"Any question of philosophy which is so obscure and uncertain that human reason can reach no fixed determination with regard to it; if it should be treated at all, seems to lead us naturally into the style of dialogue and conversation." - Dialogues Concerning Natural Religions. David Hume.
Okay. Take a load off.
Oh, thank you, old boy. I just got back from the "just say no" rally, don't you know. It was a jolly good show, what?
Oh, really? And you have no problem just saying no to medicines that have inspired entire religions?
What do you mean, sir?
The Vedic-Hindu religion was inspired by soma. Coca inspired the Inca religion. Psychedelics gave Plato his view of the afterlife.
Oh, that. I thought you were talking about board certified religions, old boy, like Christianity.
No, he's got a point there. In light of the facts thus enumerated, one might say that the Drug War outlaws the very impulse of religion.
Well, that's rather ripe coming from you, Michael, my dear boy.
How do you mean?
Didn't you just write a book in which you claimed that it was too dangerous to legalize the use of mushrooms and other psychedelics, what what?
He's got you there, Michael.
It seems that some things are more important to you than religious liberty, old man.
So I want to protect junior from misusing drugs. So sue me.
And you want to do that at the expense of denying me my religion?
Nay, worse: you've denied me the religious impulse that such substances create, thereby preventing me from even conceptualizing new religions, let alone joining them.
That's just like you, Brian: you're always interested in abstract principles, while I'm worried about real lives.
Yes. Real WHITE lives in the American suburbs.
He's got you again, Michael, old man.
How about the 'real lives' of the thousands of Mexican kids who have lost their parents to the war on drugs that America exported to the world beginning in the early 20th century?
How about the thousands of black Americans who are killed every year by the heavily armed gang violence that prohibition has caused in inner cities?
Besides, if you're worried about the negative effects of drugs, why aren't you fretting about the psychoactive drug called sugar, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of diabetes deaths in Mexico over the last decade, thanks to that country's massive imports of Coca-Cola and American processed foods?
Looks like he's clammed up on you, old boy.
Well, that always happens to me: whenever I spout an incontrovertible truth, my critics always clam up on me, and henceforth cut me entirely, I might add.
Not to worry, Brian, old boy, for I'm here, and I can grill Michael on your behalf, even if he stiffs you, dialectically speaking, that is.
But I thought you were in favor of the Drug War.
I am, old boy. But I have good religious reasons for just saying no.
Yes, really. What's more, I want to save junior from more than just psychedelics. I want to save him from the scourge of excessive marijuana use as well.
Oh, here we go.
Yes, here we go old man: See what your legalization talk has led to? Toke City, baby! (er, I mean, 'old man').
Yes, and do you know why it's Toke City, today, baby?
No. Enlighten me, dear boy.
Because you Drug Warriors have outlawed almost every other psychoactive substance on the frickin' planet!
Now Brian's got YOU, old boy.
And you've thereby outlawed my religion, which holds that the unexamined life is not worth living.
Oh, I see old man. So you have to be 'stoned,' I suppose, in order to examine life?
Steady, old boy.
"Stoned" is your prejudiced and derisive terminology. I have to be inspired by medicines to reach states that help me see outside my own limited understanding of the world in which I dwell, both psychologically and physically speaking.
Far better to just say no, old boy.
Well, because... because... um...
Why is a state of sobriety the ultimate goal in your life? Gunmen shoot up schools when they're sober; they commit suicide when they're sober; they launch nuclear weapons when they're sober.
Well, I never!
You should try it some time, 'old boy.'
Do you know what?
I wish there were some undiscovered country that I could set sail for in emulation of my Mayflower ancestors, so that I could found a country based on the idea that psychoactive medicine should be used for the benefit of humanity without being stigmatized either by politicians or the sensation-seeking tabloid press.
What's more, I would be setting sail for the same reason my ancestors did: to found a country wherein they could exercise religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
I'm with you... kind of.
