THE DRUG WAR PHILOSOPHER: essays against the bloody Drug War DRUG WAR BLOG updated
Essay date: August 21, 2020

Heroin versus Alcohol

by Ballard Quass

an open letter to Professor Steven Gimbel of Gettysburg College





How the lies and rewritten histories of drug-war culture shape our views on psychoactive substances ranging from coffee, to antidepressants, to heroin.

See 2022 update below.

Dear Professor Gimbel,

I'm enjoying your course on Formal Logic. I graduated as a philosophy major back in 1989, so the beginning lectures have been a nice refresher and I'm looking forward to improving my analytic skills as the course continues.

I did want to say something, however, regarding your criticism of the argument that compared alcohol to heroin.

I believe that, in analyzing the reasonableness of premises, we have to be mindful not only of our personal prejudices but of the mindset of our culture. We live in a drug-war culture in which we suppress all talk of positive effects of illegal substances. Thus we have rewritten history so that there's no mention of Benjamin Franklin using opium, or Sigmund Freud using cocaine, or Francis Crick using psychedelics. In our cop shows and movies, all such drugs are used only by "scumbags." Meanwhile, a drug like alcohol is advertised 24 hours a day in positive images spread by TV, radio, print and the Internet. So personally, I do not think that Americans are in a position to objectively compare alcohol, say, to heroin (or to any other illegal substance), without first investigating how the culture has shaped their views of the substances in question.



Should we fail to do so (should we place a naïve trust in our own socially-determined viewpoints on these issues) we run the risk of accepting drug-related premises on the basis of a fallacy: namely, the fallacy that "Everyone knows that..." (for instance, "Everyone knows that alcohol isn't THAT bad...") when what "everyone knows" has been determined by Big Liquor marketing combined with a century-old anti-drug campaign full of lies (such as "drugs fry the brain") and rewritten history, in which the positive use of currently criminalized substances disappears from religions, cults and cultures of the past.



Even the safety of coffee, which we take for granted in the US (and which I'm drinking right now, in a way because I'm literally ADDICTED to my "morning cup"), was a view inculcated in us through an intense lobbying and PR campaign by the coffee industry, which was determined not to have its coffee beans outlawed as Drug War hysteria reached a fever pitch in the 1980s (the decade in which the DEA marched onto Monticello and confiscated Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants - thus, in my view, violating the natural law upon which Jefferson founded this country). And so advertisements turned coffee into an innocent non-drug in the minds of Americans and the west in general.



Meanwhile Americans of all social classes and education levels take the "frying pan" ad as gospel truth. That's the infamous 1980s ad from the Partnership for a Drug Free America which claims that substances fry the brain once they have been criminalized by politicians. The facts, however, are almost the opposite: say what you will about drugs like cocaine, opium, and morphine, but they don't fry the brain. Freud used cocaine to increase his mental power and endurance, not to fry his brain. Benjamin Franklin certainly wasn't frying his brain by using opium. Morphine can produce an almost surreal mental clarity (as can be seen by Edgar Allan Poe's descriptions of the drug's effect in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"). Indeed, one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins medical school, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, was a lifelong user of morphine. Amphetamines are so far from frying the brain that the Air Force has required pilots to use them prior to vital missions.



What Americans "know" about drugs is a very fraught topic. Psychiatrist Julie Holland has found that many SSRIs are harder to quit than heroin for long-term users (because the former drugs muck about with brain chemistry, such that it may take months or years - if ever - for a former user to regain a pre-drug neurochemical baseline). My own psychiatrist told me not to bother trying to get off Effexor since a recent study by the NIH shows it has a 95% recidivism rate after three years of non-use.* Meanwhile, one in four American women are currently addicted to Big Pharma meds - one in four -- and yet America does not even consider this to be a problem. To the contrary, influential doctors still appear on shows like Oprah (under the pay of Big Pharma) to remind Americans to "take their meds" (and now Big Pharma is even going after the toddler market under the guise of "nipping ADHD in the bud"). So even the seemingly knock-out argument against heroin - that it is addictive - is a shortcoming that can only be hypocritically urged against that drug, at least in a drug-war culture.

For these reasons, I would personally suggest that you avoid using drug-related premises in your examples of argumentation, unless your purpose in doing so is to highlight the role of culture and propaganda in biasing us as to what is reasonable to believe when it comes to "drugs."

Best Wishes.

PS I personally believe that the Drug War is the philosophical problem par excellence. That's why I created my website (abolishthedea.com) a year ago to start publishing my own essays on this topic. I do this in part because I consider myself to be a victim of the Drug War, since its criminalization of therapeutic godsends from Mother Nature has shunted me off onto the highly addictive nostrums of Big Pharma.

