he more I learn about western society's wilful ignorance of naturally occurring psychoactive medicines, the harder it is for me to find good books to read. Almost all self-help books studiously avoid any reference to the power of psychoactive plants to facilitate the miraculous psychological changes that the authors advocate. Almost all scientific books pretend to be giving us the last word on consciousness and meaning, while yet ignoring the profound insights on these subjects that psychoactive plants can provide. Almost all books on depression speculate on what can be done with modern anti-depressants and/or talk therapy, as if psychoactive plants did not exist, as if the drastically limited pharmacy available to us under the Drug War was a natural condition with which all suggested treatment protocols must conform in order to be scientific. In other words, all of these books take the Drug War prohibitions as a natural given of life, and thence proceed to speculate and deduce at will, with the author never realizing that he or she is engaging in self-censorship in order to curry favour with the puritan sensibilities of the Drug War.
I don't know what's worse, however, authors who ignore speaking about psychoactive substances or those who speak about them -- because the latter authors almost ALWAYS adopt invalid drug-war premises when they attempt to analyze the so-called "drug problem" in America.
The Drug War Censors Science Scientists: It's time to wake up to the fact that you are censored by the Drug War. Drive the point home with these bumper stickers.
Take the book by David and Nic Sheff called "High." They say that you can't judge a book by its cover, but this is clearly the exception that proves the rule.
One can just look at the cover to see that the authors subscribe to all the usual drug-war assumptions. The cover features a frenetic and jagged color-scheme obviously intended to be the abstract depiction of an abnormal state of mind associated with the phenomenon of "getting high."
Thus the authors accept the drug-war presupposition that psychoactive substance use (when not prescribed by a board-certified physician, keen to get one addicted to big pharma meds) can only be for hedonistic purposes -- which is simply false. One person's high is often another person's self-enlightenment, is another person's making peace with the world, is another person's healthy break from reality -- in the same way that moderate alcohol is said to constitute healthy relaxation.
Are the tribal members of the Native American Church getting "high" when they consume peyote for religious purposes? Are alcohol addicts getting "high" when they take ibogaine to kick that habit? Was Sigmund Freud getting "high" when he used cocaine to get his work done in the wee hours of the night? Was Benjamin Franklin getting high when he resorted -- frequently -- to the use of opium?
Of course not.
So the depiction of the word "High" on such a book cover is pejorative and meant to imply all the narrow views of the Drug Warrior -- designed to separate Americans from mother nature's medicines under the drug-war lie that such substances can only be used for the nonsensical and dangerous practice of "getting high."
This is time-saving, however. I simply need not read the Sheff's books, because their very book cover shows that they're philosophically in the thrall of all the usual Drug War propaganda and presuppositions. And given the dictum that "confused thinking in, confused thinking out"... the judicious reader will move on.
How many so-called authoritative books on depression completely ignore the fact that drug law outlaws all the most promising cures? How many books on relaxation ignore the fact that the motivated mind-set that you need for exercising is just one mushroom away? How many books on consciousness completely ignore the testimony that psychoactive plants have to give on this topic? Welcome to self-censorship in the age of the Drug War.
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.
A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.
The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.
It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)
If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.
PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company