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December 22, 2018

Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman

by Ballard Quass

regarding his Drug War-biased review of the movie 'Four Good Days'

 - from AbolishTheDEA.com

Regarding your review of "Four Good Days," I would like to politely suggest that you are writing under the influence of Drug War lies and propaganda.

Until America came along, people did not blame drugs for problems. They blamed a lack of knowledge on the part of the substance user, and it is the Drug War that keeps us from obtaining this knowledge, to the point that scientists can be arrested for investigating certain kinds of psychoactive plant medicine. The Drug War insists that we FEAR psychoactive substances rather than learn about them. Moreover, this Drug War is a violation of natural law because it prevents us from using plant medicine that grows at our very feet. Just ask Thomas Jefferson, who rolled over in his grave when Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated his poppy plants (the same Reagan who urged kids to turn in their parents for using substances of which politicians disapprove, a tactic that would have made Joseph Stalin proud).

You say that the addict is running from "inner dullness," but history shows that human beings have always been interested in gaining personal transcendence. The entire Vedic religion was founded to worship the psychoactive insights provided by plant medicine. The psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries lasted 2,000 consecutive years and influenced the metaphysical thinking of Aristotle and Plato. Mesoamerican peoples have routinely found uplifting religious insight from the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms (until Columbus arrived and forced them to switch to the shabby escapist drug called alcohol, which Glenn Close hypocritically favors in "Four Good Days"). Yet Drug War censorship ignores such historical facts -- just as it ignores Benjamin Franklin's use of opium, Sigmund Freud's use of cocaine -- which he called a godsend for depression -- and the fact that Francis Crick first envisioned the DNA helix after imbibing generous doses of psychedelic medicine.

The Drug War's demonization and scapegoating of amoral substances has already created a self-proclaimed "Drug War Hitler" in the Philippines, aka Duterte. The last thing we need is an American movie in which a booze-swilling mother looks at a young poorly educated substance dealer and says: "He should be dead." Nonsense. The Drug War should be dead. The Drug War should stop incentivizing the sale of addictive products. The Drug War should stop preventing us from studying plant medicine to provide safe use guidelines and suggested safer alternatives. The Drug War should stop forcing us to take religiously motivated urine tests in order to ensure that we are all good Christian Scientists in America -- for there is nothing scientific or just about "just saying no" -- that is a religious idea first championed by Mary Baker Eddy. And so the Drug War is the vicious state enforcement of the Christian Science religion.

"Four Good Days" is full of Drug War nonsense. The "addiction experts" in the film basically charge addicts $3,000 and throw them on a cot to undergo cold turkey. This, too, only makes sense to the Drug Warrior Christian Science mentality, according to which psychoactive "drugs" are bad, no matter what they're used for, because in a scientific, free, and humane world, we would provide the "addict" with plant medicine that helps them achieve transcendence through less addictive means, without forcing them to undergo a religiously motivated "cold turkey." If Glenn Close's character were really interested in doing the right thing, she herself would "get off" alcohol -- and then encourage her child to "get off" of cigarettes. But Glenn Close's character is more interested in looking like a good drug-fearing Christian. She's more worried about her daughter's violation of Drug War sensibilities than she is about the fact that her daughter is clogging up her lungs with carcinogens even as the two speak about the evil, horrible, terrible, awful heroin.

Consider the hypocrisy of this superstitious drug demonization, in light of the fact that 1 in 4 American women are hooked on Big Pharma antidepressants for life: a whole nation of Stepford Wives, and yet Americans can't see this pharmacological dystopia that is staring them right in the face every day in the form of bleary female eyes. For make no mistake, SSRIs are effectively tranquilizers and show no signs of helping a user achieve the self-actualization and self-insight that psychoactive plant medicine has been well-documented to provide under proper therapeutic circumstances. These SSRIs merely make life livable, making the user a good consumer -- a good consumer who buoys the stock market by paying a monthly annuity to Big Pharma for their extremely expensive antidepressants. Moreover, this stealth addiction turns these SSRI addicts into lifelong patients, and nothing can be more demoralizing than that. I should know, I've been hooked on the mind-numbing meds for decades now -- and at 62, I am forced to abase myself every few months to see a 20-something "doctor" who will decide if I still am worthy to pay through the nose for the SSRI to which I'm addicted. I now know how the Ancient Mariner felt -- only he had only to tell his life story to strangers -- he did not have to pay for the privilege.

I hope I've written something here to help you reconsider the way that you review movies like "Four Good Days" in the future, movies that serve to demonize drugs in the hypocritical Christian Science fashion typical of the Drug War. Such movies should be panned for their message, in the same way that we would pan a movie for encouraging Nazism.

What's the end game, after all? If we take all this Drug War demonization seriously, then Duterte and Glenn Close are right: we should simply kill anyone who dares deal in plant medicine of which politicians disapprove. But is this really what America should be "all about"? America was founded on Natural Law, after all, so do we even have the right to alienate citizens from the plant medicine that grows at our very feet? John Locke didn't think so. He wrote that citizens have the right to "the use of the earth and all that lies therein."

There is no drug problem in America -- but America has a huge problem with drugs. We demonize them instead of treating them as amoral substances about which we need to learn everything possible. By doing so, we create a psychiatric pill mill, incentivize bad actors, deprive the depressed and elderly of godsend meds like MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms, and we force once-free Americans to become Christian Scientists in all but name, by forcing them to submit their urine for drug testing. Why? Because thanks to the Drug War, we judge a person not according to the content of their character but according to the contents of their digestive system.

Yet we're in such denial about our own American problem with drugs that we insist we know what's best for the entire world! What imperialist hubris! And so we travel overseas to burn poppy and coca plants, blissfully indifferent to what the people actually want and willfully ignorant of the fact that the substances we hate have been used responsibly for millennia by non-western cultures. And then should a country refuse to respect our Drug War prejudice, we use that as an excuse to invade and violate all diplomatic norms to arrest their leaders and install a government that respects our anti-scientific, imperialist and Christian Science prejudices regarding the politically created boogieman that we call "drugs."

Please, please, please consider these issues before you sign off uncritically on the next Drug War movie -- like "Crisis," for example, in which the DEA hypocritically "comes to the rescue" to fight an addiction crisis that the Drug War itself created by outlawing all means to personal transcendence, thereby incentivizing bad actors to create business models based on addiction. Or "Running with the Devil," in which the DEA Agent (played by Natalie Reyes) hangs one "drug suspect" by a meat hook and shoots another at point-blank range -- while she herself is puffing away on a cigarette containing the most dangerous drug in America: nicotine. Then she spits on a suspect. Why? Because he helps sell plant medicine that Sigmund Freud considered to be a godsend for depression.

In short, the Drug War creates all the evil that it is designed to fight. I respectfully encourage you to begin writing your movie reviews with this in mind!

Because "Four Good Days" is a horrible movie. It champions a drug-war mindset which, even as we speak, is causing a civil war in Mexico and empowering death squads in the Philippines -- while preventing citizens around the world from reaching down and accessing the plant medicine that grows at their very feet. This is a Drug War of which Stalin would be proud, not Thomas Jefferson.

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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.


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!


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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 the site menu 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.

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