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Harold & Kumar Support the Drug War

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

November 12, 2019

've already found leisure to dilate on the anti-democratic impact of drug-war movies like "Running with the Devil," in which the DEA agent is the (ahem) "hero" who combats those bad guy plant sellers by torturing them and shooting them in cold blood. Although this kind of movie deserves to be panned for its ideological toxicity, don't hold your breath waiting for movie critics to bash the movie on that score. And as far as parental watch dog groups are concerned, count on them to lambaste such pics for nudity, violence, and naughty words, but don't expect to hear a peep from them about the pro-fascist message of such DEA propaganda. Johnny must not swear, of course, but if he wants to torture and murder folks who traffic in Mother Nature's plants, more power to him.

But there is another genre of pictures that helps sell the pro-fascist Drug War sensibility to gullible Americans: namely, comedies such as "Harold & Kumar go to White Castle," in which illegal plant substances are uniquely associated with sexual abandon and blatant irresponsibility. Such films would be innocuous enough in a culture that spoke honestly about drugs -- that recognized both their benefits and ills -- but in our drug-war society, which dogmatically recognizes only the misuse of outlawed substances, such movies reinforce the Drug Warrior supposition that there is no sensible reason to use the plants that the government has chosen to criminalize. So as Neil Patrick Harris snorts cocaine off the tush of a pole dancer while driving Harold's car through off-road vegetation, one can just hear the "lock-em-up" conservative in the audience saying to himself: "You see? Aren't drugs just the worst thing in the world?!" And so we lie to ourselves to keep this Drug War myth going. We ignore responsible use of banished plants and erase such use from history.

Nowhere is this historical revisionism more striking than in the case of Freud's use of cocaine, because, properly considered, Freud's cocaine use calls into question most of modern psychiatry's pieties (such as "no pain, no gain," "we must treat the REAL causes," "feel-good drugs are bad," etc.) It begs the question: if Freud fought off fatigue and depression with cocaine, abjuring theoretical psychoanalysis for that purpose, and thereby amassing a prolific vocational output that led to an unprecedented degree of self-actualization in his life, why should the rest of us be forced by law to treat our similar problems with the latest popular theoretical therapy? Why can't we, too, avail ourselves of the real politik of plant-based therapy to attain self-fulfillment?

Of course, the modern psychiatrist will chide: "But that's just treating the symptoms, that's not treating the REAL illness," to which we say "So what?" Despite materialist claims to the contrary, we do not know any one single cause for depression and fatigue, and indeed it is thanks to our determination to find this highly improbable El Dorado that we now have a nation of addicts, addicted to pills that claimed (falsely as it turns out) to correct a chemical imbalance peculiar to the depressed.

Besides, isn't the goal of psychiatry to grant the patient a life of self-actualization? In that case, cocaine worked a treat for Freud, not by giving him that self-fulfillment directly (not by targeting some supposititious self-fulfillment chemical!), but by arousing in him the psychophysical baseline condition that permitted him to succeed on his own. That was not a copout for Freud, but if we insist on calling it so, then God grant us all such a copout that leads to professional self-fulfillment in life.

Back to H&K:

A cop says: "I just found enough dope in the car to put these skateboard punks in jail for the next couple of years."

And the Drug Warrior in the audience cheers.

But think how costly this sense of satisfaction is : By putting away punks, we have denied godsend medicines to the elderly, the depressed, the victims of PTSD.

It's this focus on punishing (and/or protecting) punks through substance prohibition -- aided by Hollywood's selective depiction of drug use as exclusively hedonistic -- that denies the psychologically desperate the plant medicines that could make their lives livable, often enjoyable, again.

God grant Americans can someday be satisfied with punishing a punk's bad actions alone, not their mere possession of plants. That way, when we do punish them, we're not also punishing the psychologically needy as we do today, forcing them by law to eschew mother nature's therapies in favor of addictive Big Pharma pills that need to be taken every single day for life.

The protection and/or punishment of the punks of the world must stop taking precedence over the psychological needs and, indeed, rights of the vast majority of humanity, for we're not talking about privileges here: we're talking about the resurrection of the earthling's natural birthright to the plants and fungi that grow at their very feet.

