Essay date: February 25, 2020

Glenn Close but no cigar

Four Good Days full of drug war propaganda

Four Good Days reinforces all the usual Christian Science nonsense about plant medicines, advocating science as the way forward when all it offers is 'cold turkey' and a $3,000 bill for a three-day stay in a glorified flophouse.

hame on Glenn Close for starring in the Drug War propaganda movie "Four Good Days," especially at a time when Donald Trump is threatening to use the death penalty to kill minorities who dare to use and sell the plant medicines of mother nature. For shame!

Every horror that Glenn Close's character blames on heroin is actually caused by the Drug War itself:

Let's examine some of the movies illogical assumptions one at a time by considering a variety of drug-war-biased sound bites of which the movie is so full:

Deb to daughter Molly: "The deal was, you wouldn't come back until you were clean."

Clean? The mother's use of the word "clean" here exposes the puritan Christian Science metaphysics that the Drug War presupposes. Psychiatry has addicted me personally to Effexor, but no one has told me that I'm dirty for using it, and it has a relapse rate every bit as high as heroin! Apparently, I'm not "dirty" as long as I settle for being hooked on the drugs that enrich pharmaceutical companies.

High school student to Molly: "I would have never allowed myself to fall that far."

Cruel but true. The fact is that the vast majority of kids do not fall as Molly did, even when the Drug War does all it can to confuse them with propaganda instead of straightforward objective accounts of drug effects. Molly's irrelevant response to this challenge is simply to tearfully reiterate how hard she (Molly) has struggled and how continuously she (Molly) has resolved to go straight, but to no avail. Her goal seems to be to imply that there are devil drugs out there that will snag anyone, but smarter kids know that substances are only substances and that the terms "good" and "bad" only apply to how they are used, for what reasons, and in what doses, etc. To think otherwise is to call on government to wage a bloody war on drugs to protect fools like Molly from herself, a Drug War that ironically creates the very incentives that cause drug sellers to peddle addictive meds in the first place.

Deb after seeing teenage drug dealer: "That guy should be shot."

Great. Thanks for that, Glenn. That's all we need to hear from a cinematic representative of middle America, now that we have a president who is all-too-eager to take your suggestion literally and start murdering Americans, mainly minorities at that - and why? - for merely meeting the needs of the market that the Drug War itself has created. Unless we suppose that the profit motive will someday disappear from human hearts and that human beings will renounce their desire for spiritual transcendence, a "war on drugs" can only bring about endless killing, first on inner city streets and then on the public scaffolds.

The answer is clear, Glenn: remove the profit motive by ending the drug laws that create it. Then turn the Drug Enforcement Agency into the Drug Education Agency, an organization tasked with objectively informing the public of the statistically verifiable dangers (yes, and benefits) of every psychoactive substance on earth: from Big Pharma antidepressants to cocaine, from alcohol to cigarettes.

Meanwhile, if someone needs to be shot, how about shooting those who create legislation that 1) violates natural law, 2) keeps godsend medicines from the depressed, 3) turns inner cities into shooting galleries, 4) locks up 10s of thousands of minorities, thus stealing elections for conservatives, 5) justifies Drug War colonialism, 6) prevents Earthlings from accessing the plants that grow at their very feet, and 7) makes drug-hating Christian Science the state religion when it comes to psychological healing. I'd rather not shoot anybody, of course, but if you think we have to, let's get our priorities right first when it comes to targeting.

Mother Deb, in reference to her detoxing daughter: "She's in hell right now."

Too true, Deb, but did you ever stop to ask WHY she's in hell? She's in hell because the drug-war has outlawed all the non-addictive substances (and/or the potentially addictive substances that could be easily used non-addictively) that might otherwise be used during the withdrawal process to ease withdrawal symptoms, and/or give the patient the psychological insight to better tolerate them. For even the detox centers are in the thrall of the Drug War, throwing addicts on cots and forcing them to go cold turkey when there are hundreds of psychoactive godsends that we're not even allowed to study, let alone use, medicines that can change attitudes and give addicts a new start in life.

Deb to Molly: [There's your] boyfriend Eric. Outside that flophouse.

Flophouse? Deb's referring to the bombed-out building in which Molly used to "shoot up," of course, but then what is the detox center but a flophouse, with meals included? The difference is that the rent is much higher, but otherwise they just flop you down on a cot and let you suffer, without ministering to you with any of the thousands of psychoactive balms of the rain forest, many of which, if used with reverence, can temper the mind of the addict to allow them to envision new realities and thus to make the desired changes in their life -- all without going through the hell that the Christian Science Drug Warrior insists that they must suffer.

