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How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

November 28, 2022

ome cures are so obvious that Americans are totally blind to them.

There is an obvious treatment for my depression, for instance, which no doctor will ever think to recommend for me: namely, the intermittent use of mood-elevating substances that will give me a break from gloom and let me see the world's opportunities laid out clearly before me,. And, no, I'm not just talking about the use of opium and coca, though they deserve a place on the long list of substances that could be employed in the multi-drug therapy about which I am writing here.. Alexander Shulgin synthesized over 200 mood-elevating substances, which he used without frying his brain, and which improved his life and gave him positive thoughts.

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.

But doctors disdain such treatments. Why? Because the results of such ministrations cannot be clearly traced to specific chemical or biological processes or origins and thus are not "real" treatments. They thus do not pass muster for materialists, for whom it's never enough that a substance work: it must work in a reductive fashion or else it is a "crutch." This is an ironic label since today's supposedly scientifically created anti-depressants are the very epitome of crutches. Why? Because they tranquilize one rather than help one see the possibilities in life and how one might adapt to them.

The poster child for this materialist blindness is Dr. Robert Glatter, who wrote a 2021 article for Forbes magazine with the title: "Can Laughing Gas Help People with Treatment-resistant Depression?"


The fact that Robert has to ask this question shows how completely materialists have lost track of common sense and thereby forced me to spend my whole life without medical godsends.

Laughing helps. Everyone knows that. Even the Reader's Digest tells us that it is "the best medicine." But, since we have to spell it out for materialists, let me state the obvious: namely, that the ability to laugh and, crucially, to look forward to laughing, would be a great psychological boost for depressives like myself. That's psychological common sense, Robert, or at least it used to be, until psychologists came down with a bad case of physics envy.

Of course, the Drug War is a co-conspirator in this plot to keep me from happiness, not just because it bans almost all therapeutic psychoactive substances but because it has spread the lie that potentially addictive substances can only be used on an addictive basis, which, of course, is a self-fulfilling prophecy given the fact that said Drug Warriors believe in scaring would-be users instead of educating them.

It will be argued that such treatments are not cures. But do we really want a cure for sadness? Surely, that's a mad ambition, to excise sadness itself from the repertoire of human emotions. (Do we really want to be like the Prozac-using journalist who found that he could not cry at his parents' funeral? ) We need to be able to tolerate and learn from the down sides of life, not to remove them altogether by living lives on tranquilizing antidepressants. We need to see our problems creatively, not merely sleep through the downsides that they cause for us. Besides, whose definition of "cure" are we accepting as valid? Am I cured of my depression when I'm tranquilized to the point that I no longer complain, or am I cured when I start living large and striking out in bold new directions in life?

We need substances that spread a welcoming vista before us and interest us in life and in the sheer possibilities that it offers. That's what I got out of my first psychedelic trip as a teenager: a vision of the seemingly infinite possibilities to which my daily gloom had completely blinded me without my even knowing it.

This is why ending the Drug War should be about so much more than harm reduction: it should be about benefit maximization as well, maximizing the benefits that we get from hitherto demonized drugs -- benefits that we have been dogmatically denying ourselves for over a century now thanks not just to the Drug War but to the materialist blindness of modern academics as well.

Related tweet: January 13, 2023

The use of laughing gas changed William James' ideas about the very nature of reality. To outlaw such substances is to outlaw human advancement.

Author's Follow-up: February 22, 2023

I ask myself in re-reading this post, why is the point it makes so difficult for Americans to believe? Why does it strike one as heresy just to be reading this? The answer is clear: because Americans have been taught from childhood to fear substances, not to understand them. The western attitude toward psychoactive medicine, thanks to Drug War propaganda, is: "be afraid, be very afraid!!!" And what has this attitude of willful ignorance plus fear accomplished: it has created the very dystopia that it warns against! And so America stands in thrall to a self-fulfilling prophecy about the supposed evil of the politically created boogieman called drugs. This is why the Drug War is not wrong here and there, but rather it represents a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world: a superstitious and anti-scientific way of looking at the world: one that tells us falsely that there are substances in the world called "drugs" that have no positive uses, for anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances, and at any doses, at any time, ever.

