Hey, what do you expect me to believe? My own eyes watching this stuff progress with people I actually know over 3 or 4 decades, or some academic theories being cut/pasted onto a web forum?
To make such a generalization from your experiences, I can only infer that you must've hung around with or known some real losers over the past three or four decades. Because what I've seen with my eyes over three decades, closing in on four, is not the same as yours.
So who's right and who's wrong?
I knew people who could pull straight 'A's in college stoned in difficult subjects. Me, if I smoked, I couldn't figure out which end of the book to open. As a result, I haven't smoke that stuff in ages.
As adults, I knew people who smoked every evening and got up and did productive and professional jobs in the days. And I knew stoners who were burn-outs.
Likewise, some people can drink moderately their entire lives. Whereas in my family, alcohol is the usual shipwreck on both sides of the family.
It's really up to the individual to figure out their own life, and for society to set limits as to when someone is out of control and causing harm. But top-down bans usually end up causing their own host of problems, witness Prohibition. There are no good answers, only bad and worse. But prohibitions also create very bad problems with black markets, while doing little to dimish availability of the prohibited substances, only raising the prices to the benefit of organized crime.
That must be why this debate keeps going on. We’re all different and we know or knew different people.
...so it comes down to whichever group has more votes where you live. At least freepers agree that the fed govt should not be involved.