I'm enjoying your course on Formal Logic. I graduated as a philosophy major back in 1989, so the beginning lectures have been a nice refresher and I'm looking forward to improving my analytic skills as the course continues.
I did want to say something, however, regarding your criticism of the argument that compared alcohol to heroin.
I believe that, in analyzing the reasonableness of premises, we have to be mindful not only of our personal prejudices but of the mindset of our culture. We live in a drug-war culture in which we suppress all talk of positive effects of illegal substances. Thus we have rewritten history so that there's no mention of Benjamin Franklin using opium, or Sigmund Freud using cocaine, or Francis Crick using psychedelics. In our cop shows and movies, all such drugs are used only by "scumbags." Meanwhile, a drug like alcohol is advertised 24 hours a day in positive images spread by TV, radio, print and the Internet. So personally, I do not think that Americans are in a position to objectively compare alcohol, say, to heroin (or to any other illegal substance), without first investigating how the culture has shaped their views of the substances in question.
Should we fail to do so (should we place a naïve trust in our own socially-determined viewpoints on these issues) we run the risk of accepting drug-related premises on the basis of a fallacy: namely, the fallacy that "Everyone knows that..." (for instance, "Everyone knows that alcohol isn't THAT bad...") when what "everyone knows" has been determined by Big Liquor marketing combined with a century-old anti-drug campaign full of lies (such as "drugs fry the brain") and rewritten history, in which the positive use of currently criminalized substances disappears from religions, cults and cultures of the past.
Even the safety of coffee, which we take for granted in the US (and which I'm drinking right now, in a way because I'm literally ADDICTED to my "morning cup"), was a view inculcated in us through an intense lobbying and PR campaign by the coffee industry, which was determined not to have its coffee beans outlawed as Drug War hysteria reached a fever pitch in the 1980s (the decade in which the DEA marched onto Monticello and confiscated Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants - thus, in my view, violating the natural law upon which Jefferson founded this country). And so advertisements turned coffee into an innocent non-drug in the minds of Americans and the west in general.
Meanwhile Americans of all social classes and education levels take the "frying pan" ad as gospel truth. That's the infamous 1980s ad from the Partnership for a Drug Free America which claims that substances fry the brain once they have been criminalized by politicians. The facts, however, are almost the opposite: say what you will about drugs like cocaine, opium, and morphine, but they don't fry the brain. Freud used cocaine to increase his mental power and endurance, not to fry his brain. Benjamin Franklin certainly wasn't frying his brain by using opium. Morphine can produce an almost surreal mental clarity (as can be seen by Edgar Allan Poe's descriptions of the drug's effect in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"). Indeed, one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins medical school, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, was a lifelong user of morphine. Amphetamines are so far from frying the brain that the Air Force has required pilots to use them prior to vital missions.
What Americans "know" about drugs is a very fraught topic. Psychiatrist Julie Holland has found that many SSRIs are harder to quit than heroin for long-term users (because the former drugs muck about with brain chemistry, such that it may take months or years - if ever - for a former user to regain a pre-drug neurochemical baseline). My own psychiatrist told me not to bother trying to get off Effexor since a recent study by the NIH shows it has a 95% recidivism rate after three years of non-use.* Meanwhile, one in four American women are currently addicted to Big Pharma meds - one in four -- and yet America does not even consider this to be a problem. To the contrary, influential doctors still appear on shows like Oprah (under the pay of Big Pharma) to remind Americans to "take their meds" (and now Big Pharma is even going after the toddler market under the guise of "nipping ADHD in the bud"). So even the seemingly knock-out argument against heroin - that it is addictive - is a shortcoming that can only be hypocritically urged against that drug, at least in a drug-war culture.
For these reasons, I would personally suggest that you avoid using drug-related premises in your examples of argumentation, unless your purpose in doing so is to highlight the role of culture and propaganda in biasing us as to what is reasonable to believe when it comes to "drugs."