Such caveman thinking bars us from benefiting from drugs, to the point that we effectively outlaw the search for cures for autism and Alzheimer's. Why? Because we outlaw and otherwise discourage research on drugs that have been known to grow new neurons in the brain. Likewise, we outlaw peace, love and understanding as we outlaw substances like MDMA and psilocybin that have been shown to bring human beings together in unprecedented harmony with their fellow human beings.

Part of the problem is the media. When there is a car crash, they never tell us that it was due to a problem called "killer cars." But whenever someone misuses a psychoactive substance, the media always traces the problem back to "killer drugs." This then reinforces the anti-scientific lie that the substances in question have no positive uses whatsoever, that they are, in effect, devil spawn. The media is, thus, the handmaiden of the Drug War, as we can see today when the "presenters" at Channel 5 in the UK egg on their talking heads to criminalize laughing gas in the name of the precious children of the UK -- thereby throwing millions of the depressed and anxious under the bus and outlawing the sort of research that inspired the philosophical outlook of William James.

Author's Follow-up: April 14, 2023

I think that this explains (apart from sheer cowardice) why there is so little pushback against the Drug War from academia. Scientists realize at some level that prohibition privileges the materialist understanding of the world by outlawing all the substances whose use could help us see the world as holistic and pervaded by consciousness.

Author's Follow-up: February 10, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up

Of course not everybody can be a Tom Paine -- or a Carl Hart, for that matter. I am lucky myself that I didn't catch on to the full scope of the calamity that is the Drug War until I become more or less ineligible for the various forms of payback to which a Christian Science heretic is subjected in today's world. Still, had I figured it out earlier, it would have ticked me so thoroughly that I dare say even then I would have acted selflessly -- turning down, for starters, any job that required me to urinate for an underpaid chemistry major so he or she can kick me out of the U.S. workforce for using substances that have been humanity's birthright for thousands of years, until racist Drug Warriors came between myself and the plants and fungi that grow at my feet.

Next essay: Alexander Shulgin: American Hero
Previous essay: Psychedelics and Depression

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

That's the problem with prohibition. It is not ultimately a health question but a question about priorities and sensibilities -- and those topics are open to lively debate and should not be the province of science, especially when natural law itself says mother nature is ours.
If drug war logic made sense, we would outlaw endless things in addition to drugs. Because the drug war says that it's all worth it if we can save just one life -- which is generally the life of a white suburban young person, btw.
This, by the way, is why we can't just "follow the science." The "acceptable risk" for psychoactive drugs can only be decided by the user, based on what they prioritize in life. Science just assumes that all users should want to live forever, self-fulfilled or not.
This is why we would rather have a depressed person commit suicide than to use "drugs" -- because drugs, after all, are not dealing with the "real" problem. The patient may SAY that drugs make them feel good, but we need microscopes to find out if they REALLY feel good.
NEW TERM FOR LOGIC CLASSES: "The Oprah Winfrey Fallacy," which is the idea that a statistically insignificant number of cases constitutes a crisis, provided ONLY that the villain of the piece is something that racist politicians have demonized as a "drug."
"When two men who have been in an aggressive mood toward each other take part in the ritual, one is able to say to the other, 'Come, let us drink, for there is something between us.' " re: the Mayan use of the balche drink in Encyc of Psych Plants, by Ratsch & Hofmann
This is the mentality for today's materialist researcher when it comes to "laughing gas." He does not care that it merely cheers folks up. He wants to see what is REALLY going on with the substance, using electrodes and brain scans.
Materialists are always trying to outdo each other in describing the insignificance of humankind. Crick at least said we were "a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." Musk downsizes us to one single microbe. He wins!
Alcohol is a drug in liquid form. If drug warriors want to punish people who use drugs, they should start punishing themselves.
I don't believe in the materialist paradigm upon which SSRIs were created, according to which humans are interchangeable chemical robots amenable to the same treatment for human sadness. Let me use laughing gas and MDMA and coca and let the materialists use SSRIs.
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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, How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed published on November 28, 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)