On Experimenting with Illegal Substances

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@krivitskiy

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@krivitskiy

I’ve never tried marijuana. Not even a puff from which “I didn’t inhale.” (Soon, that Clinton-era reference will mean nothing to anyone, making me feel ancient.)

So it should mostly go without saying that I’ve never tried any other illegal drugs, either, although surely some people go directly from straight-edge living to, say, crack cocaine. (Not everyone needs a gateway drug to get to the hard stuff, right?)

Trying marijuana hardly seems edgy today, especially with the drug’s expanding legalization in the United States. I’ve never tried marijuana because daredevil behavior and breaking laws don’t really appeal to me. (Ah, such a goody-goody, that Leslie Farnsworth.) And I never found marijuana particularly intriguing for many of the reasons I don’t drink: Dulled senses and thinking processes seem especially unappealing.

Though I can definitely grasp the appeal of other illegal drugs, from heroin to cocaine to methamphetamine and beyond. After all, we have pretty clear evidence that these substances make people ecstatic and euphoric and full of energy and unstoppable. People on many illegal drugs feel so fantastic that they readily ruin their lives—and the lives of their families and friends, when necessary—to get their fixes.

Let’s face it:

If you’d sell your mother’s house and go to prison and wreck your health and even die for something, I can’t dispute that the something in question makes you feel pretty damn fantastic in the moment.

So when people ask if I’ve ever experimented with these drugs or even imply that everyone should experiment with illegal substances, I wonder what they could possibly think needs testing. I need no experiential support to prove that illegal drugs make people feel amazing—I have enough observational evidence. Thank you very much.

And I don’t need to tempt fate in trying something that may make me feel so fantastic that I can’t stop wanting more. I have enough problems fending off cravings for far less harmful substances that I really shouldn’t consume. Sweets, for example. (Mm. Cookies.) I see no value in adding highly addictive illegal substances to the mix.

Do you think people should experiment with drugs?