Essay date: October 5, 2022

How to end the war in Mexico, stop inner-city killings and cure depression in one easy step

merica could end inner-city killings and the war in Mexico overnight, meanwhile solving the so-called epidemic of depression in America, merely by re-legalizing the coca leaf. But instead, Drug Warriors demonize coca based on rare but well-documented cases of cocaine addiction, failing to realize that the coca leaf is not cocaine, any more than peach juice is prussic acid. This is the typical Drug Warrior MO. , as when Drug Warriors demonize opium based on cases of heroin addiction, failing to mention that they are two different drugs. This is just guilt by association. But even if the coca leaf was the same as cocaine and opium was the same as heroin, it's not clear why the Drug Warriors want to trash such substances based on their addictive qualities in a world in which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life on Big Pharma meds, nor why the supposedly health-conscious American Drug Warrior is silent about the half a million Stateside deaths attributed each year to tobacco and liquor combined.

This is especially odd for those of us who deny that government ever had the right to criminalize plant medicine in the first place, at least in America, a country founded on Natural Law. Indeed, a few of us wept for our country when the DEA stomped onto Monticello in broad daylight in 1987 and confiscated Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants, thereby giving the finger to Jeffersonian principles and our Lockean heritage. If you don't remember this outrage, that's probably because the media did not exactly treat it as earth-shattering news. But this was the mid-'80s, a time when the Drug War ideology of substance demonization was starting to be taught in grade schools and Ronald Reagan was exhorting god-fearing Americans to turn in their parents for using plant medicines of which botanically clueless politicians disapproved.

But then there's a lot of money on the line here. In the 1800s, some counties in England did pretty much without doctors because every household had laudanum on hand for sleepless nights, colds and bouts of depression (see Paul Johnson's 'The Birth of the Modern'). But that's a status quo that capitalism could never live with. Imagine, all those folks who could be insured and doctored and "billed up the wazoo" for conditions that they were currently treating with Mother Nature's medicine! Capitalism made a Drug War inevitable, because there was no way that the well-to-do were going to pass up their chance to earn billions, even at the cost of disempowering and indeed infantilizing Americans when it came to the subject of "drugs." From these considerations we can conclude two things: That capitalism requires a Drug War to exist, and that the Drug War naturally entails the creation of the modern healthcare state.

October 7, 2022
The coca leaf guided Peruvian Indian society like coffee guides ours. It gave them endurance and a cogenial spirit. At first, the Spanish saw the use of this substance as a threat to Christian social values, but they soon discovered that their slaves worked two or three times harder when free to chew the coca leaf and so stopped their own zealous efforts to wipe the plant from the surface of the Earth. To learn more:

Potter, Carol. "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas." January 01, 2017.

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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)
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