FOOTNOTE added MAY 23 2022 *The psychiatrist stopped working at the center in question shortly after this incident. I have no doubt that he was fired for being honest with me about psychiatric medicine. His superiors must have deduced that he was being honest given the complaints that I lodged about the addictive nature of psychoactive medicine shortly after my last visit with him. This illustrates the religious and supernatural power of the politically created boogieman called "drugs" in American society. It is a modern taboo. The less one talks honestly about the subject, the better, if one values their job and their professional reputation.

AFTERTHOUGHTS January 13, 2022:

Heroin Problem: Solved



We could solve the heroin problem overnight once we remove the ideological Christian Science blinders of the Drug War. Here's what we do: Make quality heroin easily available to heroin users at a reasonable price, just as highly addictive Big Pharma pills are currently made easily available to Big Pharma addicts. Those satisfied with their life may keep using heroin just as Big Pharma patients keep using Big Pharma meds. Those who are unhappy with their heroin use can be treated by psychologically savvy empathic individuals, who will use a variety of plant medicines -- coca, opium, shrooms, etc. -- to help the dissatisfied heroin habituee gradually change their drug of choice to meds that they find it more easy to live with, or to complete abstinence if they so desire. In this treatment, the therapist does not believe that the "patient" has to feel like shit in order to be cured.

The accepted "treatment" for heroin addiction, on the other hand, is more like Christian Science punishment for heroin addiction. Cold turkey. Charge $3,000 for a cot and keep the patient there for a week. It's a religious cure, based on the Christian Science assumption that the good life is a life without medicine. It's a religion that values suffering over giving the "patient" a real life and helping them achieve self-actualization.





APRIL 30, 2022 In writing on this topic, of course, one has to constantly try to anticipate all the ways in which one is going to be misunderstood. One's reader, like almost everyone in the world today, has been raised on a steady diet of drug-war propaganda. In grade-school we are told to say no to psychoactive medicine and surrounded by signs reading "drug-free" zone -- basically sending the message that Mary Baker Eddy is in control of our children's schooling. Eddy, of course, is the founder of the Christian Science religion which tells us to say no to drugs. Then in our teenage years, we grow accustomed to cop shows in which those who use illegal substances are "scumbags" and "filth." We then watch movies in which those who dare to sell mother nature's plant medicine are shot at point-blank range by self-righteous cigarette-smoking DEA agents and hung from meathooks in their Speedos in order to elicit confessions (see "Running with the Devil"). Then when we enter the workforce, we are required to submit to the humiliation of drug testing, in which the amoral lab techs are not searching for impairment but rather for the least trace of psychoactive medicines of which politicians disapprove -- and all this to get a minimum wage job at Lowe's, Home Depot or Burger King.

Of course, all this time we've been reading the horror stories about juveniles misusing substances -- by reporters who never bother to point out that mind-altering substances have inspired entire religions, given Plato his view of the afterlife, and inspired the stories of such modern writers as Lovecraft, Poe, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Henrik Ibsen and Alexandre Dumas. But the Drug War party line only lets us hear about abuse, abuse, abuse, when it comes to the politically defined category of "drugs," which of course does not include the most deadly drugs of all (namely, alcohol and tobacco) nor the drugs to which 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent for life: namely Big Pharma antidepressants.

But once we throw out this noxious brew of lies and half-truths in which we have all been steeped since birth, we see a world of possibility when it comes, not simply to the pharmacological treatment of mood disorders, but more ambitiously to the psychological improvement of the "normal" human mind. This issue is coming to the fore now as tech companies seek employees who are truly on the ball -- companies that do not particularly care what substances their employees may have consumed in order to evince that desired quality.

To illustrate the wonderful therapeutic vistas that await us once we jettison the heavy backpack of fear and loathing with which Drug Warriors have loaded us westerners down since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, let's think in broad terms for a moment. There are generally two major sensibilities toward psychoactive substances in the world: the attitude of the Drug Warrior and the attitude of the shaman. The Drug Warrior declares all psychoactive drugs bad a priori (with a few glaringly hypocritical exceptions, of course), whereas the shaman wants to therapeutically employ any and all substances that conduce to a better mental life for the client -- as "better" is defined by that client.

I hold that the latter choice is the one that is most becoming for democracies that value freedom, human improvement and the rights guaranteed by natural law.

