Vilified drugs can be beneficial

Years of propaganda have steered doctors and the public away from potential treatments.

Jasper Johnson

Anti-drug propaganda has led many people to believe that any illegal drug, or even nicotine, is an absolute evil and a poison for the body. However, many vilified drugs, when used properly, have neurochemical benefits. 
 
Overenthusiastic and vocal proponents of marijuana often falsely peddle cannabis as some cure-all drug. Although there are some therapeutic benefits to marijuana — Minnesota even legalized medical marijuana this summer — in my opinion, shining too much spotlight on cannabis causes many other drugs to be left on the wayside. 
 
MDMA was actually first used in the 1970s as a treatment in psychotherapy until its use as a recreational club drug gained notoriety. Though MDMA is currently illegal, in 2015 the government approved a promising study that will use MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat PTSD. 
 
Psychedelics such as LSD are also useful for psychological treatment. In addition to use in psychotherapy, microdosing on LSD may improve cognitive function and could be an alternative to Adderall or Ritalin. 
 
Even a legal drug like nicotine is stigmatized because of people’s inability to disassociate nicotine from smoking a cigarette. However, there is evidence that nicotine may ward off Parkinson’s disease and help schizophrenics. Of course, inhaling tobacco smoke wreaks havoc on the body, but nicotine as a chemical provides benefits. Nicotine on its own is actually hardly addictive; only the conjunction of nicotine and chemical inhibitors in tobacco smoke compounds leads to magnified addictiveness. 
 
In short, the potential medical benefits of various drugs are currently untapped because of misbeliefs and fear mongering.