Essay date: September 11, 2020

How Logic-Challenged Journalists Support the Drug War




Drug war propaganda and ideology superstitiously blame substances for deaths when substances are amoral.  Drug War policy kills, not drugs.

hen Leah Betts died after ingesting a single Ecstasy tablet in 1995, the media trumpeted the triumphant news (from a Drug Warrior perspective at least) that an actual death had finally been attributed to E. At last! You could almost hear a sigh of relief from Drug Warriors around the world: now they could finally plausibly call for a crack down on a drug that so far had caused nothing but peace, love and understanding on the rave dance floor. The fact that aspirin causes 3,000 deaths a year in the UK was never mentioned, of course. Nor the fact that safe guidelines for Ecstasy use were discouraged because of prohibition which limited researchers' ability to even develop such guidelines. But that's no problem for the modern Drug Warrior. During a Drug War, it only takes one death to torpedo a drug's reputation thanks to the childish logic employed by the Drug Warrior and Drug Warriors were never going to let the world forget this one glaring exception to the rule when it came to Ecstasy use.

But to say that E killed Leah was like saying that a bicycle killed the victim of a bike accident. It misses the point entirely. It turns the drug ecstasy into a scapegoat and boogieman, thereby allowing logic-challenged Drug Warriors to ignore the real cause of Leah's death: namely, the above-mentioned fact that proper safe use guidelines could not be developed for the drug thanks to the Drug War itself.

How does the media get away with this biased drug-related coverage, with this failure to put deaths like Leah's into some kind of sane perspective, pharmacologically speaking? They get away with it because their drug-related articles are informed by the drug-warrior belief that illegal psychoactive substances can only be used for getting "high" in the most frivolous and irresponsible sense of that word, that there is no sensible reason for using such substances. "Drugs like E have no sane use," they believe, "therefore even one death from using them is one too many."

But their premise is false, both psychologically and historically speaking. Historically speaking, entheogenic drugs like E have been the inspiration for founding entire religions (as the Vedic religion was inspired by soma). From a psychological viewpoint, such substances, at a bare minimum, give the user a break from reality, which is precisely the therapeutic benefit that the punter seeks in hitting up the local pub. Meanwhile, the use of Ecstasy by a group conduces to harmonious crowds full of dancers who actually care for each other in spite of racial and ethnic differences, whereas the collective guzzling of beer often leads to violent brawls and the surfacing of vestigial racism in the inebriates.

No sane use for E? Um, hello? It brings about peace, love and understanding. Isn't that good enough for you?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Drug warriors are not interested in peace, love and understanding any more than they are interested in allowing the kind of research that could have resulted in guidelines that would have prevented Leah's death in the first place. The Drug Warrior is all about demonizing substances in a way that no cultures have ever done before (before the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 first effectively outlawed a plant in violation of the natural law upon which Jefferson founded America), and if they have to ignore reality to do that, so be it.

It is my hope that essays like this will encourage logic-savvy journalists to fight back against this ideological demonization of amoral substances by putting "drug-related deaths" in perspective in their media coverage, by refusing to adopt the Drug Warrior prejudices mentioned above, especially the absurd notion that psychoactive substances can cause only evil once they have been criminalized by scheming politicians.

Perhaps the greatest change in this regard is needed in the obit section, for the Drug Warrior has a ghoulish love for autopsies of famous people, especially of those who die an early death. Drug warriors are always rooting for the coroner to discover some outlawed drug in the system of such celebrities. Why? Because if an outlawed drug is found, they know that the mere reporting of that fact in the media will read (in a Drug War society like our own) as an implicit argument in favor of the Drug War and the need for a still greater crackdown on illicit substances. No need to definitively link the drug to the death. The autopsy need only associate a proscribed substance with a death and the public (already well primed by Drug Warrior lies and propaganda) will draw the "right" (albeit illogical) conclusion: namely, that drugs are horrible in and of themselves, once they've been outlawed by politicians.

Drug Warriors therefore want to parlay each premature celebrity death into first-class Drug War propaganda, and the media typically abets them in doing this by implicitly accepting the chop logic mentioned above, failing to mention in their outraged articles (with Drug War-friendly headlines such as "E Kills Leah Betts!") that the two main dangers of illegal drug use are both results of the Drug War itself: first, the lack of available safety information about the drugs in question (caused by a drug-war crackdown on research of those substances), and second, the inability to access a safe and unadulterated product (caused by the drug-war prohibition which puts drug sales in the hands of profit-driven criminals, whose financial interest lies in diluting their product with god-knows-what look-alike replacements for the desired product).

