Essay date: November 14, 2019

Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling

sermon about the therapeutic value of naturally growing plants and fungi

Live from the Second Church of the Eleusinian Mysteries -- at a location that the DEA has been torturing suspects to discover for the last ten years...

Let's all turn to hymn #355, "Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling." And a one, and a two, and a one, two, three, four...

Verse 1

Plants divine, all plants excelling
Not a gift for man to shun
Psychoactively restoring
Weary souls a sense of fun

But the prudish claim this bounty’s
From a source we should not tap
So they outlaw mother nature
What a pile of bovine crap

Verse 2

Age-ed souls in homes of sadness
Shorn of meaning and of hope
Find in psilocybin’s madness
Ways to prosper and to cope

Yet the narc with IQ zero
Seeks to keep the status quo
Forcing sick and dying patients
To encounter needless woe

Verse 3

Thank we now the forest shaman
Who dispenses sacred balm
Plants and fungi from the jungle
Sure to teach us as they calm

Yet the despots slander nature
Curse the plants that ease the brain
Check our urine at the job site
To ensure we all refrain

Verse 4

Bursting with ungrateful chutzpah
Tyrants outlaw healing plants
Drugs that when provided rightly
Make the suicidal dance

Yet, the heartless politician
Claims that “drugs” are just the pits
Yet they never give up liquor
What amazing hypocrites

Verse 5

Ayahuasca’s non-addictive
Grows new neurons in the brain
Makes the most besotted drinker
From his poison to refrain

Yet, the shrinks from here to Parma
Make it clearly understood
We must buy pills from Big Pharma
Till we’re hooked upon them good

Okay, you may all be seated. Thanks for that rousing performance of hymn #355, “Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling,” a paeon of praise to the therapeutic power of rain forest plants, both known and yet to be discovered. Let’s all take one complete silent minute to thank God for providing us with such. And… begin!

[one minute transpires]

Good thing that we don’t outlaw those plants and try to burn them almost any chance we get, right, folks? I mean, wouldn’t that be stupid? The work of a real jackass, in fact!

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot: that’s exactly what we “do do,” isn’t it, Ben, in this so-called scientific country of ours? We confiscate and burn those psychologically therapeutic plants. And then we monitor the country’s piss to make sure that no one dares apply to nature for psychological healing and perfection. Am I right or am I right?

Ben Stupidson, ladies and gentlemen, DEA agent, third pew from the back. Oh, sorry, apparently that’s STUARTSON.

I don’t wanna call Ben on the carpet, but he’s so seldom in church, I can’t pass up this opportunity to make him squirm.

No, just kidding, Ben. Just kidding. All do offend. I say all.

Mind you, we don’t all go out of our way to burn and confiscate plants that improve consciousness, give us an inkling of divinity, and even have the potential to cure Alzheimer’s by growing new neurons.

Where are you going, Ben? I repeat: we’re all sinners. It’s just that your sin of choice happens to align with the subject of today’s sermon.

OK, well, if you have to go. I trust we’re still going to see you at tonight’s pot luck.

Ben’s like: “Right. I’m gonna be there, if only to make sure that you’re not using actual pot!”

Just kidding, Ben, come back here.

Let’s pause for a moment and pray for Ben’s soul. That’s right: let’s forgive him for permitting over 40 years of needless suffering by outlawing plants, especially those non-addictive psychedelics that can pack the benefits of five years of psychotherapy into one afternoon.

God, we come before you today, saddened that Ben Stupidson – sorry, God, I mean STUARTSON – is determined to block mere research, let alone actual use, of your mind-improving natural plants. Please don’t be too harsh on him. Remember that he lives in a country that has scapegoated plants for many decades, thus giving dirty politics and lame social policies a free pass. Amen.

We’ve forgiven you, Ben, if that helps any. No, I think he’s gone now. Fiddlesticks. Well, I guess you can't save everybody, especially on MY salary.

No, seriously, folks.

And now my sermon, based on the hymn of the same name: “Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling.”

As always, if there are any penitent drug warriors in the room, feel free to come up during the sermon, kneel here at the altar, and receive forgiveness for your role in preventing the therapeutic use of mother nature’s godsend plants.

We’ve got a two-fer going on today, by the way, folks: I will forgive you not simply for blocking valuable drug research, but also for callously locking up millions of Americans for the mere possession of…. horror of horrors… NATURALLY GROWING PLANTS!!!

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

Next essay: In Praise of Augustus Bedloe
Previous essay: Harold & Kumar Support the Drug War

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(seemingly useful organizations)

Sana Collective
Group committed to making psychedelic therapy available to all regardless of income.

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. (For proof of that latter charge, check out how the US and UK have criminalized the substances that William James himself told us to study in order to understand reality.) It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions (like the Vedic), Nazifies the English language (referring to folks who emulate drug-loving Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as "scumbags") and militarizes police forces nationwide (resulting in gestapo SWAT teams breaking into houses of peaceable Americans and shouting "GO GO GO!").

(Speaking of Nazification, L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates thought that drug users should be shot. What a softie! The real hardliners are the William Bennetts of the world who want drug users to be beheaded instead. That will teach them to use time-honored plant medicine of which politicians disapprove! Mary Baker Eddy must be ecstatic in her drug-free heaven, as she looks down and sees this modern inquisition on behalf of the drug-hating principles that she herself maintained. I bet she never dared hope that her religion would become the viciously enforced religion of America, let alone of the entire freakin' world!)

In short, the drug war 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. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.

PPS Drugs like opium and psychedelics should come with the following warning: "Outlawing of this product may result in inner-city gunfire, civil wars overseas, and rigged elections in which drug warriors win office by throwing minorities in jail."

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
  • Bernays, Edward "Propaganda"1928 Public Domain
  • 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
  • Gianluca, Toro "Drugs of the Dreaming: Oneirogens"2007 Simon and Schuster
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Grof, Stanislav "The transpersonal vision: the healing potential of nonordinary states of consciousness"1998 Sounds True
  • Head, Simon "Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans"2012 Basic Books
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Illich, Ivan "Medical nemesis : the expropriation of health"1975 Calder & Boyars
  • 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
  • Lindstrom, Martin "Brandwashed: tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy"2011 Crown Business
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Miller, Richard Lawrence "Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State"1966 Bloomsbury Academic
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Nagel, Thomas "Mind and Cosmos: why the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false"2012 Oxford University press
  • Newcombe, Russell "Intoxiphobia: discrimination toward people who use drugs"2014
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rosenblum, Bruce "Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness"2006 Oxford University Press
  • 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
  • Whitaker, Robert "Mad in America"2002 Perseus Publishing
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at For more information, contact Brian at