For once we restore natural law (which gives us the right to what Locke called the use of the land "and all that lies therein") and affirm the principle of "my consciousness, my choice," then the world is our collective oyster when it comes to mental improvement. Moreover, a society governed by such principles would get rid of the very concept of mental patient as anyone seeking mental improvement would seek out a shaman (which we define here as a "pharmacologically savvy empath"), whether this so-called "patient" were afflicted by what our materialist medicine calls OCD or passive-aggressive behavior or SAD syndrome -- or any of the countless other labels that capitalist science has foisted upon behavior in order to channel it efficiently in the direction of profit-making treatment protocols.

Based on our issues, our priorities, and our philosophy of life, the shaman might prescribe a vast array of therapies. Confused patient A-- or rather confused CLIENT A-- might require what we might call simple "talk therapy," whereas deeply depressed client B might respond to talk therapy aided by the honest gregariousness produced by MDMA or psilocybin, etc., whereas patient C might seek a weekly glimpse of self-transcendence through the weekend use of a variety of medicines, from morphine to laudanum to opium to cocaine to mushrooms, etc. Of course, the average reader nearly faints like a 1920's drama queen upon merely hearing such a prescription, but that's only because the Drug War has taught us to fear the drugs in question, not to use them as wisely as possible for human benefit. Once we get over this carefully cultivated knee-jerk fear of ours, we realize that all of these demonized substances can be used non-addictively, especially in a once-weekly therapy that uses a variety of medicines -- in other words a protocol that is specifically created to avoid addiction.

Moreover, modern medicine can only be hypocritically dismissive of addiction in a world in which 1 in 4 women are chemically dependent upon Big Pharma meds for a lifetime.

This state of affairs begs the question: if the cost of legal therapy is the lifelong reliance on a drug, or set of drugs, then why can't the patient in question choose the drug upon which they will be reliant for life? Had I been given the choice -- me, a 40-year veteran of the psychiatric pill mill -- I would never in a million years have chosen Effexor, this mind-numbing drug that has led to anhedonia, but rather would have gladly opted for a prescription of "Coca Wine, to be used as needed." I want to be awake to life (as did coca-loving HG Wells and Jules Verne), not sleeping through it. And if that resulted in "addiction," so be it. Just call me an habitue and keep the coca wine coming (and I'll let you disapproving Drug Warriors keep smoking your stinky cigars, drinking booze, and taking liberal doses of Xanax). Or better yet, let me use opium "as needed" for life. That's what Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin did, before it became de rigueur to dismiss such users as "scumbags." Why opium? Because those gents and I value the metaphorical and creativity-sparking dreams that opium provides. Incidentally, the contents of those dreams could provide fertile fodder for psychoanalytic discussion -- once we get past the politically incorrect fact that those dreams were inspired by what the Drug Warrior can only see as a dirty evil drug.

But I'd better quit here, as this "editorial note" of mine is already far longer than the post which inspired it. I trust that I have convinced at least one former member of the Drug War Cult (you, perhaps?) that a brave new world of POSITIVE drug use awaits us once we discard the Chicken Little "fear first" doctrine of the Drug Warrior and start learning how to use any and all psychoactive substances as safely as possible for the benefit of humans -- and humanity.

Speaking of humanity, we could actually save it from self-destruction with drugs -- like Ecstasy, for instance, which brought peace, love and understanding to the British dance floor in the 1990s (until Drug Warriors predictably shut it down, since they value the Drug War more than peace, love and understanding). Just require all haters to be therapeutically treated with love drugs like E (aka MDMA) -- and require that all heads of state be "on" such a drug when they meet with their adversaries.

To paraphrase Gordon Ramsay: "Nuclear proliferation: sorted."

Oh, one tiny footnote and then I'm outta here:

Of course, "addiction" can be technically defined in a way to differentiate it from "chemical dependence," but in practice the term "addict" is a value-laden term for "habitue." Moreover, the negative experiences of addiction -- in contradistinction to habituation -- are almost always a result of drug policy, and not of drug use itself, as when a user dies from tainted supply or goes through hard withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of supply, both of which circumstances are the result of prohibition, not of drug use itself.

LINKSHEROIN




Let us know what you think. Send your comments to me, Brian Quass, at quass@quass.com. Thanks! Please be sure to mention the title of the essay to which you are responding.




The Addiction Blog

5-20-22





Pro-Choice about drugs Americans lost the right to decry addiction ever since they signed off on the psychiatric pill mill, which has caused the greatest mass chemical dependency in human history. One in four American women are taking Big Pharma meds that they must continue taking for the rest of their lives, this despite decades of waging a drug war that was supposed to be saving America from chemical dependency!

