Hi, Julian. Thanks for the refreshing honesty about drug testing. I'd like to add just a few thoughts to expand on what you've said.
First, I would stress that "drug testing" only makes sense to the average person because "drugs" is a politically created word meaning "substances that have no value whatsoever and therefore should be completely avoided." The fact is, there are no substances of this kind in the world: even the highly toxic Botox has legitimate uses. In the cases of psychoactive substances, all of them have potential uses in some dosage, for some reason, in some therapeutic, religious or psychosocial setting. Drug war hysteria notwithstanding, substances like morphine, opium and coca (and indeed even crack cocaine) can be used non-addictively, if an educated person sets out to use them in that way. But the Drug Warrior never explains how to use drugs safely since the party line is to insist that such a thing is not possible. Joe Biden's Office of National Drug Policy actually worked by a rule that beneficial uses of criminalized "drugs" were never even to be considered. But to think that substances can be bad without regard for how they are used is to adopt the view of Mary Baker Eddy toward drugs, which is that they are morally wrong, period, full stop. But this is a religious view, not a scientific one.
The real problem is that the Drug Warrior completely ignores the most obvious reason for drug use: and that is the human desire for self-transcendence. Only by ignoring this "primum mobile" for drug use can they seem to plausibly maintain such use has no positive purpose. Having drawn that misguided conclusion, they then feel justified in "treating" the "substance user" as a sick person, one who is to be cured by forcing him or her to become "sober" (at least as that term is hypocritically defined in a pill-popping and booze-swilling country). Recidivism is the natural result of such "cures" because the treatment fails to acknowledge, let alone cater to, the "user's" original motivation for "using": namely to acquire self-transcendence. Why? So that they could escape the limitations imposed upon them by their own personal psychology, as well as the stark perceptual limitations imposed upon human beings in general by what Maupassant called our five "miserable senses":
"...our eyes which are unable to perceive what
is either too small or too great, too near to, or too far from us...
our sense of smell which is smaller than that of a dog ...
our sense of taste which can scarcely distinguish the age of a wine!"
- Le Horla, Maupassant
The drug users know (at least at some level) that there are substances in this world that let us see and feel more in life - and even help us BE more by quieting those niggling inner voices (arising from nature and/or nurture) that have otherwise continually told us to "hang it up," that "the likes of YOU can never accomplish that!"
Far from being pathological, this desire for pharmacological self-transcendence has been the inspiration for entire religions, including the Vedic religion in the Indus Valley, the mushroom cults in Mesoamerica, and the psychedelic Eleusinian Mysteries, from which Plato is thought to have gleaned his concepts of an afterlife.
Seen in this light, drug-testing is the tool of a Christian Science inquisition, designed to "out" those who seek transcendence in ways that are unacceptable to WASP westerners, which is another way of saying that the Drug War is a war on religion - indeed, a war on the very wellspring of the religious impulse. It is not just a way to shield alcohol and liquor from competition; it is a way to shield Christianity itself from competition - Christianity, that is, as practiced in the politically non-threatening way that western capitalists are familiar with.
Related tweet: October 14, 2022
Drug testing (in the rare cases that it's needed) should be for identifying impairment. It should not be a fishing expedition to find traces of substances that are hated by botanically clueless politicians.
Buy the Drug War Comic Book by Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans
We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
Yeah. They drive to their drug tests in pickup trucks with license plates that read "Don't tread on me." Yeah, right. "Don't tread on me: Just tell me how and how much I'm allowed to think and feel in this life. And please let me know what plants I can access."
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