AbolishTheDEA.com April 15, 2021

Another Academic Toes the Drug Warrior Line

by Ballard Quass

in response to the paper entitled LSD, Ecstasy and the Music of Politics by AV Satish Chandra

Written in response to the paper "LSD, Ecstasy and the Music of Politics," by AV Satish Chandra at Academia.edu.

Dear Satish:

The Drug War represents a substance demonization campaign that is unprecedented in human history. Yet you write as if LSD and Ecstasy can be judged to be evil merely if they cause one single problem. That's the odd standard that folks hold for psychoactive substances of which politicians disapprove. If alcohol, tobacco (or even coffee or aspirin) were held to that standard, all three would be immediately outlawed.

The fact is that LSD was successfully treating alcoholics in the 1950s, before President Richard Nixon outlawed it, NOT in order to improve public health but in order to charge his political enemies with felonies and thereby remove them from the voting rolls.

The 1990s Rave Scene in England represented the first time that groups of every race and color came together peacefully on the dance floor. It should have been seen as a way forward for world peace and a way to escape nuclear Armageddon. (Pakistan and North Korea have "the bomb," as will Iran. Does anyone really think that anything but a major inner change in human hearts is going to prevent eventual wholesale catastrophes?)

And yet the Drug Warriors hated that peaceful scene because it was induced by a substance that politicians had chosen to demonize. The fact is that MDMA is a godsend for depression and could be used to end gun massacres because it brings out a love for humanity and one's fellow creature. It has been shown to help soldiers with PTSD when nothing else works.

But Drug Warriors don't care. They'd rather have the ravers using aggression-inducing drugs like alcohol.

When they cracked down on Ecstasy, the dance scene became so violent that special forces troops were called in to keep the peace. Special Forces!

I invite you to read my article entitled: "How the Drug War Killed Leah Betts and ended the peaceful rave scene."


I ask you, Satish: Which sounds like the best way forward to you : a world in which all plants are legal and are evaluated without bias for their actual beneficial uses -- or a world in which botanically clueless politicians decide in advance which plant substances are bad and forbid science from even studying them after that -- and even send armies overseas to eradicate the hated substances from the face of the earth? Which system sounds more grown-up to you?

Benjamin Franklin enjoyed opium. Sigmund Freud thought cocaine was a godsend for his depression. Francis Crick discovered the DNA helix with the help of generous amounts of psychedelics. Thomas Jefferson rolled over in his grave when Drug Warriors confiscated his poppy plants.

If you want to see what the Drug War has accomplished, look at America's crowded prisons and the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and the civil war in Mexico.

So, please, reconsider the Drug Warrior habit of demonizing a substance merely because it is susceptible of misuse by a teenager. Whole religions have been founded based on the psychoactive power of plants. Don't let politicians demonize plant medicine -- let's be rational and praise substances that conduce to world peace, rather than dogmatically implying that they are evil. That's the judgment of racist politicians, not science -- and it is ahistorical, since time out of mind, the substances that we banish have been used to enhance creativity and increase religiosity.

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