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Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman

regarding his Drug War-biased review of the movie 'Four Good Days'

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

May 23, 2021

egarding your review of "Four Good Days," I would like to politely suggest that you are writing under the influence of Drug War lies and propaganda.

Until America came along, people did not blame drugs for problems. They blamed a lack of knowledge on the part of the substance user, and it is the Drug War that keeps us from obtaining this knowledge, to the point that scientists can be arrested for investigating certain kinds of psychoactive plant medicine. The Drug War insists that we FEAR psychoactive substances rather than learn about them. Moreover, this Drug War is a violation of natural law because it prevents us from using plant medicine that grows at our very feet. Just ask Thomas Jefferson, who rolled over in his grave when Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated his poppy plants (the same Reagan who urged kids to turn in their parents for using substances of which politicians disapprove, a tactic that would have made Joseph Stalin proud).

You say that the addict is running from "inner dullness," but history shows that human beings have always been interested in gaining personal transcendence. The entire Vedic religion was founded to worship the psychoactive insights provided by plant medicine. The psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries lasted 2,000 consecutive years and influenced the metaphysical thinking of Aristotle and Plato. Mesoamerican peoples have routinely found uplifting religious insight from the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms (until Columbus arrived and forced them to switch to the shabby escapist drug called alcohol, which Glenn Close hypocritically favors in "Four Good Days"). Yet Drug War censorship ignores such historical facts -- just as it ignores Benjamin Franklin's use of opium, HG Wells' use of coca wine, and the fact that Francis Crick's double helix was inspired by generous helpings of psychedelic medicine.

The Drug War's demonization and scapegoating of amoral substances has already created a self-proclaimed "Drug War Hitler" in the Philippines, aka Duterte. The last thing we need is an American movie in which a booze-swilling mother looks at a young poorly educated substance dealer and says: "He should be dead." Nonsense. The Drug War should be dead. The Drug War should stop incentivizing the sale of addictive products. The Drug War should stop preventing us from studying plant medicine to provide safe use guidelines and suggested safer alternatives. The Drug War should stop forcing us to take religiously motivated urine tests in order to ensure that we are all good Christian Scientists in America -- for there is nothing scientific or just about "just saying no" -- that is a religious idea first championed by Mary Baker Eddy. And so the Drug War is the vicious state enforcement of the Christian Science religion.

"Four Good Days" is full of Drug War nonsense. The "addiction experts" in the film basically charge addicts $3,000 and throw them on a cot to undergo cold turkey. This, too, only makes sense to the Drug Warrior Christian Science mentality, according to which psychoactive "drugs" are bad, no matter what they're used for, whereas in a scientific, free, and humane world, we would provide the "addict" with plant medicine that helps them achieve transcendence through less addictive means, without forcing them to undergo a religiously motivated "cold turkey." If Glenn Close's character were really interested in doing the right thing, she herself would "get off" alcohol -- and then encourage her child to "get off" of cigarettes. But Glenn Close's character is more interested in looking like a good drug-fearing Christian. She's more worried about her daughter's violation of Drug War sensibilities than she is about the fact that her daughter is clogging up her lungs with carcinogens even as the two speak about the evil, horrible, terrible, awful heroin.

Consider the hypocrisy of this superstitious drug demonization, in light of the fact that 1 in 4 American women are hooked on Big Pharma antidepressants for life: a whole nation of Stepford Wives, and yet Americans can't see this pharmacological dystopia that is staring them right in the face every day in the form of bleary female eyes. For make no mistake, SSRIs are effectively tranquilizers and show no signs of helping a user achieve the self-actualization and self-insight that psychoactive plant medicine has been well-documented to provide under proper therapeutic circumstances. These SSRIs merely make life livable, making the user a good consumer -- a good consumer who buoys the stock market by paying a monthly annuity to Big Pharma for their extremely expensive antidepressants. Moreover, this stealth addiction turns these SSRI addicts into lifelong patients, and nothing can be more demoralizing than that. I should know, I've been hooked on the mind-numbing meds for decades now -- and at 62, I am forced to abase myself every few months to see a 20-something "doctor" who will decide if I still am worthy to pay through the nose for the SSRI to which I'm addicted. I now know how the Ancient Mariner felt -- only he had only to tell his life story to strangers -- he did not have to pay for the privilege.