How did we get here?

Answer: Drug warriors didn't realize that you can outlaw specific substances, but you cannot outlaw the desire for peace of mind and happiness. And by taking away the naturally occurring godsends which can be used intermittently and responsibly (drug war propaganda notwithstanding), they force those seeking happiness to become wards of the healthcare state. The drug war has thereby ushered in a huge medical dystopia, which, however, is off the radar of most Americans (and addiction experts), who falsely believe that antidepressants have "sorted" depression scientifically, when what they actually have done is turned America into a nation of Stepford Wives. Earth to America: SSRIs do not fix a chemical balance, they cause one (see Richard Whitaker: Anatomy of an Epidemic) -- and even if some find them useful, that's really unimpressive testimony given the backstory according to which all naturally occurring competition for these dependence-causing pills has been outlawed (conveniently enough, from the point of view of the stock market).

It is in light of these inconvenient truths that the modern talk about addiction comes across as hypocritical and condescending. For although it's heresy to say so, one can live their entire life while regularly using heroin, morphine, opium or coca. (One of the founders of the Johns Hopkins medical school, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, was a lifelong user of morphine.) But if one does so, they are considered morally flawed -- yet if a patient FAILS to take THEIR drugs (FAILS to take them) we conclude that they are a bad patient.

I once naively assumed that the drug war was all about saving folks from chemical dependency, but it turns out it's all about guiding folks toward the right kind of chemical dependency, the capitalistic form that literally pays dividends for Big Pharma shareholders.

And yet the very folks who are literally profiting from my misery are the ones who have seen to it that I will be arrested if I reach down and access the plant medicine that grows at my very feet.

My point here, and indeed throughout all my writing on this topic, is to convince you, reader, of a so-far largely unrecognized fact: that the drug war is not simply wrong, but it represents an entirely bogus way of looking at the world, one in which we superstitiously judge certain politically despised substances and declare them to be evil a priori, a standpoint unbecoming a nation that purports to be rational-minded and scientific -- let alone one founded on natural law and which therefore had no right to outlaw mother nature in the first place.


5-15-22





Drug War Psychiatry forced me to get off Valium by slow withdrawal, with no other medications to help me. What an unnecessary waste of many years of my life. In a world in which we did not have a jaundiced Christian Science view of psychoactive medicine, my treatment would have been very different indeed. I would have been treated one week to opium use with an empathic guide, in which I would discuss my feelings, my hopes, my fears, and speculate on the meaning of it all. Next week I might be treated to a day of morphine use, thanks to which (again with an empathic guide) I am brought to a fresh appreciation of the natural world around me. Then next week, via using the mushrooms that grow at my feet, I would have been guided to a greater appreciation of music. (This is just one of endless therapeutic scenarios that become obvious to us the moment that we abandon the Drug War ideology of substance demonization.)

In other words, in a sane world, free of the drug war, my withdrawal years would not be a big black hole in my life, sucking in all useful activities. We would not obsess about the idea that I was addicted to a medicine -- we would simply solve that problem unostentatiously, using a variety of other medicines, not simply in order to make the valium withdrawal psychologically palatable for me, but to ensure that my withdrawal experience is not all about withdrawing -- but rather that I am still LIVING during the months and years in which I am getting "off" a given substance or substances. This is very different from the current Drug War treatment of addiction, which turns the withdrawal process into a momentous morality tale, an epic struggle between good and evil, in which one is fighting for the Christian Science goal of becoming "sober," as that word is hypocritically defined by the modern drug warrior.

The current treatment for addiction involves 12-step sob sessions in which "addicts" confess their helplessness. But wait! Why are these addicts helpless in the first place? Because the Drug War denies them all the godsend medicines that could help them get their lives back in shape without the horrors of cold turkey.


5-13-22





Here's something that today's addiction experts won't tell you: coca and opium can be used non-addictively, and even the regular use of opium does not destroy a life -- except when there is a drug war out there to make sure that such lives are destroyed. But let's say that you foreswear such mental nostrums and desire to seek mental help legally like a good Christian and patriot? This will save you from a life of chemical dependency, right?

Wrong. For while habituation is a mere POTENTIAL side effect of drugs like opium and coca, habituation is a BUILT-IN FEATURE of modern Big Pharma drugs. From benzodiazepines to SSRIs, all of those drugs create a chemical dependence that can be harder to kick than heroin.

But according to the modern addiction "expert," we are troubled individuals if we develop a habit of, say, opium use -- while we are good patients if we develop a habit of anti-depressant use.

