Quote Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
....One difference between drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, versus drugs such as heroin or cocaine, is concentration. Users of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine use these drugs in "cut" form (coffee, bourbon, cigars, etc.), far from the pure form users of heroin or cocaine employ. I sometimes wonder if law has something to do with it -- if legalizing heroin and cocaine would lead to more dilute forms being used (as in the dilute cocaine-containing beverages of old). We love to accessorize.
perhaps I am getting terribly off topic but this discussion of vodka intrigues me. Recently while dining out I noticed the menu listed three bourbons; Jim Beam (I'm assuming they meant JB White), WT 101 and Makers Mark but listed at least seven vodkas. I chuckled. What ensued was a discussion along the lines of what has already been said in this thread. It was my assertion that vodka is for the alcohol effect only. My wife took the position that I was running down vodka as a beverage choice because I don't drink it. Admittedly, I have a tendency to do that sort of thing. I have never smoked and I don't understand the attraction or the addiction. Janean used to smoke and is quick to point out that because I never have I don't have a frame of reference as a means of understanding why someone gets pleasure both from the nicotine and the taste. To me it just stinks, and I don't understand why anyone would want to suck that smoke down into their lungs.

Having said that, I will say that at least tobacco produces a smoke that has a smell and taste that some people find pleasurable. Whiskey, beer, wine, coffee and tea, while they contain drugs; alcohol and caffeine, the drug isn't the main attraction. They are potables with complex flavors. OK, I'll admit the alcohol in whiskey and wine is more pleasurable and of course more noticeable in its effect than the caffeine in coffee and tea but still.

Heroin and cocaine or drugs. They are not ingredients in a potable substance created as a byproduct of its manufacture (fermentation) or in the case of tobacco where nicotine occurs naturally as an ancillary substance like the caffeine in tea. Heroin and cocaine are pharmaceuticals. If legal, what diluted form would they be consumed in? Perhaps one might make the argument that putting the small amount of cocaine back in Coca-Cola might constitute a safe dilute recreational usage tied to a flavor experience. But did Coke ever contain a noticeable amount of cocaine? I doubt it. Otherwise folks would have found it very habit forming.

I don't think the difference in drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, versus drugs such as heroin or cocaine, is one of concentration.
the difference lies in the fact that caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, vodka and grain alcohol like Everclear notwithstanding, exist as an incidental ingredient of the product they are a part of.