PS I personally believe that the Drug War is the philosophical problem par excellence. That's why I created my website (abolishthedea.com) a year ago to start publishing my own essays on this topic. I do this in part because I consider myself to be a victim of the Drug War, since its criminalization of therapeutic godsends from Mother Nature has shunted me off onto the highly addictive nostrums of Big Pharma.
FOOTNOTE added MAY 23 2022 *The psychiatrist stopped working at the center in question shortly after this incident. I have no doubt that he was fired for being honest with me about psychiatric medicine. His superiors must have deduced that he was being honest given the complaints that I lodged about the addictive nature of psychoactive medicine shortly after my last visit with him. This illustrates the religious and supernatural power of the politically created boogieman called "drugs" in American society. It is a modern taboo. The less one talks honestly about the subject, the better, if one values their job and their professional reputation.
AFTERTHOUGHTS January 13, 2022:
Heroin Problem: Solved
We could solve the heroin problem overnight once we remove the ideological Christian Science blinders of the Drug War. Here's what we do: Make quality heroin easily available to heroin users at a reasonable price, just as highly addictive Big Pharma pills are currently made easily available to Big Pharma addicts. Those satisfied with their life may keep using heroin just as Big Pharma patients keep using Big Pharma meds. Those who are unhappy with their heroin use can be treated by psychologically savvy empathic individuals, who will use a variety of plant medicines -- coca, opium, shrooms, etc. -- to help the dissatisfied heroin habituee gradually change their drug of choice to meds that they find it more easy to live with, or to complete abstinence if they so desire. In this treatment, the therapist does not believe that the "patient" has to feel like shit in order to be cured.
The accepted "treatment" for heroin addiction, on the other hand, is more like Christian Science punishment for heroin addiction. Cold turkey. Charge $3,000 for a cot and keep the patient there for a week. It's a religious cure, based on the Christian Science assumption that the good life is a life without medicine. It's a religion that values suffering over giving the "patient" a real life and helping them achieve self-actualization.
APRIL 30, 2022 In writing on this topic, of course, one has to constantly try to anticipate all the ways in which one is going to be misunderstood. One's reader, like almost everyone in the world today, has been raised on a steady diet of drug-war propaganda. In grade-school we are told to say no to psychoactive medicine and surrounded by signs reading "drug-free" zone -- basically sending the message that Mary Baker Eddy is in control of our children's schooling. Eddy, of course, is the founder of the Christian Science religion which tells us to say no to drugs. Then in our teenage years, we grow accustomed to cop shows in which those who use illegal substances are "scumbags" and "filth." We then watch movies in which those who dare to sell mother nature's plant medicine are shot at point-blank range by self-righteous cigarette-smoking DEA agents and hung from meathooks in their Speedos in order to elicit confessions (see "Running with the Devil"). Then when we enter the workforce, we are required to submit to the humiliation of drug testing, in which the amoral lab techs are not searching for impairment but rather for the least trace of psychoactive medicines of which politicians disapprove -- and all this to get a minimum wage job at Lowe's, Home Depot or Burger King.
Of course, all this time we've been reading the horror stories about juveniles misusing substances -- by reporters who never bother to point out that mind-altering substances have inspired entire religions, given Plato his view of the afterlife, and inspired the stories of such modern writers as Lovecraft, Poe, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Henrik Ibsen and Alexandre Dumas. But the Drug War party line only lets us hear about abuse, abuse, abuse, when it comes to the politically defined category of "drugs," which of course does not include the most deadly drugs of all (namely, alcohol and tobacco) nor the drugs to which 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent for life: namely Big Pharma antidepressants.
But once we throw out this noxious brew of lies and half-truths in which we have all been steeped since birth, we see a world of possibility when it comes, not simply to the pharmacological treatment of mood disorders, but more ambitiously to the psychological improvement of the "normal" human mind. This issue is coming to the fore now as tech companies seek employees who are truly on the ball -- companies that do not particularly care what substances their employees may have consumed in order to evince that desired quality.
