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Punky Brewster's Shrooms

How the Drug War bamboozles kids about so-called 'drugs'

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 10, 2022

In response to Julian Buchanan's blog post entitled 'Our children deserve better: Our drug laws place them at risk'

More great common sense. Thanks, Julian.

The Drug War increases drug misuse by children by, 1) keeping the subject of "drugs" forever on the mind of rebellious youth (see "Synthetic Panics" for how this is accomplished), and 2) encouraging them to fear and despise substances rather than to understand them. (It often accomplishes this here in the States by having the state police or the DARE organization bribe the kids with teddy bears to adopt a jaundiced Christian Science view of psychoactive medicines.) That's why "crack cocaine" is a byword for "hopelessly addictive substance" in the west, even though that form of coke can be used non-addictively by a person who has been taught to do so. In a recent documentary ("Kid 90") about the '80s child star Soleil Moon Frye (AKA "Punky Brewster" of sitcom fame), one of her friends describes how he used a variety of illegal substances, including crack cocaine, "acid," and heroin (which he says he smoked). "But," he said, "I always did this little thing where I'd do it and then not do it for a long time, where I wouldn't get so super strung out or anything."

Sounds like he saw through drug-war lies, right? He realized that informed use was the answer rather than substance demonization. But not so, for he then adds, apparently in deference to drug-warrior sensibilities: "Which isn't any excuse, but..."

Really? Why not?

A second friend then proceeds to blast "drugs" by implicitly blaming them for the deaths of his friends in the '90s, despite the fact that those deaths were a result of prohibition combined with the drug-war policy of willful ignorance about psychoactive substances. But Soleil's only comment about "drugs" in this documentary was in reference to an ecstatic experience that she had with her friends in a sunny wheat field after consuming a few mushrooms. "I have such a soft spot in my heart for mushrooms," she says, "I must tell you, because of that experience."

Indeed, the experience was so positive that she violates drug-war etiquette by failing to follow up this statement with the customary post-facto denunciation of her youthful "drug use," thereby failing to emulate the seemingly endless list of two-faced British politicians who profess their scorn for the cocaine that they used so liberally in their youth.

Next essay: The Prozac Code
Previous essay: Drug Testing and the Christian Science Inquisition

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

When folks die in horse-related accidents, we need to be asking: who sold the victim the horse? We've got to crack down on folks who peddle this junk -- and ban books like Black Beauty that glamorize horse use.
The most addictive drugs have a bunch of great uses, like treating pain and inspiring great literature. Prohibition causes addiction by making their use as problematic as possible and denying knowledge and choices. It's always wrong to blame drugs.
There will always be people who don't use drugs wisely, just as there are car drivers who don't drive wisely, and rock climbers who fall to their death. America needs to grow up and accept this, while ending prohibition and teaching safe use.
So much harm could be reduced by shunting people off onto safer alternative drugs -- but they're all outlawed! Reducing harm should ultimately mean ending this prohibition that denies us endless godsends, like the phenethylamines of Alexander Shulgin.
And where did politicians get the idea that irresponsible white American young people are the only stakeholders when it comes to the question of re-legalizing drugs??? There are hundreds of millions of other stakeholders: philosophers, pain patients, the depressed.
To put it another way: in a sane world, we would learn to strategically fight drugs with drugs.
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort writes about the data that science has damned, by which he means "excluded." The fact that drugs can inspire and elate is one such fact, although when Fort wrote his anti-materialist broadside, drug prohibition was in its infancy.
This is why America is creeping toward authoritarianism -- because of the prohibitionists' ability to get away with everything by blaming "drugs." The fact that Americans still fall for this crap represents a kind of collective pathology.
Drug use is judged by different standards than any other risky activity in the western world. One death can lead to outrage, even though that death might be statistically insignificant.
Alexander Shulgin is a typical westerner when he speaks about cocaine. He moralizes about the drug, telling us that it does not give him "real" power. But so what? Does coffee give him "real" power? Coke helps some, others not. Stop holding it to this weird metaphysical standard.
More Tweets

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front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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You have been reading an article entitled, Punky Brewster's Shrooms: How the Drug War bamboozles kids about so-called 'drugs', published on July 10, 2022 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)