Haha, great thread... Sexcellent points.
I must say though, when I hear "omg my friends lives were ruined because of the drugs" I never hear examples. I wanna hear examples :(. A lot of the time, anyone who's life was "ruined" by drugs, was never too good of a life to begin with by anyones standards, they're brought up in a broken home, shit was fucked from the start, they got started drugs young, like age 10. Sure you could blame the drugs, by why not blame the society that shoots the drugs into the lower class so they destruct themselves? Really. If they could control the substances, and take proper action on the drugs that do infact matter in high priority classes where the drugs actualy do ruin lives, then maybe I could justify their actions.
To present a different opinion to that idea, I know many people who have done a lot of drugs and maintain a life they're perfectly happy with. Some are reform users, who have decided to quit, others are still using. While I admit I know a few people who have become unhappy with their lifestyle, but they always choose to quit when they no longer want to do what they "do".
Sure you may say "hey! you're ruining so much potential by doing drugs", but everyones idea of a "good life" is different, some people can be content fucking with themselves till the end of their days, doesn't mean they lived a bad life, they lived their life, they chose what they wanted to do. That being said, I do believe addictions are bad, and while I'll try almost anything once, everyone should know they're limits and they need to respect their limits.
An example of an addiction that you could blame on drugs, is where the person no longer takes joy in old habits and rely's on the drug itself and not the people around them or their enviroment for a good time. They are out right miserable when they cannot get their drug of choice. Once again, this is their life choice, if they wanna do this, let em. But if they want to change and they can't then you can say "well, I guess it was the drugs", but to what extent?
It's all a questions of what ifs. Each person reacts to drugs differently. I personally believe it's the persons choice, and should not be the states position to make it for such persons. But you have to protect the ignorant from themselves... hmm.
I've gone very off track... make a long story short, this thread topic rocked.