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I hope to use cocaine in 2025

and other confessions of a drug war heretic

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

May 19, 2024

I just noticed the Twitter bio of a certain NYT writer who tells us that she "quit cocaine & heroin in 1988." This got me thinking some heretical thoughts, which I formulated in the following Tweets, at the risk of a mass exodus of my five loyal followers... if five followers can be said to exit "en masse." But that's kind of like saying, "I was attacked by a horde of two, maybe three ruffians!" ... Er, but that's not important now.

Oh, and there's some notes to follow.

When people write "quit cocaine in 1988" in their bio, that's fine. That was a big moment for them given their psychological makeup and environment. For me, tho, the bio snippet would read: "Hopes to try cocaine in 2025." That makes as much sense since coke CAN be used wisely!

The problem is, many people who write that confession in their bio ("quit cocaine") figure that they've discovered a universal law: that cocaine is necessarily wrong for everybody. That evinces an unimaginative view of the psychological diversity of human beings.

I "quit valium" in 1994, but I don't include that in my bio because I don't think it's a huge thing. The only reason that quitting was "a big ask" for me was because all better drugs were outlawed -- including many that are non-addictive.

Please, nobody take offense. I just believe that in a sane world, "quitting" a given drug would not be such an earth-shattering event. When all drugs are re-legalized and used wisely, we would not find occasion to obsess about or blame any one drug.

Focusing like that on any one drug as evil (heroin, cocaine, etc.) is just the flip side of what the Drug Warrior does in demonizing them -- blaming the drug instead of prohibition, which outlaws of all of the endless alternatives to a given use pattern.

Confessions like "I quit cocaine in 1988" -- at least when featured prominently in a tiny bio -- turn cocaine into a real colossus, giving it powers to destroy that it would never have in a free world -- one in which we seek to use all psychoactive substances as wisely as possible. Again, I recognize that I do not know the person behind this particular biographical snippet, but in general, such confessions smack of the way that Drug Warriors turn drug use into a morality play. It's just, in this case, the morality play has a happy ending1 -- but the assumption behind the snippet at least seems to be that the villain of the piece was cocaine or heroin -- whereas I believe it is our failure to be adults about drugs and to learn everything we can about safe use, meanwhile legalizing the seemingly endless substances that provide the transcendence of heroin without unwanted dependence.

I would go on to state why I want to use cocaine in 2025, but that rarely spoken resolution is bound to arouse so many mistaken assumptions in the average bamboozled reader that it would take me another entire essay to unpack them. Suffice it to say, my goal in using cocaine would be to think as clearly as possible and to be productive in my work. My goal is not to go gambling in Monte Carlo with a call girl on my lap and a pocket full of blood-stained dollar bills.

Author's Follow-up: May 18, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up

I should have mentioned, this writer actually specializes in writing on drug-related topics. With this in mind, the confession in her bio seems to be signaling the following: "I too believe that drugs are the problem and I have experience in overcoming their evil, so listen to me." So as friendly as she may be to decriminalization, she is arguing on the back foot, tacitly expressing the stubborn beliefs of the Drug War that the problem "is drugs," not prohibition and our failure to be adults and learn about substances and to use them wisely.

It's also interesting that this author specializes in neuroscience. Only in the west could a neuroscientist be deemed an expert in drugs that inspire us both psychologically and spiritually. Drug prohibition is all about limiting my ability to express myself and to live the sort of psychological and spiritual life that I want to lead. A neuroscientist has precisely zero expertise in such areas.

Someday folks will realize that there are very good reasons that one might wish to use cocaine. The idea that it can only be misused is a superstition. The superstition is basically made true, however, by prohibition, which outlaws alternatives and refuses to teach safe use.

And, of course, if all that doesn't ruin your life, then the DEA and company will do the ruining for you by putting you in a cage. That's why I say we live in the Dark Ages, where attempts to achieve great mental clarity are punished with lengthy prison stretches.

In fact, nothing against "drinkers," but there are far more good reasons to use cocaine than there are to drink whiskey. Except, of course, that whiskey drinking won't get you thrown in the pen and treated like a scumbag.


1 Of course, even this statement is problematic. Is it really a "happy" ending merely because one is no longer using cocaine? That's a Christian Science belief, not a logical conclusion. It may well be a happy ending in a given case, but we have no reason for assuming that it is unconditionally so. (up)

Next essay: How National Geographic slanders the Inca people and their use of coca
Previous essay: Our Short-Sighted Fears about Long-Term Drug Use

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

In the 19th century, author Richard Middleton wrote how poets would get together to use opium "in a series of magnificent quarterly carouses."
Rather than protesting prohibition as a crackdown on academic freedom, today's scientists are collaborating with the drug war by promoting shock therapy and SSRIs, thereby profiting from the monopoly that the drug war gives them in selling mind and mood medicine.
Besides, why should I listen to the views of a microbe?
This, by the way, is why we can't just "follow the science." The "acceptable risk" for psychoactive drugs can only be decided by the user, based on what they prioritize in life. Science just assumes that all users should want to live forever, self-fulfilled or not.
This massive concern for safety is downright bizarre in a country that will not even criminalize bump stocks for automatic weapons.
Health is not a quality, it's a balance. To decide legality based on 'health' grounds thus opens a Pandora's box of different points of view.
Why does no one talk about empathogens for preventing atrocities? Because they'd rather hate drugs than use them for the benefit of humanity. They don't want to solve problems, they prefer hatred.
Philip Jenkins reports that Rophynol had positive uses for treating mental disorders until the media called it the "date rape drug." We thus punished those who were benefitting from the drug, tho' the biggest drug culprit in date rape is alcohol. Oprah spread the fear virally.
Jim Hogshire described sleep cures that make physical withdrawal from opium close to pain-free. As for "psychological addiction," there are hundreds of elating drugs that could be used to keep the ex-user's mind from morbidly focusing on a drug whose use has become problematic for them.
To put it another way: in a sane world, we would learn to strategically fight drugs with drugs.
More Tweets

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You have been reading an article entitled, I hope to use cocaine in 2025: and other confessions of a drug war heretic, published on May 19, 2024 on 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 (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)