The following Declaration of Independence from the War on Drugs is inspired by Julian Buchanan's lists of Drug War downsides, as well as on the Declaration of Sentiments of 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention on behalf of the rights of women.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to reassert their right to the bounty of Mother Nature and to their sovereignty over their own minds and mental states, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are the right to the use of the land and all that lies therein and to sovereignty over their own moods and their own minds; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of Americans under the Drug War, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the abolition of the same. The history of the Drug War is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of government toward citizens, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over them. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
The Drug War has prevented citizens from accessing and using the freely given bounty of Mother Nature, thereby violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America.
The Drug War has effectively contracted with Big Business to perform drug testing, thanks to which citizens may be removed from the workforce without trial for having used the freely given bounty of Mother Nature.
The Drug War has abrogated the doctrines of due process and probable cause, not to identify terrorists or murderers, but to identify Americans who have used substances that have inspired entire religions.
The Drug War has been exported overseas, where it has resulted in the end of the rule of law in Central America.
The Drug War has created violence in Mexico that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths between 2007 and 2014.
The Drug War makes shock therapy necessary by outlawing drugs that could cheer up the depressed.
The Drug War will let us kill gloomy patients with drugs, but it will not let us use drugs to cheer those gloomy patients up instead.
The Drug War has facilitated the rise of a self-described Drug War Hitler in the Philippines.
The Drug War has Nazified the English language by encouraging Americans to describe their fellow citizens as "scumbags" and "filth" should they dare to partake of the medicines of which beer-swilling and tobacco-smoking politicians disapprove.
The Drug War has resulted in the election of anti-democratic politicians like Donald Trump by disfranchising millions of Black voters.
The Drug War has withheld food stamps from those convicted of drug crimes, thereby forcing children to go hungry in order to punish the use of medicines that have inspired entire religions.
The Drug War has facilitated the creation of a psychiatric pill mill since prohibition has given a monopoly to Big Pharma when it comes to creating medicines for mind and mood.
The Drug War has resulted in the chemical dependency of 1 in 4 American women on Big Pharma meds, thanks to the aforementioned monopoly that it hands to pharmaceutical companies.
The Drug War has outlawed empathogenic substances that could help bring an end to school shootings by teaching haters how to love their fellow human beings.
The Drug War has abolished the peaceful rave scene in Britain and replaced it with violence in a purblind effort to ban the use of mind and mood medicine.
The Drug War has outlawed the substances that conduce to world peace, meanwhile greenlighting liquor, which facilitates violence and misunderstanding instead, and this in a nuclear age when the widespread use of empathogens may be humanity's last, best hope for survival.
The Drug War has censored science, hindering our study of medicines that grow new neurons in the brain, thereby denying us possible godsends for treating scourges such as Alzheimer's and autism.
The Drug War has outlawed and/or discouraged the use of laughing gas and related substances, thereby outlawing the very substances that inspired the philosophy of William James.
The Drug War has sought to indoctrinate children in the drug-hating religion of Christian Science by surrounding schools with "drug-free" zones, teaching kids to fear substances rather than encouraging them to learn how to use them wisely for the benefit of humankind.
The Drug War has indoctrinated our youth by teaching Christian Science dogma to the very young, which encourages them to look at Mother Nature's psychoactive substances as moral snares rather than as potential godsends.
The Drug War has resulted in the outlawing of religions that use time-honored medicines for healing and ritual.
The Drug War has endangered drug users by putting the drug supply in the hands of criminals, thereby making the potency and purity of the drugs unknowable, meanwhile incentivizing the sale of the most addictive substances possible.
The Drug War has resulted in the creation of "no-go" zones in inner cities thanks to the guns and violence that always follow prohibition in poor city neighborhoods.
The Drug War is a war on human beings insofar as the search for self-transcendence is a human trait, not a pathology, and prohibition outlaws almost all medicine that might be used to achieve such transcendence.
The Drug War has blinded us to the many beneficial effects of demonized drugs, such as the fact that many can increase our appreciation of nature and music.
The Drug War has promulgated the following anti-scientific lie: that there are substances in the world called "drugs" which can have no positive uses, for anyone, anywhere, at any dosage, at any time, ever - when in reality there are no substances of that kind. (Even cyanide has beneficial uses.)
The Drug War has promulgated this additional anti-scientific lie: that substances that CAN be addictive can ONLY BE used addictively.
The Drug War has hypocritically spoken out against addiction, despite the fact that the Drug War itself has caused the greatest chemical dependency of all time, namely, the above-mentioned fact that 1 in 4 American women take a Big Pharma med every day of their lives.
The Drug War is responsible for the opioid crisis because of the iron law of prohibition: the harder the crackdown, the harder the drug.
The Drug War has taught Americans to fear psychoactive substances rather than to understand them.
The Drug War has drastically slowed border traffic as customs police are charged with the busybody task of determining which substances a human being possesses, thereby sapping the ability of law enforcement to catch murderers and terrorists.