Ever notice the following line in modern movies: "Did you take your meds?" It's usually said half-jokingly, but it's a sign of the hypocritical times. When it comes to using demonized substances, one is "doing drugs" -- but when it comes to using Big Pharma substances, one is "taking their meds." The former act is horrible -- the latter is a moral duty. Moreover, the phrase is usually uttered when a person is "acting up" and annoying his or her fellows, thereby implying that the point of drug taking in America is to tranquilize users and make them "peaceable," as opposed to empowering them to be the unique human beings that they are. Considered in this light, the massive chemical dependency of 1 in 4 American women on Big Pharma drugs begins to look like an insidious conspiracy, as if we are living the real-life version of "The Stepford Wives."

And yet when we choose the less addictive options of opium and coca, we are told by our addiction "experts" that we have an inner pain that will only be resolved when we deal with our innermost issues.

Wrong. The real problems here will only be resolved when America deals with ITS inner issues (like inadequate education for the young and the mass incarceration of minorities) rather than blaming everything on the boogieman called "drugs." The real problems here will only be resolved when America stops mindlessly demonizing one set of drugs (plant medicines and MDMA, etc.) while mindlessly canonizing another (those Big Pharma meds that inevitably lead to a lifetime of drug dependency).

Now, don't get me wrong (you fans of Gabriel Maté): it may well be true that those who seek out godsend plant medicine for emotional cures are those who have "inner issues" in the sense that, perhaps they received few hugs as a child or had no positive role models, et cetera. But the number of such individuals is so enormous in the world that it's almost meaningless to say that they suffer from inner issues. We should say, rather, that they suffer from the common lot of humanity in an imperfect world. We should not look to the enormously rare self-sufficient individual and conclude that anyone who is not like them is pathological in some sense. We should say, rather, that the self-sufficient individual is extraordinary, and/or extraordinarily lucky.

Nor is it obvious that even the seemingly self-sufficient individual could not benefit from psychoactive medicine. We know, for instance, that there are drugs out there which, under the right circumstances, can drastically increase one's love of music, or one's appreciation of the byzantine intricacy of Mother Nature's plants, etc. Once we speak honestly about how such drugs can be used safely -- Drug Warrior misinformation notwithstanding -- it begins to look foolish, in fact, for that seemingly actualized individual to shun such medicine on principle. Wouldn't they rather see what they're missing viz. music and nature, rather than assume that there's nothing left for them to learn in life, experientially speaking? Smart people could only answer "no" to that question if they've been bamboozled by hypocritical drug warrior lies that seek to demonize psychoactive medicine by falsely claiming that it is too dangerous to use anywhere, ever, for any reason whatsoever -- which is the noxious lie that sends American troops overseas to burn plants like so many superstitious Christian Science zealots.

Sure, one can overdo it on these meds -- but only in a world in which we demonize medicine rather than teaching about it. Nor can we opine advisedly on the difficulty of treating any resulting addictions, given the fact that we as a Drug War society have ruled out, a priori, the use of thousands of godsend medicines which could guide the user from destructive use to constructive use -- and/or keep the destructive use from happening in the first place. The addiction crisis in these cases arises from our Christian Science bias that the "cure" for addiction must be a hypocritically defined "sobriety," as opposed to the advised use of substances that help the "addict" (habitué?) succeed in life according to their own definition of that term.



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Welcome to The Drug War Philosopher: Philosophical essays against America's bloody war on plant medicine, aka the drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-science, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some. Calling for fear not fact, education not demonization.

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1: How Ecstasy could end mass shootings
2: The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom
3: Addicted to Addiction
4: Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War
5: Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
6: Ten Reasons why the Drug War is Nonsense
7: Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
8: How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
9: Time to ACT UP about the racist drug war
10: John Locke on Drugs
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2021 Deaths Caused by the Drug War*

  1. Chicago:797
  2. New York City: 485
  3. Los Angeles: 397
  4. Memphis: 346
  5. New Orleans: 218




*"Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist." -- Heather Ann Thompson, The Atlantic, 2014.



The news media just doesn't get it -- or doesn't want to get it. Most stories about the deaths of blacks in inner cities never mention the drug war, as if the fact that prohibition led to armed gangs had nothing to do with the skyrocketing gun deaths that they're reporting on today. For a case in point, check out the article by Micaela A Watts in CommercialAppeal with the headline: "Following 346 homicides in Memphis in 2021, officials consider what's driving the violence."

Yes, that's a real poser, Micaela. The city fathers must really be scratching their heads!