To illustrate the wonderful therapeutic vistas that await us once we jettison the heavy backpack of fear and loathing with which Drug Warriors have loaded us westerners down since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, let's think in broad terms for a moment. There are generally two major sensibilities toward psychoactive substances in the world: the attitude of the Drug Warrior and the attitude of the shaman. The Drug Warrior declares all psychoactive drugs bad a priori (with a few glaringly hypocritical exceptions, of course), whereas the shaman wants to therapeutically employ any and all substances that conduce to a better mental life for the client -- as "better" is defined by that client.
I hold that the latter choice is the one that is most becoming for democracies that value freedom, human improvement and the rights guaranteed by natural law.
For once we restore natural law (which gives us the right to what Locke called the use of the land "and all that lies therein") and affirm the principle of "my consciousness, my choice," then the world is our collective oyster when it comes to mental improvement. Moreover, a society governed by such principles would get rid of the very concept of mental patient as anyone seeking mental improvement would seek out a shaman (which we define here as a "pharmacologically savvy empath"), whether this so-called "patient" were afflicted by what our materialist medicine calls OCD or passive-aggressive behavior or SAD syndrome -- or any of the countless other labels that capitalist science has foisted upon behavior in order to channel it efficiently in the direction of profit-making treatment protocols.
Based on our issues, our priorities, and our philosophy of life, the shaman might prescribe a vast array of therapies. Confused patient A-- or rather confused CLIENT A-- might require what we might call simple "talk therapy," whereas deeply depressed client B might respond to talk therapy aided by the honest gregariousness produced by MDMA or psilocybin, etc., whereas patient C might seek a weekly glimpse of self-transcendence through the weekend use of a variety of medicines, from morphine to laudanum to opium to cocaine to mushrooms, etc. Of course, the average reader nearly faints like a 1920's drama queen upon merely hearing such a prescription, but that's only because the Drug War has taught us to fear the drugs in question, not to use them as wisely as possible for human benefit. Once we get over this carefully cultivated knee-jerk fear of ours, we realize that all of these demonized substances can be used non-addictively, especially in a once-weekly therapy that uses a variety of medicines -- in other words a protocol that is specifically created to avoid addiction.
Moreover, modern medicine can only be hypocritically dismissive of addiction in a world in which 1 in 4 women are chemically dependent upon Big Pharma meds for a lifetime.
This state of affairs begs the question: if the cost of legal therapy is the lifelong reliance on a drug, or set of drugs, then why can't the patient in question choose the drug upon which they will be reliant for life? Had I been given the choice -- me, a 40-year veteran of the psychiatric pill mill -- I would never in a million years have chosen Effexor, this mind-numbing drug that has led to anhedonia, but rather would have gladly opted for a prescription of "Coca Wine, to be used as needed." I want to be awake to life (as did coca-loving HG Wells and Jules Verne), not sleeping through it. And if that resulted in "addiction," so be it. Just call me an habitue and keep the coca wine coming (and I'll let you disapproving Drug Warriors keep smoking your stinky cigars, drinking booze, and taking liberal doses of Xanax). Or better yet, let me use opium "as needed" for life. That's what Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin did, before it became de rigueur to dismiss such users as "scumbags." Why opium? Because those gents and I value the metaphorical and creativity-sparking dreams that opium provides. Incidentally, the contents of those dreams could provide fertile fodder for psychoanalytic discussion -- once we get past the politically incorrect fact that those dreams were inspired by what the Drug Warrior can only see as a dirty evil drug.
But I'd better quit here, as this "editorial note" of mine is already far longer than the post which inspired it. I trust that I have convinced at least one former member of the Drug War Cult (you, perhaps?) that a brave new world of POSITIVE drug use awaits us once we discard the Chicken Little "fear first" doctrine of the Drug Warrior and start learning how to use any and all psychoactive substances as safely as possible for the benefit of humans -- and humanity.