I hope I've written something here to help you reconsider the way that you review movies like "Four Good Days" in the future, movies that serve to demonize drugs in the hypocritical Christian Science fashion typical of the Drug War. Such movies should be panned for their message, in the same way that we would pan a movie for encouraging Nazism.

What's the end game, after all? If we take all this Drug War demonization seriously, then Duterte and Glenn Close are right: we should simply kill anyone who dares deal in plant medicine of which politicians disapprove. But is this really what America should be "all about"? America was founded on Natural Law, after all, so do we even have the right to alienate citizens from the plant medicine that grows at our very feet? John Locke didn't think so. He wrote that citizens have the right to "the use of the earth and all that lies therein."

There is no drug problem in America -- but America has a huge problem with drugs. We demonize them instead of treating them as amoral substances about which we need to learn everything possible. By doing so, we create a psychiatric pill mill, incentivize bad actors, deprive the depressed and elderly of godsend meds like MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms, and we force once-free Americans to become Christian Scientists in all but name, by forcing them to submit their urine for drug testing. Why? Because thanks to the Drug War, we judge a person not according to the content of their character but according to the contents of their digestive system.

Yet we're in such denial about our own American problem with drugs that we insist we know what's best for the entire world! What imperialist hubris! And so we travel overseas to burn poppy and coca plants, blissfully indifferent to what the people actually want and willfully ignorant of the fact that the substances we hate have been used responsibly for millennia by non-western cultures. And then should a country refuse to respect our Drug War prejudice, we use that as an excuse to invade and violate all diplomatic norms to arrest their leaders and install a government that respects our anti-scientific, imperialist and Christian Science prejudices regarding the politically created boogieman that we call "drugs." If we really have a right to travel overseas and burn coca and poppy plants, then Islamic countries have the same right to come stateside and burn our grape vines.

Please, please, please consider these issues before you sign off uncritically on the next Drug War movie -- like "Crisis," for example, in which the DEA hypocritically "comes to the rescue" to fight an addiction crisis that the Drug War itself created by outlawing all means to personal transcendence, thereby incentivizing bad actors to create business models based on addiction. Or "Running with the Devil," in which the DEA Agent (played by Leslie Bibb) hangs one "drug suspect" by a meat hook and shoots another at point-blank range -- while she herself is puffing away on a cigarette containing the most dangerous drug in America: nicotine. Then she spits on a suspect. Why? Because he helps sell plant medicine that has inspired entire religions.

In short, the Drug War creates all the evil that it is designed to fight, and then some. I respectfully encourage you to begin writing your movie reviews with this in mind!

Because "Four Good Days" is a horrible movie. It champions a drug-war mindset which, even as we speak, is causing a civil war in Mexico and empowering death squads in the Philippines -- while preventing citizens around the world from reaching down and accessing the plant medicine that grows at their very feet, a drug War which killed almost 800 blacks in Chicago in 2021 thanks to the heavily armed gangs that prohibition naturally creates in poor and poorly educated communities. This is a Drug War of which Stalin would be proud, not Thomas Jefferson.

May 1, 2022

It's been two years since Owen first ignored the above comment -- and his stonewalling continues. Brian recently wrote to criticize Variety for ignoring the Drug War in their reviews, and the entire staff ignored him. He wrote again and they ignored him. And again and they ignored him. He's written Variety at least ten times in the last two months, and Variety has ghosted him every time. Variety refuses to be called on the red carpet for their failure to confront the fascist implications of modern-Drug War films in their movie reviews. That's why, ideally, you, reader, would write your own movie reviews of fascist Drug War films like Crisis and Running with the Devil and send them to Variety and IMDB and Hollywood Today, etc., and point out how the Drug War itself causes all the violence that the film blames on the modern boogieman called "drugs."

Author's Follow-up: August 29, 2022

La-di-da, dum-dee-dum... Oh, hey. Just waiting for a response from Owen baby. Any time now. Meanwhile, America should take a look at itself in the mirror. The Drug War has Nazified our language. In a time when it's finally wrong to diss any kind of ethnic group, we suddenly have carte blanche to demonize those who use time-honored botanical medicines of which corrupt politicians disapprove. They are "scumbags" and "filth," it seems. And some of the most potty-mouthed Drug Warriors come from the left. It's Christian Science on steroids. I think it was Jesse Jackson who called drug dealers (somewhat redundantly) "blood-sucking vampires."

