Essay date: April 23, 2022

How the Drug War is a War on Creativity

How drugs inspired creativity in HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Jules Verne, HG Wells, Lewis Carroll, Alexandre Dumas, etc.

hen Lovecraft refers to "opiate peace" in the short story "Celaphais," he knew whereof he spoke. In fact, the author uses the adjective "opiate" no less than six times in that story alone, as he has his beleaguered and homeless protagonist wander through "the spectral summer of narcotic flowers and humid seas of foliage that bring wild and many-coloured dreams." Hear that, Drug Warriors? Many-coloured dreams? This is why your war on drugs is a war on creativity, because it outlaws the natural plant medicines that can bring many-coloured dreams, the influence of which can inspire great literature, at least in the minds of talented authors who are prepared to profit from such visions.

Just as opium use clearly inspired Lovecraft, Lewis Carroll must have known a thing or two about the effects of psychoactive mushroom consumption when he wrote "Alice in Wonderland." And both HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their best stories after taking generous swigs from a bottle of "coca wine." And don't even get me started on Edgar Allan Poe. Suffice it to say that he showed how even the hated morphine can bring wonderful, almost surreal visions to an ardent naturalist (see "Tale of the Ragged Mountains") -- tho' America seems at least a century away from being able to admit this inconvenient truth to its drug-hating self, namely that the ideologically despised morphine, used wisely, can deeply increase our ability to appreciate the natural world around us.

The fact that the latter drugs can be dangerous is no excuse to outlaw them, least of all in a country in which 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent on Big Pharma meds for a lifetime. Besides, the inspirational "drugs" that we're talking about here derive from plants, which cannot be justifiably criminalized in the first place, at least if America is to maintain its legacy of natural law upon which the citizen's most basic rights are founded, like the right to what John Locke himself called "the use of the land and all that lies therein." (Just ask Jefferson, who was rolling in his grave when the DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated his poppy plants, in violation of everything that he stood for as a Founding Father.)

August 1, 2022

It never seems to have occurred to westerners that potentially addictive drugs can be used non-addictively. Through a properly scheduled dose therapy, folks can find pharmacologically aided self-transcendence without becoming addicted. Of course, Americans have been browbeaten from birth to believe that this is impossible, thanks to propaganda in the form of teddy bears from DART and hypocritically defined "drug-free zones" -- and the fact that they never, but never, hear anything about POSITIVE drug use, for the simple reason that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has dictated that no positive uses of "drugs" can ever be considered.

In a world where substances are legal again and where knowledge, not fear, is encouraged, folks would know how to avoid addictions -- and where to go whenever they begin developing a habit that they dislike. For in such a free world, a pharmacologically savvy empath would be able to steer him or her towards a substance use with which they can live. But the Drug War State does not want rational use. They want to ensure, through public policy, that drugs end up being just as dangerous as propaganda says they should be. And how do they accomplish this? By demonizing drugs rather than teaching about them.

Next essay: All these Sons
Previous essay: Why Americans Can't Handle the Truth about Drugs

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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)

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.

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.

The Drug War Censors Science

Scientists: It's time to wake up to the fact that you are censored by the drug war. Drive the point home with these bumper stickers.

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at For more information, contact Brian at