I'm sorry Michael, but "kind of" doesn't cut it. In fact, with friends like you, we opponents of the Drug War don't need enemies.
Hey, in case you hadn't noticed, I represent the consensus view on these topics!
That's true, unfortunately, and the consensus view is very confused indeed.
The average American senses that the Drug War is full of crap, but they can never really grasp the full evil at work here because they have been programmed from birth to hate and fear psychoactive medicines rather than to understand them.
The propaganda of omission has kept them from learning about the positive uses of mind medicine because TV, films and academia only ever talk about misuse and abuse, never about positive use, whether theoretical or historical.
This keeps us from grasping an obvious truth: that the Drug War is wrong through and through. Why? Because it tells us there are substances that have no positive uses for anyone, ever, at any time, in any place, for any reason, at any dose.
Well, yes, but--
And guess what?
There are no substances of that kind. Moreover, to insist otherwise, is anti-scientific because it keeps us from finding the very uses that could disprove the theory.
In other words, the Drug War is just a superstition.
A superstition that keeps me from practicing my religion and following the Platonic imperative of knowing myself and the world around me.
Well, all I can say is that I'll pray for you, old man, in the name of the drug free Father, and the drug Free Son, and the drug free Holy Spirit. Amen.
And I'll write some more books, explaining why we have to continue going slow on approving the use of dangerous botanicals like mushrooms. I think I'll call my new book, "How to Change Your Mind with Shock Therapy: why it's better to fry your brain with electricity than to partake of evil plants and fungus."
Gee, that's swell, fellas. NOT! As for me, I'll keep writing articles on the Internet in an attempt to waken America to the obvious: that the Drug War is wrong root and branch...
Yes, and that it is a violation of my religious liberty.
Oh, this passes!
And you, with your quaint 19th-century British tropes: don't you realize that the Drug War is the enforcement of the drug-hating religion of Christian Science with respect to psychoactive medicine?
May God forgive you for saying so, old boy.
Oh, Brian, can I get the spelling of your complete name, please?
Oh, yes, Michael, I'd be flattered.
Don't be. I just want to search the text of my latest manuscript to make sure that I did not inadvertently mention your name therein!
M. Pollan says "not so fast" when it comes to drug re-legalization. I say FAST? I've gone a whole lifetime w/o access to Mother Nature's plants. How can a botanist approve of that? Answer: By ignoring all legalization stakeholders except for the kids whom we refuse to educate.
THE DRUG WAR AND RELIGION
"My faith votes and strives to outlaw religions that use substances of which politicians disapprove."
The DEA conceives of "drugs" as only justifiable in some time-honored ritual format, but since when are bureaucrats experts on religion? I believe, with the Vedic people and William James, in the importance of altered states. To outlaw such states is to outlaw my religion.
The Holy Trinity of the Drug War religion is Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and John Belushi. "They died so that you might fear psychoactive substances with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Today's war against drug users is like Elizabeth I's war against Catholics. Both are religious crackdowns. For today's oppressors, the true faith (i.e., the moral way to live) is according to the drug-hating religion of Christian Science.
The Drug War is a religion. The "addict" is a sinner who has to come home to the true faith of Christian Science. In reality, neither physical nor psychological addiction need be a problem if all drugs were legal and we used them creatively to counter problematic use.
This is a "prima facie" truth, based on the already established power of drug-aided sleep cures combined with the drug-aided ministrations of a pharmacologically savvy empath, especially in a world in which we spend billions on achieving this goal, rather than on arresting users.
Unfortunately, the prohibitionist motto is: "Billions for arrest, not one cent for education." To the contrary, drug warriors are ideologically committed to withholding the truth about drugs from users.
If any master's candidates are looking for a thesis topic, consider the following: "The Drug War versus Religion: how the policy of substance prohibition outlaws the attainment of spiritual states described by William James in 'The Varieties of Religious Experience.'"
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, Hey, You, Get Off Of My Creed!: how the drug war bans my religion, published on January 6, 2022 on AbolishTheDEA.com. 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 abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)