I thought I had done my homework. I checked out the first 10 pages of Google search results on "Ketamine" and "Depression" and saw nothing but cautious nods to the potential efficacy of the drug in fighting the blues. Might ketamine finally be one effective medicine that my government would actually allow me to use against my chronic depression? I called some of the companies already providing the drug and heard nothing but glowing accounts of the substance. I began checking out the location of these service providers and pondering budget schemes that would help me afford the high price tag for such treatment.
Just before I was ready to start making reservations for therapy, however, I ran across an unsolicited email from Hong Kong researchers warning of the rise of uropathy (urinary problems) in Ketamine users in Eastern Asia. The researchers claimed that ketamine use could result in the de-structuring of bladders, ureters, and kidneys.
This sounded highly suspicious to me at first, and for two reasons: 1) I had seen nothing but cautious praise for ketamine therapy in that Google Search I mentioned above -- and not so much as one single mention of potential urinary problems. Not one. 2) I knew that my own government had been lying to me about psychoactive drugs for well over half a century, demonizing coca and opium and psychedelics, when all three drugs have been used responsibly for millennia, not just by other cultures but by western luminaries as well. I knew that Benjamin Franklin enjoyed opium, that HG Wells swore by coca wine, that Plato's philosophy had been informed by the psychedelic rituals at Eleusis, and that the entire Vedic-Hindu religion had been inspired by the psychoactive plant medicine(s) known as soma. If we unscientifically demonize drugs here in this "free and democratic country" of ours, why should I listen to a scare campaign coming from a seemingly less free and democratic country such as China (and/or a Special Administrative Region thereof)?
I didn't brush the topic under the rug, however. I did my due diligence, or so I thought. I called one of the main doctors providing highly publicized ketamine treatment in Florida and asked him directly: "Is there a risk of urinary problems resulting from ketamine use?" He gave me an unequivocal no. In fact, he had never heard of such a thing. Never.
Okay, I was depressed and I wanted to believe him -- and it seemed like I was being reasonable given those hope-giving search results I mentioned above. So I then shut down my search and began scheduling therapy.
Of course, had I really done due diligence and not listened solely to self-interested parties, I would have discovered there was much more to be worried about when it comes to ketamine than I wanted to believe. It turns out that it really matters what search terms you use on a Google search. If you search for "ketamine and depression," you will see only relatively positive stories about ketamine and depression. This makes sense from the point of view of algorithms. For if a story about ketamine is full of words associated with "urology," it is less likely to appear prominently under a search for the terms "ketamine and depression." What I found out, however, to my later horror, was that if you search Google for "ketamine and uropathy," you are swamped with results of stories flagging the dangers of ketamine use when it comes to the bladder, the ureter and the kidneys.
I will add in my defense that I was 64 at the time, and so my eventual decision to move forward with ketamine was also based on the fact that long-term negative effects were of slightly less concern for me than they might be for an 18-year-old.
And so I began what turned out to be five months of daily ketamine nasal spray therapy for depression.
The good news: ketamine did give me blessed relief from the strength-sapping defeatist "mind talk" which is the nemesis of the overthinking depressed, a blessed temporary escape from full-on consciousness. (By the way, this is one benefit of so-called "drug use" of which the Drug Warrior, in their psychological naivete, never takes account: namely, the "blessed temporary escape from full-on consciousness.") Besides being good in and of itself, the mere anticipation of these "mental escapes" was itself a godsend, giving me the motivation to carry on when "sober" under what might otherwise seem to be overwhelming sadness.
The bad news: Eastern Asia was right. After five months of use, I began noticing very subtle indications of potential urinary trouble.
Of course, I ceased use at once, fearful that I had not done so in time.
I don't entirely regret my experience, however, given my age and the extent of my depression. The experience also gave me more insight into how psychoactive medicine and disassociation can ease the mind. But make no mistake: if the price I pay turns out to be high, medically speaking, then America's Drug War is to blame, thanks to which we schedule and/or greenlight drugs not based on scientific facts and reports of actual usage, but rather based on political and capitalistic considerations alone.
