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This is the city, Los Angeles California. A quiet town full of hard-working Americans who still know the meaning of the word "obey." That said, there are always a few renegades who attempt to improve their lives through the unsanctioned use of natural substances such as poppies and mushrooms. That's where I come in, guns a-blazin'. My name is Friday and I carry a Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT rifle with a 30-round magazine and a Viridian laser sight.
Wednesday, June 21, 1 p.m.
FRIDAY: We had just gotten the call here at DEA HQ. It seems some octogenarian hippy from the north side was using psychoactive plants to improve her spiritual life. Claims she's in a "blue funk" and wants to see behind the so-called "veil of Maya" before she dies.
I decided to pay grandma a visit, see if I could talk some sense into her - or better yet, catch her red-handed with the goodies and thus shut her away for life, lest young people everywhere should infer from her ongoing freedom that they too can use natural plants and fungus in just any way that they see fit. (Humph!) After all, it's not like our Founding Fathers relied on anything more than grit and determination to make it in the world, blue funk or no blue funk.
FRANK: Say, Joe, didn't Benjamin Franklin use opium?
FRIDAY: Just the propaganda, Frank. Just the propaganda.
FRIDAY: I had pictured this aged flower child smoldering away in some dilapidated bungalow near the Los Angeles River Basin, annoying her low-class neighbors with the reek of her oversized bong decorated with Amazonian rain gods. To my surprise, however, I encountered the surprisingly recherche crone in the midst of high-class respectability, in her very own 6-bedroom mansion on Ivarene Avenue in the Hollywood Hills, tastefully appointed with mid-century décor and modern art, complete with private bath, solarium and even a billiard room.
"Hubba-hubba, " I says to Frank. "Crime seems to be paying here, huh, Frank? It's about time that we put a stop to that - the more so in that this place could easily net 6 million dollars for law enforcement when it's put up for auction after we throw old grandma into the hoosegow."
So thinking, I addressed the beldame as follows:
FRIDAY: You do realize, ma'am, that it's illegal to use plants and fungi as you see fit?
WOMAN: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I lived in a free country.
FRIDAY: Not since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914.
FRANK: Hey, she's got a mushroom, Joe, just to her right!
FRIDAY: Step away from the mushroom, ma'am!
FRIDAY: All right, you asked for it, Janis Joplin! Now I have to throw you on the ground and threaten you with immediate death if you so much as move an inch!
FRIDAY: Because... Because... Oh, how the hell do I know: it's just standard DEA procedure in these cases!
WOMAN: I was just trying to improve my mind!
FRIDAY: Yeah, ma'am, well, have you ever stopped to think what it would be like if EVERYBODY were to try to improve their mind like you?
WOMAN: Um... the world would be a better place?
FRIDAY: No! The world would be full of criminals!
FRANK: Well said, Joe.
FRIDAY: You know what, Frank?
FRANK: What's that, Joe?
FRIDAY: If everybody had her attitude, the world would be full of broken doors.
FRANK: How's that, Joe?
FRIDAY: Because the DEA would be obliged to perform a traditional SWAT raid on every single house in America, kicking in doors as we go.
FRANK: Hey, not a bad idea: sounds like there'd be a lot of valuable overtime in that arrangement.
FRIDAY: You took the bullets right out of my gun, Frank.
[Frank and Friday chuckle as "Janis Joplin" is violently hauled off to the already-overcrowded federal penitentiary system behind the credit roll]
On October 29, trial was held in the district court of Los Angeles County.
The old crone was found guilty of conspiring to obtain psilocybin mushrooms for the express purpose of improving her life. The Judge sentenced her to 25 years in the slammer, as a lesson to anyone who still thinks that Mother Nature's pharmacopoeia is actually open to the public. (Humph!)
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.
A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.
The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.
It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)
If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.
PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company