Essay date: May 6, 2023

Drug War U.

The one university in the world that studies the idiocy of the so-called 'War on Drugs'

I'm still waiting for a university to take up my suggestion that they open up a Department of Drug War Studies. While I'm waiting, I thought I'd create a sample course schedule. I came up with more than a dozen classes without breaking a sweat, and there are still many topics I haven't covered: like how the Drug War censors scientists and authors, how it indoctrinates kids with the anti-scientific notion that Mother Nature's meds are evil (a viewpoint that God himself did not share); and how it militarizes police forces around the world and empowers dictators, including a self-proclaimed "Drug War Hitler" in the Philippines. But I hope I have ticked off some of the more important downsides of America's unprecedented war on godsend medicines -- or more accurately against those who would dare to use or sell them.

Course Syllabus

DW 101. Drug War Lies. 3 Credits.

Review of the principal lies of the prohibitionists, including the anti-scientific claim that certain substances can have no positive uses for anyone, anywhere, ever. PREREQUISITE: common sense.

DW 102. The Outlawing of Philosophy. 3 Credits.

This course examines how prohibition criminalizes the use of the very substances that inspired the philosophy of William James, thereby outlawing the study of ultimate reality. PREREQUISITE: belief in academic freedom.

DW 103 The Drug War and the Psychiatric Pill Mill. 3 Credits.

Students learn the origins of the pill mill, which would not exist without the outlawing of almost all psychoactive competition. Special emphasis will be placed on the great pharmacological dystopia represented by this expensive and demoralizing paradigm, thanks to which 1 in 4 American women have been turned into Big Pharma patients for life. PREREQUISITE: a belief that lives should be lived, not slept through.

DW 104 Drug War and Pain Management 3 Credits.

An investigation into how the Drug War puts politicians in charge of deciding how much pain relief a patient is allowed to have. Special emphasis will be placed on the fate of children undergoing surgery and/or in hospice, who must suffer merely because the doctors fear repercussions if they prescribe adequate pain relief.

DW 201 The Drug War and Natural Law. 3 Credits.

Students will learn how the Drug War violates natural law by outlawing Mother Nature's bounty. Special emphasis will be placed on the DEA raid on Monticello in 1987 for the purpose of confiscating the poppy plants of Thomas Jefferson, as well as the Monticello Foundation's failure to defend the legacy of Jefferson by allowing the raid in the first place. PREREQUISITE: a belief in the rights of the individual implicit in the American Declaration of Independence.

DW 202 Drug War Beneficiaries (AKA The Drug War: Cui Bono?) 3 Credits.

A survey of the many businesses and organizations that profit from substance prohibition, including the pharmaceutical industry, psychiatrists, corrections workers, and police forces. PREREQUISITE: a sincere desire to unmask self-interest in the body politic. (To learn how politicians profit from the Drug War, see DW 403 How Drug Laws Help Steal Elections for Conservatives)

DW 204 The Fallacy of Saving Junior. 3 Credits.

Many Drug Warriors tell us that prohibition will be worth it if it saves one child. This child, of course, is usually a white American, however. The fact that prohibition kills thousands of Blacks and Mexicans is not considered, nor the fact that the kind of substances being prohibited have inspired entire religions. The course will attempt to account for this hypocrisy with reference to racism, xenophobia, Machiavellian politics, drug-war brainwashing, and/or the deplorable state of public education, thanks to which rational deliberation is not exactly the forte of John Q Public. Finally, students will methodically rip to pieces the laughable presupposition that fearmongering (as opposed to a top-notch education) will protect poor widdle Johnny Whitebread in the first place, especially in light of the iron law of prohibition (which see the upcoming course on this topic) thanks to which drug dangers increase in proportion as drug laws get tougher.

DW 205 The Unconstitutional Idiocy of 'Drug Free Zones'. 3 Credits.

Students will consider how the presence of Drug Free Zones around schools teaches children the superstitious notion that substances can be bad "in and of themselves," without reference to how or why or when or where they are used. The professor will then demonstrate how Catholic orthodoxy has always insisted that evil resides in people, not in things. This means that the Drug War mentality behind the signs is not simply anti-scientific, but it advances a religious viewpoint as well, albeit a jaundiced one, and is therefore a clear violation of the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State, at least insofar as the school in question is operated with the help of government funding.

DW 252 The War on Drugs in Ancient Greece and Rome. 3 credits.

The psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries lasted almost 2,000 consecutive years and inspired the philosophy of men like Plato, Plutarch and Cicero. It was banned in 392 CE by Emperor Theodosius I as a threat to Christianity. The class will explore the all-too-obvious parallels between this pagan-bashing emperor's edict and the drug prohibition of today. Special emphasis will be placed on the violation of religious freedom inherent in this religiously fueled criminalization of mind medicine. PREREQUISITE: A desire to restore religious freedom in America, and worldwide for that matter.

DW 301 Materialism and the Drug War. 3 Credits.

Students learn how prohibition bolsters a materialist understanding of the world by outlawing substances whose use conduces to a more holistic view of reality. Students will also learn how materialism blinds researchers to godsend medicines, by demanding "real" (i.e. reductionist) "cures," and pooh-poohing the mere subjectively reported feelings of the substance user. It will be shown how this purblind focus resulted in the psychiatric pill mill, by creating substances that mucked about with brain chemistry, creating the largest single outbreak of chemical dependency in the modern world. PREREQUISITE: the brains God gave you -- or at any rate, the brains that did not originate out of blind chance for no real reason whatsoever, as materialists would have it.

