This Blog is part of my ongoing attempt to wake the world from the violent man-made nightmare called the Drug War. It is different from all other anti-Drug War blogs and websites in that it does not appeal to statistics to make its points. Rather, it appeals to first principles, or, in other words, it approaches the matter philosophically. This is important, because inductive arguments and statistics can always be gainsaid by racist politicians seeking to maintain a corrupt status quo. In fact, that's why we've been saddled with this corrupt policy of childish substance demonization for over 100 years now. Even the best thinkers are merely using statistics to point out that the Drug War is a "failure," when the reality is that the Drug War had no right to succeed in the first place in a free country, being as it is a violation of Natural Law and the adoption of Christian Science as a state -- and indeed a world -- religion. But when we confront these same scheming politicians by revealing the false, bigoted and colonialist assumptions upon which the Drug War is based, they can't hide their malignant idiocy behind misleading statistics and lies. The only way they can save face is to ignore such arguments completely, and with your help, they won't be able to do that.
What are the philosophical truths with which we fight the Drug War? The truly philosophical thinker is spoiled for choice in compiling such a list. But some of the biggies include...
1) The Drug War is the enforcement of the metaphysical principles of Christian Science (the idea that humans have some moral obligation to go without "drugs") and it therefore represents the unconstitutional establishment of a religion.
2) The Drug War is a violation of the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America, since as John Locke himself wrote, human beings have a natural right to "the use of the land and all that lies therein." Indeed, God himself looked at the plants and fungi that he had created on Earth and said (in the book of Genesis, no less) that it was good.
3) The Drug War represents a warped way of viewing the world, one in which we ascribe substance misuse not to social forces (such as poverty, a lack of education and to prohibition itself) but rather to the substances themselves, ridiculously claiming, in fact, that some substances are so evil that they cannot even be studied by scientists in a supposedly free democratic country.
4) The Drug War is anti-scientific, therefore, since it forbids scientists from studying many of the psychoactive plant medicines of which politicians disapprove. This is the moral equivalent of the Church limiting the scientific freedom of Galileo. The only difference is that Galileo knew that his researches were being limited by an anti-scientific oppressor, whereas scholars today completely ignore the way that the Drug War limits their inquiries (into things like the tractability of depression and the best ways for treating addiction -- or even into studies of consciousness). This failure to acknowledge the Drug War's emasculating impact on scientific research helps keep the Drug War alive by rendering its pernicious influence invisible to all but the most perceptive minds.
5) The Drug War is anti-patient, since it criminalizes, a priori, a vast array of potentially godsend medicines which, when used responsibly and empathically, show great promise for fighting depression and giving the mentally challenged a brand-new way of looking at the world, something that one might have thought of as the holy grail of psychiatry. Moreover, this criminalization is undertaken by politicians who have no expertise in pharmacology and seemingly zero knowledge of our species' time-honored interest in expanding the mind with psychoactive medicine for both religious and practical purposes.
6) The Drug War is anti-minority, since it creates a violent black market that thrives in poor and poorly educated regions. Even the decriminalization of marijuana has racist overtones in a Drug Warrior society, since by failing to decriminalize cocaine as well (derived from a natural substance that Freud himself considered a godsend) we continue to cage Black Americans for dealing in substances of which politicians disapprove, while meanwhile ensuring that the increasingly "White person's drug," marijuana, is legalized. This double-standard is not surprising, however, since all the original Drug War laws were designed to marginalize minorities -- and not the supposedly good and upstanding White Americans who were in charge of creating these racially motivated drug laws in the first place.
If you can sign off on these basic truths -- if you realize that the term "drugs" is a modern invention by racists and Christian Scientists to unscientifically demonize substances -- then join us. If you realize that the Drug War thrives on dogmatically ignoring the cosmic and creative insights that psychoactive substances can provide the artist and the humanitarian, then join us. If you realize that a human being should be judged by the contents of their character, not by the contents of their digestive system, then join us.
What are the goals of this blog? To...
1) Rally philosophers (credentialed or otherwise) against the Drug War
2) Encourage ACTIONS such as...
a. Writing letters to Drug War-influenced authors and playwrights
b. Writing comments on IMDB etc. condemning implicit Drug War propaganda in movies
c. Writing letters to any congressperson who seems to have been bamboozled by Drug War lies, which, in practice (alas), means every single congressperson
3) Plan other peaceful on-site actions that will help speed the demise of America's unprecedented Christian Science war on plant medicine, aka the Drug War -- like how about a protest outside of DEA headquarters where we hand out books and pamphlets revealing the idiocy of America's Christian Science War on Plant Medicine -- a crucial protest, indeed, considering that America has now turned its jaundiced views of psychoactive medicine into the law of the entire world, to the extent that we even send armies abroad to burn plants, in an act of superstitious colonialist tyranny reminiscent of the book burners in Fahrenheit 451. (How about a protest outside of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime? Or at Monticello, to protest how the Monticello Foundation betrayed Thomas Jefferson's Natural Law legacy in 1987 by allowing the DEA on his estate to confiscate the ex-president's poppy plants!)
