Irresponsibility in the Drug Age

The Ancient Greek Oracles of Delphi used hallucinogenics to attempt to predict the future; the Ancient Chinese used opiates as a means to bond socially; the Nordic people used meade in religious ceremonies. Drugs have always been at the center of many key cultural experiences and have played an integral, behind-the-scenes role in the formation of history. The use of such substances has also been associated with the quintessential teenage coming-of-age experience. Increasingly, however, the recreational use of relatively harmless drugs brings a huge social stigma and is largely polarizing, even in today’s society which is more progressive than ever. Lawmakers find it better to take the approach of a blanket ban on such “controlled substances” rather than working toward an equitable legal system which accounts for the distinctions between different substances; marijuana should not be viewed the same way as, say, methamphetamine. It is important to note as well that there are different motivations for drug use—social smoking is obviously not the same as a heroin addiction, and likewise should not be criminalized in the same breath. In fact, drugs can even be a good thing when used in moderation. I would say that drug use is founded in the pursuit of harmless immediate sensation and nothing more. It is our responsibility as our decade’s “young adults” to expand the narrative among the older generation to increase awareness about what these drugs truly are: just chemicals. So the next time you flip on the TV and see a talk show declaiming the horrors of drug use, just remember that drugs aren’t bad, but the situations that people get themselves into can be. The sooner we realize that as a society, the better off we’ll be.

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