Americans are so determined to treat Mother Nature as a drug kingpin that I sometimes think the war on drugs can never end. There are just too many parties that stand to benefit from it:
Big Pharma, Psychiatrists, Big Liquor, Law Enforcement, the Corrections Industry -- and above all politicians, who can give up on solving real problems in the real world thanks to the "drug war," which allows them to blame everything that happens on the modern all-powerful boogeyman of "drugs," although the latter word is really just a pejorative term for the plant medicines that grow at our very feet.
Sometimes I just want to say, "Fine! The America I loved no longer exists. It has given up on Jefferson's natural law by giving the government the right to tell me which plants and fungi I can use. The only question now is, 'When will they start taxing the very air that I breathe?' Okay, then. If America is no longer going to stand for the freedoms that Thomas Jefferson prescribed for it, then I'm 'out of here.' I'll move to a country where the bounty of Mother Nature is considered to be mine by birth, as it was practically everywhere on earth until 1914, when racist American politician Francis Burton Harrison succeeded in toppling natural law by criminalizing a mere plant, the poppy, which he associated with the much-maligned Americans of Chinese ancestry."
But before I can even think about buying a plane ticket to a free country, I realize the sad truth:
America is not happy to violate natural law on its home turf alone. It is so deluded by its own jaundiced view of Mother Nature's plant medicines that it is blackmailing every other country in the world to follow suit and criminalize mother nature's bounty as well. And Western countries are all too happy to go along, for two main reasons: 1) because their politicians do not even realize the profound political principles at stake here and 2), because they themselves are ignorant of the magical healing powers of nature's psychoactive pharmacopoeia and therefore easy prey for American propaganda according to which psychoactive plants can bring about nothing but evil in the hands of a free citizenry.
Fortunately for America, the few countries that would refuse to go along with such blackmail are despotic in nature and so are naturally inclined to make a huge law enforcement issue out of the boogeyman of "drugs" without any prompting from the American Empire. It gives those despots just the excuse they need to crack down on opponents without inciting the wrath of the United Nations: they're cracking down on "drugs" after all, not on dissent.
And so there's no point in buying a plane ticket to escape America's drug war: the drug war has gone global, thanks to financial blackmail and the many cynical politicians who see that war as a way to further their own political agenda. And so America - a country that claims to despise the mentality of colonialism -- goes overseas in a Quixotic quest to make the world safe for Big Liquor, burning plants that have been used responsibly for millennia by non-Western cultures, under the pretext that they cause addiction in the States, failing to realize that, by that same selfish logic, the Islamic world should be able to come Stateside and burn America's grape vines.
And so it's Christian Science Uber Alles, we must all shun "drugs" or else -- because the entire world has now adopted America's anti-scientific notion that psychoactive plants can cause nothing but evil-- unless, of course, they are synthesized by Big Pharma into highly addictive pills that one must take every day of their life, until death do they part from the psychiatric pill mill.
That's morality for you in the age of the drug war: addiction is fine, as long as Fortune 500 corporations are receiving the profits therefrom. And so Big Pharma has a free pass to addict 1 in 4 American women to antidepressants, without even raising one drug warrior eyebrow.
What further proof do we need that terms like "drugs" and "addiction" are political, not scientific terms, as they are used today in a drug warrior society? Here we are, living in the midst of the biggest addiction crisis in human history -- the mass addiction to a class of antidepressants that were never even intended for long-term use -- and Americans are silent about it. The pill mill is turning faster than ever with Big Pharma now targeting toddlers with such pills under the pretext of "nipping ADHD in the bud" -- along with the child's psychological freedom and financial prospects, one might add.
What irony, that this addiction crisis goes unnoticed in a country that considers "empowerment" to be the ne plus ultra of human goals. What could be more DISEMPOWERING than to turn a human being into an eternal patient, who has to visit an expensive shrink every three to six months of their lives, in order to get yet another expensive prescription for a drug that has nothing to do with helping one thrive, merely with helping one "get by"?
This, then, is the worst thing about the American drug war: the fact that the country that founded it has turned it into the law of the very globe, thus ensuring that folks who believe in natural law cannot access psychoactive plant medicine anywhere on the planet.
What a coup for the medical "professionals" and Big Pharma. What a loss for the mere human being. What a loss for freedom. What a loss for human potential.
Because, believe it or not, some people don't want to use "drugs" in order to behave irresponsibly: they want to use "drugs" in order to increase their creativity, in order to increase their passion for life, in order to increase their appreciation of mother nature, in order to increase their friendliness and caring for their fellow human being.
Of course, these goals won't make sense to the drug warrior, who holds the anti-scientific and counterfactual belief that illegal plant substances can cause nothing but evil. But those of us who study plant medicines (rather than demonize them) know that mother nature's psychoactive pharmacopoeia holds out the promise of changing attitudes for the better -- of inspiring creativity and helping us to come to terms with our place in the universe -- while potentially curing Alzheimer's disease and fighting depression into the bargain.
But America has a vested interest in the superstitious status quo thanks to which we turn psychoactive plant medicines into boogeymen that can't even be studied under pain of law. Just imagine such a state of affairs in America -- America, of all places! A country that prides itself on being "scientific" is actually a country in which the very scientific process is emasculated by politically motivated drug laws.
I really wish I could vote against this anti-scientific status quo with my feet and leave America, thereby evincing my disgust with the way that politicians have violated Jefferson's natural law and taken away my right to Mother Nature's bounty. But the drug war virus has taken over the entire world, buoyed by drug war propaganda, chiefly in the form of TV, movies and other media in which the positive and responsible use of criminalized substances is never ever depicted, leaving the viewer to conclude that mother nature's psychoactive substances are only used by scum bags and deviants.
Then there's the blatant lie by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, which claims that mother nature's psychoactive substances "fry the brain" the moment that they're declared illegal by politicians. This is surely the most mendacious public service advertisement in human history. The truth is exactly the opposite. Cocaine sharpened Freud's mind. Opium increased Benjamin Franklin's creativity and affability. Far from scrambling his brain, psychedelics helped Francis Crick discover the DNA helix. The Air Force itself has required its pilots to use what the drug warrior would derisively refer to as "speed" on long, crucial missions, not to scramble the pilot's brain but to sharpen it. If any drug actually 'fries' the brain, it is the modern Big Pharma antidepressant, which was never studied for long-term effects and which causes emotional flat-lining in long-term users.
And so, with such blatantly false propaganda, the drug war has succeeded beyond the wildest expectations of the corrupt and racist politicians who started it - or rather who incited it with their self-serving demagoguery. It has taken over the entire world, with its jaundiced view of mother nature.
Indeed, the future looks dim for those of us who still believe in natural law and who think of mother nature as a goddess rather than as a drug kingpin. Where can we go in order to 'be all that we can be' with the help of mother nature's psychoactive godsend meds? We have only one life, after all. How dare politicians declare that we have no right to live it to the fullest? And this in a country that guarantees the pursuit of happiness? (If we ever find life on another planet, freedom lovers better get there fast before America 'persuades' those little green men to ban psychoactive medicine there as well.)
Yet there is hope. The state of Oregon is floating an initiative that will decriminalize all drugs. Portugal has already taken that step. And Israel has abolished its Drugs Agency. Maybe those of us who still value our rights under natural law will eventually be able to vote with our feet and relocate to a state or country that takes a rational view of psychoactive substances, refusing to demonize them on behalf of racist political agendas -- someplace where a citizen is judged by how they actually behave in life rather than by the substances that they choose to ingest.
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.