The Infuriating Philosophical Idiocy of Kevin Sabet
evin Sabet is at it again, plucking my last and final nerve. Today, he's promoting a post on Twitter that encourages us to panic over the fact that a vast minority of pot users use the drug daily.
Now then, why does Kevin think that a body might use marijuana every single day of their life? Gee, that's a real poser. Hmm. Could it have anything to do with the fact that their government has outlawed ALMOST EVERY OTHER PSYCHOACTIVE MEDICINE ON THE PLANET???
People seek self-transcendence, Kevin, get over it.
And until we outlaw prohibition, would you prefer that such users were drinking alcohol every day of their life, or taking Big Pharma meds every day of their life like 1 in 4 American women, thereby turning themselves into socially acceptable zombies? But Kevin has no problem with socially acceptable zombies.
Speaking of which, one has to wonder if Kevin is on the take from Big Pharma. All I can say is that if he's not, the Big Pharma companies are missing a great opportunity.
Kevin's knee-jerk prohibitionist policies have killed hundreds of thousands of Mexicans over the last decade and resulted in the election of insurrectionists by throwing millions of black voters in jail. Meanwhile these policies have outlawed substances that have inspired entire religions -- and stolen Thomas Jefferson's poppy plants. Gee, thanks, Kevin for your "enlightened" policies that have overthrown natural law and militarized police forces around the world.
And this is the guy whom Atlantic editor David Frum calls "The most important new voice in the American drug policy debate"? There's nothing new about Kevin's voice: it's Drug War 101: demonize and criminalize substances rather than teach about them. This has been official government policy for half a century now, as reflected in the ONDCP guidelines which forbids the discussion of any potential benefits to be realized by the substances that we call "drugs." But it's no wonder that Kevin gets the Atlantic's endorsement. That's the magazine that keeps publishing feel-good pieces about new depression treatments without ever mentioning the fact that our government has outlawed almost all the substances that could treat depression effectively. The Atlantic is thereby ignoring the fact that the Drug War is censoring scientific research, something that supposedly freedom-loving Americans should be ashamed of.
I'm glad Kevin is not an exterminator. If he noticed a single solitary bug in a house, he would treat the problem by gassing the whole neighborhood. Then when children and pets lay dying on the pavement, Kevin would point to the bug-free condition of the house in question and cry: "Success! We have won the war on bugs!"
That's why Drug Warriors are like Mrs. Grose in "The Turn of the Screw." They cause the very problems that they seek to solve.
As I've said before, I agree with Kevin: folks should not use weed -- or any other substance -- excessively*. But like every other drug-related problem these days, the problem is caused by the Drug War, Kevin, not by drugs themselves!
Teach, don't demonize. Divert the billions we're spending on law enforcement to teaching safe use in the relevant communities, meanwhile recognizing the so far unacknowledged fact that nothing we can do (neither prohibition nor legalization) is going to "save" everybody, and that when we try to do so with a Drug War, the "victories" that we achieve will always be Pyrrhic ones.
Related tweet: June 10, 2023
Check out these prohibitionists who whine about the popularity of weed. It's like they outlawed steak and pork and then they complained about the popularity of chicken. I'd be more than happy to diversify my medicine cabinet once these clowns stop outlawing mother nature.
Author's Follow-up: July 3, 2023
Of course, the definition of "excessive" use is not determined scientifically. It has everything to do with the desires and goals of the "user." Folks like Sabet would have told Ben Franklin to cut out the opium smoking -- but Ben's use would have been considered "excessive" only by those onlooking prudes, not by Benjamin Franklin himself. Again, the determination of what's excessive is a personal matter, for which supposedly objective facts about a drug are only one of the many considerations that come into play. But just as Drug Warriors prefer one-size-fits-all pills from Big Pharma over holistic remedies, so they prefer a list of one-size-fits-all binary judgments about "drugs" (good/bad) over the highly nuanced cost-benefit analyses that must come into play in any REAL life of a would-be user, an analysis that takes into account the crucial dreams and aspirations of that user. What kind of world do THEY want to live in? What are their goals in life? Do they want to follow up on the research of William James? Do they want to give up alcohol? Do they want to be less angry?
The Drug Warrior ignores all such real-life considerations and tells us ex cathedra that the drugs in question are somehow bad in and of themselves (a claim that can be properly made only of the Devil himself, in which the vast majority of Drug Warriors will tell you they do not believe). In that case, surely liquor too is bad in and of itself and should not be excused on the grounds of making the drinker more relaxed and sociable, as hypocritical Drug Warriors are apt to do.
All drugs have positive uses at some dose, for some reason, at some time -- but prohibitionists have the absurd idea that drugs can be voted up or down. This anti-scientific notion deprives the modern world of countless godsends.
If drug war logic made sense, we would outlaw endless things in addition to drugs. Because the drug war says that it's all worth it if we can save just one life -- which is generally the life of a white suburban young person, btw.
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