Essay date: January 28, 2023

How Science News Reckons Without the Drug War

The Drug War exists. Until Science News recognizes that fact in its articles, it is going to continue giving its readers the false impression that today's modern psychologists are working from a natural baseline.

a Letter to the Editor at Science News

Science News continues to reckon without the Drug War. We live in an age in which we have outlawed almost all the psychoactive medicines with which humankind has improved its mood in the past. And yet the magazine continues to publish articles about human psychology without even mentioning this fact.

Of course, Science News can be forgiven, in a way, for when it comes to psychology, they are writing about a field which itself has failed to acknowledge the very existence of the Drug War, let alone the many ways in which its ideology of substance demonization limits our concept of how we might best treat mood and mind problems.

Take your January 28 article about human flourishing. Author Sujata Gupta tells us that "positive psychologists tend to believe that anyone can flourish." If all drugs were legal, as has been the status quo of humanity until 1914, this statement could be judged on its own terms; but in the age of the Drug War, such a statement represents a tacit endorsement of the belief of Mary Baker Eddy, that we do not need drugs - indeed, that drugs are so superfluous to human happiness that prominent psychologists need not even acknowledge their existence, much less the fact that they have been outlawed by one's own government. This silence on the part of psychologists is both disappointing and anti-scientific, for in outlawing time-honored psychoactive medicine, the government has effectively dictated the direction in which psychologists are allowed to go when seeking answers to psychological issues, namely, in a direction that conforms with the anti-drug prejudices of Christian Science.

In the same article, psychologist Oksana Yakushko tells us that she is "troubled by the sociopolitical implications of selling this positive psychology ideology in a world where human beings are consistently abused, traumatized and stressed because they are not white, wealthy, able-bodied, Western, heterosexual, etc." One thing that does not seem to trouble her, however, is the fact that the Drug War has outlawed all the medicines which could obviate the need for this self-help positive psychology in the first place.

Did HG Wells and Jules Verne need to learn how to flourish in the abstract in order to write great stories? No, they relied on the inspirational power of coca wine. Did the Peruvian Indians need to learn how to flourish in the abstract in order to survive for millennia as a unique culture? No. They found social cohesion and inner strength through the daily chewing of the coca leaf.

The Drug War exists and continues to outlaw psychoactive medicine to this day. Until Science News recognizes that fact in its articles, it is going to continue giving its readers the false impression that today's modern psychologists are working from a natural baseline.

Next essay: Conservative Lies about Drugs
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old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also 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, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.

It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. 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. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)

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.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher

PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley.

Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
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