Essay date: November 26, 2019

Se Llama Mushrooms

Live from the DEA Lounge!

how mushrooms can help us learn foreign languages -- and more

Welcome back to the DEA Lounge.


How many know that psychedelics are good for learning languages? Raise your hands?


Let's see, 24, carry the one...

Looks like nobody here knows that.


No, seriously. That's just one of the millions of things that we don't know about Mother Nature's pharmacy thanks to our government's policy of placing her off-limits.


Wake up, folks: that's as anti-scientific as it gets.


Think about it: Why do kids learn languages? Surely, it has something to do with the flexibility of their brains. Whereas the adult brain has gotten into a rut. Am I right?


Look at the guy at the bar over there. He's like, "I can't speak for the rest of us here, but my own brain is certainly nothing to write home about."


I know you didn't say anything, sir, but there is such a thing as telepathy, you know.


No, seriously. Mark my words: someday language courses will require the consumption of a modest amount of psychedelics during certain crucial lessons.


You know, to let the vocabulary and grammar sink into that otherwise thick brain of ours.


Quiero presentarte a una amiga. Commo se llama? Se llama mushroom.


I kid you not, ese.


{^Do you have what it takes to be a Drug Warrior? Only the most logic-challenged and nature-hating individuals need apply. Jackboots may be provided, however the ideal candidate will already be wearing jackboots as a matter of course.}{

Mind you, if we lived in a sane world, psychiatrists would be petitioning Congress to allow the use of psychedelics in therapy sessions too.


Seriously, psychedelics seem custom-designed to bring out the raw material with which psychiatry has hitherto wanted to deal.


It's like, some supreme being is serving this stuff up to us on a silver platter, absolutely for free, saying, "Here it is, I've grown it for you," and we're like, "Oh, no, not a plant! We couldn't possibly use a plant for mental healing!"


And I'm like, since when did America adopt the religion of Christian Science with respect to psychological healing? I for one never signed off on the notion that we have some religious or patriotic obligation to scorn mother nature's freely offered therapies.


And yet the government is going to check my urine to make sure that I avoid the plants and fungi that grow at my very feet? Puh-lease.


Hello? That's, um, like the enforcement of Christian Science, folks.


Hello? It's the establishment of a religion.


You know, I've recently begun reading the complete essays of CS Lewis and they make me feel so small, philosophically speaking. I mean, that guy is smart, girlfriend, I am telling you.


But just when I'm feeling that I don't know jack, I suddenly remember that I'm one of the only people in this country to realize all of the philosophical problems with the Drug War, and I suddenly feel smart again.

You know what they say about the one-eyed man in the country of the blind.


No, seriously. My name is Ballard Quass and I'll be here ranting against the anti-scientific war on mother nature until further notice --


Or until the next "crack down" on drugs entails the silencing of critics -- which, I wouldn't put it past a government that has already had the unprecedented chutzpah to outlaw plants.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who realizes that the Drug War is philosophically rotten to the core -- but I'm certainly one of the few to speak up. That said, I really can't blame most people for touting the party line. After all, you are literally kicked out of the job market (via drug testing) if you do not renounce your right to Mother Nature's plants. And given that harsh treatment, it's reasonable to fear that you could be discriminated against in hiring merely by making your anti-drug-war viewpoints known.

Incidentally, here's where American hypocrisy kicks in. It is considered a truism that rock and rap are anti-institutional forces in America, where our artists are willing to say anything to the establishment. But not so. There are precious few songs that seek to tweak the nose of the establishment for outlawing Mother Nature's plants. Oh, sure, there are plenty of songs about hedonistic drug use, but such songs only help to reinforce the Drug Warrior dogma that psychoactive plants are only used by hedonists, allowing the warrior to conveniently ignore the fact that many such plants improve human cognition and give the partaker a therapeutic sense of their place in the cosmos.

So even rock bands and rappers are cowered into staying mum about the true fascist state of affairs.

The DEA has been willfully withholding godsend medications from the American public for 40+ years now, yet that outrage has never been addressed by an American musician. Meanwhile, films like "Running with the Devil" continue to glorify the DEA and encourage us to accept its unconstitutional practices (including, according to the film, torture and cold-blooded murder of mere suspects), all in the name of keeping Americans from having access to naturally growing plants.

Anyone who thinks such vicious law enforcement is just a movie plot is unfamiliar with the amorality of our current president, Donald Trump. He's jealous of Filipino Duterte who gets to order the killing of mere drug suspects outright, without all that nonsense about due process and jury trials. Here we see problem 2,456-B (or is it 2,456-C?) with our war against plants: it plays into the hands of would-be tyrants, who will gladly use Drug War hysteria to bring about the kind of fascist bloodshed that they hunger for. What better way to dress up their blood-lust and their raw will to power in the colors of the American flag?

And America claims it's a scientifically oriented country? Stop me if you've heard this before but: puh-lease!

June 18, 2022

Okay, that was... quaint, shall we call it? But you've got to remember, these curious effusions were indited a full 2 1/2 long years ago, when Brian was still a lad (couldn't have been more than 62 years old at most), and he had only just started his task of upbraiding the establishment for its nonsensical drug-war pieties. He's connected a lot of philosophical dots since then. Like the fact that the Drug War is a makework program for law enforcement personnel which actually obliges them to become noxious busybodies.

