Essay date: February 19, 2020

Calling All Philosophers

Stop counting angels on a pin and speak up against the drug war




Philosophers: speak out against the Christian Science drug war, about how it violates natural law, while yet also violating the Christian understanding in Genesis that God gave US plants, not the government, and that God himself said that they were GOOD!

The Drug War represents an ideology, not just a set of problematic laws. It implies an idea of "the good life" and writes laws accordingly. It is not enough to complain about implementations of the Drug War ideology. Rather, that ideology must be attacked at its root by unveiling and refuting the assumptions upon which it is based. That is not a job for mere facts and figures but for philosophy.


Stephen Hawking said that philosophy is dead. I beg to differ. It may appear to be dead, but that is only because it has been hiding its head in the sand, ostrich-like, ever since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. That was when Congress first set the illogical and unconstitutional precedent of criminalizing plants, which had hitherto been considered our birth right as mere Earthlings under natural law. Since then, the Drug War and its anti-scientific laws have thrived in the hands of tyrants based on a propaganda campaign of sloppy logic, superstitious metaphysics and linguistic equivocation, all designed to make us look upon Mother Nature as a drug kingpin rather than as our medical benefactor and the source of countless therapeutic godsends. In other words, {^the "Drug War" is the philosophical problem par excellence of our time for it thrives on a series of misunderstandings and presumptions that only a true philosopher can hope to parse with nicety and expose in such a way as to make the need for reform obvious to the man or woman on the street - and thus to the man or woman in Congress.}{

That's one of the reasons that I've created this website, as an attempt to get the friends of liberty to start attacking the Drug War on philosophical grounds, rather than on the feeble grounds that the Drug War just does not work as advertised. Such latter arguments yield enormous ground to the Drug Warrior, implying that militarized tyranny, domestic surveillance, SWAT raids on unarmed citizens, foreign intervention and the suspension of natural law would be fine if only it cut down on the use of naturally occurring substances.

SWAT raids and domestic surveillance, in a supposedly democratic society, to cut down on the use of substances? And why exactly do we assume that it is good to cut back on the use of naturally occurring substances? That is a mere Christian Science prejudice, not a logical conclusion from any set of agreed-upon propositions. A Drug War critic who argues in this way may as well find another button-pushing injustice about which to opine, since the Drug War cannot be ousted by those who hastily grant all the false unspoken premises upon which it is founded.

If philosophers should read this, there's plenty of work to do, so let's not stand upon ceremony. "Grab a musket and get in rank," as my Jeffersonian ancestors used to say. Here are a few promising projects to fire your respective imaginations.

1) Elucidate the theological, political, and ideological links between the following events: The Drug War of modern times, Emperor Theodosius's 392 AD banning of the psychedelic Eleusinian Mysteries, and the Conquistadors' scorn for the plant-based psychedelic rites of MesoAmerican cultures.

2) Explain how modern employee "drug testing" is the extrajudicial enforcement of Christian Science with respect to psychological healing.

3) Trace the modern antipathy to "substance use" to the distrust of witches and their use of psychoactive plant medicines.


Author's Follow-up: October 15, 2022






The mere title of this site, "The Drug War Philosopher," is meant to suggest a fact that very few pundits understand: namely, that the Drug War is based on such a hodgepodge of unrecognized assumptions and presumptions that it truly takes a philosopher to identify and rebut them all in real-time so as to not be snookered by Drug War lies, misdirection and propaganda. Moreover, it is only a philosophical approach to the Drug War that can reveal the true extent of the damage caused by this policy of substance demonization. Most authors on this topic approach it piecemeal, skewering the Drug War for this or that outcome while missing a host of other more subtle but more egregious results of the reigning drug policy. I seem to be the only author who points out, for instance, that




  1. the Drug War censors scientists by keeping them from investigating most psychoactive substances, partly by law and partly by discouraging funding and ostracizing researchers



  2. scientists have become complicit in this censorship and now self-censor themselves as, for instance, when they tell author W. Goldman Mortimer that he should not write about the coca leaf since it would "send the wrong message," or when researchers write papers supposedly giving us the last word on treating depression, or Alzheimer's, or autism, meanwhile failing to mention even in a footnote that they have ruled out a priori the study of demonized psychoactive medicines in performing their research.



