“Unlike chemodrugs, the problem with cutting nanodrugs is that everyone knows what a nanite suspension is supposed to look like. It’s quite distinctive. So unless you’re willing to go the costly route of cutting your nanodrugs with other, slightly less expensive nanodrugs carefully tested for interactions, people cutting nanodrugs for quick coin will use whatever nanites they can find lying around. If the customer’s really lucky, that means a veinful of unprogrammed medichines. Not so lucky, and whatever not-for-internal-use swarm they just injected will send their immune system into overdrive and they’ll be in acute septicemic shock within a couple of seconds. Needless to say, it’s a one-time-and-run crime — yes, question at the back?”
“And if they’re unlucky?”
“Unlucky? You’ll know what that means when you see someone who’s snorted a snootful of factory-reject garden paste, or cleaning dust, or something else that’ll actually operate in vivo. Being used as still-living constructor raws starts out at messy and ends with grotesque. No pictures – you’ll know it when you see it, and that’s soon enough.”
– training lecture,
Exopharma Exclusion Agency,
High Times Future: As long as you’re competent to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, your neurological state and how you got there is your own business. Download all the drugs you like! (Well, except those falling under the category of Coercive Substances, or those which drive you insane in ways likely to cause harm to others: magical berserker nutball powder is off the table. But apart from those it’s between you and your mind.)
Drugs Are Good: The Empire’s culture has no problem with hedonic, et. al., drugs. You have, after all, the right to do anything you want to yourself, and really, they’re no worse than any other form of entertainment.
Especially since you buy them from legitimate businessmen, not “legitimate businessmen”, scrubber nanites let you sober up really damn fast when you need to, standards of quality and purity are maintained, and advances in medical science have abolished addiction and practically every other harmful side-effect imaginable, and along with creating lots of more selective, more entertaining, less awkward/harmful/etc. designer drugs.
Better living through chemistry, man!
Slipping a Mickey: The reason why v-tag poison detectors are built into bar glasses, finger-rings, and suchlike all over the place. Of course, given the social conditions of the happy utopian Empire, not more than one in a billion of these things ever triggers, and most of those are false positives, but still. Trivial security enhancements are trivial.
Functional Addict: In the past, quite a few of these, inasmuch as the Empire never has had any particular laws – and really can’t – against one type of hedonic or pragmatic pharmaceutical or another. Averted, however, in the modern era… via the unconventional answer that the best solution to addiction isn’t removing the drugs, it’s removing (or modifying, rather) the neurokinin/nociceptin, etc., neural pathways in the brain that make the addiction process work.
Fantastic Drug: Why, yes, the Empire has fantastic drugs!
Lots and lots of them. Nootropics and mnemotropins to think better, stimulants for times of stress, myrmidonics for combat stress, relaxants for times of not-stress, hedonics to serve after dinner, and goodness knows how many more specialized pharmaceutical products. Hundreds of customized variants. Far too many to list.
Eternal Prohibition: Averted, because no-one in the Empire would consider it reasonable to ban anything that, say, didn’t cause immediate homicidal mania in the first place. Your psychochemistry is your own business, and no-one else’s – except the plentiful dealers in recreational chemistry. And enhancement chemistry, like nootropics, mnemotropins, etc., etc. Some of which are even used in breakfast cereal.
Don’t even ask what they put in the fruity oaty bar…