It's like a movie I just saw in which a female drugs agent comes into town looking for medicines of which pharmalogically clueless politicians disapprove. You'll have to forgive my French, but I couldn't help but think of this self-righteous public servant as a... well, as a "panty sniffer," if you will, as she rushes about town drawing her gloved finger over any and all surfaces that appear to harbor the least amount of particulate of any kind. You could see she was just waiting for the moment that she could cry out: "Bingo!" or "Gotcha!"

She doesn't care about bank robberies, she doesn't care about nuclear war, she doesn't care about terrorism. She's just a prudish schoolmarm trying to find out if the locals have been naughty or nice.

LOCAL: "But we're good people here, Ma'am!"
OFFICER: "That's as shall appear, my pretty! Heh-heh-heh-heh! Say, do you mind if I sniff your jacket, young man?"

And then when you think of the thousands of her self-aggrandizing colleagues in the US alone who only have jobs because of this Big Brother fight against the "pre-crime" of substance possession, folks who, barring that, would be slopping together Whoppers at Burger King. Well, it's a boon for the glove industry at any rate. Somebody has to clad those busybody fingers of theirs as they poke about for a legal excuse to confiscate mansions and yachts on behalf of the local police.

America has come within a hair's breath of being nuked multiple times (accidentally and otherwise) in the last 50 years, including once in Arkansas, once in North Carolina, and once in Pearl Harbor. But it never seems to have occurred to strategically hysterical authorities that these thousands of "panty sniffers" that we're employing today in the name of the Drug War might be of more service to the Republic if they were looking for nuclear threats, not pharmacological ones.

I guess they figure that if we're blown to bits, we can all go to heaven secure in the knowledge that we have just said no to mother nature's godsends. Or if we survive the initial blast, we can stand up to the invader (the one who comes stateside after we do the dirty work for them by blowing up Arkansas) and cry: "Don't shoot, comrade, we're good people here, we have all just said no to godsend medicine!" To which the Russian sniper replies, "Just say no to THIS!"

I'm just sayin', let's get our priorities straight here!

Next essay: Euthanasia in the Age of the Drug War
Previous essay: Let's burn some plants!

More Essays Here

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Dragnet meets the Drug War
The Joy of Drug Testing
Drug War Copaganda
One of these things is not like the other
Comedian Adderall Zoloft Riffs on the Drug War
Plants Divine, All Plants Excelling
Testing Employee Urine for Fun and Profit
Rat Out Your Neighbors
The Church of the Most Holy and Righteous Drug War
A Drug Warrior in our Midst
Public Service Announcements for the Post-Drug War Era
American City Homicide Awards 2021
Hey, You, Get Off Of My Creed!
Drug Warriors Anonymous
Partnership for a Death Free America
A Misguided Tour of Monticello
Drug War Jeopardy!

...end the war on drugs. Shop today. And tomorrow.

Monticello Betrayed Thomas Jefferson

In 1987, the Monticello Foundation invited the DEA onto the property to confiscate Thomas Jeffersons poppy plants, in violation of the Natural Law upon which the gardening fan had founded America

The Drug War Censors Science - Bumper Sticker

Drive the point home that the Drug War censors scientists -- by outlawing and otherwise discouraging research into the kinds of drugs that have inspired entire religions.

Protest The Dea Bumper Sticker

Millions have needlessly suffered over the last 50 years because the DEA has lied about psychedelics, claiming that they are addictive and have no therapeutic value. Stop the lies, start the research.

Reincarnation is for Has-Beens

In a former life, I bought this bumper sticker myself. My friends got quite a kick out of it, as I recall!
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).

Nature Abhors a Vacuum - drink tile

Actually, Nature likes several of the latest Dyson models, but those are really the exception to the rule.

I Brake for Honeybees

Do your part to fight Colony Collapse Disorder: Show the honey bees your true feelings with this unBEElievable bumper sticker

Thinking of You

Face it, even your friends sometimes tick you off: Show them your true feelings with this novelty gift card -- and don't worry, the inside text reads: PSYCH! Just kidding.

What Would Socrates Do - bumper sticker

What would Socrates do if he drove a BMW? He'd sell it at once to show he wasn't tempted by luxury -- but he'd keep the kewl bumper sticker designed by that came with it.


old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

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. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.

It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it 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.

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

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    • Sewell, Kenneth Clint Richmond "Red Star Rogue: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine's Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. " 2006 Pocket Star
    • Shirer, William "The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler" 2011 RosettaBooks
  • 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
    • Slater, Lauren "Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds" 2019 Boston
  • 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
    • Straussman, Rick "DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences " 2001 Park Street Press
    • Streatfield, Dominic "Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography" 2003 Picador USA
    • Swartzwelder, Scott "Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy" 1998 W.W. Norton
    • Szasz, Thomas "Ceremonial Chemistry: the ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers" 1974 Anchor Press/Doubleday
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
    • Szasz, Thomas "Our Right to Drugs: The case for a free market" 1992 Praeger
    • Tyler, George R. "Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System" 2016 Pegasus Books
    • Watts, Alan "The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness" 1965 Vintage
  • 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 "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America " 2010 Crown
    • Zinn, Howard "A People's History of the United States: 1492 - present" 2009
    • Zuboff , Shoshana "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power" 2019 Public Affairs
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