Essay date: January 26, 2023

Conservative Lies about Drugs

onservatives like to pretend that the Drug War is a war on hedonism and irresponsibility, but they can only do this by cherry-picking the evidence, which is to say by citing historically unrepresentative anecdotes from the last 50 years of life in a capitalist economy. The fact is that so-called "drug use" (i.e., the use of substances of which American politicians disapprove) has inspired entire philosophies. The ontology of William James would have been very different indeed had he not partaken of nitrous oxide, an experience which proved to his satisfaction that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. There is also strong circumstantial evidence that Plato partook of the psychedelic kykeon at Eleusis and that this experience inspired his views of the afterlife. We know as well that coca was considered divine, if not a deity, by the Peruvian Indians and that the entire Vedic religion was inspired by the psychoactive effects of a plant and/or fungi.

In light of this almost completely ignored backstory, we can conclude that drug prohibition is not simply a violation of the rights of hedonists, as conservatives maintain, but rather it is a government-imposed prohibition against human advancement in general, saying in effect, "The world as we know it is good enough for us, and it is forbidden for us to learn more about ultimate reality'." As such, the Drug War is not simply a worthy attempt that has failed, but it is rather a pernicious and misguided attempt that had no right to succeed in the first place, least of all in a democratic country that purports to value education and freedom of inquiry.

Conservatives have been empowered by the silence of Drug War critics on topics like these, their polemics getting more hyperbolic with every passing year, to the point where, in 2019, Marci Hamilton of Child USA wrote an oped-piece in which she referred to drug users as child abusers. Yes, child abusers.

So, let me get this straight, Marci. William James was the moral equivalent of a child abuser, as was Plato, as were the Inca, as were the first Hindus. And I suppose we should throw in the drug-using HG Wells and Jules Verne and Benjamin Franklin while we're at it.

No, Marci. The real villain of the piece is the Drug Warrior, who teaches kids to fear psychoactive substances rather than to understand them, thereby placing those kids in harm's way: conservatives like Florida Senator Paula Dawkins, who calls for the banning of books that are honest about drugs, starting with Andrew Weil's "From Chocolate to Morphine." She wants to scare kids, not to educate them, not to teach them how to stay safe in a world where, like it or not, Marci, psychoactive medicine grows all around us.

Let's never put Marci in charge of rollerblade education. She would publicize the dangers of rollerblading on prime-time public service announcements while refusing to tell kids how to use rollerblades safely. Why not? Oh, because that would encourage rollerblade use, don't you see? And then when kids start dying in rollerblade accidents, Marci would declare trimphantly: "You see! Rollerblading is every bit as evil as I said it was!"

But if we must throw around hyperbolic charges, then permit me to call Marci a child abuser for failing to educate kids
properly about the world around them, preferring to scare them instead, all because of her fanatical adherence to the drug-hating doctrines of Mary Baker Eddy -- which is a hypocritical adherence, by the way, since Marci is not about to level the charge of child abuse against topers and chimney pots, despite the fact that drinking and smoking kill 100,000 Americans a year, a figure that dwarfs the number that are killed by the substances that Marci tells her kids to fear.

And Marci's crime is only compounded by the fact that her stance on "drugs" turns true philosophy into a government-banned activity.

Marci Hamilton Equates Drug Use with Child Abuse

Author's Follow-up: January 26, 2023

Marci's hyperbole reminds one of the anti-Semitism of wartime Germany. In the decades following World War I, the Nazis tried to outdo each other in an effort to demonize Jews for causing all the problems in the world. Just so in our time the Drug Warriors try to outdo each other in demonizing drugs for causing all the problems in the world. And so, after over a century now of racist-driven prohibition, the once commonplace practice of using mother nature's bounty for healing has finally become "child abuse" in the hysterical minds of the modern Drug Warrior. This is why I have been calling on the Holocaust Museum to denounce the Drug War, this plus the fact that Donald Trump now wants to execute the Blacks that Drug Warriors of the past decades were content merely to imprison.

Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War

Next essay: Keep Laughing Gas Legal
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You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at 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

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)
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