The author notes three major theories for the violence, all of which have nothing to do with the drug war: "Lack of conflict resolution skills," a lack of "fair wages," and (get this) poor mental health.

Looks like the city officials failed to ask themselves why city residents were armed to the teeth in the first place. Hello? That was due to the drugs warriors' substance prohibition which incentivized the poor and poorly educated young people to get into the fantastically profitable business of selling drugs!!!

Yes, drug warrior, YOU are responsible for these deaths. You! It's a natural result of your ban on medical godsends, some of which have inspired entire religions and have the potential for treating (if not curing) such diverse conditions as Alzheimer's, autism, and depression.





When They Ask You For a Piss

A Drug War Poem





When they ask you for some pee
Tell them no 'cause you are free
Free to use what nature grows
Both shrooms and plants

Should they ask you for a piss
Tell them no and let them kiss
Kiss your ass because they're full
Of grade-A shit

Being born on plant earth
Shrooms and plants are yours by birth
Show them what your freedom's worth
Refuse to pee




Boom-Chickadee

The Drug War Poem




Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick churri
Your drug war is crazy, as crazy can be
It banishes godsends that grow at our feet
Till bad vibes and loneliness slowly accrete
Till bad vibes and loneliness slowly accrete

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick churrod
The coca plant, as per the Incas, is God
It sharpens your prose till your fame is widespread
As Jules Verne would tell you if he were not dead
As Jules Verne would tell you if he were not dead

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick-ka-ripe
I'd like to smoke opium straight from a pipe
To travel to lands seen by Lovecraft and Poe
Though racist drug warriors always say no
Though racist drug warriors always say no

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick-ker-breech
The mushrooms around us have something to teach
They grow in my garden, I'm fain to partake
Though Chimney-Pot Bennet says Put on the Brake
Though Chimney-Pot Bennet says Put on the Brake

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick-hurray
My anger subsides with some MDMA
If only Vlad Putin would follow my lead
There'd be much less bloodshed and cynical greed
There'd be much less bloodshed and cynical greed

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick-ker-ray
I'll use what I want so get out of my way
I'd rather do opium coca and such
Than Big Pharma pills that addict me too much
Than Big Pharma pills that addict me too much

Boom-chickadee-boom-chickadee
Chick-chick-ka-runk
Forgive me for saying your drug war is junk
It's dumbness incarnate to demonize plants
I turn a deaf ear to your 'just say no' chants
I turn a deaf ear to your 'just say no' chants






Check out the latest Drug War News!
Today's story:
It's the Prohbition, Stupid!

Lights, Camera, Drug War

Quotes From TV and movies



Panther

1995
"Against hard drugs in the community."

"Hard" drugs? As defined by whom? The DEA? That agency which ranks psychoactive substances by the degree to which they threaten the WASP establishment?
More TV and movie Quotes at Lights, Camera, Drug War.

DRUG WAR BLOG

by The Drug War Philosopher



6-23-22
Turnip blood as a drug on the market!



If you think it's hard to get blood from a turnip, try finding a positive reference to demonized "drugs" in American TV shows and movies. Search the Script.com database for the word "drugs" and you'll get over 4,000 hits, with nary a one testifying to the life-affirming power of godsend plant medicine. Drugs like coca and psychedelics have inspired entire religions, but you'll see the word "drugs" used only in connection with lowlifes and scumbags, extortionists and murderers. In short, American script writers have been bribed by the DARE organization and the local State Police with far too many "just say no" teddy bears to think rationally on this topic.

That's why I hope that "decriminalization" states like Oregon will gradually teach these brainwashed screenwriters that the sky, at least, will not come crashing down the moment that Mother Nature's bounty is legal again, just as it was before Chinese-hating racists outlawed the poppy plant in 1914, thereby elevating common law above the natural law upon which America had been founded. My concern is that without full legalization, however, the otherwise responsible "users" in those states will be forced to choose their psychoactive medicines from the limited and often tainted formulary provided by criminal gangs, gangs whose incentive lies in money-making, not in assuring safe product. Because you know that if problems arise for this reason, the drug warriors will instantly blame them on decriminalization rather than on the way that the drug warrior limits choice and empowers economically minded cartels.



MORE Anti-Drug War Blog

Thoughts? Contact Brian Quass at quass@quass.com.

