How the Drug War has turned the entire world into one big Christian Science theocracy
ome of us believe with the fictional Sherlock Holmes (and the very real HG Wells, Marcus Aurelius, and Benjamin Franklin) that improving and expanding the mind is a categorical imperative rather than a mortal sin. For us, the real sin is to fail to maximize one's potential in life. So where can we go to practice our religion, to be all that we can be, to "know ourselves" in the Platonic acceptation of that phrase? Surely we can vote with our feet and simply leave the Christian Science theocracies, wherein all the empowering substances from coca to opium are demonized rather than safely leveraged for the good of human beings and of humanity.
But not so. For so powerful is the propaganda of Drug War America, combined with the hidden biases of reductive materialism which scorn all non-quantifiable healing, that the vast majority of powerful psychoactive substances are illegal EVERYWHERE ON THE PLANET, from the North Pole to the South Pole, from Bogata to Beijing, this despite the fact that many of them grow at our very feet.
Surely, this status quo represents a crime against humanity, especially as it outlaws substances that could tame humanity's violence-prone heart and thus help us avoid the eventual nuclear annihilation toward which our species seems inevitably headed.
Then, for God's sake, speak up! If not on behalf of human potential and world peace, then on behalf of the many silent and unrecognized victims of Drug War ideology: the thousands of black Americans who die in inner cities every year thanks to drug-war prohibition, the dying children who go without godsend medicine in hospices, the victims of the ongoing civil war in Mexico that America creates and profits from in an unconscionable effort to keep boots on the ground south of the border -- or your own parents, who die in agony (by being "taken off of life support") because our Christian Science drug-war sensibilities will not allow us to give them morphine even on their death beds.
You may ask, what is this Drug War propaganda that is so effective as to turn the entire planet into Christian Scientists with respect to psychoactive medicine?
1) The propaganda of omission in the media, in which positive uses of criminalized substances are never mentioned in movies, TV shows or print.
2) The propaganda of omission in academia, in which positive uses of criminalized substances are never mentioned in drug-related research papers, with all such studies dealing only with abuse and misuse.
3) The propaganda of amnesia, in which we ignore historical incidents that clash with Drug War sensibilities, such as the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries and the fact that the Vedic-Hindu religion was inspired by psychoactive plant medicine.
4) The propaganda of lies, in which groups like the Partnership for a Drug Free America tell us that the drugs which have inspired entire religions will actually "fry the brain" (whereas if any drugs fry the brain, they are the Big Pharma meds upon which 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent for life!) The lies of the DEA, which, since 1973, has been telling us that drugs that have inspired entire religions somehow have no positive uses whatsoever (a blatant lie, insomuch as every drug on the planet has some positive use for someone, somewhere, at some time, as even the deadly Botox has positive uses, both in cosmetic surgery and in the treatment of spastic diseases like dysphonia).
Buy the Drug War Comic Book by Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans
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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