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The great appeal of recreational drugs - alcohol included - is that they make people feel good. Unfortunately, most, if not all, have unfortunate side effects.
What is needed are solutions - drugs, diets, behaviors - that fulfill the following criteria: [a] make people feel good without the bad side effects, [b] promote cooperation, energy, [c] that enhance skills and performance, that raise people's intellectual functioning.
It is worth a huge amount -- maybe trillions of dollars in the long run -- to find these solutions and to propagate them across the world, in terms of increased productivity, reduced crime, reduced policing, and improved quality of life.
It is worth spending billions to achieve these solutions, both private and public money.
There is danger and risk in designer drugs. Strong controls are required to avoid the kind of events associated with LSD in the 1960s and 1970s. There are already numerous designer drugs out there, some much more harmful than others. Some may be even benign.
Possibly a lot of progress may be made through modifying recreational drugs that are already in use, to eliminate harmful effects and to boost beneficial effects. Possibly a lot of progress may come through psychoactive medications already being prescribed. Possibly progress may come from exercise regimes, from yoga, from tweaking diets consisting of already available foodstuffs.
Right now we are stuck in a completely stupid configuration where bad recreational drugs are made enormously profitable by prohibition, spreading crime and violence and illness both in the U.S. and in other countries, filling the jails with otherwise innocent people, and moving America in the direction of being a police state.
Much of the "war on drugs" has been fueled by a mindset that holds that we should achieve goals purely through our own natural endowments, and not through "artificial" aids. I say that we should permit and encourage any non-harmful artificial aid that has beneficial effects.