DRUG WAR BIBLIOGRAPHY

Andrew, Christopher. The Secret World: A History of Intelligence. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
All warfare is based on deception, said Sun Tzu. Yes, but what is all deception based on? A mistrust of one's fellows. And how do you combat that, Chris? With empathogens like MDMA and psilocybin.
Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. London: East India Publishing Company, 2021.
Pious drug warriors have usually thought of Marcus Aurelius as the perfect replacement for bad evil drugs -- but Marcus had his cake and ate it too. He philosophized under the influence of opium (but don't tell the kids!)
Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland: The Original 1865 Edition With Complete Illustrations By Sir John Tenniel. New York: Amazon, 2021.
Alice's shroom-powered adventures are a standing reproach to glum-faced drug warriors, who closely resemble the Queen of Hearts, shouting: "Off with their heads, for using godsend medicines of which I disapprove!"
De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium Eater. New York: Dover, 1995.
During De Quincey's informed opium use, he "partook" only weekly in order to better enjoy the opera, making his weekday life happier as well, however, thanks to anticipation of use, a benefit of which materialist science takes no account.
Ellsberg, Daniel. The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner . New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
A stark reminder that the world is living under a nuclear sword of Damocles. And why? Because it demonizes all the godsend medicines (like MDMA and shrooms) that could bring humanity together in universal harmony.
Fadiman, James. The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys . New York: Park Street Press, 2011.
First-hand accounts of psychological breakthroughs achieved with the guided use of entheogens, suggesting that one-time givens like "character" and "human nature" are far more susceptible to improvement than we thought.
Fleming, Thomas. A Disease in the Public Mind: Why We Fought the Civil War. New York: Da Capo Press, 2014.
The late historian Fleming cites the popular mob-led public "diseases" of Witch-Hunting, Liquor Prohibition, and Communism -- yet says nothing about the Drug War, which was the great disease in the public mind of his own time!!!
Fukuyama, Francis. Liberalism and Its Discontents. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.
Great bipartisan insights, BUT... Francis reckons without the drug war, so, like a good drug warrior, he blames all the ills caused by prohibition on the politically created boogieman called "drugs."
Gottleib, Anthony. The Dream of Enlightenment: the Rise of Modern Philosophy. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.
The author seems unaware of the increasingly clear ability of empathogens like MDMA and shrooms to improve the very human nature which grumps like Hobbes portray as being so irrevocably fixed.
Holland, Julie. Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, from Soul to Psychedelics. New York: HarperWave, 2020.
Julie claims that Nixon criminalized psychedelics for health reasons. What? That's not the Nixon I know. He said himself that Leary was enemy #1. He was removing "users" from the voting rolls, not protecting them.
Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell. New York: Penguin Books, 1970.
Huxley's speculations about perception jibe with modern science, which finds that human beings see what is presumably useful to them, not necessarily what is "really there" in the sensory-rich physical world.
Leary, Timothy. The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead . New York: University Books, 1964.
Americans have been primed by the drug-war zeitgeist to consider everything Leary writes as nonsense. But he was the first one to announce loudly and clearly that what's really nonsensical is to outlaw plant medicine.
Lovecraft, HP. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. New York: Del Rey Books, 1970.
Lovecraft's work is full of opiate imagery that drug warriors want to render impossible for artists to feel: "I would often drift in opiate peace through the valley and the shadowy groves..." (Ex-Oblivione)
Mate, Gabriel. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009.
Gabriel moralizes "addiction." Addiction, however, is a political term. One can use psychoactive Big Pharma meds every day and be a good patient -- use heroin every day, however, and you're just escaping "inner pain." What?
Maupassant, Guy de. Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques - Guy de Maupassant: Les classiques du fantastique . Paris: , 2019.
In "La Horla," Maupassant anticipates Huxley by speculating that our perceptual habits blind us to a world of wonders. Many of today's demonized drugs, it appears, can at least partially open our eyes to that world.
McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution . New York: Bantam, 1992.
This was the book that reminded me of what I already vaguely knew: that it is tyrannical insanity for a government to outlaw plants. McKenna's philosophical speculations on why we criminalize inspired me to create abolishthedea.com.
Miller, Richard Louis. Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca Kindle . New York: Park Street Press, 2017.
Informative interviews with movers-and-shakers in the field, including Rick Doblin, Stanislav Grof, James Fadiman, David Nichols and Robert Whitaker. Packed with eye-opening one-liners about godsend meds.
Noe, Alvin. Out of our Heads. New York: HiII&Wang,, 2010.
Noe reveals how patients with "locked-in" syndrome have reported being supremely aware of their surroundings during their supposedly brain-dead coma, a fact that puts in question our materialist assumptions about consciousness.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Essential Poe. New York: Warbler Classics, 2020.
