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Predictive Policing in the Age of the Drug War

open letter to computer scientist George Mohler

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

September 10, 2021

George Mohler is the computer geek behind event prediction software that is currently "helping" Santa Clara police (but minorities not so much). I sent the following email to George today in an attempt to persuade him to find a more worthy client for his software than police forces in the age of the Drug War.

Hi, George.

I just watched the documentary "Eye on You" and I wanted to share with you my concern about your "event prediction" program. Such an algorithm-based police tactic might make sense in a world where laws were fair, but we live in the age of a Christian Science Drug War, in which it is illegal to even study certain medicines of which politicians disapprove. Sigmund Freud considered cocaine to be a godsend for his depression, but your program helps police track down cocaine users like dogs and treat them like scumbags before tossing them in overcrowded prisons. Opium enthusiasts have included Marco Polo, Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin, and yet your program helps police track down such people like dogs as well -- especially those who dare SELL plant medicine. Do you realize that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson grew the opium poppy at Monticello? But now those who deal in opium are treated like Adolf Hitler -- this despite the fact that entire religions have been inspired by psychoactive plant medicine. The entire Vedic religion was founded to worship the cosmic insights of the soma plant. The psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian Mysteries gave cosmic insights for 2,000 consecutive years to a who's who of western luminaries, including Plato, Plutarch and Cicero. The Mesoamericans had plant-based religious rituals until Columbus and the Conquistadores showed up and demanded that they become Christians and drink liquor instead -- those that they did not kill, that is.

Your algorithms may stop the occasional old lady from being mugged, but if shows like "Cops" mean anything, you can bet that what you're really doing is helping police to harass and crack down on minorities, throwing them into overcrowded prisons and removing them from the voting rolls by charging them with felonies -- thereby stealing American elections for racist conservatives.

If you study the Drug War, you will find that it causes all of the problems that it claims to be solving and then some. My mother suffers from dementia because the Drug War has outlawed all the drugs that show such great promise in treating it -- like ayahuasca that grows new neural pathways in the brain. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 American women are addicted to Big Pharma meds because the Drug War outlaws all the less addictive plant medicine that could help the depressed immeasurably. Cocaine, opium, and even heroin are less addictive than Big Pharma meds, because the latter change brain chemistry, which takes a long time (if ever) to revert to the normal baseline once Big Pharma "meds" are withdrawn.

In short, the Drug War is hypocritical, anti-science, anti-nature, anti-minority, anti-patient, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, and a violation of Natural Law. Just ask the ghost of Thomas Jefferson that was spinning in its grave when the DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the Founding Father's poppy plants.

In light of these facts, I urge you to consider withdrawing your product from use by police forces, at least until such time as America decides to start learning about plant medicine rather than demonizing it.

The Drug War represents a wrong way of thinking about the world, one that causes a civil war in Mexico and impowers a self-proclaimed Drug War Hitler in the Philippines.

Please don't be a party to this ongoing injustice. Find a more worthy client for your algorithms than law enforcement in the Age of the Drug War.

PS The "Eye on You" documentary showed the Santa Clara Police following up on one of your algorithm "leads." Of course, the evildoer they encountered wasn't robbing a store or mugging an orphan or getting ready to take hostages -- No, they were, AS PER USUAL, merely possessing substances of which beer-swilling Christian Drug Warrior politicians disapprove. But then the Drug War is just a make-work program for law enforcement. Imagine what police would do without a Drug War: they would just have to sit back and wait for people to actually do something wrong. Hmm. Then there would be no Cops and Detective shows for folks to watch after they got home from a nice day of being drug tested, no movies about the US marching into Latin American countries to shoot Latinos because they use or sell plant medicine that has been used responsibly for millennia by non-western countries, no movies about the DEA running roughshod over the US Constitution, torturing suspects and then shooting them at point-blank range in the age of our unprecedented war on substances.

Author's Follow-up: August 19, 2022

Looking back almost a year later, I ask myself if I wasn't a bit rough on George. After all, you catch more flies with honey, right? Of course, the irony is that I would be a much more patient fellow were I free to occasionally avail myself of opium, coca, psilocybin and especially the empathogenic Ecstasy -- the very drugs that George's algorithms will help get me arrested for using. So if I'm the monster here, then George is the Dr. Frankenstein who made me.

Next essay: How the Drug War gave the 2016 election to Donald Trump
Previous essay: In Response to Laurence Vance

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

We've created a faux psychology to support such science: that psychology says that anything that really WORKS is just a "crutch" -- as if there is, or there even should be, a "CURE" for sadness.
There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
The drug war tells us that certain drugs have no potential uses and then turns that into a self-fulfilling prophecy by outlawing these drugs. This is insanely anti-scientific and anti-progress. We should never give up on looking for positive uses for ANY substance.
That's why I created the satirical Partnership for a Death Free America. It demonstrates clearly that drug warriors aren't worried about our health, otherwise they'd outlaw shopping carts, etc. The question then becomes: what are they REALLY afraid of? Answer: Free thinkers.
Today's Washington Post reports that "opioid pills shipped" DROPPED 45% between 2011 and 2019..... while fatal overdoses ROSE TO RECORD LEVELS! Prohibition is PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE.
We need a scheduling system for psychoactive drugs as much as we need a scheduling system for sports activities: i.e. NOT AT ALL. Some sports are VERY dangerous, but we do not outlaw them because we know that there are benefits both to sports and to freedom in general.
I, for one, am actually TRYING to recommend drugs like MDMA and psilocybin as substitutes for shock therapy. In fact, I would recommend almost ANY pick-me-up drug as an alternative to knowingly damaging the human brain. That's more than the hateful DEA can say.
Drug warriors aren't just deciding for us about drugs. They're telling us that we no longer need Coleridge poems, Lovecraft stories, Robin Williams, Sherlock Holmes, or the soma-inspired Hindu religion.
The formula is easy: pick a substance that folks are predisposed to hate anyway, then keep hounding the public with stories about tragedies somehow related to that substance. Show it ruining lives in movies and on TV. Don't lie. Just keep showing all the negatives.
Unfortunately, the prohibitionist motto is: "Billions for arrest, not one cent for education." To the contrary, drug warriors are ideologically committed to withholding the truth about drugs from users.
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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, Predictive Policing in the Age of the Drug War: open letter to computer scientist George Mohler, published on September 10, 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)