When Jesse Pinkman tries to trade meth for a tank of gas and some smokes in Breaking Bad, the woman behind the counter asks: "What's it like?"
"It's awesome," he says, and those two words say everything about the War on Drugs and why it will never be won. Drugs are awesome.
Not awesome good, not always. But often enough for everyone to realize resistance is futile. Altering your consciousness is part of the hard wiring. Humans have been getting high for thousands of years. It's what we do. Little kids spin around to get dizzy and change the landscape around them, and from that early age the search for enhanced reality is on. The first smoke, the first beer, the first joint, the first Sanford permanent marker: it's as natural as cohoba. Natural and, you know, awesome.
Too much can suck the core from weaker souls. The user has to be more awesome than the substance, strong enough to just say whoa when the time comes to put down the glass pipe, set down the syringe, step away from the bottle. Most people know their kryptonite and can do it. If I can do it, any pinhead can.
The problem with the War on Drugs has always been its all-or-nothing approach. Marijuana must be outlawed because it leads to other, harder illicit drugs. All drugs are evil because people get addicted and die. The first time someone smokes a joint and doesn't die (that would be everyone) or doesn't go on to smoking meth or shooting smack (that would be most people) the Big Lie is exposed. But most politicians and people in power won't admit it because they've already spent billions of dollars hyping the bullshit and convincing the proles that drugs are bad, mmkay?
(Some) drugs are bad for (some) people, the same way some people overdose on exercise or home decor or religion or Junior League. Put down the workout DVD and step away from the TV, miss. You're too awesome to lose your soul to planking and biking. Come back to the land of sanity and curves. Come back and be the badass you were born to be.
Or don't. Even with clean hands, it's still an awesome party.