Detox Doctor Ortiz: "Heroin has a 97% relapse rate."

What Doctor Ortiz fails to point out is that antidepressants like Effexor have identical relapse rates. In fact, psychiatrist-author Julie Holland tells us that many SSRIs are harder to kick than heroin. Why? Because modern antidepressants muck about with one's brain chemistry, which takes a long time (if ever) to resume a normal baseline after the discontinuation of continuously used SSRIs.

Speaking of the good Doctor, it's rather amusing to see him puffed up with professionalism in his white coat and carefully trimmed salt-and-pepper beard, obviously in the prime of his professional life, and yet for all these customary bells and whistles, his job seems to consist merely of injecting Naltrexone and nodding gravely or cheerfully, as circumstances warrant. If appearances weren't everything in such treatments, a cost-sensitive CEO would instantly replace him with an LPN, or better yet an industrial robot decked out in the customary white garb of an officious rehab do-gooder.

Dr. Ortiz has not one single weapon in his pharmacological arsenal, not one (though thousands of rain forest meds are practically crying out to be assayed for such therapeutic purposes), except for Naltrexone, which, however, for him must seem a literal godsend, since it keeps a person from "getting high," which is the absolute no-no in Drug Warrior parlance, even though one person's "getting high" (off of, say, a non-addictive substance such as the psilocybin mushroom) can be another person's "spiritual transcendence." And so the rehab "expert" not only ignores the user's very reason for drug use -- self-transcendence -- but works to ensure that the patient never experiences that self-transcendence again in their life -- for that would constitute a relapse, don't you know. So full speed ahead until the user acknowledges their weakness vis-a-vis the modern boogieman of "drugs" and learns to console themselves for their unfulfilled ambitions in life by prayerfully passing on their sorrows to a thinly disguised Christian God known as "a higher power."

Worst of all, the heroin habitue (sorry, addict) in this movie is constantly lighting up a cigarette containing tobacco -- about the worst drug on the planet -- and the clueless mother sees absolutely no irony in that fact. As long as the drug being consumed supports capitalism, Glenn Close's usually apoplectic character is as quiet as a mouse. It's only when she sees someone attempting to seek transcendence without the use of a board-certified doctor that her character's hackles start to rise. The mother herself freely rushes to the refrigerator for a stiff peg whenever she becomes overwhelmed with her addict daughter's erratic behavior, blissfully ignorant of her own hypocrisy in so doing.

One can only conclude that the mother's problem is not so much with the daughter's addiction as it is with her failure to conform to the usual social norms of the coffee-swilling, cigarette-smoking, alcohol-swigging Drug Warrior.

Remember when the vindictive and hypocritical Glenn Close character murmurs that the teenage dealer "should be shot"? Well, in her defense, the apparent "scumbag" that she was referring to was white. In the 2021 movie "The Runner," another piece of drug-war agitprop, a white detective investigating a drug ring refers to a black teenager -- black TEENAGER, mind -- as, and I quote, "a scumbag, not worth another thought." And this detective was the hero of the film, along with the white teenager Aidan, of course, whom he literally slapped around and forced to "go undercover," after first denying him his right to a lawyer, reminding the badgered youth that "Guilty people want lawyers."

This kind of anti-American and racist dialogue should make movie viewers gag on their popcorn, but you'll have to search long and hard to find a movie critic who finds this plot revolting (and don't hold your breath waiting for Common Sense to flag the fascist tendencies of this film-- their job, after all, is to flag the mere mention of the boogieman called "drugs," not to complain about the fact that America's obsession on that subject has steered the ship of state toward hardcore fascism). It's not like the kids are suspected of dealing in nuclear weapons -- rather they are suspected of selling plant medicine that has been used wisely by other cultures for millennia, the prohibition of which has created drug cartels and inner-city gangs out of whole cloth, while causing civil wars in Mexico and empowering a self-proclaimed Drug War Hitler in the Philippines.

And what's this nonsense about dehumanizing a mere teenager as a "waste"? Does Detective Wall not remember his own youth? I'm not the only 64-year-old who sees his teenage self as an entirely different person, given what I've learned the hard way over the last four-plus decades of my life. The last thing we need is for drug-war zealots to judge us once and for all based on one childhood exploit. And yet the racist detective openly announces his desire to lock the black "waste" up for 20 years. He doesn't get his way, incidentally, but that was only because his SWAT team accidentally killed the kid -- assuming it's possible to "accidentally" kill a teenager by riddling his chest with bullets from every possible direction -- as part of a criminally irresponsible raid on a bunch of unarmed teenagers.