Speaking of humanity, we could actually save it from self-destruction with drugs -- like Ecstasy, for instance, which brought peace, love and understanding to the British dance floor in the 1990s (until Drug Warriors predictably shut it down, since they value the Drug War more than peace, love and understanding). Just require all haters to be therapeutically treated with love drugs like E (aka MDMA) -- and require that all heads of state be "on" such a drug when they meet with their adversaries.
To paraphrase Gordon Ramsay: "Nuclear proliferation: sorted."
Oh, one tiny footnote and then I'm outta here:
Of course, "addiction" can be technically defined in a way to differentiate it from "chemical dependence," but in practice the term "addict" is a value-laden term for "habitue." Moreover, the negative experiences of addiction -- in contradistinction to habituation -- are almost always a result of drug policy, and not of drug use itself, as when a user dies from tainted supply or goes through hard withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of supply, both of which circumstances are the result of prohibition, not of drug use itself.
Author's Follow-up: September 22, 2022
The coca leaf could cheer up the depressed and help those who want to get off of another substance. MDMA and nitrous oxide would greatly help as well. But Drug Warriors are anti-patient and pro-medical establishment. They want to keep Americans dependent on Big Pharma's dependence-causing meds. They don't care about the depressed or addicted. That's why I've gone a lifetime now without being allowed to access the plants that grow at my feet, tho' psychiatry was more than happy to addict me to Big Pharma meds, so that I can pay Wall Street fatcats a monthly dividend in the form of ridiculously expensive and worse-than-ineffective "meds." The coca leaf is a godsend valued greatly by HG Wells, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, and countless other 19th-century geniuses. America outlaws it by demonizing it, conflating it with the alkaloid cocaine, which is a different drug altogether, all so that we can keep boots on the ground in South America and facilitate the killing of minorities in inner cities -- 797 in Chicago alone in 2021. And if Trump gets elected, he'll start executing the very folks that he's screwing with his anti-scientific demonization of godsend medicines that have inspired entire religions.
Let us know what you think. Send your comments to me, Brian Quass, at email@example.com. Thanks! Please be sure to mention the title of the essay to which you are responding.
The Drug War is a bipartisan effort, hence its staying power, but if the Republicans have their way, we will have an insurrection to install a president who wants to carry out "the final solution" for the drug war, by executing those who dare to traffic in botanical godsends of which racist politicians disapprove. Yes, Joe Biden himself is part of the problem with his belief in prioritizing fear over facts and incarceration over education. Moreover, he just doesn't "get" the simple fact that prohibition causes violence, it's as simple as that. But the openly traitorous republicans, with the help of Fox News, want to take the drug war to "a whole new level" -- while turning America into a Banana Republic, by getting rid of free elections and installing demagogues by force. Surely the least we can ask of American corporations is that they do not attempt to profit from the peddling of the lies that support this ongoing effort at insurrection. Sign the petition today to tell American businesses that they will be held responsible for supporting networks that openly support insurrection.
*"Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist." -- Heather Ann Thompson, The Atlantic, 2014.
The above numbers may represent undercounts since some of these totals were compiled in late 2021.
The news media just doesn't get it -- or doesn't want to get it. Most stories about the deaths of blacks in inner cities never mention the drug war, as if the fact that prohibition led to armed gangs had nothing to do with the skyrocketing gun deaths that they're reporting on today. For a case in point, check out the article by Micaela A Watts in CommercialAppeal with the headline: "Following 346 homicides in Memphis in 2021, officials consider what's driving the violence."
Yes, that's a real poser, Micaela. The city fathers must really be scratching their heads!
The author notes three major theories for the violence, all of which have nothing to do with the drug war: "Lack of conflict resolution skills," a lack of "fair wages," and (get this) poor mental health.
Looks like the city officials failed to ask themselves why city residents were armed to the teeth in the first place. Hello? That was due to the drugs warriors' substance prohibition which incentivized the poor and poorly educated young people to get into the fantastically profitable business of selling drugs!!!
