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Have you been brainwashed by the drug war?

Take this test to find out

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

June 15, 2022

Is the following statement true or false:

Drug use is bad, but criminalization has failed.

If you answered "true," you have been brainwashed by Drug War propaganda, which seeks to make us fear substances rather than to understand them.

The fact is that no substance is bad in and of itself. When we think in this superstitious way, we blind ourselves to all sorts of positive uses for the substances that we demonize. Did you know that neuron-growing psychedelics could be used to fight Alzheimer's disease and autism? Of course you didn't, because the Drug War ideology of substance demonization prevents us from thinking this way. The Drug War tells us to stop thinking about substances and start fearing them instead. Scientists are actually prevented from doing research that could prove the usefulness of the substances that we demonize today.

But the idea that drug use is bad, in and of itself, without regard to context, is the BIG LIE of the Drug War -- a lie that is enforced by Joe Biden's Office of National Drug Control Policy, whose members are actually forbidden from considering any positive uses for "drugs" once they have been criminalized. It's that big lie that has forced a chronic depressive like myself to go a lifetime now without accessing the godsend medicine that grows at my very feet, foisting me off instead onto dependence-forming Big Pharma meds that I have to take every day of my life for my entire life, and which, far from providing inspiration, brings me lethargy and foggy thinking. It's ironic that the drugs that truly DO fry the brain turn out to be Big Pharma antidepressants.

But if you answered "true" to the above question, don't feel too bad. The above statement is partly true, after all: the Drug War has failed. In fact, it's done far worse than fail. It's spread bloodshed around the world by provoking civil wars and inner-city shootings. In 2021, the Drug War caused almost 800 deaths in Chicago alone because substance prohibition created well-armed street gangs in the same way that liquor prohibition created the Mafia. Meanwhile, the Drug War has disfranchised millions of minorities, thereby facilitating the election of the Drug War fascists who wish to ramp up this failed war by executing those who dare traffic in the medical godsends that we have chosen to demonize. So, yes, criminalization has failed spectacularly, bringing fascism in its wake by empowering tyrants to use it as an excuse to crack heads.

But the fact is that criminalization never had the right to succeed, because it is premised on the false idea that drugs must be judged politically, without regard for their true potential. That's why demagogue politicians can demonize and criminalize a drug by citing just a few instances of misuse -- meanwhile completely ignoring the rights and needs of depressed folks like myself. And so with a blatant disregard for logic and statistics, we outlaw godsends that could help hundreds of millions, all so that we can crack down on a few young people whom we have failed to educate about substances. And why did we not educate them? Because drug-war ideology insists that we demonize psychoactive medicines rather than understand them and find ways to use them as safely as possible for the good of human beings and humanity itself.

June 15, 2022

Here's some more inconvenient truths that the know-nothing Drug Warrior does not want you to know: Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin enjoyed poppy-inspired dreams. HG Wells and Jules Verne enjoyed coca wine while writing their stories. Francis Crick imagined the DNA helix while taking generous helpings of psychedelics. Plato got his ideas about the afterlife from the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries. The Vedic-Hindu religion was inspired by psychoactive botanicals. The Incans considered coca to be a God. Mesoamerican religions used so-called magic mushrooms, until Columbus arrived and forced the few surviving worshipers to achieve a much shabbier self-transcendence with violence-causing liquor.

So, are drugs "bad"? It's a meaningless question. Goodness or badness only apply to how they are used. What a loss to the world when botanically clueless politicians tell us that the medicines that inspired entire religions have no reasonable use whatsoever for humankind worldwide. What an insidious stealth tyranny, one whose very victims have been taught to support it, as for instance when black politicians continue to this day to support the war on drugs, utterly failing to hold the Drug War responsible for the inner city violence that prohibition has created out of whole cloth.

This willful ignorance of the facts of the case is nowhere better exemplified than in the fact that Lisa Ling recently produced an hour-long documentary on Chicago violence in which she NEVER EVEN MENTIONED THE DRUG WAR!!!

Open Letter to Lisa Ling

Facts not fear, Lisa! Education not incarceration.

June 23, 2022

It's small wonder that Americans are bamboozled by Drug War lies. All of us have been taught since childhood to say no to Mother Nature's godsend meds, a lesson enforced by television and films, which show only bad uses for drugs -- a lesson further enforced by academia, which publishes papers only about negative drug use, never about beneficial use (like helping folks enjoy music and love their fellow human beings). Many of us even received teddy bears from the State Police and DARE after pledging to fear and demonize psychoactive medicine for the rest of our drug-free life! (Ooh, I mean, drug-free from nasty drugs hated by politicians -- not alcohol, tobacco or Big Pharma meds, of course, nor from coffee, Monster Energy Drinks, etc. etc.)

Next essay: Smart Uses for Opium and Coca
Previous essay: Drug War Quotes in TV and Movies

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

The worst form of government is not communism, socialism or even unbridled capitalism. The worst form of government is a Christian Science Theocracy, in which the government controls how much you are allowed to think and feel in life.
Laughing gas is the substance that gave William James his philosophy of reality. He concluded from its use that what we perceive is just a fraction of reality writ large. Yet his alma mater (Harvard) does not even MENTION laughing gas in their bio of the man.
The drug war is a way for conservatives to keep America's eyes OFF the prize. The right-wing motto is, "Billions for law enforcement, but not one cent for social programs."
We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
The best step we could take in harm reduction is re-legalizing everything and starting to teach safe use. Spend the DEA's billions on "go" teams that would descend on locations where drugs are being used stupidly -- not to arrest, but to educate.
Musk vies with his fellow materialists in his attempt to diss humans as insignificant. But we are not insignificant. The very term "insignificant" is a human creation. Consciousness rules. Indeed, consciousness makes the rules. Without us, there would only be inchoate particles.
Materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
Folks like Sabet accuse folks like myself of ignoring the "facts." No, it is Sabet who is ignoring the facts -- facts about dangerous horses and free climbing. He's also ignoring all the downsides of prohibition, whose laws lead to the election of tyrants.
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.
Proof that materialism is wrong is "in the pudding." It is why scientists are not calling for the use of laughing gas and MDMA by the suicidal. Because they refuse to recognize anything that's obvious. They want their cures to be demonstrated under a microscope.
More Tweets

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front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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

You have been reading an article entitled, Have you been brainwashed by the drug war?: Take this test to find out, published on June 15, 2022 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)