4) Encourage the use of comment forms to push back against the endless instances of muddled reasoning that the Drug Warrior displays online in zine articles, academic papers, movie and TV show reviews, and everyday musings.
5) Remind the world that there is no problem with substances, nor has there ever been -- but rather there's a huge problem with how modern societies think about and deal with substances. If plant medicine causes problems in a capitalist society, then there is a problem with capitalism, not "drugs."
My goal, in short, is to hasten not simply the end of the Drug War, but the end of the childish and tyrannical way of thinking about the world that the Drug War represents. For there are no such things as "drugs" in the way that Drug Warriors use the term. There are no substances that are somehow bad in and of themselves and that must be banned from even the science lab. Instead, every substance in the world can be used for good or ill, and a smart and free country studies those substances to enlighten their people about best practices for use, rather than ahistorically declaring -- through censorship and blatant lies about "brain-frying drugs" -- that substances can only be used for evil purposes once they have been demonized by pharmacologically clueless politicians.
Incidentally, if any substances fry the brain, they are the SSRIs to which 1 in four American women are addicted even as I type. Such drugs tamp down the emotions and have been shown to conduce to anhedonia in long-term users. I know this from 60 years of hard-earned, expensive, and demoralizing experience as just one cog in the psychiatric pill mill. Of course, to the Drug Warrior mind, this is somehow not a problem -- indeed it is actually a good thing according to the Drug Warrior, who patronizingly reminds folks like myself to keep taking our nice-sounding "meds" (which is the Drug Warrior antonym for "drugs," of course)... a fact that reveals the fathomless politically and financially motivated hypocrisy of the war on plant medicine, aka the war on drugs. None of this is about public safety, of course: otherwise the Drug Warrior would not tolerate the pill mill -- nor would they support politically motivated prohibition policies that are causing a civil war in Mexico even as we speak while empowering a self-proclaimed Drug War Hitler in the Philippines.
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Let us know what you think. Send your comments to me, Brian Quass, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Please be sure to mention the title of the essay to which you are responding.
*"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 above numbers may represent undercounts since some of these totals were compiled in late 2021.
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!!!
Substance prohibition created drug gangs and cartels just as surely as liquor prohibition created the Mafia.
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.
Drug War Victim of the Day
killed in Prince Georges County, Maryland on August 15, 2022
Southeast Washington DC remains a no-go zone, even for UPS drivers, as this latest shooting incident points out, which is 1 in 6 shootings that have taken place in the last week, two of them fatal. If this were happening in Hollywood, California, it would be a scandal. But movie stars are people, and victims of the drug war, especially when poor and black, are what Noam Chomsky calls 'unpeople.'
Yes, even the director of "Bamboozled" is bamboozled about drugs. He agrees with the drug warrior lie that there are psychoactive substances in nature that have no positive uses whatsoever, in any place, any time, any context. This superstitious way of thinking has forced me to go without godsend medicine my entire life. Thanks, Spike. Why do you want people to become drug-hating Christian Scientists, exactly? These things that you call "drugs" have inspired entire religions. The conservatives are laughing as they rush to the polls to elect fascists, because they have bamboozled Spike Lee himself to sign off on the drug war which brings death and incarceration to inner city blacks. Throw away that "just say no" teddy bear with which you were bribed in childhood, Spike, and open your eyes.
Mangual is the author of 'Cities got deadlier in 2020: What's behind the spike in homicides?' in which he never once mentioned the drug war!
Here's my letter to his website:
Hi, Rafael. Just wanted to suggest that you start holding the drug war responsible for inner-city violence -- since substance prohibition incentivized 'dealing' in poor neighborhoods and the guns soon followed. Because no one mentions this 64,000-pound Gorilla, Trump is able to blame the deaths on Democrats, so that, rather than ending the violence-causing drug war, he can begin executing the blacks that drug warriors were previously happy with merely incarcerating.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
When Plants Dream.
New York: Watkins Publishing, 2019.
I find philosophical problems with most of the books that I read on the subject of psychoactive medicine, but Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the few authors who could teach me a few things on this topic.
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").
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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
There are an absolute LEGION of online articles and newspaper stories that get it wrong about so-called drugs. Even those in favor of drug law reform have been subject to drug war propaganda from childhood (and they probably have a DARE teddy bear to prove it!) so speak truth to nonsense and comment on the articles that get it wrong.
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."
How America can end inner-city homicides overnight in three easy steps:
Re-legalize Mother Nature's plant medicines
Treat substance abuse as a health problem
Buy back inner-city guns at double their purchase price (even triple the price would be a huge bargain in the long run)
This will, of course, be a huge sacrifice for everyday Americans, who do love their drug war, bless them.