DW 302 The Naïve Psychology of the Drug War. 3 Credits.

In the age of the Drug War, psychologists downplay or ignore the power of anticipation and virtuous circles. They have to, because otherwise they would see that ANY substance that elates and inspires has, by definition, a potential therapeutic role and is not, as the Drug Warrior claims, devoid of any positive uses whatsoever. Students will also see how the phenomenon of "choking" cries out, as it were, for the strategic use of uplifting drugs, with a goal of creating a virtuous circle for the afflicted individual. PREREQUISITE: a desire to wrench the godsend medicines out of the grasping hands of materialists.

DW 303 Addicted to Nonsense. 3 Credits.

Addiction is a political term in the age of the Drug War. This class shows how "addiction treatment" is based on a host of false assumptions and has the goal of both medicalizing and pathologizing the user's implicit protest against the stingy pharmacopoeia of Prohibition America.

DW 304 Sigmund Freud and the Drug War. 3 Credits.

Freud did not treat his own depression with psychotherapy: he went for the real politik of cocaine. No wonder, considering that psychotherapy leads its practitioners to ignore obvious treatments (like the intermittent use of medicines that elate and inform) and to push instead for a lengthy far-distant "cure" based on a highly speculative theory about primordial urges, combined with the dubious claim that merely understanding those urges will prove therapeutic.

DW 344 Objective News Coverage and the Drug War. 3 Credits.

This course is targeted at journalists but is open to all students. The professor will draw attention to the anthropomorphic nature of modern news coverage about drugs (which we're told are "killers" and "scourges"), reminding the student that psychoactive substances are inanimate and that good and evil reside in human beings and their actions, not in "drugs." Emphasis will be placed on how today's superstitious reportage diverts public attention from the real killer: namely, prohibition, which, in this century alone, has killed thousands of African-American kids, resulted in over 100,000 deaths in Mexico, and destroyed the rule of law in Central America. PREREQUISITE: At least a grain of common sense.

DW 401 12-Step Programs as Christian Science Indoctrination. 3 Credits.

The goal of 12-step programs is to enforce a hypocritically defined sobriety, based on the unspoken assumption that Mother Nature's psychoactive pharmacy is evil and should not be employed. This, however, is a religious judgment insofar as God himself said otherwise in Genesis. Students will see how the requirement of embracing a "higher power" and shunning "drugs" represents a Christian Science agenda, not some logical protocol that suggests itself naturally to an unbiased mind.

DW 402 Drug War as a War against kids and world peace 3 Credits.

As utopian as it will sound in the age of a Drug War, the most plausible way of ensuring world peace and preventing school shootings is to popularize the use of empathogens, substances (like MDMA and shrooms) that help folks feel compassion toward their fellow human beings. Students will analyze the fanaticism that makes most Drug Warriors prefer prohibition to the safety of their kids and the longevity of the human race.

DW 403 How the Drug War Steals Elections for Conservatives. 3 Credits.

A review of how drug laws resulted in the election of Donald Trump by removing millions of Blacks from the voting rolls.

DW 404 Drug War? What Drug War? 3 Credits.

Thousands of Blacks are killed every year in American inner cities thanks to gun violence, most of which, as Ann Heather Thompson wrote, would not exist without the Drug War. And yet most media coverage of inner-city violence today never mentions the Drug War. Students will examine the motives and presuppositions behind this dereliction of duty on the part of the modern media. In particular, class will discuss Lisa Ling's CNN documentary about Chicago gun violence, in which she never even mentions the war on drugs. No, not once. She mentions "drugs" only a couple of times and in such a way as to suggest that she embraces the usual Drug War narrative about those substances being evil in and of themselves.

DW 405 Pissed Off about Drug Testing. 3 Credits.

Students will examine drug testing as the extrajudicial enforcement of the drug-hating precepts of Mary Baker Eddy, noting that such testing rarely punishes anyone for impairment, but simply for their previous use of substances that have inspired entire religions in the past and have been used by other cultures for millennia. Special emphasis will be placed on the spiteful sneakiness of this practice, which can deny a citizen the right to earn a living in the United States, all without so much as even charging him or her with a crime. Students will analyze the Drug War as an end run around constitutional protections and a violation of the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. PREREQUISITE: common sense and a desire for the re-establishment of due process and reasonable search in America, not to mention the outlawing of a form of cruel and unusual punishment which denies Americans the right to feed their families, all without formal charges or a trial.


DW 401-L DMT Testing 3 Credits.

Students will ingest DMT during the first part of the lab. Then they will write a detailed description of their experience along with thoughts relevant to the probable ontological status of the phenomena encountered. Students will then discuss the potential meanings of the DMT experience as a group, bearing in mind the observation of William James that: "No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded." REQUIRED TEXTS: DMT Trip Reports - Experience What It's Like Taking 5 Meo Dimethyltrptamine by Alex Gibbons and The Variety of Religious Experience by William James.

Location: Alexander Shulgin lab

Required texts

Next essay: Open Letter to Dr. Carl L. Hart
Previous essay: Opium for the Masses by Jim Hogshire

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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. 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.

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
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