Essay date: April 9, 2022

How the Drug War Killed Amy Winehouse

How the drug war both created Amy's problems and kept us from solving them.

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.

How The Drug War Killed Andy Gibb

Next essay: Top 10 Problems with the Drug War
Previous essay: Why Louis Theroux is Clueless about Addiction and Alcoholism

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How The Drug War Killed Andy Gibb
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Help the Drug War philosopher spend more time trashing the idiotic drug war. Purchase products from my Schedule I Gift Shop at Want to make money rather than spend it? Send me your anti-drug-war artwork and photos for inclusion on my drug war products and get 50% of all sale proceeds that those products generate. Email for details.

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.

End Drug War Sharia: Re-Legalize Plants: Speak common sense to power: end the war against Mother Nature's medicines.

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.

End the Christian Science Drug War: The war on plant medicine is the establishment of the Christian Science religion, which tell us it is somehow moral to do without godsend plant medicine.

Drug Testing For Tobacco And Liquor Decal: Slap this sticker on a urinal to remind urinating drug warriors of the hypocrisy of their war on godsend plant medicine.

The Dea Poisoned Americans Bumper Sticker: In the 1980s, DEA Chief John C. Lawn laced marijuana plants with Paraquat, a weed killer that has since been shown to cause Parkinson's Disease.

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)

Stop Demonizing Plant Medicine Car Bumper Magnet: Today the word

old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at Brian has 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, Nazi fies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide. 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.

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.

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