MORAL OF THE STORY: The Drug Warrior would love to parley my misadventure into a morality tale against "drug use" in general, but the real villain of this piece is the Drug War itself, which has never taught us to understand drugs but rather to fear them. Far from trying to educate us, they lie to us, telling us that medicines that created entire religions actually "fry the brain" -- this after drilling it into our heads as children that "drugs" are the one "boogieman" that we must fear for our entire life. According to the Drug Warrior, the monster under our bed is imaginary, but the boogieman of drugs is an eternal presence before which we must tremble for a lifetime.
Thus the Drug Warrior is the Great Chicken Little of modern society. We all discount his pronouncements because we know that it lies, exaggerates and tells half-truths. The problem is however that the Chicken Little (like the broken clock) is right on rare occasions -- even when he himself does not realize it -- and in those cases folks like myself are going to turn a deaf ear to what may turn out to be very valid anti-Drug Warnings, indeed.
So, I'll tell you what. Let's fix this so that it never happens to anyone again, either with ketamine or any other "godsend" that gets promoted based on capitalist motivations rather than scientific ones. Here's how.
In the post-Drug War world that I envision, where we have re-legalized mother nature and mind drugs in general (where we have rejected, in short, the government's right to tell us how we can think and feel...) we would replace the Drug Enforcement Agency with the Drug Education Agency -- and that agency would be full of pharmacologically savvy and empathic individuals with a deep knowledge of the sociocultural history of substance use around the world -- including every drug from sugar to heroin, from coffee to coca, from Monster Energy drinks to opium, from Big Pharma anti-depressants to psychedelics and MDMA. They would be completely independent, free (and duty-bound) to bring out every objective bad side -- and every subjective good side -- to every possible form of psychoactive substance use.
This new - and demilitarized - DEA -would have an online FAQs page, where users and potential users could ask any question they want about any psychoactive substance in the world - and would get honest answers, based on the subjective and objective reports of actual users of the substances in question, both in modern times and the past. I'm talking about the kind of unbounded honesty that neither Drug Warriors nor self-interested capitalists can even imagine: a FAQs page that would actually warn you that modern anti-depressants lead to lifelong dependency, that intermittent opium sessions can increase creativity under proper circumstances, that the coca leaf can sharpen your mental focus without yet ruining your life, as the Drug Warrior would insist must happen when using such an "evil drug."
Complete honesty. That's the answer to the Drug War. Facts not fear.
In such a world, the depressed would not have to wonder whom to believe when considering new potential treatments like ketamine: they could 'ask the 'Drug Education Agency' experts', who, unfettered by either financial interests or the ideology of substance demonization, would clearly tell us the truth about the dangers and benefits of any and all psychoactive substances on planet earth, natural or human made.
I'm talking about the kind of unbounded honesty that neither Drug Warriors nor self-interested capitalists can even imagine: a FAQs page that would actually warn you that modern anti-depressants lead to lifelong dependency -- that would actually admit that intermittent opium sessions can increase creativity under proper circumstances -- that would tell you how you can use the coca leaf like HG Wells and Jules Verne to sharpen your mental focus without yet ruining your life, as the Drug Warrior would insist must happen when using such an "evil drug."
May 17, 2022
You shoot, you score, Brian. I mean, only imagine: The DEA has been demonizing and criminalizing a host of godsend plant medicine for your entire life, all of which could be used safely with education and guidance. And now that you're 64, they finally decide to grudgingly allow the therapeutic use of one single psychoactive drug that they've been demonizing for years. And which one do they choose? The most harmful one they can find. Yet another proof that the DEA and the Drug War are not in business to protect Americans. Their goals are, 1, to give monopolies to Big Pharma and psychiatry for creating and selling psychoactive substances respectively, and 2) to shield the liquor business from competition, and 3) to provide work -- and plenty of it -- for local law enforcement and corrections officials when it comes to cracking heads, chiefly those of minorities and the poor.
Imagine that! This drug, ketamine, with its nasty urological baggage, is now available for depression therapy at the same time when materialist science and the FDA are still wringing their collective hands about the possibility of allowing depressed folks like myself to use MDMA, one of the safest drugs in the world. They say, "Oh, it's still too early for you to use it, Brian!" I say, "Begging your pardon, but as far as I'm concerned it's 60 years too late!"
