Essay date: October 10, 2022

Did You Take Your Meds?

The question that speaks volumes about drug war hypocrisy

t's odd that folks in a supposedly drug-hating country like America keep asking the question: "Have you taken your meds?"

This one phrase speaks bundles about the disingenuous nature of the hypocritically defined war on drugs. It tells us that we don't really want folks to say no to drugs, but we want them to say YES to what we consider to be the RIGHT drugs. We want people to trudge around moping so that they don't bother us, but we don't want them living large, exuberantly fulfilling their dreams in life, and thus potentially annoying us.

When we ask someone if they have taken their meds, we are really asking them if they have taken their tranquilizers. As a rule, the "meds" in question are billed as anti-depressants, but the key outcome of use, in the minds of the question poser, is the tranquilizing effect that such substances have on irritating friends and acquaintances..

But then psychiatry has a long history of creating "cures," not for the benefit of the drug takers, but for the benefit of those who have to deal with them on a daily basis. That's why the procedure of lobotomy garnered a Nobel Prize, not because the victims of that mind-numbing procedure were raving about the way that it improved their lives, but rather because the caretakers and the nurses were happy that they could get on with their work without listening to the constant blather of a noisy patient population.

This politically created distinction between "meds" and "drugs" allows us to sneer at substances that have inspired entire religions (they're just "drugs" after all) while happily signing off on noxious Big Pharma "meds" that have turned 1 in 4 American women into patients for life, while yet not "curing" the depression for which the drug was supposedly being taken.

This is why we need a philosophy of the Drug War, because until these basic drug-war premises are identified and challenged, America is always going to be on the brink of criminalizing or re-criminalizing godsend medicine, thereby ignoring not only logic and science, but also the history of humanity, in which entire religions have been inspired by the very substances that we dogmatically demonize today as "drugs."

Next essay: Michael Pollan and the Drug War
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end America's disgraceful drug war: visit to learn more

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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)

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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 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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