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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

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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.
NEW TERM FOR LOGIC CLASSES: "The Oprah Winfrey Fallacy," which is the idea that a statistically insignificant number of cases constitutes a crisis, provided ONLY that the villain of the piece is something that racist politicians have demonized as a "drug."

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 politicians wanted to outlaw coffee, a bunch of Kevin Sabets would come forward and start writing books designed to scare us off the drink by cherry-picking negative facts from scientific studies.

Today's Washington Post reports that "opioid pills shipped" DROPPED 45% between 2011 and 2019..... while fatal overdoses ROSE TO RECORD LEVELS! Prohibition is PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE.
Prohibitionists having nothing to say about all other dangerous activities: nothing about hunting, free climbing, hang-gliding, sword swallowing, free diving, skateboarding, sky-diving, chug-a-lug competitions, chain-smoking. Their "logic" is incoherent.
Drugs like opium and psychedelics should come with the following warning: "Outlawing of this product may result in inner-city gunfire, civil wars overseas, and rigged elections in which drug warriors win office by throwing minorities in jail."
If we let "science" decide about drugs, i.e. base freedom on health concerns, then tea can be as easily outlawed as beer. The fact that horses are not illegal shows that prohibition is not about health. It's about the power to outlaw certain "ways of being in the world."
The formula is easy: pick a substance that folks are predisposed to hate anyway, then keep hounding the public with stories about tragedies somehow related to that substance. Show it ruining lives in movies and on TV. Don't lie. Just keep showing all the negatives.
Then folks like Sabet will accuse folks like myself of ignoring the "facts." No, it is Sabet who is ignoring the facts -- facts about dangerous horses and free climbing. He's also ignoring all the downsides of prohibition, whose laws lead to the election of tyrants.
I think there needs to be a law -- or at least an understanding -- that it's always wrong to demonize drugs in the abstract. That's anti-scientific. It begs so many questions and leaves suffering pain patients (and others) high and dry. No substance is bad in and of itself.
When we say so, we knowingly blind ourselves to all sorts of potential benefits to humankind. Morphine can provide a vivid appreciation of mother nature in properly disposed minds. That should be seen as a benefit. Instead, dogma tells us that we must hate morphine for any use.
I might as well say that no one can ever be taught to ride a horse safely. I would argue as follows: "Look at Christopher Reeves. He was a responsible and knowledgeable equestrian. But he couldn't handle horses. The fact is, NO ONE can handle horses!"
That's the problem with prohibition. It is not ultimately a health question but a question about priorities and sensibilities -- and those topics are open to lively debate and should not be the province of science, especially when natural law itself says mother nature is ours.
I personally hate beets and I could make a health argument against their legality. Beets can kill for those allergic to them. Sure, it's a rare condition, but since when has that stopped a prohibitionist from screaming bloody murder?
I can think of no greater intrusion than to deny one autonomy over how they think and feel in life. It is sort of a meta-intrusion, the mother of all anti-democratic intrusions.
Enforced by the blatantly rights-crushing solicitation of urine from the king's subjects, as if to underscore the fact that your very digestive system is controlled by the state.
Until prohibition ends, rehab is all about enforcing a Christian Science attitude toward psychoactive medicines (with the occasional hypocritical exception of Big Pharma meds).
When folks die in horse-related accidents, we need to be asking: who sold the victim the horse? We've got to crack down on folks who peddle this junk -- and ban books like Black Beauty that glamorize horse use.
Democratic societies need to outlaw prohibition for many reasons, the first being the fact that prohibition removes millions of minorities from the voting rolls, thereby handing elections to fascists and insurrectionists.
Prohibition turned habituation into addiction by creating a wide variety of problems for users, including potential arrest, tainted or absent drug supply, and extreme stigmatization.
The goal of drug-law reform should be to outlaw prohibition. Anything short of that, and our basic rights will always be subject to veto by fearmongers. Outlawing prohibition would restore the Natural Law of Jefferson, which the DEA scorned in 1987 with its raid on Monticello.
Philip Jenkins reports that Rophynol had positive uses for treating mental disorders until the media called it the "date rape drug." We thus punished those who were benefitting from the drug, tho' the biggest drug culprit in date rape is alcohol. Oprah spread the fear virally.
This is the "Oprah fallacy," which has led to so much suffering. She told women they were fools if they accepted a drink from a man. That's crazy. If we are terrified by such a statistically improbable event, we should be absolutely horrified by horses and skateboards.
This hysterical reaction to rare negative events actually creates more rare negative events. This is why the DEA publicizes "drug problems," because by making them well known, they make the problems more prevalent and can thereby justify their huge budget.
The Partnership for a Death Free America is launching a campaign to celebrate the 50th year of Richard Nixon's War on Drugs. We need to give credit where credit's due for the mass arrest of minorities, the inner city gun violence and the civil wars that it's generated overseas.
In 1886, coca enthusiast JJ Tschudi referred to prohibitionists as 'kickers.' He wrote: "If we were to listen to these kickers, most of us would die of hunger, for the reason that nearly everything we eat or drink has fallen under their ban."
Drug Warriors never take responsibility for incentivizing poor kids throughout the west to sell drugs. It's not just in NYC and LA, it's in modest-sized towns in France. Find public housing, you find drug dealing. It's the prohibition, damn it!
I don't believe in the materialist paradigm upon which SSRIs were created, according to which humans are interchangeable chemical robots amenable to the same treatment for human sadness. Let me use laughing gas and MDMA and coca and let the materialists use SSRIs.
What prohibitionists forget is that every popular but dangerous activity, from horseback riding to drug use, will have its victims. You cannot save everybody, and when you try to do so by law, you kill far more than you save, meanwhile destroying democracy in the process.
Prohibition is based on two huge lies: 1) that there are no benefits to drug use; and 2) that there are no downsides to prohibition.
The 1932 movie "Scarface" starts with on-screen text calling for a crackdown on armed gangs in America. There is no mention of the fact that a decade's worth of Prohibition had created those gangs in the first place.

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Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans

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)