Argument: Legal drug consumption blurs the line drawn against illegal drug consumption

Issue Report: Legalization of drugs


  • Ethan Nadelmann. “Think Again: Drugs”. Foreign Policy. Sept/Oct 2007 – “Others say legalization would open the floodgates to huge increases in drug abuse. They forget that we already live in a world in which psychoactive drugs of all sorts are readily available—and in which people too poor to buy drugs resort to sniffing gasoline, glue, and other industrial products, which can be more harmful than any drug.”
the next wave of drugs in the pharmaceutical industry pipelines will extend even further beyond mood and attentiveness. One obvious candidate, because of the increasing age of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, is memory. Drugs that are now being developed to treat memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients could also be used to enhance memory function in healthy people. In addition, given the huge potential market for memory enhancers, therapeutics may be developed specifically for this purpose (Farah et al, 2004). Other drugs might attenuate unpleasant and traumatic memories (President’s Council on Bioethics, 2003) or enhance ‘executive function’—our ability to allocate our attention to difficult tasks in a sustained and efficient way (Farah et al, 2004; Hall, 2003).” – If drugs are being used to enhance ordinary people’s minds, then this opens the door ethically to using currently illicit drugs to enhance people minds/experiences.