The Drug War has corrupted democracy by making elected figures subject to blackmail over their previous use of substances of which American politicians disapprove.
The Drug War is the enforcement of the Christian Science religion, for the idea that we should "just say no" to drugs is a moral position, not a logical one.
The Drug War has created far more trouble from drugs than ever existed without the Drug War, as for instance laudanum (a form of opium) was present in most British medicine cabinets in the 19th century and there was no opioid crisis in those years.
The Drug War has resulted in a world of media censorship, wherein demonized substances are always portrayed as dead ends and dangerous.
The Drug War relies on a mendacious scheduling system from the DEA, which tells us that medicines that have inspired entire religions have no beneficial uses whatsoever. Not only is that patently absurd, but it is equally wrong to assume that Mother Nature's bounty has to demonstrate some practical utility in order to remain legal.
The Drug war has resulted in the popularity of anti-democratic movies in which DEA agents gleefully flaunt the US Constitution and commit extrajudicial murder in the name of fighting drugs, killing Latinos because they were selling plant medicine that was considered sacred by the Inca of South America.
The Drug War has censored academia, as can be seen by the almost total absence of research papers dealing with the wise use of drugs like coca and opium for the purposes of improving mental alertness and increasing creativity.
The Drug War imprisons Americans for using substances that other societies have considered godsends, including coca, which the long-lived Peruvian Indians chewed on a daily basis for hundreds of years.
The Drug War has left the depressed without godsend treatments, like opium, coca and laughing gas, which (reductionist science notwithstanding) can lighten moods and give users something to look forward to - unlike the socially sanctioned Big Pharma meds whose chief symptom of use is tranquilization.
The Drug War allowed the DEA of Ronald Reagan to raid the Monticello Estate of Thomas Jefferson for the insane purpose of confiscating his poppy plants, in violation of the Natural Law upon which Jefferson had founded America.
The Drug War has militarized police forces around the world, where law enforcement feels free to abandoned constitutional protections in order to display their macho enforcement of drug law.
The Drug War has fueled racism in police forces by encouraging a machismo enforcement of drug law. (It was no coincidence that one of the cops who murdered George Floyd told the onlookers to "Just say no!" during his assault.)
The Drug War has encouraged us to protect "our children" against the politically created boogie man called "drugs" by lying to them and then passing laws that will result in the deaths of someone else's children instead - namely those in inner cities and those in Central American countries who get caught up in the violence that our prohibition will generate for them.
The Drug War has outlawed almost all substances that could help end unwanted addictions, thereby forcing addicts to embrace the drug-hating Christian Science religion and to strive for a hypocritically defined "sobriety" instead of self-actualization in life.
The Drug War has been enforced by a DEA that knowingly poisoned American drug users with paraquat in the 1980s, a weed killer that has since been shown to cause Parkinson's Disease.
The Drug War has been enforced by a DEA which has kept MDMA, a godsend treatment for PTSD, from American soldiers for almost 40 years now, thereby acting against the advice of its own legal counsel, in order to protect DEA jobs, not American soldiers.
The Drug War has been enforced by a DEA which can always expand its budget by blackmailing politicians for past illicit drug use.
The Drug War has denied Americans the sovereignty over their own minds and moods.
The Drug War has denied adequate pain relief to pain sufferers because bureaucrats decide how much pain relief is needed rather than patients.
The Drug War has outlawed hundreds of synthesized medicines created by Alexander Shulgin, all of which facilitate ecstasy and positive self-transformation without resulting in addiction.
The Drug War, in fact, has caused all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some.
Now, in view of this disfranchisement of minorities and the unjust practices above mentioned, and because Americans do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate re-admission to all the rights and privileges which belonged to them as citizens of the United States before the Drug War began denying us access to Mother Nature and sovereignty over our own mind and mood.
In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf.
WHEREAS, John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government remarks, "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being," and whereas no injustice is more patently intolerable than the governmental control of how, and how much, a citizen is allowed to think and feel... Therefore,
That such laws as conflict, in any way, with our natural right to the bounty of Mother Nature are contrary to the great precept of nature and of no validity, for this is "superior in obligation to any other."
That all laws which deny us the right to control our own thought processes and mood are by definition tyrannical and contrary to Natural Law, and therefore of no force or authority.
That drugs are neither good nor bad. That they are neither moral snares nor panaceas. That they are given to us by nature to be used as deemed best according to our own philosophy of life, and not that of our government, least of all a government that would have us profess the anti-drug doctrine of Mary Baker Eddy and her church of Christian Science.
That drug testing should be employed only when necessary, and then only in order to identify officially impaired individuals. It should not be used as an extrajudicial fishing expedition to locate mere traces of substances of which politicians disapprove.
That the entire purpose of Natural Law is to prevent the infringement of those most basic of rights, than which nothing could be more fundamental than our right to control our own moods and thought processes.