Because drug warriors never mention the good side of "drugs," we must turn to Poe to learn, for instance, that morphine can bring a surreal appreciation of Mother Nature (see "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains").
Pollan, Michael. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence . New York: Penguin Books, 2018.
Pollan has yet to realize that the very term "drugs" is just a modern pejorative epithet for "plant medicine of which botanically clueless politicians disapprove. "
Reynolds, David S.. Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville . New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Exhaustively researched account of the 19th-century zeitgeist, and yet the word "drugs" (as defined, or rather derided, by today's drug warrior) is never even used. Last century's boogieman was liquor, it seems, not "drugs."
Richards, William. Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences Hardcover. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
The psychedelic experience was once characterized as pharmacologically induced madness. Richards shows how the properly guided experience can lead to sanity instead -- and a way of life that is not self-destructive.
Rosenfeld, Harvey. Diary of a Dirty Little War: The Spanish-American War of 1898 . Connecticut: Praeger, 2000.
The war took place 16 years before anti-Chinese Drug Warriors criminalized the poppy plant, and yet opium is only mentioned with regard to a group of unimaginative volunteers who smoked some and "couldn't see the point."
Russell, Kirk. Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered. New York: Arlington House, 1967.
Burke was a conservative in a sense, but he would not recognize America's Republican party of today. He would surely have seen that prohibition causes all the problems we ascribe to "drugs," and then some.
Schlosser, Erich. Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. New York: Penguin, 2014.
In 1980, the Air Force nearly blew up Arkansas and irradiated half the country. When Reagan took office the next year, what was his priority? Outlawing plant medicine that could make our species less warlike.
Sewell, Kenneth. Red Star Rogue: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine's Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. . New York: Pocket Star, 2006.
On March 7, 1968, a rogue Soviet submarine nearly blew up Pearl Harbor with a thermonuclear bomb. Instead of launching a war on nukes, then-President Nixon launched a war on medicines that could inspire peace, love and understanding.
Shirer, William. The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler. New York: RosettaBooks, 2011.
Paraphrase from book: "No one who has not lived for years in a DRUG WAR SOCIETY can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime's calculated and incessant propaganda."
Slater, Lauren. Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds. Back Bay Books: Boston, 2019.
Despite griping about the weight she's put on from taking her daily 'meds,' Slater gives Big Pharma a big fat mulligan for consigning 1 in 4 American women like herself to a lifetime of chemical dependency on SSRI antidepressants.
Straussman, Rick. DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences . New York: Park Street Press, 2001.
Rick doubts DMT's therapeutic usefulness, but common sense psychology suggests that any break from full-on introspection would be a treat, notwithstanding materialists who aren't even sure that laughing gas could help the depressed!!!
Szasz, Thomas. Ceremonial Chemistry: the ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974.
Filled with inconvenient truths that critics ignore rather than refute, including how politicized science tells us a la God: "Eat of the fruit and you shall die," ignoring the fact that education tells us how to eat of that fruit safely.
Szasz, Thomas. Our Right to Drugs: The case for a free market. New York: Praeger, 1992.
Chock-a-block with all-too-rare common sense: "Doctors, lawyers and politicians started the War on Drugs and continue to wage it, and they are its real beneficiaries -- the drug war's ostensible beneficiaries... are its victims."
Tyler, George R.. Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System. Michigan: Pegasus Books, 2016.
Doesn't mention drugs, but illustrates how drug reform can be stymied by just 3% of the public: namely, those holding stock in Big Pharma, etc., especially when these elites can bribe politicians to retain the status quo.
Whitaker, Robert. Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America . New York: Crown, 2010.
Prohibition has facilitated the creation of a psychiatric pill mill upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life. Moreover, these pills cause the chemical imbalances that they purport to fix.
Zuboff , Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. New York: Public Affairs, 2019.
Surveillance capitalists and drug warriors share the same goal: to keep human beings predictable: one by rendering us more robot-like and the other by denying us the mind-improving blessings of psychoactive medicine


Welcome to THE DRUG WAR PHILOSOPHER: essays against America's bloody war on plant medicine, aka the drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-science, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some. Calling for fact not fear, education not demonization.

What You Can Do: Bloody disgusting fact: The Drug War brought almost 800 deaths to Chicago in 2021 by incentivizing the hugely profitable sale of psychoactive medicine in poor communities. And now Trump and his fellow fascist drug warriors want to use that violence as an excuse to KILL drug dealers via execution! Any community leaders supporting the drug war are complicit in this genocide. For as Heather Ann Thompson wrote in The Atlantic in 2014: "Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist."


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