How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
by Ballard Quass
open letter to the 'Sites of Conscience' website
In 1987, the DEA stomped onto Monticello and confiscated Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants in violation of the Natural Law upon which that Founding Father helped establish America itself. This was at the same time that Ronald Reagan was outsourcing the drug testing of civilians to private companies to search for the slightest traces of the poppy plant and other godsend botanicals that beer-swilling and tobacco-smoking Drug Warriors disliked. The goal had nothing to do with public safety, since the search was not for inebriation but rather for the mere presence of naturally-occurring substances that racist politicians had outlawed.
Americans shrugged in 1987, while Jefferson rolled over in his grave. This page is a belated protest by one American, both of the raid itself and of the fact that the Monticello Foundation allowed it, that they failed to stand up for the legacy of the very man whom they purport to be honoring.
So much for the "hallowed ground" that the road signs near Monticello declare. Hallowed ground has been despoiled by a racist overthrow of Natural Law, by the Reagan administration's coup against Natural Law.
And the coup worked. Americans now meekly travel to the urinal, beaker in hand, under the watchful eye of the white-coated Igors of the Drug War Frankenstin, those Drug War collaborators known as lab technicians who make their living by helping to remove Christian Science heretics from the workforce. Like lambs to the slaughter, Americans go forth, humbled to the dust by the requirement to urinate for their betters, those trillionaire CEOs who, for all they know, are off in the Bahamas like Elon Musk flippantly experimenting with the very "drugs" that they are attempting to find in the bloodstream of their peons in order to keep them in their place and punish them on behalf of Drug War ideology... here in America, where one is judged, not by the color of their skin but by the contents of their digestive systems.
This page is my protest. What will your protest be?
How about writing to the Monticello Foundation and chastising them for trashing the garden-loving Jefferson's Legacy of Natural Law by allowing the government onto Monticello to confiscate... what? A MERE PLANT!!! For if Natural Law protects anything, it protects the citizen's rights to the plants and fungi that grow at their very feet!
If we don't fight back, then democracy will disappear as we continue to militarize the police force, as we continue to cause civil wars overseas, as we continue to empower a self-described Drug War Hitler in the Philippines, and as we continue to elect fascists in America, merely because we have disenfranchised millions of Americans with drug laws that were created for that very purpose.
SAMPLE PROTEST MESSAGE (the one the author posted in the Monticello Foundation's comment form on October 2, 2020)
For shame! The ghost of Thomas Jefferson was weeping when you guys let the DEA stomp onto Monticello in jackboots and confiscate his poppy plants. That was a coup against the natural law upon which Jefferson founded this country. The Drug War is a racially motivated Christian Science coup against Natural Law. You are no longer a "SITE OF CONSCIENCE" until you fight back on behalf of Jefferson's confiscated poppies!
NOTE: In 1987, the Monticello Foundation invited the DEA onto Jefferson's estate so that they could confiscate the ex-president's psychoactive poppy plants. This was a silent coup against the whole notion of Jeffersonian democracy, according to which human beings have basic freedoms that government cannot usurp on the basis of common law. If any body ever "turned over in its grave" it was the body of Thomas Jefferson in 1987 when his garden was invaded by jackbooted DEA agents, making a beeline for his poppy plants. Yet this shameful event is not even mentioned on the Monticello Foundation's website.
To belatedly protest this situation, the author sent the following e-mail to a non-profit coalition that currently lists Monticello as a "Site of Conscience," a place where visitors are invited to "make connections between the past and related contemporary human rights issues." He pointed out that Monticello is no longer worthy of the label "Site of Conscience" since it has violated the principles that it is meant to be safeguarding and then covered up that violation by failing to even mention it on their Monticello-related websites.
Dear Sir or Madam:
If Thomas Jefferson's life had any significance, it was because he championed a government under which individuals had certain rights that government could not take away. Yet, in 1987, America's DEA stomped onto Monticello and confiscated Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants -- and the Monticello Foundation said nothing about it. To this very day, they completely ignore that outrage on their website.
And yet Monticello is a SITE OF CONSCIENCE???
The Drug War outlaws the scientific investigation of hundreds (if not thousands) of plants and arrests people for merely touching plants of which politicians disapprove. This is a clear violation of Natural Law, or what Cicero called "what is right according to nature." For how can it be right "according to nature" that we cannot access the plants and fungi of nature that grow at our very feet? This is a twofold violation of natural law: first, it takes away our property rights as defined by John Locke, and second it actually forbids the advancement of science, which Thomas Jefferson so vehemently promoted, being Isaac Newton's number-one fan.
