I don't do any drugs stronger than coffee myself, but my reasons are far simpler than this - I don't gave any particular desire to do them, so I don't. However, there are several huge problems with the arguments above. As ascorbic points out, mostly caused by taking 'drugs' as a single entity, rather than looking at the very different situations for say cannabis, MDMA and heroin:

All people have basic needs, and more remote needs. These needs are friendship, love, hobbies etc. Not having any friends generates a "hole". This hole can be filled with anything, such as reading books, doing math, painting, sleeping or something else. When this something else becomes drugs, this is a symptom of the original problem. The drug abuse, therefore, becomes both a symptom of a problem and a new problem. This is a bad thing.

And why does this magically not apply to alcohol? In fact why doesn't it apply to any of the other things you listed, or to masturbation or watching TV or noding? Most things can be harmful in excess, and all you're really saying here is that depressed, lonely people will tend to find pleasure in other things, sometimes to excess.

By buying drugs (which in most countries per definition is illegal), I'd effectively shove money into these markets. Because I am strongly against weapons and prostitution, and because these industries are so closely interlinked, spending money on one of the three means injecting money into all three. By buying drugs (especially hard drugs, although soft drugs are also to a certain extent part of this picture), I would support the sex and weapons industries, which I am strongly against.

As you say later, this problem would go away if drugs were legalised - it's an argument against the status quo, not against doing drugs (though it's a very good reason not to do them while they're illegal).

I do realise that this previous argument would disappear if the use of drugs would be legalised. However, I don't think it should be.

Which contradicts what you say about not wanting to stop people taking drugs.

It is often claimed that drug abuse is a victimless crime, but I do not agree. I have interviewed several parents who have seen their children dwindle from drug abuse. The child might have a horrible time - but the parents are as much the victims as their children.

Parents also suffer when their children change religion, or fall out with them, or behave in any other number of hurtful ways. I don't believe that one can or should legislate respect or love for one's parents. Morality and law should be separate. Someone who goes windsurfing or sailing and drowns, or drives a car and gets in an accident, or gets an STD from sex and dies, also undoubtedly hurts their parents. Should these acts be criminalised too? And of course, this argument, like most of them, applies equally well to alcohol. Also, as JerboaKolinowski points out to me, many of the social problems caused by drug use might be lessened or go altogether if drugs were legalised, and so this woul not necessarily be as much of a problem.

Me not buying drugs, therefore, (although only a drop in the sea) might help a farmer in Columbia (and Afghanistan, if there had been anything left of the country) to plant what they want to, instead of drugs.

Of course, if drugs were legalised then the huge profit margins for the dealers wouldn't be there. And maybe there'd even be fair-trade companies set up for cocaine or marijuana like there are for coffee - why not? Also, as ascorbic points out in his homenode (pointed out to me after I'd done this w/u) many drugs are produced chemically rather than grown.

I know, this last point is a fairly weak argument in the grand scheme of things. However, I am afraid that if I found a way of getting the same type of high in a chemical fashion, this would destroy some of the pleasure I would get from windsurfing (and skiing, and sailing, and biking, and driving a car, and making love, etc etc etc).

Actually this is the only argument in this w/u that makes sense to me. I personally don't see that they're exclusive in any way - there's no reason why taking whatever shouldn't just be another pleasure to add to that list, but not taking drugs because you have better things to is a much better reason than the logically flawed moralising in the other examples.

My own view is that the fewer restrictions on people's liberty there are, the better. But that doesn't mean one has to take advantage of every freedom one has.

Whew... I've had more /msgs about this w/u than any 5 others I've written...
Since this has, probably rightly, been declared a GTKY (mea culpa), if anyone has anything they think really desperately *needs* to be added, let me know and I'll try and edit this to accomodate it - but this isn't exactly my highest priority, it's a little opinion node. Oh, and please, no more votes on this - it doesn't deserve it.