just another note... europeans and north americans tend to be prejudiced against drugs other than alcohol and nicotine because they haven´t yet become a part of our culture, not for hard reasons. just a simple comparison:
- alcohol is physically addictive, cocaine isn´t(psychological addictiveness is hard to qualify... sex, sweets, and just about anything pleasant is)
- alcohol lowers performance at most kinds of work, cocaine can increase it (at least in the short term)
- alcohol consumption causes considerable more permanent damage to ones health than cocaine consumption
- drunk people often cannot control themselves, being a hazard to themselves and others. this is less true for cocaine (although the same problems still exist)
- alcohol lends itselfr more easily to abuse as a means to escape reality as it calms down rather than stimulates
- hangovers actually impair ones capabilities, the ´low´ after a cocaine high is one just compared to the the high.
both could have their place in society when used responsibly, both can be a definite hazard, but for the reasons above and a few others i forgot to mention, alcohol is on the whole the greater danger, and banning drugs isn´t that likely to solve anything. also, phrases like ´drugs/alcohol/gambling/whatever has ruined that persons life´ are almost always a large pile of bull manure - it may sound cynical, but some people are in a position where they will ruin their lives to the best of their abilities, with any tool available. if you ban gambling, prostitution, all mind-altering substances and all the other popular scapegoats for everything, they will ruin their lives by playing tropico 18 hours per day. sure, drugs take up time and money that could be used more productively in another fashion, but the same could be said for any activity apart from working, eating, sleeping and occasionally procreating. if that´s your argument, you should also consider banning religious activities, supporting sports, games of any kind and a lot of other things you would probably miss yourself.
if you argue that drugs lead to more crime, this is probably correct, but mainly because they are illegal in the first place (think about the less than favourable experiences with prohibition in the usa).
just for the record, the only drug i personally use for effect is caffeine