I would like to reserve the term "blood-sucking vampires" for Drug Warriors for having: created a world in which we purposefully deny effective pain medicine to children in hospice; in which we "take our loved ones off life support" rather than let them drift painlessly to sleep on morphine; in which we ruin people's lives if they use plant medicine that has inspired entire religions, in which we create a psychiatric pill mill that turns 1 in 4 women into patients for life.

Other "accomplishments" of "blood-sucking vampires," i.e. Drug Warriors: they lie about psychoactive medicine, falsely claiming that they have no valid uses whatsoever, when there are no such substances in the universe. Creative humanity can find positive uses for any substance, in the right dose, at the right time, for the right reason, in the right place. To think otherwise is to be superstitious -- and to insist that scientists think that way is tyranny. Teach, don't punish. Law enforcement should have nothing to do with substance use. We should be completely honest about all substances, including alcohol, tobacco and antidepressants, and teach folks how to use safely if they so desire -- since we are never going to conquer humanity's desire for self-transcendence -- nor should we ever do so, since transcendence is the well-spring of the religious impulse.

Next essay: In Response to Laurence Vance
Previous essay: How the Drug War Blinds us to Godsend Medicine

More Essays Here

Addiction Tweets

ME: "What are you gonna give me for my depression, doc? MDMA? Laughing gas? Occasional opium smoking? Chewing of the coca leaf?" DOC: "No, I thought we'd fry your brain with shock therapy instead."
Until we get rid of all these obstacles to safe and informed use, it's presumptuous to explain problematic drug use with theories about addiction. Drug warriors are rigging the deck in favor of problematic use. They refuse to even TEACH non-problematic use.
Until we legalize ALL psychoactive drugs, there will be no such thing as an addiction expert. In the meantime, it's insulting to be told by neuroscience that I'm an addictive type. It's pathologizing my just indignation at psychiatry's niggardly pharmacopoeia.
We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
Chesterton might as well have been speaking about the word 'addiction' when he wrote the following: "It is useless to have exact figures if they are exact figures about an inexact phrase."
The government causes problems for those who are habituated to certain drugs. Then they claim that these problems are symptoms of an illness. Then folks like Gabriel Mate come forth to find the "hidden pain" in "addicts." It's one big morality play created by drug laws.
Chesterton wrote that, once you begin outlawing things on grounds of health, you open a Pandora's box. This is because 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.
Using the billions now spent on caging users, we could end the whole phenomena of both physical and psychological addiction by using "drugs to fight drugs." But drug warriors do not want to end addiction, they want to keep using it as an excuse to ban drugs.
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.
And this is before we even start spending those billions on research that are currently going toward arresting minorities.
When doctors try to treat addiction without using any godsend medicines, they are at best Christian Scientists and at worst quacks. They are like the doctors in Moliere's "M
As Moliere demonstrated in the hilarious finale, anyone can be THAT kind of doctor by mastering a little Latin and walking around pompously in the proper uniform.
Like the pompous white-coated doctor in the movie "Four Good Days" who ignores the entire formulary of mother nature and instead throws the young heroin user on a cot for 3 days of cold turkey and a shot of Naltrexone: price tag $3,000.

essays about

Running with the DEA -- er, I mean the Devil
Glenn Close but no cigar
The Runner: Racist Drug War Agitprop
Movie Warnings from Uncommon Sense

essays about

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 Nathan at
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
Open letter to Wolfgang Smith
Open Letter to Vincent Rado
Open Letter to Rick Doblin and Roland Griffiths
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heroin versus Alcohol
End the Drug War Now
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
Top 10 Problems with the Drug War
Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War
Why DARE should stop telling kids to say no
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
Another Cry in the Wilderness
Open Letter to Vincent Hurley, Lecturer
Canadian Drug Warrior, I said Get Away
Open Letter to Margo Margaritoff
Open Letter to Roy Benaroch MD
How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment

front cover of Drug War Comic Book

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans

You have been reading an article entitled, Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman: regarding his Drug War-biased review of the movie 'Four Good Days', published on May 23, 2021 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)