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Open Letter to Vincent Hurley, Lecturer

at Maquarie University, Department of Security Studies and Criminology

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

June 25, 2023

ear Mr. Hurley:

With regard to your quotation in the news story by Annika Blau... Right Under Our Nose, about cocaine entering Australia, I would suggest to you that cocaine is not the "cancer," as you call it: prohibition is the cancer. 

Prohibition has destroyed the rule of law in Latin America and killed over 100,000 Mexicans as part of a needless war against plant medicine that the Peruvian Indians considered to be divine.

HG Wells loved Coca Wine. So did Jules Verne. So did Alexandre Dumas.

Please reconsider your support for prohibition and the Drug War, which has led to the election of fascists like Donald Trump by creating laws that have removed hundreds of thousands of Trump's minority opponents from the voting rolls.

Drugs are not and have never been the problem. The problem has always been ignorance and prohibition -- and the desire of conservatives to dictate which drugs Americans should use: like alcohol, coffee and the antidepressants upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life.

35,000 Americans are killed every year by cars.  But we do not need a war against cars, we need driver education.

The drugs that we outlaw have inspired entire religions. We do not need a war against drugs, we need substance education.

Until then, the Drug War is just a makework program for law enforcement and a way to enrich militarists and fascists.

Drug warriors typically want to save a white suburban teenager from making mistakes, but in so doing, they bring about the deaths of a hundred thousand Mexicans and render teenagers in Mexico homeless. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions who desperately need medicines for depression and anxiety are thrown under the bus, not able to access godsend medicines because of racist fretting on the part of scheming suburban politicians.

Please reconsider your assumptions about the Drug War.
Sincerely Yours,

Brian Quass

Author's Follow-up: January 24, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up
Cocaine can be used safely. Half the politicians in Britain have shamefacedly admitted to using it as young people. Indeed, crack cocaine can be used safely, as Carl Hart reports in "Drug Use for Grownups." But the Drug War is all about terrifying us about drugs in order to justify a Nazi crackdown on minorities -- and a reason to overfund law enforcement and that American Stasi that we call the DEA. It's a war on citizens by conservatives who want to make the world safe for billionaires, box stores and extractive capitalism.

Next essay: Tapering for Jesus
Previous essay: Helping the Elderly with Drugs

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

It's always wrong to demonize drugs in the abstract. That's anti-scientific. It begs so many questions and leaves suffering pain patients (and others) high and dry. No substance is bad in and of itself.
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.
At best, antidepressants make depression bearable. We need not settle for such drugs, especially when they are notorious for causing dependence. There are many drugs that elate and inspire. It is both cruel and criminal to outlaw them.
Here's one problem that supporters of the psychiatric pill mill never address: the fact that Big Pharma antidepressants demoralize users by turning them into patients for life.
The FDA says that MindMed's LSD drug works. But this is the agency that has not been able to decide for decades now if coca "works," or if laughing gas "works." It's not just science going on at the FDA, it's materialist presuppositions about what constitutes evidence.
Classic prohibitionist gaslighting, telling me that "drugs" is a neutral term. What planet are they living on?
That's the problem with prohibition. It is not ultimately a health question but a question about priorities and sensibilities -- and those topics are open to lively debate and should not be the province of science, especially when natural law itself says mother nature is ours.
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort shows how science damns (i.e. excludes) facts that it cannot assimilate into a system of knowledge. Fort could never have guessed, however, how thoroughly science would eventually "damn" all positive facts about "drugs."
For those who want to understand what's going on with the drug war from a philosophical point of view, I recommend chapter six of "Eugenics and Other Evils" by GK Chesterton.
Another problem with MindMed's LSD: every time I look it up on Google, I get a mess of links about the stock market. The drug is apparently a godsend for investors. They want to profit from LSD by neutering it and making it politically correct: no inspiration, no euphoria.
More Tweets

essays about

Corner on Coca!
Drug War Bait and Switch
Smart Uses for Opium and Coca
How Cocaine could have helped me
Coca Wine
I come not to praise coca
Running with the DEA -- er, I mean the Devil
In Defense of Cocaine

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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
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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 Variety Critic Owen Glieberman
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
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 Vincent Hurley, Lecturer: at Maquarie University, Department of Security Studies and Criminology, published on June 25, 2023 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)