Substance prohibition created drug gangs and cartels just as surely as liquor prohibition created the Mafia.
Yes, drug warrior, YOU are responsible for these deaths. You! It's a natural result of your ban on medical godsends, some of which have inspired entire religions and have the potential for treating (if not curing) such diverse conditions as Alzheimer's, autism, and depression.
Drug War Victim of the Day
killed in Prince Georges County, Maryland on August 15, 2022
Southeast Washington DC remains a no-go zone, even for UPS drivers, as this latest shooting incident points out, which is 1 in 6 shootings that have taken place in the last week, two of them fatal. If this were happening in Hollywood, California, it would be a scandal. But movie stars are people, and victims of the drug war, especially when poor and black, are what Noam Chomsky calls 'unpeople.'
Yes, even the director of "Bamboozled" is bamboozled about drugs. He agrees with the drug warrior lie that there are psychoactive substances in nature that have no positive uses whatsoever, in any place, any time, any context. This superstitious way of thinking has forced me to go without godsend medicine my entire life. Thanks, Spike. Why do you want people to become drug-hating Christian Scientists, exactly? These things that you call "drugs" have inspired entire religions. The conservatives are laughing as they rush to the polls to elect fascists, because they have bamboozled Spike Lee himself to sign off on the drug war which brings death and incarceration to inner city blacks. Throw away that "just say no" teddy bear with which you were bribed in childhood, Spike, and open your eyes.
Mangual is the author of 'Cities got deadlier in 2020: What's behind the spike in homicides?' in which he never once mentioned the drug war!
Here's my letter to his website:
Hi, Rafael. Just wanted to suggest that you start holding the drug war responsible for inner-city violence -- since substance prohibition incentivized 'dealing' in poor neighborhoods and the guns soon followed. Because no one mentions this 64,000-pound Gorilla, Trump is able to blame the deaths on Democrats, so that, rather than ending the violence-causing drug war, he can begin executing the blacks that drug warriors were previously happy with merely incarcerating.
The Secret World: A History of Intelligence.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
All warfare is based on deception, said Sun Tzu. Yes, but what is all deception based on? A mistrust of one's fellows. And how do you combat that, Chris? With empathogens like MDMA and psilocybin.
London: East India Publishing Company, 2021.
Pious drug warriors have usually thought of Marcus Aurelius as the perfect replacement for bad evil drugs -- but Marcus had his cake and ate it too. He philosophized under the influence of opium (but don't tell the kids!)
Alice in Wonderland: The Original 1865 Edition With Complete Illustrations By Sir John Tenniel.
New York: Amazon, 2021.
Alice's shroom-powered adventures are a standing reproach to glum-faced drug warriors, who closely resemble the Queen of Hearts, shouting: "Off with their heads, for using godsend medicines of which I disapprove!"
De Quincey, Thomas.
Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
New York: Dover, 1995.
During De Quincey's informed opium use, he "partook" only weekly in order to better enjoy the opera, making his weekday life happier as well, however, thanks to anticipation of use, a benefit of which materialist science takes no account.
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner .
New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
A stark reminder that the world is living under a nuclear sword of Damocles. And why? Because it demonizes all the godsend medicines (like MDMA and shrooms) that could bring humanity together in universal harmony.
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys .
New York: Park Street Press, 2011.
First-hand accounts of psychological breakthroughs achieved with the guided use of entheogens, suggesting that one-time givens like "character" and "human nature" are far more susceptible to improvement than we thought.
A Disease in the Public Mind: Why We Fought the Civil War.
New York: Da Capo Press, 2014.
The late historian Fleming cites the popular mob-led public "diseases" of Witch-Hunting, Liquor Prohibition, and Communism -- yet says nothing about the Drug War, which was the great disease in the public mind of his own time!!!
Liberalism and Its Discontents.
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.