  3. the Drug War is the enforcement of drug-hating Christian Science.



  4. less psychoactive drug use should NOT be our goal any more than less non-psychoactive drug use should be our goal. If we find a drug that cures cancer, we should not hold back in using it based on an ideology that tells us "less use is better" somehow in the abstract. Likewise if we find drugs that can help end school shootings (like the empathogens MDMA and psilocybin). The goal should be to leverage all the benefits we can get out of medicine, not to assume a priori that we should limit the gains we thence derive based on our own Christian Science prejudices.



  5. the drug has created the psychiatric pill mill, thanks to which 1 in 4 American women are dependent on Big Pharma meds for life. This latter record-breaking dystopia is completely off the radar of the Michael Pollans and the Gabriel Mates of the world. Like the self-censored scientists mentioned above -- indeed like almost every non-fiction author and pundit today -- they reckon without the Drug War.


  6. the Drug War FORCES US TO FRY BRAINS WITH SHOCK THERAPY -- because we have ruled out entirely the idea of making patients feel good with medicines like opium and coca showing that we would actually prefer to knowingly damage the human brain than to let a person be made to feel good with plant medicine!!!


  7. the Drug War ideology forces kids in hospice to go without morphine for pain relief showing that we'd rather have children suffer pain than to give them a drug that we have superstitiously decided is evil incarnate, showing in turn that the Drug War is fanatical beyond belief.




So many organizations talk about fighting the Drug War with facts and figures. That sounds great. But the problem is that the Drug War represents an ideology, not just a set of problematic laws. It implies an idea of "the good life" and writes laws accordingly. It is not enough to complain about implementations of the Drug War ideology. Rather, that ideology must be attacked at its root by unveiling and refuting the assumptions upon which it is based. That is not a job for mere facts and figures but for philosophy.



Related tweet: October 15, 2022


It was -- and continues to be -- a bloodbath, but not for nothing. The Drug War gives the health industry a monopoly on mind medicine and gives psychiatrists jobs for life, prescribing dependence-causing pills on which 1 in 4 American women are dependent.

Related tweet: November 2, 2022



Increasing drug use is GOOD if it means less use of alcohol, tobacco, and the Big Pharma meds upon which 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent for life. The Drug Warrior doesn't want less use, they want more use of drugs that buoy the stock market.

Folks who call for less drug use are unfamiliar with how Ecstasy brought peace and love to the British dance floor, how shrooms stopped Paul Stamets from stuttering, how Plato got his view of the afterlife from psychedelics, etc.

Next essay: The American Stasi
Previous essay: What We Mean When We Say 'Drugs'

More Essays Here


essays about
PHILOSOPHY AND THE DRUG WAR

The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom
The Philosophical Idiocy of the Drug War
The Philosophy of Drug Use
The Philosophy of Getting High
Without Philosophy, Science becomes Scientism
Materialism and the Drug War
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heidegger on Drugs
In Praise of Thomas Szasz
Join Philosophers Against the Drug War
Libertarians as Closet Christian Scientists
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
Rationality Uber Alles
Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy
Speaking Truth to Academia
Nietzsche and the Drug War
What if Arthur Schopenhauer Had Used DMT?
How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
John Locke on Drugs
Puritanical Assumptions about Drug Use in the Entertainment Field
Why Kevin Sabet is Wrong
I asked 100 American philosophers what they thought about the Drug War





end America's disgraceful drug war: visit abolishthedea.com to learn more



No Drug War Keychains

The key to ending the Drug War is to spread the word about the fact that it is Anti-American, unscientific and anti-minority (for starters)

Monticello Betrayed Thomas Jefferson

By demonizing plant medicine, the Drug War overthrew the Natural Law upon which Jefferson founded America -- and brazenly confiscated the Founding Father's poppy plants in 1987, in a symbolic coup against Jeffersonian freedoms.

This is your Brain on Godsend Plant Medicine

Stop the Drug War from demonizing godsend plant medicines. Psychoactive plant medicines are godsends, not devil spawn.

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.

old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches














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.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher
abolishthedea.com

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.

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896 Gutenberg.org
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at abolishthedea.com. For more information, contact Brian at quass@quass.com.