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How the Atlantic Supports the Drug War

a letter to the Atlantic editors

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




October 14, 2020

egarding: "The Diet that Might Cure Depression," "The DASH Diet Helps Depression Symptoms," "Depression Isn't Contagious"... and everything else that the Atlantic publishes on the topic of depression.

Your articles on depression are censored, no doubt unconsciously, to avoid mentioning the 64,000-pound gorilla in the room: that is the fact that thousands of psychoactive plant medicines are dutifully ignored by depression researchers in obedience to America's anti-scientific Drug War. That's why, as a lifelong depression sufferer, I sigh any time I see a new article on the subject, especially when it comes in the form of one of the millions of dietary suggestions to which Americans are exposed with much fanfare during their lifetimes. Even if a diet did show promise, depression strikes at the very ability to keep a diet going, because it saps motivation on the front end. That's why we need the psychoactive plants of mother nature which, under empathic supervision, can provide motivation, follow-through, and a new sense of purpose in life.

Sigmund Freud considered cocaine to be a godsend for his own depression, and he got "off" cocaine when he no longer needed it, without feeling the need to write some self-congratulatory book about the difficulties he encountered in so doing. There are reams of anecdotal evidence dating back millennia that speak to the power of psychedelics to bring about a new sense of purpose in life, most recently in the thousands of detailed guided "trip" accounts provided by researchers such as James Fadiman and Stanislav Grof. Promising research is underway at this very moment to mainstream psilocybin and "ecstasy" for depression treatment - though this research has had to move forward glacially thanks to America's unwillingness to fund research that violates our Drug War sensibilities.

By failing to mention this "gorilla," the Atlantic is supporting Drug War propaganda, possibly because your editors have fallen for the Drug War lie that substances fry the brain the moment that they are demonized by politicians. But the facts are just the opposite. Cocaine sharpened Freud's focus. Opium facilitated Benjamin Franklin's creativity. Psychedelics helped Francis Crick envision the DNA helix. And "speed" is so far from frying the brain that the Air Force has required its pilots to take the drug in advance of critical missions. If any drugs fry the brain, they are Big Pharma anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs, to which 1 in 4 American women are addicted (source: Julie Holland), but that's another fact that gets censored from your articles about depression, in dutiful conformance with Drug War propaganda.

The fact is that there is no such thing as free research on depression under the Drug War, and the Atlantic should be pointing this out in every article that it writes on the subject, rather than pretending that researchers are approaching the topic from some sort of reasonable baseline.

LETTER1




Next essay: Using Opium to Fight Depression
Previous essay: I asked 100 American philosophers what they thought about the Drug War

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
I can think of no greater intrusion than to deny a person autonomy over how they think and feel in life. It is sort of a meta-intrusion, the mother of all anti-democratic intrusions.
The December Scientific American features a story called "The New Nuclear Age," about a trillion-dollar plan to add 100s of ICBM's to 5 states, which an SA editorial calls "kick me" signs. This Neanderthal plan comes from pols who think that compassion-boosting drugs are evil!
I might as well say that no one can ever be taught to ride a horse safely. I would argue as follows: "Look at Christopher Reeves. He was a responsible and knowledgeable equestrian. But he couldn't handle horses. The fact is, NO ONE can handle horses!"
The American Philosophy Association should make itself useful and release a statement saying that the drug war is based on fallacious reasoning, namely, the idea that substances can be bad in themselves, without regard for why, when, where and/or how they are used.
Another problem with MindMed's LSD: every time I look it up on Google, I get a mess of links about the stock market. The drug is apparently a godsend for investors. They want to profit from LSD by neutering it and making it politically correct: no inspiration, no euphoria.
It's an enigma: If I beat my depression by smoking opium nightly, I am a drug scumbag subject to immediate arrest. But if I do NOT "take my meds" every day of my life, I am a bad patient.
Had we really wanted to "help" users, we would have used the endless godsends of Mother Nature and related synthetics to provide spirit-lifting alternatives to problem use. But no one wanted to treat users as normal humans. They wanted to pathologize and moralize their use.
Q: Where can you find almost-verbatim copies of the descriptions of religious experiences described by William James? A: In descriptions of user reports of "trips" on drugs ranging from coca to opium, from MDMA to laughing gas.
In his book "Salvia Divinorum: The Sage of the Seers," Ross Heaven explains how "salvinorin A" is the strongest hallucinogen in the world and could treat Alzheimer's, AIDS, and various addictions. But America would prefer to demonize and outlaw the drug.
More Tweets


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You have been reading an article entitled, How the Atlantic Supports the Drug War: a letter to the Atlantic editors, published on October 14, 2020 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)