Great bipartisan insights, BUT... Francis reckons without the drug war, so, like a good drug warrior, he blames all the ills caused by prohibition on the politically created boogieman called "drugs."
The Dream of Enlightenment: the Rise of Modern Philosophy.
New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.
The author seems unaware of the increasingly clear ability of empathogens like MDMA and shrooms to improve the very human nature which grumps like Hobbes portray as being so irrevocably fixed.
Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, from Soul to Psychedelics.
New York: HarperWave, 2020.
Julie claims that Nixon criminalized psychedelics for health reasons. What? That's not the Nixon I know. He said himself that Leary was enemy #1. He was removing "users" from the voting rolls, not protecting them.
The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell.
New York: Penguin Books, 1970.
Huxley's speculations about perception jibe with modern science, which finds that human beings see what is presumably useful to them, not necessarily what is "really there" in the sensory-rich physical world.
The Birth of the Modern.
New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
Johnson says that opium caused Samuel Taylor Coleridge's problems. Nonsense. Lack of education and irresponsibility causes problems. As Johnson himself says, most Brits used opium as needed without trouble.
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead .
New York: University Books, 1964.
Americans have been primed by the drug-war zeitgeist to consider everything Leary writes as nonsense. But he was the first one to announce loudly and clearly that what's really nonsensical is to outlaw plant medicine.
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
New York: Del Rey Books, 1970.
Lovecraft's work is full of opiate imagery that drug warriors want to render impossible for artists to feel: "I would often drift in opiate peace through the valley and the shadowy groves..." (Ex-Oblivione)
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction.
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009.
Gabriel moralizes "addiction." Addiction, however, is a political term. One can use psychoactive Big Pharma meds every day and be a good patient -- use heroin every day, however, and you're just escaping "inner pain." What?
Maupassant, Guy de.
Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques - Guy de Maupassant: Les classiques du fantastique .
Paris: , 2019.
In "La Horla," Maupassant anticipates Huxley by speculating that our perceptual habits blind us to a world of wonders. Many of today's demonized drugs, it appears, can at least partially open our eyes to that world.
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution .
New York: Bantam, 1992.
This was the book that reminded me of what I already vaguely knew: that it is tyrannical insanity for a government to outlaw plants. McKenna's philosophical speculations on why we criminalize inspired me to create abolishthedea.com.
Miller, Richard Louis.
Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca Kindle .
New York: Park Street Press, 2017.
Informative interviews with movers-and-shakers in the field, including Rick Doblin, Stanislav Grof, James Fadiman, David Nichols and Robert Whitaker. Packed with eye-opening one-liners about godsend meds.
Out of our Heads.
New York: HiII&Wang,, 2010.
Noe reveals how patients with "locked-in" syndrome have reported being supremely aware of their surroundings during their supposedly brain-dead coma, a fact that puts in question our materialist assumptions about consciousness.
When Plants Dream.
New York: Watkins Publishing, 2019.
I find philosophical problems with most of the books that I read on the subject of psychoactive medicine, but Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the few authors who could teach me a few things on this topic.
Poe, Edgar Allan.
The Essential Poe.
New York: Warbler Classics, 2020.
Because drug warriors never mention the good side of "drugs," we must turn to Poe to learn, for instance, that morphine can bring a surreal appreciation of Mother Nature (see "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains").
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence .
New York: Penguin Books, 2018.
Pollan has yet to realize that the very term "drugs" is just a modern pejorative epithet for "plant medicine of which botanically clueless politicians disapprove. "
Reynolds, David S..
Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville .
New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Exhaustively researched account of the 19th-century zeitgeist, and yet the word "drugs" (as defined, or rather derided, by today's drug warrior) is never even used. Last century's boogieman was liquor, it seems, not "drugs."
Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences Hardcover.
New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
The psychedelic experience was once characterized as pharmacologically induced madness. Richards shows how the properly guided experience can lead to sanity instead -- and a way of life that is not self-destructive.
Diary of a Dirty Little War: The Spanish-American War of 1898 .