Author's Follow-up: September 10, 2022

It will be objected that Freud himself renounced cocaine after his excessive use of the drug became habit-forming and so cocaine really is devil spawn -- but this is typical drug-war reasoning. One begins by using a substance without proper knowledge of it, and then when downsides ensue, the user blames them on the drug rather than on their lack of education about the substance in question. Thus Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an inveterate explorer of the psychoactive world, blamed opium for his addiction after he began engaging in the excessive use of laudanum. Again, this is typical drug-war mentality: we place the blame for our bad outcomes on substances rather than on the ignorance that rendered the substances harmful. This leads to a vicious circle in which we begin outlawing all kinds of psychoactive substances, thereby outlawing meds which, in a sane world, could be used by an empathic and pharmacologically savvy empath to counter the habituating effects of the drugs upon which we have become reliant.

Anyway, there are plenty of well-known coca users who used the drug wisely and did not become addicts -- or, if they did, they found the coca use to be no more problematic than their daily cup of coffee. Such users should really be referred to by the non-judgmental term of "habitue," not the censorious and hence political term "addict." HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their beloved stories "on" coca wine, a drink which was also a favorite of Henrik Ibsen and Alexandre Dumas, and Arthur Conan Doyle produced a beloved superhero sleuth whose laser-like mental focus was unapologetically ascribed to the wonders of the coca plant (the same kind of medicine that the Partnership for a Drug Free America tells us will fry our brains!) Yet America leads the world in dogmatically eschewing this godsend plant medicine under the anti-scientific theory that medicines like that are somehow bad in themselves, without regard for how they are used. For what is the definition of "drug" in modern times but "a substance that has no justifiable uses: not here, not now, not for you, not for me, not for anyone, ever, at any time whatsoever."

The fact is there are no such substances in the entire world -- even the deadly Botox can be beneficial in specific cases -- and until the world wakes up to this obvious truth, Drug Warriors will continue to militarize the world in their Quixotic attempt to outlaw psychoactive godsends.

Next essay: Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling
Previous essay: How Variety and its film critics support drug war fascism

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

If we let "science" decide about drugs, i.e. base freedom on health concerns, then tea can be as easily outlawed as beer. The fact that horses are not illegal shows that prohibition is not about health. It's about the power to outlaw certain "ways of being in the world."
The DEA rating system is not wrong just because it ranks drugs incorrectly. It's wrong because it ranks drugs at all. All drugs have positive uses. It's absurd to prohibit using them because one demographic might misuse them.
David Chalmers says almost everything in the world can be reductively explained. Maybe so. But science's mistake is to think that everything can therefore be reductively UNDERSTOOD. That kind of thinking blinds researchers to the positive effects of laughing gas and MDMA, etc.
Here's one problem that supporters of the psychiatric pill mill never address: the fact that Big Pharma antidepressants demoralize users by turning them into patients for life.
This is the "Oprah fallacy," which has led to so much suffering. She told women they were fools if they accepted a drink from a man. That's crazy. If we are terrified by such a statistically improbable event, we should be absolutely horrified by horses and skateboards.
Almost all talk about the supposed intractability of things like addiction are exercises in make-believe. The pundits pretend that godsend medicines do not exist, thus normalizing prohibition by implying that it does not limit progress. It's a tacit form of collaboration.
Q: Where can you find almost-verbatim copies of the descriptions of religious experiences described by William James? A: In descriptions of user reports of "trips" on drugs ranging from coca to opium, from MDMA to laughing gas.
Typical materialist protocol. Take all the "wonder" out of the drug and sell it as a one-size-fits all "reductionist" cure for anxiety. Notice that they refer to hallucinations and euphoria as "adverse effects." What next? Communion wine with the religion taken out of it?
Well, today's Oregon vote scuttles any ideas I might have entertained about retiring in Oregon.
There's a run of addiction movies out there, like "Craving!" wherein they actually personify addiction as a screaming skeleton. Funny, drug warriors never call for a Manhattan Project to end addiction. Addiction is their golden goose.
More Tweets

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You have been reading an article entitled, Harold & Kumar Support the Drug War published on November 12, 2019 on 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 (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)