merica turns the fate of all supposed "drug abusers" into a morality tale about the evil of "drugs" and, by implication, the moral weakness of those who use them. But instead of asking psychologically naive questions like, "Why did Amy think she needed drugs?" (hint: it's the self-transcendence, stupid), we should be looking in the mirror, asking: "Why did WE not bother to teach her how to use drugs wisely?" For the villain of this piece is the Drug War itself, a Drug War which 1) limits Amy's available pharmacopeia to the problematic and addictive substances whose sale is incentivized by Drug War prohibition, and 2) discourages the substance-related research that could lead to safe use guidelines for all psychoactive medicines.
Of course, Amy's fate was especially easy for Christian Science America to spin into a Drug War morality tale in which "drugs" were the bad guy. One of the last songs that Amy sang contained the heretical lyrics: "He's tried to make me go to rehab, but I won't go, go, go." And at the Oscars, she was quoted as telling her friend Juliette that, "This is so boring without drugs."
When these facts were shown to contestants on Gogglebox in 2014, there was plenty of backhanded sympathy for Amy from the reality-show couch potatoes, with the general consensus being that she had unfortunately caved before the evil temptress known as "drugs."
No one ever asked the apparently heretical question: "What if we had researched all drugs that provided personal transcendence and educated Amy about how to choose among them and use them wisely?"
But Drug Warriors do not think this way because they completely ignore the motivation for drug use, which is self-transcendence. Even if they do recognize the impulse, they insist that self-transcendence must come only from supposedly "natural" sources, such as church, yoga, meditation, jogging, and the like. (The Drug Warrior might even suggest stoicism as an alternative to drugs, failing to realize that the paragon of that discipline, Marcus Aurelius, was himself a big fan of opium.) But this notion about "drugs" being unnatural or a "copout" is a mere Christian Science prejudice and not an ineluctable truth to which all intelligent humans are led upon rational reflection. It's certainly not a "truth" that would naturally occur to someone who grew up in a botanically rich rainforest.
In point of fact, the mind truly boggles at the plethora of treatment possibilities that would have been open to Amy had she been able to meet with a pharmacologically savvy empath who had unrestricted access to every psychoactive plant in the entire world. Amy might have been led through an emotionally restorative journey on psylocibin to see the world in a new way, been given something to look forward to in the form of weekly cocaine or opium use, or provided with morphine on special mental "holidays," whereby she could see the natural world in exquisite detail a la August Bedloe in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" by Edgar Allan Poe. She could have had her head screwed back on straight with the strategic use of the drugs which Americans have been taught to scorn.
But such cures run counter to the Christian Science notion that "drugs" are evil. And so Drug War society could only sit back impotently and watch Amy's decline, as one watches a slow-motion car crash, unable to offer her anything more enticing than pious suggestions that she renounce her desire for self-transcendence and join a 12-step program instead.
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. 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.
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. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
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)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company