That it is the duty of all Americans to secure to themselves their sacred rights as vouchsafed them by the Natural Law upon which Jefferson founded America. For although Reagan may have ignored Natural Law, he did not overthrow it.
That the speedy success of our cause depends upon the zealous and untiring efforts of both men and women, of all races, creeds, and colors, for the overthrow of the Drug War mentality of substance demonization and the re-legalization of Mother Nature's bounty and the godsend medicines that may be derived therefrom.
That problematic drug use should be treated as a health problem, and that pharmacologically savvy empaths should be permitted and empowered to treat such issues with or without drugs, in accordance with the desires and goals of the sufferer and not in furtherance of a hypocritically defined "sobriety" and the Christian Science agenda of the State.
That should anyone doubt the sufficiency of these resolutions, let them consider the plight of the poor and minorities, against whom the Drug War has been most obviously directed, as can be shown by the fact that America has the largest per capita prison population in the world, most of them minorities, at least 20% of whom are in jail for drug-related offenses.
That drugs should be made available on a non-profit basis so that potential users can make decisions about use based on facts and not based on advertisements that are designed to psychologically manipulate the would-be user into buying a given substance.
That no policy which results in the election of anti-democratic presidents should be part of the American experience, no matter how loud the many beneficiaries of the Drug War (the military, police forces, Big Pharma, psychiatry, the corrections industry, etc.) scream in defense of the bloody and corrupt status quo, for Natural Law itself precludes their right to deprive us of our basic rights to control our mental states and to have access to the plants and fungi that grow at our very feet.
March 24, 2023
This document is a work in progress. Brian is adding new charges against the Drug War on an almost daily basis, in an effort to enumerate the seemingly endless downsides of the War on Drugs: which should rather be called the war on Blacks, the war on minorities, the war on Mother Nature's godsend medicines, or the war to control human consciousness. The Drug War can also be fairly called the enforcement of Christian Science sharia and the unlawful establishment of that religion as the law of the land, and indeed now of the world. One almost hopes that we never inhabit other planets, since the DEA is sure to outlaw all psychoactive godsends that we might discover there.
Author's Follow-up: March 24, 2023
This Declaration is written in America by an American, but unfortunately the Drug War ideology is America's most successful export, since governments around the world are always looking for ways to control their populations -- or else they're pressured into following Drug War etiquette by a kind of blackmail: in exchange for loans and trade relations -- and in some cases to forestall invasions -- countries are forced to play ball with the know-nothing anti-citizen policies of the so-called War on Drugs, which, as Dawn Paley points out, is an absurd misnomer, since one cannot fight a war against substances -- unless we count the fact that the US, in its fanaticism, has attempted to physically eradicate the plants of which it disapproves, in the same way that police sought to eradicate books in "Fahrenheit 451," the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury. Rather, the War on Drugs is a War on Citizens, and above all the poor and minorities. In the US that mainly means Blacks; in Latin America, it means mainly those poor ethnic groups that want no part of unfettered capitalism. So the US talks about drugs as a pretense, but then cracks down only in the places that they want to make safe for Big Box stores.
America cannot survive much more of the Drug War. It has already resulted in the election of a fascist, who may yet "take power" again and begin executing minorities and overtly invading countries in Latin America, under the pretense of waging a war against time-honored medicines.
Buy the Drug War Comic Book by Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans
LA Police Chief Daryl Gates said drug users should be summarily executed. William Bennett said drug dealers should be beheaded. These are the attitudes that the drug war inculcates. This racist and brutal ideology must be wiped out.
The Drug War is the most important evil to protest, precisely because almost everybody is afraid to do so. That's a clear sign that it is a cancer that does not belong in a democratic society.
Sana Collective Group committed to making psychedelic therapy available to all regardless of income.
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. (For proof of that latter charge, check out how the US and UK have criminalized the substances that William James himself told us to study in order to understand reality.) It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions (like the Vedic), Nazifies the English language (referring to folks who emulate drug-loving Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as "scumbags") and militarizes police forces nationwide (resulting in gestapo SWAT teams breaking into houses of peaceable Americans and shouting "GO GO GO!").
(Speaking of Nazification, L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates thought that drug users should be shot. What a softie! The real hardliners are the William Bennetts of the world who want drug users to be beheaded instead. That will teach them to use time-honored plant medicine of which politicians disapprove! Mary Baker Eddy must be ecstatic in her drug-free heaven, as she looks down and sees this modern inquisition on behalf of the drug-hating principles that she herself maintained. I bet she never dared hope that her religion would become the viciously enforced religion of America, let alone of the entire freakin' world!)
In short, the drug war 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.
PPS Drugs like opium and psychedelics should come with the following warning: "Outlawing of this product may result in inner-city gunfire, civil wars overseas, and rigged elections in which drug warriors win office by throwing minorities in jail."
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
Bache, Christopher "LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven" 2019 Park Street Press