I support the idea that some man made chemical compounds have been shown to do harm to users and their families and should therefore be made illegal or banned. Chemical compounds that qualify for banning in America are Agent Orange- a dioxin, Thalidomide- a birth defect causing tranquillizing drug, Fen fen- a heart damaging diet drug, as well as the chemical compound known as aspartame- (see "dorway.com" for more on aspartame).
I don't ascribe to or agree with the idea that herbs are drugs. I do acknowledge herbs can be abused if taken in contexts which are not therapeutic. Not therapeutic means acting against cogent process in the body. An example would easily be dosing ones body heavily with cannabis before a night of binge drinking. The drinker may not vomit when alcohol poisoning is imminent. Such an anti-nauseant effect with cannabis during binge drinking could and has resulted in death. A misuse does not warrant a total herbal ban such as was the case for many years with cannabis. Should it be used by border line psychotic persons- probably not. But neither should coffee be taken by nervous people. Should we ban coffee because it causes acid indigestion in folks already churning stomach acid? I don't think banning coffee would help people who seek more acid secretions.
Politics are not the most rational criteria for banning anything. Politics is part of the banning process just the same though. So in conclusion, the idea of making some drugs illegal has utility. Banning herbs is less justifiable, Ma Wang comes to mind here. Overdoses of ephedra have been linked to fatal run away catalytic reactions in abusers. So, drop or pervert the context of a substance's cogent use and you can poison yourself with water.
Once you have to face annual drug tests for work, it begins to sink in that some substances are not acceptable no matter what they do or don't do or even when they are used or abstained from. This is a condition in which work places evade the nature of substances and their effects to establish arbitrary points of control on their adult employees.
Until Congress gets the drug screen annually, this arbitrary control at the workplace as well as drug and herb policies at large can only grow more tyrannical and more irrational and arbitrary. Once those in Congress have to think twice about what they're ingesting we'll see coherent rules about drug and herb screening and what a narcotic is and is not filter down where you and I live, but not until then!