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Did You Take Your Meds?

The question that speaks volumes about drug war hypocrisy

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

October 10, 2022

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."

Author's Follow-up: October 23, 2023

As ethnobotanist Richard Schultes reminds us: all tribal people have used psychoactive substances for inspiration and healing. It's interesting that America has no sooner decimated such people, when it launches a campaign to criminalize their outlook on life. Do you agree with them that mother nature is good? If you act on your belief, beware, for then Cro-Magnons like Daryl Gates and William Bennett will seek to have you shot or beheaded, without so much as blushing at the inherent barbarity of that advice. This insanity is explicable only under the assumption that the Drug War is a kind of negative religion, which, of course, is exactly what Nietzsche would be saying right now if he were on the scene to behold the demagogue blather of the Drug Warrior. Nietzsche knew, after all, that the death of God would entail the adoption of a stricter Christian morality than ever, albeit at a deep enough subconscious level so that our modern zealots could live with themselves, unconscious of the fact that they were just manifesting the intolerance of a full-scale religious inquisition in opposition to the perennial holistic philosophy of humankind.

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

Even when laudanum was legal in the UK, pharmacists were serving as moral adjudicators, deciding for whom they should fill such prescriptions. That's not a pharmacist's role. We need an ABC-like set-up in which the cashier does not pry into my motives for buying a substance.
What are drug dealers doing, after all? Only selling substances that people want and have always had a right to, until racist politicians came along and decided government had the right to ration out pain relief and mystical experience.
If I want to use the kind of drugs that have inspired entire religions, fight depression, or follow up on the research of William James into altered states, I should not have to live in fear of the DEA crashing down my door and shouting: "GO! GO! GO!"
Until we legalize ALL psychoactive drugs, there will be no such thing as an addiction expert. In the meantime, it's insulting to be told by neuroscience that I'm an addictive type. It's pathologizing my just indignation at psychiatry's niggardly pharmacopoeia.
The 1932 movie "Scarface" starts with on-screen text calling for a crackdown on armed gangs in America. There is no mention of the fact that a decade's worth of Prohibition had created those gangs in the first place.
And where did politicians get the idea that irresponsible white American young people are the only stakeholders when it comes to the question of re-legalizing drugs??? There are hundreds of millions of other stakeholders: philosophers, pain patients, the depressed.
It's interesting that Jamaicans call the police 'Babylon,' given that Babylon denotes a society seeking materialist pleasures. Drug use is about transcending the material world and seeking spiritual states: states that the materialist derides as meaningless.
"When two men who have been in an aggressive mood toward each other take part in the ritual, one is able to say to the other, 'Come, let us drink, for there is something between us.' " re: the Mayan use of the balche drink in Encyc of Psych Plants, by Ratsch & Hofmann
The Partnership for a Death Free America is launching a campaign to celebrate the 50th year of Richard Nixon's War on Drugs. We need to give credit where credit's due for the mass arrest of minorities, the inner city gun violence and the civil wars that it's generated overseas.
Prohibitionists are also responsible for the 100,000-plus killed in the US-inspired Mexican drug war
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You have been reading an article entitled, Did You Take Your Meds?: The question that speaks volumes about drug war hypocrisy, published on October 10, 2022 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)