This endless delay of psychoactive drug approval is based on and justified by a flawed assumption: namely, that safety is the number-one concern when it comes to the decriminalization of psychoactive drugs. Certainly safety is one concern. But the idea that such drugs can be deep-sixed for safety concerns alone is problematic, to put it mildly. People use psychoactive drugs in order to make their life meaningful, and for many of us, self-actualization trumps safety. In other words, we would gladly live 30 years in a drug-aided self-actualized manner than 50 years in a drug-free world of listlessness and boredom. What we need are the facts to decide whether use of a given substance passes a cost-benefit analysis for us personally, given our priorities in life. The FDA has no standing in making that sort of determination, and therefore should limit its role to advising potential users of the objective risks and benefits of use based on actual case stories, past and present -- something that they have failed to do so blatantly when it comes to ketamine.
Moreover, to the extent that the drugs in question are products of mother nature, the safeness of a given substance is a moot point. The government has no right (under the Natural Law upon which Jefferson founded America) to debar us from what Locke called "the use of the land and all that lies therein." So if scientists believe that botanical substance A is dangerous for us, they should feel free to tell us about it -- but not to withhold it from us.
May 19, 2022
I have perhaps given short shrift (in fact no shrift at all!) to the possibility that the above-described ketamine use, despite the mentioned side effects, may still have beneficial long-term effects for me by dint of the chemical changes that it effected during my five months of use. That, after all, is the way that the substance's use for depression is generally justified these days, not on the psychological effects which have primarily interested me but rather on the mood-elevating neurochemical effects that ketamine is thought by researchers to bring about. And indeed I do seem to have more personal initiative post-ketamine use, although that, of course, could just be a happy coincidence brought about by unrelated factors.
I'll be glad to give ketamine the benefit of the doubt for now -- always prefaced by the big asterisk flagging potential urinary side effects in any but quite short-term use (months, not years).
I should add, however, that I have a good excuse for having downplayed the reductionist case for ketamine use in depression therapy. It was, after all, a reductionist mindset that brought about the great psychiatric pill mill, thereby turning America into a nation of Stepford Wives in which one in four American women are dependent on Big Pharma antidepressants for life. The idea was that scientifically, through reductionist chemistry, one could find a one-size-fits-all cure for depression. Yet, over half a century later, America remains the most depressed country in the world. Meanwhile these "silver bullet" drugs that were originally meant to cure depression in the short term have turned out to be highly dependence-causing and, in fact, are often harder to kick than heroin. And was there some form of giant recall? Did newspapers halt the presses! Did politicians scream bloody murder Au contraire. Instead of apologizing for thus addicting the entire country to faulty meds, psychiatrists turned around and told their "patients" that they had a medical duty to take these dependence-causing drugs every day for the rest of their lives! (They no doubt learned a thing or two from the dairy industry, which denied their product caused stomach aches and blamed the problem on the drinkers themselves, who they told us were intolerant of dairy's wonderfully safe product.)
Americans console themselves for this unprecedented pharmacological dystopia by embracing the myth that SSRIs fix a chemical imbalance in the brain. Yet that's simply not true. As Richard Whitaker writes in "Anatomy of an Epidemic":
The medicine clearly doesn't fix a chemical imbalance in the brain. Instead, it does precisely the opposite.... Fluoxetine (Prozac)... gums up the normal removal of serotonin from the synapse, and that triggers a cascade of changes, and several weeks later the serotonergic pathway is operating in a decidedly abnormal fashion.
So, if reductionist researchers are right about the long-term mood-lifting benefits of short-term ketamine use, that's great. But we must not lose sight of the fact that the reductionist approach already has a body count. Moreover, the reductionist mindset of the NIMH and FDA makes those agencies antagonistic to the needs of the depressed? Why? Because it gives them an almost laughable indifference to human motivations and common-sense psychology. How else do we explain the fact that MDMA and nitrous oxide remain out of reach of the depressed to this day despite the fact that any sad sack will tell you that either drug would be a godsend for them? Yet the reductionist researcher keeps saying, in the teeth of over half a century worth of evidence of safe and efficacious use for creating transcendence and mood improvement: "Wait! We must prove that this drug actually 'works' with a capital W?" Well, I think I speak for all of the depressed when I say I'd be happy to have it simply work.
