Essay date: December 27, 2019

The Drug War is a War on Patients

my letter to Republican senators of the 116th U.S. Congress

how the drug war keeps godsend medications out of the hands of alcoholics, the depressed, and soldiers with PTSD

ear Senator:

Please end the Drug War. It is a war on patients.

I am a 61-year-old American who has been denied godsend medications for depression for the last 40 years, all because Washington legislators care more about punishing "drug users" than they care about helping those suffering from alcoholism, depression and PTSD.

When is Congress going to stop the war on drug research and the war on patients?

It is nothing less than a crime against humanity when the DEA knowingly withholds godsend medications from the American public - and lies while so doing.

Please end this war against patients today. Abolish the DEA and put its leadership on trial for causing immense and unnecessary suffering for America's patients through its anti-scientific lies about substances like MDMA and psilocybin.

And stop financially blackmailing other countries to make them follow suit with America's unscientific Drug War. Is it not bad enough that you've made it impossible for me to get help in America? Do you really have to make sure that I can't get help anywhere on the planet?

Substances are not evil, Senator. That is a drug-war superstition. They are good or bad, depending on how they are used.

Stop demonizing godsend medications just because they may be subject to occasional abuse.

Please stop denying godsend medication to millions merely because a few thousand may abuse them.

Get rid of the fascist DEA - the jackbooted thugs that stomped onto Monticello and stole Thomas Jefferson's poppies -- and let scientists study any substance that they please without government interference - that is, if you really want to live in a free country.

Meanwhile, just remember that "getting tough" means getting tough on patients. We are the ones who suffer so that conservative Republicans can get their demagogue soundbites.

Psychiatric godsend medications include: MDMA, ayahuasca, psilocybin, and ibogaine. Please tell the DEA to back off and let science, not politics, determine these drugs' availability to patients.

Instead, the DEA does everything they can to hinder research and to keep these drugs unavailable to suffering Americans, including tens of thousands of soldiers who have fought for freedom overseas. MDMA was working wonders - but the DEA decided to criminalize it in 1985, AGAINST the advice of its own judge. Why? The DEA has a conflict of interest: their jobs depend on drugs being illegal. It's an outrage that such an agency protects its jobs by keeping godsend medication from the American people.

The DEA is anti-American and anti-soldier. Please tell it to cease ruining the lives of America's patients.

NOTES I sent the above e-mail to Republican Senators, under the assumption that much of the Drug War demagoguery comes from that quarter. It was written in anger and may thus be a trifled disjointed. My principal point, however, is clear: namely, that the Drug War is anti-patient, insofar as it criminalizes substances without regard for the millions of patients who are thereby denied godsend medication. This is because the Republicans like to appear "tough on drugs" by locking up minorities -- and if that means they have to totally ignore the valid interests of millions of alcoholics, depressives, and soldiers with PTSD, then so be it.

Unfortunately, Democrats have to share the blame, since they also pay almost no attention to the millions of patients who are forced to go without godsend medications thanks to our across-the-board drug criminalization. They only differ from Republicans in that they focus on protecting potential abusers instead of prosecuting them. Both sides, however, promote policies that keep godsend medicines unavailable for those who need them most: alcoholics, the depressed, and soldiers suffering from PTSD.

This in turn is because both sides share the superstitious Drug Warrior belief that chemical substances are either good or evil -- when in reality substances are neither good nor evil: only people are. The same substance which seems evil at one dose and in one setting can work miracles at another dose and in another setting. Somehow our Washington representatives are blissfully unaware of this fact. (I'm being kind to the pols here, by the way. A more cynical author would claim that Congress's Drug War-enablers are simply cowing to the demands of lobbyists for Big Pharma, psychiatry, prison guards, and sheriffs, all of whom stand to lose financially if the Drug War is rescinded or pared back in any way.)

The DEA truly believes that substances are evil in and of themselves. Whenever they are forced to allow a little research into MDMA, for instance, they insist on elaborate and expensive procedures to safeguard the MDMA to be used in the study, as if the substance were some kind of highly enriched uranium or the Hope Diamond. This shows absurd priorities: the DEA is ready to stymy investigation into a drug that could help millions - even billions of people - and why do they run this interference? So that they can stop even a handful of Americans from being able to use the substance illicitly.

The DEA is so obsessed with "cracking down" that they would gladly scuttle a godsend cure for countless patients - just to get tough on a few minorities. But this is probably to be expected since the agency's raison d'etre is to punish Americans for using cures of which our politicians do not approve - our politicians, mind, not our scientists.

Next essay: Depressed? Here's why.
Previous essay: DEA Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

More Essays Here

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • 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
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • 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
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