Essay date: October 23, 2022

Kevin Sabet and Drug War 2.0

evin Sabet reminds me of those cops in "Naked Gun" who inadvertently force bystanders off the edge of a cliff in an effort to protect them from potential danger. He sees problems with marijuana with wide-opened eyes and yet he's blind to the gargantuan damage being done by the Drug War ideology that he himself represents. He wants us to "follow the science," not realizing that American science has been censored for over a century now by the Drug War ideology of substance demonization. That's why all the academic articles about the government-defined category called "drugs" concern only abuse and misuse, without any reference to the fact that psychoactive medicines have inspired entire religions, given Plato his view of the afterlife, and formed the very basis of the long-lasting Inca society. That's why magazines like the Atlantic publish articles about depression and Alzheimer's without even mentioning the fact that the Drug War has outlawed all the substances that might help us end those scourges. Indeed, depression could end overnight in America if we re-legalized the coca leaf -- and school shootings would be reduced drastically by legalizing the empathogen called MDMA, something that the mendacious DEA was on the verge of doing in 1985 until they vetoed the advice of their own counsel and criminalized the substance in order to protect their jobs, thanks to which they have denied godsend medicine for PTSD to America's "wounded warriors" for the last 37 years.

If you want to "follow the science," then the first step is to free science from drug-war censorship. But of course in reality, even "following the science" is not enough. Folks use psychoactive substances to help them achieve self-actualization in life, and for many of us, self-actualization trumps safety. The "good life" for a real human being is one in which they achieve their most heartfelt goals, whereas the "good life" for the scientist is one that maximizes safety in the abstract. If we merely "followed the science" about the statistically super-dangerous sport of free-climbing, we would criminalize the activity at once. But we do not do so. Why not? Because we recognize that the personal fulfillment of the climber trumps safety considerations. But when it comes to psychoactive medicines, Kevin wants safety to trump all else, in which case it follows that we must consider users criminal if they dare to follow their dreams.

But my real beef with Kevin is that the omnipresence of marijuana today is a direct result of the Drug War itself, the Drug War that he wants to salvage by making the scheduling system more honest (something that's never going to happen in a country that sells Big Pharma meds like lemonade on prime-time television). But like all Drug Warriors, the only stakeholder he sees when it comes to substance legalization are uneducated white American youths (who are uneducated precisely because the Drug War spends money on arresting rather than teaching, on demonizing rather than creating safe use practices, which is clear from the fact that we have a drug ENFORCEMENT agency instead of a drug EDUCATION agency in America). Kevin has no interest in the other stakeholders: the Mexican children who have been orphaned by the civil war that the Drug War has created in Mexico, the scientists who are censored by the Drug War ideology of substance demonization, the 1 in 4 American women who are hooked on the Big Pharma pill mill, the opioid crisis caused by a Drug War which incentivizes dealers to sell whatever's ready to hand without regard for safety, and above all the millions who suffer in silence around the globe today because America has decided that we should fear psychoactive substances rather than learn how to use them as safely as possible.

The answer is too obvious for Washington insiders like Kevin to see: we need to get government out of the business of criminalizing Mother Nature in the first place. We need to teach, not arrest. For the Drug War causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some. The billions that we give to the army and law enforcement for cracking black heads in America and shooting Latinos south of our border should be channeled instead into education: real education, I mean, that teaches us the ups and downs of all drugs, including those of the anti-depressants upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life. Most importantly, however, we need to recognize the original sin of the Drug War in outlawing Mother Nature's medicines in the first place, for as citizens of Planet Earth, we all have a natural right to the plants and fungi that grow at our very feet. Just ask Thomas Jefferson, whose ghost was spinning in his grave when the mendacious DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the Founding Father's poppy plants in violation of the natural law upon which he had founded America.

The Links Police

Pull over to the side of the Web page. You just scrolled by an important link without stopping, viz:

Why Kevin Sabet is Wrong
How the Atlantic Supports the Drug War
What Obama got wrong about drugs

Related tweet: October 24, 2022

Rishi says he never takes drugs. No aspirin then? No coffee? Or does he just means "drugs" that politicians have concluded have no good uses -- like, say, the coca plant which Peruvian Indians used safely for millennia?

Next essay: Drug War Quotes
Previous essay: One of these things is not like the other

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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)
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