Essay date: May 13, 2022

Open Letter to Nathan at

Open letter to one of the hundreds of no doubt fine interlocutors who couldn't QUITE see their way clear to communicate with me. (I'm sure this one came very close indeed, tho'!)

i, Nathan!

I was glad to see that is published by someone who seems to understand the great injustice(s) of substance demonization/criminalization aka the Drug War. When I first saw the domain name, I feared that maybe the DEA actually had groupies churning out a support page for the corrupt agency. I was half-interested in seeing what lame justifications they would advance for killing inner-city kids with prohibition-created gunfire and causing civil wars overseas, etc. etc.

I myself have been publishing for the last three years, where I write daily blog posts and essays in an attempt to show the world that the Drug War represents a whole wrong way of looking at the world.

I especially liked your reference to the benefits of MDMA use. It's the greatest vexation of my life that substances like nitrous oxide and MDMA are not available for my use, when they show so obviously that they would be a godsend for me. As far as opium and coca, I'd much rather use that on the weekends -- or even be addicted to it -- than be stuck on expensive and mind-dulling Big Pharma anti-depressants, which I have to take every day of my life and upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent until death do they part, making America a nation full of Stepford Wives (source: Julie Holland).

Just wanted to say hi since we both seem to be on the same page (or at very least the same chapter) when it comes to the pernicious DEA and America's unscientific war on mind medicine.

Incidentally, my alternative for the Drug War is to turn the DEA into the DRUG EDUCATION AGENCY, where all drugs -- from sugar, to anti-depressants, to heroin, to coffee -- would be catalogued with complete honesty (something very hard for Americans when it comes to this topic). No pro-drug hype, no anti-drug hype. Just reports of actual experiences of actual users, both subjective and objective, both physical and mental.

Criminalization of psychoactive substances would end, in recognition of two facts:

1) prohibition causes violence and leads to the promotion of the psychiatric pill mill on which 1 in 4 American women are already dependent for life and 2) it is a violation of natural law to criminalize plant medicine in the first place, the natural law upon which Jefferson founded America -- which is why Jefferson was rolling in his grave when the DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated his poppy plants.

Meanwhile, we would replace psychiatrists with what I call "pharmacologically savvy empaths," who could use any substance in the world to help the patient (who would henceforth be called a "client") to succeed in life, according to how that person defines "success." One of many, many therapies: weekend sessions of "drug use" -- a variety of mind-stimulating drugs -- to provide transcendence that human beings seek but of which the Drug Warrior is supremely ignorant.

Oh, and we should not just disband the DEA. We should put it on trial for almost a half-century of lying about plant medicine -- and thereby keeping godsend medicines from people around the world -- including the soldiers who have gone without MDMA since the DEA outlawed the drug in 1985 against the advice of its own counsel. We should also put it on trial for poisoning marijuana users with paraquat, a weed killer and known human toxin that has since been found to cause Parkinson's disease.

The Links Police

All right, pull over to the side of the Web page. License and registration, please. Let's see here. Everything seems to be in order... Oh, nothing. We're just launching a manhunt for this Nathan character from He's suspected of failing to answer Brian's email. But then I reckon no one answers Brian's emails on the topic of drugs, they're just a trifle too controversial, ya understand. That's why he publishes all these so-called "open letters," ya see, so that all that fine epistolary prose of his'n don't go to waste.

All right, beat it. You're clean.

Oh, rats. There they go and I forgot to ask them if they had any dirty evil rotten drugs in their car!!!

Open Letter to Anthony Gottlieb
Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman
Open letter to Professor Troy Glover at Waterloo University
Open Letter to Erowid
Open Letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Open Letter to Congressman Ben Cline, asking him to abolish the criminal DEA
Open Letter to Gabrielle Glaser
Open Letter to the Virginia Legislature
Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté

Next essay: Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Previous essay: Drug Warriors can go to Hell

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Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté
Open Letter to Anthony Gottlieb
Open Letter to Congressman Ben Cline, asking him to abolish the criminal DEA
Open Letter to Diane O'Leary
Open Letter to Erowid
Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
Open Letter to Gabrielle Glaser
Open letter to Kenneth Sewell
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
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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How the Drug War Screws the Depressed
How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
How to Unite Drug War Opponents of all Ethnicities
Ignorance is the enemy, not Fentanyl
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 the Drug War is Worse than you can Imagine
Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War
The Drug War Cure for Covid
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end America's disgraceful drug war: visit to learn more

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)

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at For more information, contact Brian at