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Drug War Ideology:
the modern superstition

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




August 26, 2020

onsider the following superstitious statement:

My brother fell off a riding lawn mower, hit his head on a rock, and died. Ever since then, I've been working tirelessly to outlaw riding mowers and rocks.

The statement is superstitious because it blames inanimate objects - in this case mowers and rocks - for something that was caused by a lack of wisdom and education. Had the brother had the knowledge and experience to use the riding mower correctly, he would not have fallen off the mower, whether a rock had been nearby at the time or not.



Now consider the following statement:

My brother died by taking an overdose of drugs. Ever since then, I've been working tirelessly to outlaw drugs.

It's the exact same reasoning as above.

The speaker is blaming inanimate objects. But the death in question was caused by the misuse of those substances, not by the substances themselves. To blame the substances is merely a superstitious response, worthy of the pre-logical cave persons of yore.

That's why the Drug War is the ultimate case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. In order to make the world "safe," we villainize any illegal substance that we associate with a death. But because we've identified the wrong villain - the drug itself rather than the lack of education that led to its misuse - we end up making the world a far more dangerous place.

Take the case of Leah Betts in England. She died after taking an Ecstasy tablet at a rave concert. Of course, the immediate superstitious Drug Warrior response was to crack down on Ecstasy use. Everyone ignored the rational fact that the death was caused by a lack of education - a lack of education about the proper use of Ecstasy (the need for proper hydration during strenuous activities such as rave dancing).

And what was the result of the crackdown? The hitherto peaceful rave scene became a shooting gallery as dancers switched from Ecstasy to crack cocaine and fentanyl.

That's what happens when we employ the superstitious reasoning referred to above. While it may feel good to scapegoat ecstasy, our doing so deprives millions of depressed and anxious people around the world of a godsend treatment. But that's the price we pay as a society for our superstitious outlook, which insists that criminalized substances can be labelled evil without regard for the way that they are actually used or misused.



That's why I depict the Drug Warrior as a benighted caveman on this website, because the Drug War way of thinking is superstitious. It vilifies substances in cases where the real villain is a lack of education.

The Drug War ideology is superstition. It is therefore the philosophical problem par excellence of our time. It's an ideology that could not pass the "snicker test" if the westerners who championed it understood the basics of logical reasoning, specifically the important difference between efficient and final causes as described by Aristotle over 2,000 years ago.




Next essay: Why America is Hung Up on Drugs
Previous essay: The Drug War Board Game

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THE DRUG WAR AND RELIGION

"My faith votes and strives to outlaw religions that use substances of which politicians disapprove."
The DEA conceives of "drugs" as only justifiable in some time-honored ritual format, but since when are bureaucrats experts on religion? I believe, with the Vedic people and William James, in the importance of altered states. To outlaw such states is to outlaw my religion.
The Holy Trinity of the Drug War religion is Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and John Belushi. "They died so that you might fear psychoactive substances with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Today's war against drug users is like Elizabeth I's war against Catholics. Both are religious crackdowns. For today's oppressors, the true faith (i.e., the moral way to live) is according to the drug-hating religion of Christian Science.
The Drug War is a religion. The "addict" is a sinner who has to come home to the true faith of Christian Science. In reality, neither physical nor psychological addiction need be a problem if all drugs were legal and we used them creatively to counter problematic use.
This is a "prima facie" truth, based on the already established power of drug-aided sleep cures combined with the drug-aided ministrations of a pharmacologically savvy empath, especially in a world in which we spend billions on achieving this goal, rather than on arresting users.
Unfortunately, the prohibitionist motto is: "Billions for arrest, not one cent for education." To the contrary, drug warriors are ideologically committed to withholding the truth about drugs from users.
If any master's candidates are looking for a thesis topic, consider the following: "The Drug War versus Religion: how the policy of substance prohibition outlaws the attainment of spiritual states described by William James in 'The Varieties of Religious Experience.'"

essays about
THE DRUG WAR AND RELIGION

How the Drug War Banned my Religion
Hey, You, Get Off Of My Creed!
Modern Addiction Treatment as Puritan Indoctrination
What Terence McKenna Got Wrong About Drugs
Using Ecstasy in Church
So, Your Faith Votes?
How the Drug War is the Establishment of Christian Science as the State Religion
Addicted to Christianity
Drug War U.
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom



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You have been reading an article entitled, Drug War Ideology:
the modern superstition published on August 26, 2020 on AbolishTheDEA.com. 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 abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)