Author's Follow-up: August 6, 2022

In his various interviews, Noam Chomsky repeatedly talks about how American politics is designed by the rich elite to turn the mainstream middle class against the less fortunate -- to thereby keep the bourgeois class busy, as it were, with their self-righteous recriminations so that they'll never have the time or the unity to make a sustained case for better education or adequate housing or adequate healthcare etc. What he might have added is that the elites are able to divide and conquer America like this largely because of the Drug War. For let's face it, it's an age in which you can no longer get away with demeaning another race, another ethnic group, or another religion. And where does all that pent-up prejudice go? Not to worry, because our Drug War gives us the answer: thanks to the war on drugs, Americans are given carte blanche to out-Nazi the Nazis when it comes to demonizing "drug users" and "drug dealers," those fellow Americans whom we are permitted -- and even encouraged -- to call scumbags and filth, words once reserved for the Jews and homosexuals in the Third Reich. And why are we given this freedom of slander and libel? Because these fellow Americans are guilty of a crime that did not even exist 150 years ago: the crime of using and selling medicines of which demagogue politicians disapprove -- medicines that they falsely claim have no positive uses for anyone, anywhere, at any time.

That's why Glenn Close seems like an American role model these days when she looks at a teenage dealer in "Four Good Days" and mutters, "He should be shot!"

Of course, if we're gonna shoot anyone, we should shoot those who created the Drug War to tear America apart by demonizing amoral substances.

Barring this, then we may as well give Glenn's character a swastika epaulet and a German accent, under the theory that we simply cannot be mean ENOUGH toward the Christian Science heretics that we call "drug dealers."

Author's Follow-up: August 20, 2022

Thinking more about Glenn Close's desire to shoot the teenage drug dealer. It never occurs to her that the answer is teaching and education, not demonization. When the poor are taught the true facts about all substances without hypocrisy (as opposed to being taught to fear them, which is the written policy of the Office of Nation Drug Control Policy as conceived by Joe Biden) and when mother nature is free again, like it always was until 1914 America, then the whole social landscape would change as we begin to think logically about substances rather than ideology. The point here is that the current system is set up to scapegoat the young and vulnerable for any drug-related issues -- and it succeeds like a charm, as Glenn Close is the American Everywoman when it comes to the middle class who takes out her anger, not on the powers that be who incarcerate millions of minorities and now call for their execution (the powers that be who withhold godsend morphine from dying kids and have lied about godsend medicines for the depressed for almost 100 years now) but rather on the poor, the uneducated, and the young.

The demagogue Drug Warriors are laughing all the way to the bank. But I suppose we Americans should be happy. At least we're not overseas where presidents like Reagan have done all they could to murder those who were seeking social justice. Capitalism uber alles, don't you know?

Divide and conquer. For the slogan of the moneyed Drug Warrior is: "Keep their eyes OFF the prize."

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans


I guess the motto for their owner, Hubbard Broadcasting, is PANEM ET CIRCENSES, i.e., bread and circuses.
Breaking news : "McDonald's will stay open after petition gathered enough signatures!" If only WTOP would give such front-page coverage to petitions to end the drug war.
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Next essay: The Myth of the Addictive Personality
Previous essay: Clueless Philosophers

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(seemingly useful organizations)

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 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.

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.

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)

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
  • Bernays, Edward "Propaganda"1928 Public Domain
  • 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
  • Gianluca, Toro "Drugs of the Dreaming: Oneirogens"2007 Simon and Schuster
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Grof, Stanislav "The transpersonal vision: the healing potential of nonordinary states of consciousness"1998 Sounds True
  • Head, Simon "Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans"2012 Basic Books
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Illich, Ivan "Medical nemesis : the expropriation of health"1975 Calder & Boyars
  • 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
  • Lindstrom, Martin "Brandwashed: tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy"2011 Crown Business
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Miller, Richard Lawrence "Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State"1966 Bloomsbury Academic
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Nagel, Thomas "Mind and Cosmos: why the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false"2012 Oxford University press
  • Newcombe, Russell "Intoxiphobia: discrimination toward people who use drugs"2014
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rosenblum, Bruce "Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness"2006 Oxford University Press
  • 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
  • Whitaker, Robert "Mad in America"2002 Perseus Publishing
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at For more information, contact Brian at