As per the original question, anywhere from 400-500mA is good. 500 is going a little on the risky side, most people settle for around 420mA. If you want to run it for longer than a few seconds, a heatsink is recommended. A heatsink is a large piece of metal that takes heat from the laser diode, so the laser diode doesn't get hot as fast. You want to have lots of heatsinking (metal).