This site is about helping people see a balance between teachings of the Buddha and the teachings of Darwin.
The Darwinist side of the drug argument dictates that we should be allowed full knowledge of what drugs can do, both positive and negative. There ought also to be tests to determine whether or not certain people have genetic propensities which can make them vulnerable to certain drugs, as we currently have for many allergies. This would make it possible for those who have been victims of drugs like Ecstasy or ‘E’ to avoid them. Darwinist thinking also inclines one to say you should stay away from drugs which may damage you but which are they? Many drugs damage some people but help others.
On the Buddha side, Buddha said all our suffering is caused by our wants. The obvious thing then is to avoid taking addictive drugs, like heroin and crack cocaine, since cravings will take you down a long path away from enlightenment. This does not, I believe, apply to drugs when used for pain relief since these are generally easier to quit once the pain source is no longer present. The lesson then, for instance, to a cancer sufferer who believed Buddha, would be “Do not refuse Morphine for pain relief because you are frightened of addiction leaving your spirit or soul damaged. Do not suffer unnecessarily”
Tibetans say there are many paths to enlightenment. The unusual circumstances of my blissful moment may not be repeatable but I would have to admit that the way pot or hash or marijuana made me laugh, even at my own misfortune, prior to experiencing bliss may have been a contributory factor to my having a mind open to being touched by Buddha consciousness. However, I would have to say that my own experience is that it is dangerous to touch illegal drugs after enlightenment, whether or not you feel they contributed to your enlightenment. If you do it can cause all sorts of problems for you as it did for me. A possible reason for this is that, as I have said elsewhere in this site, God and Satan want to control everything and to this end they take advantage of laws and rules. If you read the book of Job in the Old Testament it is easy to see the principle is to torment others who are behaving in non-approved ways. This is enlightening in itself, to realise that people who take drugs may experience bipolar mental problems or schizoid episodes because they are not obeying the law, not because the drug is dangerous. The apparent ‘insanity’ may be induced by exterior influences, similar to those which drove me at the Rebecca Ø Fest. This is a case for legalising drugs. If the bible is true in some measure then it may be correct to expect that decriminalisation of drugs would reduce the mental problems experienced by drug users.
As the page on ‘Law’ says, the law has evolved, it is not an absolute. It is a convenience to help us run a civilisation but no more than that and the Godly are wrong to use it against people and accuse them of ‘sin’ related to some ‘fall of all mankind’. My advice is to be very careful of people who preach this.
Parents of children who have suffered because of drugs may recoil at the thought of decriminalisation. The loss these parents suffer is like an ape which loses a child because it eats a poisonous plant. The anthropologist might say that the parent or the troupe as a whole is not doing sufficient to educate youngsters as to which plants are edible in the jungle and which not. This is my point above that people must have knowledge which enables them to make informed decisions, not decisions based on superstitions about drugs promulgated by the hysterical newspapers or by a desire to rebel against that hysteria through some vague belief that the hysteria is wrong, (which it is).
Our society could start by allowing marijuana to be sold in cafes as in Holland and the statistics on mental illness then examined, bearing in mind the strength of drugs taken, (patently any substance can be damaging in excess, eg fat or sugar or salt), so that effect must be discounted. The marijuana sold should be of the weaker varieties widely available in the 1960s and 1970s as these will be less likley to cause mental problems. Holland may have problems because drugs are not fully legal, giving God and Satan opportunities, but aslo because stronger versions of the drugs have been created which may have an effect on health as excessive fat consumption would.
Always remember alcohol, if judged by the amount of damage it causes to or social structure, would probably not be legalised if it was a new drug. this will help you understand the balance of these arguments above.
As far as alcohol use goes I have been through periods when I have used alcohol, red wine being a favourite. I have also been through periods of years when I have not drunk alcohol. It has benefits and it has down sides. I have no desire to tell you how to handle it but be aware that the number of young people becoming sick with liver problems is increasing these days.
For parents and friends worried about people using or in danger of using addictive drugs, the important thing is to keep the person away from the peer pressure. When I was young I was at the house of a young man who had given up injecting himself with barbiturates. He was a lovely guy and we all very encouraging. However, while we there, some of his old friends came round to persuade him to fix with them. he argued for ten minutes with them, they asked to be just let in to do it to themselves. Eventually they got into his house and he capitulated. We left shortly after, as the preparations for fixing got underway. The last time I saw him was in a copy of Cosmopolitan. he was in a place called Phoenix House and the article was about helping junkies. I hope he survived.
A thing to note though is that in the eyes of the Buddha we are all, to greater and lesser degrees, junkies. we are addicted to our material well being. This is partly the Darwinistic desire to take away suffering but we have lost the sharing nature of a troupe of apes. We therefore pursue selfish ends like the alpha males of those troupes but amplified a thousand fold. We will destroy our beautiful planet if we continue, just like a junkie destroys himself and those around him. (see the Dalek page for an analogy as to why)