Drugs Are Bad
, right? They're dangerous. You can get addicted. You could overdose. They have harmful side effects. You could bankrupt yourself, ruin your career, catch diseases from dirty needles. Drugs are bad!
But what if they aren't bad?
Maybe you take a drug and you feel really awesome. Maybe drugs lighten your bad mood. Maybe they make life more exciting. Maybe spiking the punch makes the Wild Teen Party
a lot more fun. Drugs are good! (OK, probably not.)
As the title indicates, Drugs Are Good is the inverse of Drugs Are Bad
. This trope is for instances in fiction and creative works where the use of drugs and alcohol is portrayed in a positive light. Drugs Are Good is most frequently seen with cigarettes and alcohol, which have always been more or less socially acceptable. It also may accompany depictions of marijuana use, given the common perception of marijuana as a less harmful drug than other illegal drugs. Invocations of Drugs Are Good with harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin are rarer, but not unknown.
Many Stoner Flicks
are examples of this. Ode to Intoxication
is the musical equivalent, if it's played straight. Related tropes include Drunken Master
(getting drunk/stoned makes you better at something) and Smoking Is Cool
(which is about signaling a character
is cool but does involve a positive portrayal of smoking).
Compare with Higher Understanding Through Drugs
, which isn't so much "drugs are good" (it's often depicted as a creepy or forceful effect) as "drugs are useful".
The Functional Addict
may believe this but they really aren't an example. The Smug Straight Edge
or the Dry Crusader
may pop up in a Drugs Are Good work.
- Most every commercial or print advertisement for beer and alcohol is this. A commercial can't tell you how the beer tastes, but it can show you some cool-looking people holding beer at a party.
- Cigarette advertisements did this as well before government regulations drove them from the air. Camel cigarettes, preferred by doctors! The Marlboro Man remained in print ads as an example of masculinity until 1999.
- Being an expy of Hunter S. Thompson, Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan does all his best writing on drugs. Makes his assistants take up smoking at the very least (cancer is curable). Though he does go on the occasional binge where he's too out of it to do anything.
- Charlie Chaplin liked this trope.
- In The Cure, Charlie's an alcoholic trying to dry out at a health spa. His stash of liquor is discovered and thrown out—into the well that guests at the spa drink mineral water from. A really fun-looking party ensues.
- In Easy Street, Charlie sits on a cocaine syringe. The jolt of energy he gets helps him to rescue the Love Interest and beat up a gang of thugs.
- Similarly, in Modern Times, Charlie winds up accidentally ingesting some cocaine that another prisoner hid in a salt shaker. It helps him foil a jailbreak.
- As noted above, many (but not all) Stoner Flicks are this. The Harold and Kumar series, where a heartwarming moment is Kumar's girlfriend telling him to use her pee to beat drug tests, is a good example.
Kumar: But weed is so good. It gets you high!
- The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish is a very strange short film from 1916 starring Douglas Fairbanks as a private detective named Coke Ennyday who really, really likes cocaine. He is constantly shooting up with cocaine and laughing like a maniac. He defeats the bad guys by jabbing them with cocaine syringes until they're as high as he is.
- Poltergeist. Diane and Steven Freeling are shown smoking a marijuana cigarette together and having a great time.
- The Thin Man and its sequels. Nick Charles drinks and drinks and drinks, and it appears to do nothing but make him more witty and charming.
- In the film Mac and Devin Go to High School the CG joint narrator filibusters about how weed is good and should be legalized. In the story proper, weed is also what helps the valedictorian finally relax and enjoy his life.
- The Breakfast Club: Bender brings some grass he had stashed in his school locker and the kids have an eighties montage over smoking it in the school library during detention.
- Played with in Biopic satire Walk Hard. Dewey Cox does in fact have drug problems that force him into rehab. But his bandmate Sam, who introduces him to each drug in turn as a Running Gag, seems to have no problem with drugs other than resenting Dewey for never paying for them. And Sam gets off an epic defense of marijuana.
Sam: No, Dewey, you don't want this. Get outta here!
Dewey Cox: You know what, I don't want no hangover. I can't get no hangover.
Sam: It doesn't give you a hangover!
Dewey: Wha-I get addicted to it or something?
Sam: It's not habit-forming!
Dewey: Oh, okay...well, I don't know...I don't want to overdose on it.
Sam: You can't OD on it!
Dewey: It's not gonna make me wanna have sex, is it?
Sam: It makes sex even better!
Dewey: Sounds kind of expensive.
Sam: It's the cheapest drug there is.
- The 1971 Documentary film Aphrodisiac: The Sexual Secret of Marijuana is a dramatization of the benefits of smoking marijuana. It chronicles how smoking pot improved the sex lives of many couples and the film also presents the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
- Mad Men has multiple examples of this. Peggy Olson lights up a joint more than once and always enjoys herself. Roger Sterling takes LSD, loves it, and tries to get his friends to do it too. (On the other hand, the series has always taken a dark view of alcohol abuse.)
- Season 1 provides a meta example, as Don is trying to come up with an advertising campaign for Lucky Strike cigarettes.
- Spaced: Recreational drug use is a) rather prominent and b) not a big deal.
- The L Word: Most of the cast is shown using some form of marijuana at various points, and Shane even dabbles in harder drugs, to no ill effect.
- Fringe: Various cases are solved with the assistance of narcotics, Olivia Dunham spends much of the pilot on homemade LSD in a sensory deprivation tank, Walter is constantly using psychotropics (on himself and others), and one of his former test subjects, while decidedly loopy as a result of her LSD-induced trances, is entirely happy and expresses her gratitude to Walter years later - with a kiss.
- Walter uses a bong, which is still pretty rare on American network television. And Episode 3x19 is called "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide". That's LSD, kids. Astrid is the only member of the central cast who hasn't been under the influence of drugs onscreen at some point.
- Episode 1-4 of Chappelle's Show featured a parody of the TRUTH.com anti-smoking ads ("TRUF.com") in which the announcer says that cigarette smoking causes "feelings of euphoria, increased alertness, rises in short-term memory, and can have a calming effect on nerves."
- Bored to Death: It's probably easier to count the number of episodes in which the main characters are not smoking pot. Sometimes the character may become an Erudite Stoner while under the influence.
Jonathan: I still like the way pot makes me think - maybe it's healthy.
Suzanne: Pot is not healthy.
Jonathan: They give it to cancer patients.
Suzanne: You don't have cancer.
Jonathan: Not yet...
- Among The Chosen: Hardcore stimulants are used often and explicitly. It is implied that the Addicaine commanders have the option of using heavy duty combat drugs to bring their troops up to battle ready status.
- Erowid, which is intended to be a neutral reference cataloging drugs and their effects, has a lot of Drugs Are Bad ("Addiction," "Difficult Experiences," "Train Wrecks and Trip Disasters") but also has its share of Drugs Are Good ("Glowing Experiences" and "Health" have stories like this).
- Family Guy: In the "420" episode, Brian starts a campaign to legalize marijuana and Mayor Adam West signs a bill that makes it legal in Quahog and everyone starts smoking pot. The town's overall quality of life improves as a result.