What would “responsible” drug use look like?

The keepers of Erowid offer a document advocating responsible drug use, primarily as a tool for achieving spritiual enlightenment.

They make some pretty provocative assertions about the state of American culture with respect to psychoactive substances:

Many people would agree that drug culture reform is needed, but we must recognize that “the drug culture” now includes everyone. Modern life involves daily decisions about psychoactives. The option of caffeine use is encountered multiple times a day. It is rare to watch an hour-long television show without seeing an advertisement for a mind altering pharmaceutical or a legal recreational drug. Late night coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics was sponsored by Ambien, a popular sleep aid with memory-scrambling side effects whose commercials enticed audiences nationwide with comforting images of dreamy, refreshing, sedative-assisted sleep. A large portion of the population is exposed to the possibility of taking LSD, even if only 10-20% ever try it.[11,12] In today’s world, everyone must choose how they relate to innumerable psychoactive drugs. Whether or not one decides to use a specific drug, that decision should be made with skill, knowledge, and self-awareness, supported by accurate information.

And offer some fundamentals for responsible drug use:

  • Investigate the health risks and dangers of the specific psychoactive and of the class of drugs to which it belongs.
  • Learn about interactions with other recreational drugs, medications, supplements, and activities.
  • Review individual health concerns, predispositions, and family health history.
  • Choose a source or product carefully to help ensure correct identification and purity
  • (avoid materials with an unknown source or of unknown quality).
  • Know whether the drug is likely to reduce the ability to drive, operate equipment, or pay attention to necessary tasks.
  • Take oneself “off duty” from responsibilities that might be interfered with (job, child care, etc.), and arrange for someone else to be “on duty” for such responsibilities.
  • Anticipate reasonably foreseeable risks to oneself and others and employ safeguards to minimize those risks.
  • Choose an appropriate occasion and location for use.
  • Select and measure dosages carefully.
  • Begin with a low dose until individual reactions are known and thereafter use the minimum dose necessary to achieve the desired effects: lower doses are safer doses.
  • Reflect on and adjust use to minimize physical and mental health problems.
  • Note changes in health over time that may be related to use.
  • Modify use if it interferes with work or personal goals.
  • Check in with peers and family and accept feedback about one’s use.
  • Track reactions to specific drugs and dosages in order to avoid repeating mistakes.
  • Seek treatment if needed.
  • Decide not to use when the time isn’t right, the material is suspect, or the situation is otherwise problematic.
The also, appropriately, take the US governemtn to task for dishonesty in reporting the potential consequences of drug use:

While the quality of government-sponsored sources has improved over the last decade, sites such as Freevibe.com, a youth-oriented website funded by the federal government, still include laughable exaggerations like “heart and lung failure“[27] as a general effect of hallucinogens—a deceptive claim they have made for more than eight years. Scientific literature reviews on the most common hallucinogens do not support their claims; most recently, Johns Hopkins researchers found that, “hallucinogens generally possess relatively low physiological toxicity and have not been shown to result in organ damage.”[28] Once people realize that a source is deceptive, as is the case for those teens visiting Freevibe who know someone who has tried LSD or psilocybin-containing (”magic”) mushrooms, they will be inclined to distrust all information from that source.

But what about groups like NORML? Is their information accurate? Do they engage in conduct that reports irresponsible drug use? Why focus exclusively on the ONDCP?
They focus heavily on psychedelics and argue that many users report benefits. What about cocaine and opiates? They really believe that adolescents should be supported in intentional responsible drug use? What are the potential consequences of this? Who can not engage in responsible drug use? Addicts? Pre-adolescents? Who else? They seem to dodge the more difficult questions.
They will have responses from Jacob Sullum, Robert Kleiman and another CATO (libertarian) fellow. I look forward to Kleiman’s response.