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The Infuriating Philosophical Idiocy of Kevin Sabet

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

January 29, 2022

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.

Next essay: The Great Unfollowing
Previous essay: How Milton Friedman Completely Misunderstood the War on Drugs

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

It's because of such reductive pseudoscience that America will allow us to shock the brains of the depressed but won't allow us to let them use the plant medicines that grow at their feet.
The MindMed company (makers of LSD Lite) tell us that euphoria and visions are "adverse effects": that's not science, that's an arid materialist philosophy that does not believe in spiritual transcendence.
Every time I see a psychiatrist, I feel like I'm playing a game of make-believe. We're both pretending that hundreds of demonized medicines do not exist and could be of no use whatsoever.
Materialists are always trying to outdo each other in describing the insignificance of humankind. Crick at least said we were "a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." Musk downsizes us to one single microbe. He wins!
Mariani Wine is the real McCoy, with Bolivian coca leaves (tho' not with cocaine, as Wikipedia says). I'll be writing more about my experience with it soon. I was impressed. It's the same drink "on which" HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their stories.
The problem for alcoholics is that alcohol decreases rationality in proportion as it provides the desired self-transcendence. Outlawed drugs can provide self-transcendence with INCREASED rationality and be far more likely to keep the problem drinker off booze than abstinence.
The best step we could take in harm reduction is re-legalizing everything and starting to teach safe use. Spend the DEA's billions on "go" teams that would descend on locations where drugs are being used stupidly -- not to arrest, but to educate.
I, for one, am actually TRYING to recommend drugs like MDMA and psilocybin as substitutes for shock therapy. In fact, I would recommend almost ANY pick-me-up drug as an alternative to knowingly damaging the human brain. That's more than the hateful DEA can say.
How else will they scare us enough to convince us to give up all our freedoms for the purpose of fighting horrible awful evil DRUGS? DRUGS is the sledgehammer with which they are destroying American democracy.
The Drug War is one big entrapment scheme for poor minorities. Prohibition creates an economy that hugely incentivizes drug dealing, and when the poor fall for the bait, the prohibitionists rush in to arrest them and remove them from the voting rolls.
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front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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You have been reading an article entitled, The Infuriating Philosophical Idiocy of Kevin Sabet published on January 29, 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)