic. It is. Don't take my word for it; check for yourself. A simple google check with something on the lines of 'hallucinogenic drugs' will get you loads of pages listing hallucinogenic drugs. See if cannabis is there. Or if you don't trust these web pages, check out a source that you believe (Encyclopaedia, maybe?).

As I'm already replying to ink- : the cynicism is lost on me, as I never said alcohol and nicotine aren't drugs. They are. (Yes, you can run a google check on that too). And that was hardly the point of this node.

"A node that say drugs are cool could just have ruined somebody's life forever."

Anyone who takes drugs without finding out about them first is a fuckwit and deserves all he gets. So some kid thinks he can fly? Try taking off from the ground. I'm sorry, Footprints but this kind of auto-Darwination can only be a good thing for the human race.

Basically, if you're enough of a moron to take a drug without doing some research, then you're the kind of person who calls tech support to ask how to turn on his computer, the kind of idiot who stabs himself to see what happens and the kind of cretin who plays football on the motorway. In other words, you're no loss. Good riddance.

Drugs are cool. They're the antiseptic in the gene-pool

Interesting how rep is careering up and down on the writeup. It's gone from +9 -> -1 -> +6 (that's right now). I'm pleased with that - at least people have opinions.

Footprints: Hey, you got at least one /msg....

Update - Node rep is now +176/-131 as of 20050310

Considering the volume of anti-drug propaganda in the media, in schools and on the net, don't you think that a few nodes to the contrary are going (a very short way) towards balancing things out?

A person who grew up in our society, especially during Nancy Reagan's "just say no" years, and somehow failed to internalise the fact that drugs can be dangerous is plain stupid.

People seem to think that once you break the law by buying drugs in the first place, none of the other constrictions of everyday life apply. Well, sorry, kids - if you want to mess with your brains (which I'm personally not too hot on, but not vehemently opposed to either), you have to use discretion, common sense and knowledge.

The problem with vilifying drugs the way we do, and objecting to people relating their objective experiences with them, is that there ends up not being any information about them beyond the frankly hysterical or the soporifically clinical.

People deserve to be able to make an intelligent choice - by saying "don't node about good experiences with drugs" you're saying "don't let them find out that there might be a fun aspect to it". Why not? There is a fun aspect to narcotics (even if I myself am a very poor scholar of this field of personal exploration), why should we deny people the chance to find out about it? Because they might prove to be very stupid and do something to hurt themselves? Very well then, forbid people from driving cars then. That will be good for them and the environment.

The problem with adopting a position of blanket condemnation of drugs - as was the tendency with a lot of 'official' advice (at least until recently - this is beginning to change, at least in the UK for the reasons I outline below) to simply say that 'drugs are bad', is that this is not an accurate reflection of the truth. It is an undeniable truth that taking drugs can be a pleasurable (and even illuminating) experience and is so for the majority of users - that's why they take them. To deny this in advice about drugs (and by extension everything nodes) causes the intention behind that advice to backfire - if you tell people that all drugs are bad and they do some drugs and find it wasn't that bad at all then you have handed a good reason for disregarding ALL of your advice.

The only way we can talk sensibly about drugs is honestly, and with full consideration of all the relevant factors - and that means realising it's not just about drugs, it's about a person's mindset, their life history, what conditions they take them in, the illegality of drugs and a host of other things that have little (if anything) to do with drugs (in) themselves.

I have written nodes in which I describe taking acid as a good idea because for me, at that time it WAS a good idea, as generally by experience with lsd has been an enjoyable and illuminating one (even something which has changed my life for the better) and to deny this would be dishonest.

Saying this does not alter the fact that for other people, including people I have known, it has been a very bad idea.

What we need is honest dialogue so maybe we can begin to figure what makes it a positive experience for some and a negative experience for others and give advice accordingly - like DON'T ever go near hallucinogens if you have a history of schizophrenia in your family or even if you are feeling stressed or worried (and good advice like this has been around since Timothy Leary and his ilk drew up the cardinal rule of set and setting.)

Like most dangerous life choices, the choice of whether or not to engage in narcotics use is a deeply personal one, and I have to say that I am more than a little bit upset by all the nodes on this page that vehemently and blanketly attack drug use.

Not just because few of these come from real-life experience (I count not one story above in the form of "this happened when I tried acid/speed/mushrooms/etc" and several in the form of "this happened when my friend tried these drugs, etc.), but also because they seem to me to be written using the same knee-jerk, impulsive thought process that they accuse most drug users of engaging in.

I really don't see the decision to engage in recreational drug use to be that much different from the choice to engage in, say, casual sex or helmetless motorcycle riding or extreme sports or bomb-building or lion-taming or whatever. Most of these activities are fun (I imagine) because of, not in spite of, their respective danger and outlaw status, and it does little good to simply tell people not to engage in them.

Now, you will get little argument from me on your fundamental principle here, that drug use is potentially dangerous, but the idea that all nodes that condone drug use, either implicitly or explicity, are irresponsible is somewhat absurd. I mean, there are plenty of nodes about stupid activites on e2, they just don't have the cultural taboo that drug use does.

If anything, what we need are more solid, factual nodes that explain clearly and objectively what the results of drug use are. The worst attribute to the current cultural bias against drug use is that people aren't talking about it.

The problem is not drug positive writeups on Everything2. The problem is a government and a society that refuses to give the populace information on how to make drug use reletively safer, should they choose to use drugs despite their legal status. Perhaps if "Drug Education" (at least in the United States, see DARE) was not an oxymoron, then people would be able to make intelligent choices about drugs, or at least take steps to reduce the risks associated with drugs.

