recently contacted the Chair of the Botany Department at the University of Hawaii to complain about the appearance of drug-war propaganda in some of his department's online material. I felt a little guilty at first because I planned to publish my lengthy letter to him on my website, and I thought that it might be unfair to single his department out for having fallen prey to Drug War propaganda. (The offending subject matter, apparently written by a UoH professor, claimed that LSD was outlawed because it was being abused, whereas Richard Nixon actually outlawed all psychedelics in order to throw his opponents into jail and charge them with felonies, thereby removing them from the voting rolls.)
I stopped feeling guilty at once, however, when the Botany Department chairman responded with a terse email, complaining about the length of my message and suggesting that I contact instead the author of the material that I found objectionable. Of course, the whole reason I had contacted the chair in the first place was that the offending material appeared online without an author's credit and with hyperlinks to missing pages. But, resolving to remain civil, I replied as follows:
Dear Professor Kasey:
The page is not credited and the links are invalid. But I'll investigate and see if I can deduce who might have written the text in question. Thanks.
My email is lengthy because I'm trying to combat the wrong-headed thinking of an anti-scientific Drug War that keeps botanists from doing their job.
Sorry if I overwhelmed you.
If you're ever open to persuasion on this topic -- and the need for American botanists to protest governmental restrictions on what they can and cannot research -- I invite you to visit my website devoted to such topics at abolishthedea.com.
Then I started thinking. Why am I feeling guilty for bothering Professor Kasey? Grade-schoolers are being shot down in inner cities every day of the week thanks to the Drug War, which single-handedly created gangs and cartels to profit from American prohibition. Mexicans are dying around the clock. Why? Because the Drug War lingers like an unwelcome guest, blithely accepted by the American public, who feel free to repeat Drug War propaganda as gospel truth, even in college courses.
Maybe America has become far too polite on this subject. America's movers-and-shakers did little or nothing to stop sexual harassment until feminists started "outing" them for their silence on that topic. The powers-that-be were also generally silent about race relations until Black Lives Matter shamed them into speaking up.
Maybe it's time to start shaming the many stealth collaborators of the Drug War whose silence (and lies) on this topic keep the bullets flying.
There is a lot of blame to go around.
Take TV producers, for instance. Cop shows are full of Drug War propaganda: in fact, the whole genre could scarcely exist in a world where natural plant medicines were considered the birth right of every citizen, as they had been throughout world history until the racially motivated Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. But show producers have email addresses and website contact forms. If you're opposed to America's Drug War -- or simply dislike the unnecessary slaughter of grade-schoolers that the Drug War brings about -- why not contact these producers via email and encourage them to stop spreading Drug War propaganda? Every time their show episodes demonize cocaine, these producers are supporting Drug War prohibition and the violence that it creates (meanwhile ignoring the fact that medicines from the coca plant have been used responsibly by non-western cultures for millennia).
Psychiatrists are drug-war collaborators as well whenever they fail to speak up about the Drug War. If the government told doctors that they could no longer use aspirin, they would scream bloody murder: but when the government tells psychiatrists that they can't use natural therapeutic godsends, such doctors merely shrug and then start browsing through the slick and glossy catalog of highly addictive pills that the pharmaceutical salesperson left outside their office door. It's time that we start publicly pestering psychiatrists to do their part by speaking out against the anti-patient status quo of the Drug War.
Even authors are drug-war collaborators. Think of the thousands of non-fiction books that have been written about creativity and relaxation over the past half-century, with scarcely any of them even mentioning the power of psychoactive plants to bring about these very states. And what about books on consciousness? How many weighty philosophical tomes (using 50-cent words like "qualia" and "neurofeedback") have completely ignored the role that psychoactive plants have played in altering (and elucidating the nature of) consciousness over the ages, not just for village shaman under the influence of "the food of the gods," but for western luminaries such as Plato and Aristotle, under the influence of the psychedelic kykeon at Eleusis. It's about time that we "outed" such authors for this self-censorship whereby they toe the Drug War party line, thereby giving the green light to the drug-war prohibition that kills.
The botanist's complicity in the Drug War is especially culpable, however, since the DEA's "drug scheduling" system limits their very ability to practice their profession. The DEA places thousands of plants and fungi off-limits to research, despite the fact that such flora could include godsends for ending cancer, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. Surely any self-respecting botanist should be outraged by this emasculating Drug Warrior interference in their work, just as they would profess outrage at the way that the Church stymied the research of Galileo in the 17th century. But, like the authors and psychiatrists mentioned above, it looks like America's botanists need to be politely reminded of their duty to be outraged, since their silence on this topic supports the drug-war status quo: a status quo that not only kills grade-schoolers, but leads to the miserable and totally unnecessary suffering of the elderly and the depressed, who must go without god-send medications which, in the absence of Drug War restrictions, could be provided for them.
Yes, we should be polite when outing the many drug-war collaborators mentioned above, since many of them are silent about the Drug War for fear of being ostracized -- financially and otherwise -- should they speak out. That's unfortunately a very realistic concern. I myself can only speak truthfully here since I am self-employed. But one goal in "outing" these folks is to start normalizing the process of speaking plain truth about drugs, first and foremost by reminding Americans that the term "drugs" is really just a Drug Warrior pejorative for "mother nature's plant medicines."
Because what was true of the AIDS crisis 30 years ago is true about the Drug War today: Silence equals Death: the daily death of inner-city minorities (over 800 in 2021 in Chicago alone), as well as the wholesale massacre of Mexicans and other nationalities. Why? Because they deal in a plant medicine that the Incas considered to be a god.
The Links Police
Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, because the Drug War gives me carte blanche to be a noxious busybody. But, no, I actually stopped you this time to remind you of another essay or two related to the topic of the Drug War's censorship of science in so-called free America. (Oh, and while I'm at it: your left rear tail light is out as well.)
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).
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. 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.
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)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company