hen a child snickers before Michelangelo's statue of David and says that the statue is "nekkid," we know that the child is immature. But American politicians behave the exact same way when it comes to so-called "drugs." They snicker cynically before higher states of consciousness (states of consciousness that have fostered entire religions) and dismiss it as getting "high" or getting "wasted." What's worse, in the latter case, Americans think they have discovered some new truth about substances, that there's this thing out there called "drugs" that are evil... when what they've really discovered is that America is immature, to the point of not being able to live sanely with the very flora that grows unbidden around us. Americans cannot imagine any way to use spiritual substances except in a cynical and hedonist fashion, as part of some scheming capitalistic transaction, and rather than blaming themselves or unfettered capitalism for this immaturity, they proclaim a new law of the land: that drugs are evil and that they must be eradicated around the globe. It's as if that immature child never grew up and declared that nudity in art is evil and must be eradicated everywhere around the globe.
There is no drug problem. There is a problem with America's attitude toward drugs. That problem is immaturity, cynicism and hedonism, and the insistence that every transaction be considered through the calculating lens of capitalism. Why do we blame these American problems on the scapegoat "drugs"? Because otherwise America would have to transform for the better in order to live wisely with the flora that surrounds us. We'd have to prioritize education and permit true religious freedom. Instead, we blame all our problems on inanimate substances, drugs -- and worse yet, we insist that the entire world follow our superstitious example under pain of economic and sociopolitical blackmail. Sadly, all nations are happy to follow suit. It was America, after all, that claimed we had a basic right to nature under Natural Law. If a nation so founded should dare to come in between its citizens and the flora that grows at their very feet, what need have less enlightened countries to stand up for common sense, let alone dictatorships, which will gladly take America's lead and crack down on the modern boogieman of "drugs" in order to enhance their despotic control over their citizens.
And what better way to enhance tyranny than to control how (and how much) citizens are allowed to think and feel by denying them the God-given bounty of Mother Nature's psychoactive plant medicine? It is, in fact, the ultimate tyranny. Why merely control what your citizens can think when you can control how and how much they can both think and feel? It's the ultimate power grab of government, rendered acceptable by the one country that should have known better given its birth under natural law: the USA.
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