Instead, we teach fear and disinformation. We don't teach kids about drugs, we indoctrinate them with lists of side effects, anti-drug propaganda, and urban legends that the government offers as facts.

Rather than address why people would want to take drugs (the pleasurable effects), they offer embellished ancedotes about drug highs, with negative spin, of course. If you drop acid you'll think you can fly and jump off a balcony. Reefer Madness still reigns supreme when it comes to pot.

Why do kids die as a result of drug use? Because if we taught people how to be more safe about drug use, we wouldn't have the stories on the evening news about how some girls blood boiled in her body because she became hypothermic on ecstacy at a rave. Those stories serve as government propaganda for the War on Drugs. Rather than tell people they need to drink plenty of water, and that they can easily overheat on E, our government lets people die in ignorance. I doubt it that people don't want information about the drugs they're taking, it is that our government and our society have made it difficult to find any information drugs other than, "Drugs are bad, mmmkay?"

We teach that pre-marital sex, underage drinking, and smoking cigarettes are bad. People have all kind of information about those subject, and yet they still engage in those activities. However, through sex education, we've been able to reduce teenage pregnancy and the transmission of HIV and other venerial diseases. We encourgaged condom use, and although barrier protection does not make sex absolutly safe by any means, it still leads to safer practices. Still, there are people who make poor choices, given good information on these subjects. Given that, what makes anyone think that ignorance about drugs and relitive drug safety is going to lead to a choice not to do drugs? Abstinace only education doesn't reduce the rate of sexually active teens, do we really think that by denying drug information to our youth is going to result in choices that are any better?

Not to comment on an already over-padded node, but I find something interesting about Footprints' writeup that no one has pointed out yet.

Footprints' main idea is that in order for something to be informative, it must take a balanced view of the material being presented. If a node is about drugs, it must say both that drugs can be fun but also that drugs work by fucking up your mind, which has done catastrophic damage to many people over the years.

This idea can be applied to writing on any subject. Writing a node on politics? Don't forget to include the other side's position! Writing a node on your favorite writer? Better include some of the reasons why some people think she sucks. After all, if someone was to read your glowing review, then read a book by that author they didn't like, they'd have wasted hours of their life, all because of you!

Writing a balanced node on a politicized subject is usually a good thing. However, insisting that writing a one-sided node is *dangerous* is really wrong. If humans are going to use the technology of information sharing to make their lives better, (and I heartily believe that they can and should) then striving towards unity of opinion -- that elusive "middle ground" -- will get us nowhere.

Instead, people must learn from the very beginning of their intellectual lives that knowledge is good, and that the way to knowledge involves reading many different opinions with many different biases. To truly maximize the benefit of information, one must be able to put any document into context so that its biases are recognized but that it still has the ability to impart information or even change your mind about something. When I see the literature of the KKK, (for example) it seems biased, one-sided, and divorced from reality to me, but its one-sidedness does not make it a dangerous object to eliminated, and it is still a document that one may learn things from the context if not the text itself.

There are people in this world who seek to control information, classifying it into right and wrong. They believe that through throwing away wrong information, and restricting discourse to correct channels, that they will become strong. They are incorrect. They perpetually fall into the trap of throwing away too much, and while their vigilance may make them strong in some regards, it weakens them by encouraging ignorance.

Getting back on topic, it's ironic that Footprints would criticize one-sided nodes and then says in bold letters that drugs are NOT COOL, neglecting to mention that drugs are fun too. It's pretty obvious that drugs are cool. Remember the kids you went to high school with who did drugs? (including alcohol) They were cool, right? What about the kids who didn't do drugs, who got good grades and were on the chess team? The question isn't whether drugs are cool, the question is whether being cool is worth getting fucked up over.

So anyway, for all you kiddies out there, drugs are actually pretty bad. Most of you can get away with some light use here and there, but a lot of you are addicts, with a particular physiology that will cause you seek highs even when they are ruining your life. Then of course, there's whole matter of screwing with your body while its still growing (not a good idea), and the fact that since you can't buy your drugs at the grocery store, you don't really know what you're getting, which leads to so many deaths and bad experiences which I'm sure others can tell you all about.

I've seen a man speak through a box, because his trachea is effectively gone from smoking. He sounded like a robot, distant and inhuman.

I know a girl who drank her face off and had a really good time. Until she woke up and realized that pamphlets about date rape are now far from an abstract concept.

I saw a baseball coach who had half of his jaw removed due to cancer from chewing tobacco. He looked fine until you saw the other half of his face.

I know a guy who lost his job because he drank too much and confronted his manager at a club over a bag of chips.

Drugs are NOT COOL. Drugs can fuck up your life forever. Even seemingly harmless alcohol has a recently legalized variant with hallucinogenic effect. If you're not aware what's mixed in that sprite, you might just try to fly. A friend of my friend drank some and almost decided to go swimming. In the winter. It was either really high-test stuff, or was mixed with something.

Before anyone takes any drugs, they should know what they're getting into. This isn't some thing that loosens you up, something to occupy a bit of your time during the coffee break. You're playing with your nervous system, you're playing with your brain. You're playing with your life.

A node that say drugs are cool could just have ruined somebody's life forever. It's a good thing our government protects us from such.

Alright, I can't keep this up forever. One thing Footprints, a "seriously hallucinogenic variant"? Have you singlehandedly discovered the holy grail of potheads everywhere, or are you just making shit up?

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