Essay date: August 22, 2020

Open Letter to Erowid

about a misleading 2018 article by Karolina Zieba




A philosophical criticism of article entitled

rowid is (per its own description) "a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues." I sent its editors the following email today to alert them to the philosophically shallow reasoning in a 2018 article entitled "In case you choose not to say no to drugs, kids," published in The Student Newspaper.


This is not exactly a correction, but I could not find an email address that precisely covered my reason for writing you today.

I'm writing in reference to The Student Newspaper article that you cite, apparently because it contains a favorable mention of Erowid. The article is entitled "In Case You Choose Not to Say No to Drugs, Kids."

Although we might praise the author of that post for "having her heart in the right place," her article demonstrates clearly that she is under the influence of Drug War propaganda, which she has apparently accepted uncritically.

Why, for instance, should we be telling kids to say no to "drugs" in the first place, when drugs are essentially mother nature's plant medicines? Why do we not also want them to say no to "Big Pharma meds" to which 1 in 4 American women are addicted?

These are just two philosophical issues that loom unnoticed in Karolina Zieba's article. I critique the article in more detail in two essays on my site at abolishthedea.com (see links below). I invite you to read them. I've devoted two essays to this one article because I think that the staying power of drug-war prohibition has been due in large part to the philosophical shallowness of many of its would-be opponents, folks who write half-heartedly on the topic, taking the anemic and misinformed line that "Illegal drug use is unnecessary, but it's going to happen anyway, so we might as well allow it."

I fear that, like Karolina, many Erowid readers (perhaps editors, too, for all I know) may "have their heart in the right place" when it comes to these topics and yet fail to comprehend the full evil of the Drug War, because they have been bamboozled by Drug War lies, propaganda, and the drug-war revision of history thanks to which Americans never hear of the positive use of currently illegal substances. Perhaps they've also been bamboozled by well-meaning authors like Karolina herself who fail to grasp the many injustices that are perpetrated daily in the name of the Drug War: from stifled research on drugs to fight Alzheimer's to the use of electroshock therapy that could have been avoided had medical godsend plants been available to treat depression.

I also write because, by prominently listing Karolina's article, Erowid seems to be (at least to some degree) endorsing its content, and I therefore feel compelled to write you to explain why I believe that such an endorsement is misplaced.



Karolina Zieba just doesn't get it
What Liberals ALWAYS get wrong about the drug war



July 18, 2022




Brian shot, Brian scored. Yes, writers like Karolina seem to share the Libertarian view of "drugs" -- they agree with the Drug Warrior that this politically defined category of substances is indeed horrible -- but since such horrible substances exist and people seem to want to use them (sigh...), well, doggone it, we shouldn't go overboard in trying to punish them!

With friends like that in the drug-law-reform business, who needs enemies?

The fact is that there are no such things as "drugs." Why not? Because there are no substances that are bad in and of themselves, without regard to how, why, when and where they are used and by whom. Even the highly toxic Botox can be used in safe doses and in safe ways.

Besides, the kinds of substances that we demonize today have inspired entire religions (including the Vedic-Hindu religion and the mushroom and coca cults of Latin America) and been used wisely for good reasons by such western luminaries as Marcus Aurelius, Benjamin Franklin, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, Richard Feynman, Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft -- along with a who's who of philosophical greats including Plato, who got his ideas about the afterlife from his psychedelic-fueled experience at the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Finally, never mind what happened in the past: once we stop demonizing substances, we'll see that (Drug Warrior lies not withstanding) psychoactive drugs can be strategically used for all sorts of mind-building purposes. Morphine could be used intermittently to improve our appreciation of mother nature. Opium could be used intermittently to improve our knack for creative visualization. And coca (as HG Wells and Jules Verne well knew) can be used wisely to increase our mental focus for tasks like writing books.

But America's Office of National Drug Control Policy is committed to ignoring any possible beneficial uses for these "drugs." In fact, the organization's ground rules actually require them to ignore any potential benefits of vilified psychoactive substances, meaning, of course, that the organization in question should be referred to as the Office of National Drug Control Propaganda.

With this backstory in mind, we can see how would-be drug-law reformers (like the Liberal Media and Libertarians) are actually damning drugs with their faint praise of them. I fear that they have all received one too many teddy bears from the State Police in their formative years in return for having "just said no" to the psychoactive bounty of Mother Nature.

Next essay: The Drug War Board Game
Previous essay: Karolina Zieba just doesn't get it

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Open letter to Kenneth Sewell
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Open Letter to Nathan at TheDEA.org
Open letter to Professor Troy Glover at Waterloo University
Open Letter to Richard Hammersley
Open Letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Open Letter to the Virginia Legislature
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Open letter to Wolfgang Smith
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End the Drug War Now
How the Drug War Screws the Depressed
How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
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Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
MDMA for Psychotherapy
Predictive Policing in the Age of the Drug War
Speaking Truth to Big Pharma
Teenagers and Cannabis
Teenagers and Cannabis
Psychedelics and Depression
The Drug War and Armageddon
The Invisible Mass Shootings
The problem with Modern Drug Reform Efforts
The Menace of the Drug War
The Mother of all Western Biases
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Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War
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Why the Drug War is Worse than you can Imagine
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The Schedule I Gift Shop

Help the Drug War philosopher spend more time trashing the idiotic drug war. Purchase products from my Schedule I Gift Shop at Cafepress.com. 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 quass@quass.com 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 abolishthedea.com. 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.

Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at abolishthedea.com. For more information, contact Brian at quass@quass.com.