Connecticut: Praeger, 2000.
The war took place 16 years before anti-Chinese Drug Warriors criminalized the poppy plant, and yet opium is only mentioned with regard to a group of unimaginative volunteers who smoked some and "couldn't see the point."
Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered.
New York: Arlington House, 1967.
Burke was a conservative in a sense, but he would not recognize America's Republican party of today. He would surely have seen that prohibition causes all the problems we ascribe to "drugs," and then some.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.
New York: Penguin, 2014.
In 1980, the Air Force nearly blew up Arkansas and irradiated half the country. When Reagan took office the next year, what was his priority? Outlawing plant medicine that could make our species less warlike.
Red Star Rogue: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine's Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. .
New York: Pocket Star, 2006.
On March 7, 1968, a rogue Soviet submarine nearly blew up Pearl Harbor with a thermonuclear bomb. Instead of launching a war on nukes, then-President Nixon launched a war on medicines that could inspire peace, love and understanding.
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler.
New York: RosettaBooks, 2011.
Paraphrase from book: "No one who has not lived for years in a DRUG WAR SOCIETY can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime's calculated and incessant propaganda."
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds.
Back Bay Books: Boston, 2019.
Despite griping about the weight she's put on from taking her daily 'meds,' Slater gives Big Pharma a big fat mulligan for consigning 1 in 4 American women like herself to a lifetime of chemical dependency on SSRI antidepressants.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences .
New York: Park Street Press, 2001.
Rick doubts DMT's therapeutic usefulness, but common sense psychology suggests that any break from full-on introspection would be a treat, notwithstanding materialists who aren't even sure that laughing gas could help the depressed!!!
Ceremonial Chemistry: the ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers.
New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974.
Filled with inconvenient truths that critics ignore rather than refute, including how politicized science tells us a la God: "Eat of the fruit and you shall die," ignoring the fact that education tells us how to eat of that fruit safely.
Our Right to Drugs: The case for a free market.
New York: Praeger, 1992.
Chock-a-block with all-too-rare common sense: "Doctors, lawyers and politicians started the War on Drugs and continue to wage it, and they are its real beneficiaries -- the drug war's ostensible beneficiaries... are its victims."
Tyler, George R..
Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System.
Michigan: Pegasus Books, 2016.
Doesn't mention drugs, but illustrates how drug reform can be stymied by just 3% of the public: namely, those holding stock in Big Pharma, etc., especially when these elites can bribe politicians to retain the status quo.
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America .
New York: Crown, 2010.
Prohibition has facilitated the creation of a psychiatric pill mill upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life. Moreover, these pills cause the chemical imbalances that they purport to fix.
Zuboff , Shoshana.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
New York: Public Affairs, 2019.
Surveillance capitalists and drug warriors share the same goal: to keep human beings predictable: one by rendering us more robot-like and the other by denying us the mind-improving blessings of psychoactive medicine
There are an absolute LEGION of online articles and newspaper stories that get it wrong about so-called drugs. Even those in favor of drug law reform have been subject to drug war propaganda from childhood (and they probably have a DARE teddy bear to prove it!) so speak truth to nonsense and comment on the articles that get it wrong.
Bloody disgusting fact: The Drug War brought almost 800 deaths to Chicago in 2021 by incentivizing the hugely profitable sale of psychoactive medicine in poor communities. And now Trump and his fellow fascist drug warriors want to use that violence as an excuse to KILL drug dealers via execution! Any community leaders supporting the drug war are complicit in this genocide. For as Heather Ann Thompson wrote in The Atlantic in 2014: "Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist."
How America can end inner-city homicides overnight in three easy steps:
Re-legalize Mother Nature's plant medicines
Treat substance abuse as a health problem
Buy back inner-city guns at double their purchase price (even triple the price would be a huge bargain in the long run)
This will, of course, be a huge sacrifice for everyday Americans, who do love their drug war, bless them.