What irony that the organization charged with safeguarding Jefferson's legacy should "sell out" the man that they are supposed to be honoring by allowing the DEA onto Monticello to steal Jefferson's poppies in violation of natural law, natural right, and common sense. What a disgrace that the same organization would then rewrite history so that no one even READS about the action in question. For there is no mention of this "sell-out" on the Monticello Foundation's website. They've erased the 1987 incident from American history.
The psychoactive poppy plant has been used responsibly by non-Western cultures for millennia. But in the 1980s, the Reagan-Bush Drug War was in full bloom, and the Monticello Foundation silently yielded to the immense pressure to have Jefferson's poppy plants removed from the ex-president's estate. This was a silent coup against the principles on which America was founded. Please remind the Monticello Foundation of this fact and require them to acknowledge their 1987 actions, both on their website and at Monticello itself, as a condition of their continued listing as a "site of conscience."
You say that a Site of Conscience is "a place of memory." Why then would you support a site like Monticello whose guardians have rewritten history in order to make us forget - to forget how the foundation itself "sold out" the principles of the very man that they are supposed to be honoring?
EDITOR'S NOTE: NOVEMBER 29, '21:
The author sent a lengthy letter via snail mail to Monticello over a year ago with the hope of getting them to acknowledge their mistake in signing off on the DEA raid in 1987. For that raid was nothing less than a coup by the Reagan administration against the Natural Law upon which Jefferson himself founded America. No government has a natural right to decide which plant medicines may be grown and used by human beings. John Locke said that in his second treatise on government when referring to a citizen's natural right to the use of the earth "and all that lies therein." Needless to say that the Foundation never bothered to reply.
The next time you visit Monticello, be sure to ask your tour guide about this 1987 coup against Natural Law -- that's right, make them squirm -- and ask them why the Monticello Foundation allowed the DEA onto hallowed ground to enforce a law that violated everything that Jefferson stood for. It pains me to drive by road signs near Monticello that read "hallowed ground," when I know that the Monticello Foundation willfully allowed the desecration of that land by DEA thugs who are in the business of telling Americans which plant medicines they can use. How? By lying about plant medicine and creating a violence-causing prohibition which has resulted in the greatest drug-caused dystopia in human history: the fact that 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life on Big Pharma meds -- to which, of course, America is blind, since said dystopia helps make the top 3% incredibly wealthy.
Are you wondering why I stopped you? Well, aside from the fact that you're Black, of course. No, seriously, seriously! (Sorry, my mom always said I should have been a comedian.) I stopped you to give you a warning. No, not about your dodgy right headlight (tho' you really should get that fixed). I wanted to warn you that this website is all about criticizing the willful ignorance of society when it comes to so-called "drugs." It is not -- I repeat NOT -- about encouraging either "drug use" or the LACK of "drug use." Ya feel me? It's about encouraging EDUCATION about substances rather than DRUG WARRIOR DEMONIZATION of substances.
Got it? Okay, repeat after me, then: THIS WEBSITE IS ABOUT ENCOURAGING EDUCATION ABOUT SUBSTANCES RATHER THAN DRUG WARRIOR DEMONIZATION OF SUBSTANCES!!!
So if you're contemplating using anything from table salt to heroin, you've come to the wrong site. The author is neither a doctor nor a pharmacologist. This is a philosophical website, not a practical website. You dig me? You need to study up on any and all substances using reliable sources: don't get your medical opinions about specific substances from a philosophy website like this one, for Peter's almighty sake! Ya feel me? Is the copper right or is the copper right?
Now, be on your way -- unless, of course, you're Black, in which case, get out of the car this instant and put your hands on the top of my vehicle! Move! Move! Move! Papa's gonna rough you up a bit. (Tee-hee.)
Just kidding. I really should have been a stand-up comedian, you know.
And get that right headlight looked at, ya numbskull!
Bone up on slam-dunk arguments against the drug war, starting with the fact that it was a violation of natural law to outlaw plant medicine in the first place. Check out
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for fun ways to learn more about the manifold injustice of the status quo, including many knock-down arguments never made before. Why? Because even the majority of drug-war opponents have been bamboozled by one or more of the absurd assumptions upon which that war is premised. See through the haze. Read on. Listen on. And Learn how tryants and worrywarts have despoiled American freedom, thereby killing millions around the world, totally unnecessarily, ever since the fateful day in 1914 when ignorant America first criminalized a mere plant -- and insisted that the rest of the world follow suit or else -- an act of colonialist folly unrivaled since the days of the genocidal Conquistadors.