Before journalists write one more logically challenged article about the evil of drugs, they may wish to reflect on the following inconvenient historical truths viz today's Drug War ideology:

There was no Drug War in Ancient Egypt. There was no Drug War in Ancient Mesopotamia. There was no Drug War in Ancient Greece. There was no Drug War in Ancient Persia. There was no Drug War in Ancient Rome. There was no Drug War in the Mongol Empire. There was no Drug War in the Viking Age.

Why not? Because until the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, people were judged by the way that they actually behaved and not by what substances they had in their digestive systems. Likewise, before 1914, there was no such thing as a bad substance - only substances that could be bad or good depending on the precise circumstances of their use, for the intelligent of all literate ages have understood that even salt could be deadly at high doses. In other words, substances never kill anyone: all substance-related deaths are caused by people, whether by dealers providing tainted product or by Drug Warriors failing to provide users with objective education about the pros and cons of all psychoactive substances - all substances, including Big Pharma meds, tobacco and alcohol -- whether those substances have been previously demonized by racist politicians or not.

The Links Police

Pull over to the side of the web page: topic-related links coming through viz. the media and the way they misunderstand the Drug War:

COPS: TV Show for Racist Drug Warriors
America's Obsession with Fascist Drug War Movies
How Logic-Challenged Journalists Support the Drug War
Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War

Next essay: How The Drug War Killed Andy Gibb
Previous essay: Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War

More Essays Here


essays about
THE MEDIA AND THE DRUG WAR

Attention American Screenwriters: please stop spreading Drug War propaganda
Drug War Copaganda
Why Hollywood Owes Richard Nixon an Oscar
Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Cop shows as drug war propaganda
COPS: TV Show for Racist Drug Warriors
Common Nonsense from Common Sense Media
America's Obsession with Fascist Drug War Movies
Glenn Close but no cigar
How the Atlantic Supports the Drug War
How Variety and its film critics support drug war fascism
Karolina Zieba just doesn't get it
All these Sons
Colorado plane crash caused by milk!
Drug War Quotes in TV and Movies
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
10 Idiots who helped spread drug war propaganda on Listverse
The Runner: Racist Drug War Agitprop
Moonfall
Enough Drug War Propaganda Movies Already



The Schedule I Gift Shop

Help the Drug War philosopher spend more time trashing the idiotic drug war. Purchase products from my Schedule I Gift Shop at Cafepress.com. Want to make money rather than spend it? Send me your anti-drug-war artwork and photos for inclusion on my drug war products and get 50% of all sale proceeds that those products generate. Email quass@quass.com for details.


This is your Brain on Godsend Plant Medicine: Stop the Drug War from demonizing godsend plant medicines. Psychoactive plant medicines are godsends, not devil spawn.

End Drug War Sharia: Re-Legalize Plants: Speak common sense to power: end the war against Mother Nature's medicines.

Monticello Betrayed Thomas Jefferson: By demonizing plant medicine, the Drug War overthrew the Natural Law upon which Jefferson founded America -- and brazenly confiscated the Founding Father's poppy plants in 1987, in a symbolic coup against Jeffersonian freedoms.

End the Christian Science Drug War: The war on plant medicine is the establishment of the Christian Science religion, which tell us it is somehow moral to do without godsend plant medicine.

Drug Testing For Tobacco And Liquor Decal: Slap this sticker on a urinal to remind urinating drug warriors of the hypocrisy of their war on godsend plant medicine.

The Dea Poisoned Americans Bumper Sticker: In the 1980s, DEA Chief John C. Lawn laced marijuana plants with Paraquat, a weed killer that has since been shown to cause Parkinson's Disease.

No Drug War Keychains: The key to ending the Drug War is to spread the word about the fact that it is Anti-American, unscientific and anti-minority (for starters)

Stop Demonizing Plant Medicine Car Bumper Magnet: Today the word

old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches





You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian has 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. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazi fies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America.

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.

Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at abolishthedea.com. For more information, contact Brian at quass@quass.com.