What? Prove that laughing gas might work for the depressed? Prove that MDMA, a drug which brought universal harmony to the British dance floor, will work for the depressed? The proof is extant, Mr. and Mrs. Reductionist, and your delays are merely torturing the depressed by unnecessarily disbarring them from the use of godsend medicine. So please, pull your bi-focaled eyes away from the microscope lens and take a look at the millions of folks whose lives you are unnecessarily ruining with your obsession for "REAL" cures. What? Real cures like the Big Pharma one that supposedly would cure depression, but instead ended up creating the greatest chemical dependency in world history???)
The Links Police
Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, I wanted to give you some essay links to eke out your understanding of the issues raised above by that Brian Quass chappie. On the subject of materialism and the Drug War, you could do worse than read the following: Without Philosophy, Science becomes Scientism. Oh, and here's a good one: Replacing Psychiatry with Pharmacologically Savvy Shamanism I think that latter essay may have even gotten Brian banned from the Reddit Psychiatry group -- though I've long since lost track of who banished Brian from what.
Author's Follow-up: July 21, 2022
I hear many tech pundits praising Google for having made Web searching "objective." Of course, this is nonsense because all search algorithms are based on subjective (and economically self-interested) judgments by the coders as to what constitutes a valuable link for a given search. Google search fails almost completely when it comes to searches for ketamine and depression since the results almost entirely fail to point out any health concerns -- unless you specifically look for those concerns. Likewise, if you look for ketamine-related health concerns, you get the idea that no one's using the substance for treating depression. In other words, Google algorithms behave according to the rule: "What you see is what you wanna see -- not necessarily what you need to see."
The Drug War is a bipartisan effort, hence its staying power, but if the Republicans have their way, we will have an insurrection to install a president who wants to carry out "the final solution" for the drug war, by executing those who dare to traffic in botanical godsends of which racist politicians disapprove. Yes, Joe Biden himself is part of the problem with his belief in prioritizing fear over facts and incarceration over education. Moreover, he just doesn't "get" the simple fact that prohibition causes violence, it's as simple as that. But the openly traitorous republicans, with the help of Fox News, want to take the drug war to "a whole new level" -- while turning America into a Banana Republic, by getting rid of free elections and installing demagogues by force. Surely the least we can ask of American corporations is that they do not attempt to profit from the peddling of the lies that support this ongoing effort at insurrection. Sign the petition today to tell American businesses that they will be held responsible for supporting networks that openly support insurrection.
*"Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist." -- Heather Ann Thompson, The Atlantic, 2014.
The above numbers may represent undercounts since some of these totals were compiled in late 2021.
The news media just doesn't get it -- or doesn't want to get it. Most stories about the deaths of blacks in inner cities never mention the drug war, as if the fact that prohibition led to armed gangs had nothing to do with the skyrocketing gun deaths that they're reporting on today. For a case in point, check out the article by Micaela A Watts in CommercialAppeal with the headline: "Following 346 homicides in Memphis in 2021, officials consider what's driving the violence."
Yes, that's a real poser, Micaela. The city fathers must really be scratching their heads!
The author notes three major theories for the violence, all of which have nothing to do with the drug war: "Lack of conflict resolution skills," a lack of "fair wages," and (get this) poor mental health.
Looks like the city officials failed to ask themselves why city residents were armed to the teeth in the first place. Hello? That was due to the drugs warriors' substance prohibition which incentivized the poor and poorly educated young people to get into the fantastically profitable business of selling drugs!!!
Substance prohibition created drug gangs and cartels just as surely as liquor prohibition created the Mafia.
Yes, drug warrior, YOU are responsible for these deaths. You! It's a natural result of your ban on medical godsends, some of which have inspired entire religions and have the potential for treating (if not curing) such diverse conditions as Alzheimer's, autism, and depression.
Drug War Victim of the Day
killed in Prince Georges County, Maryland on August 15, 2022
Southeast Washington DC remains a no-go zone, even for UPS drivers, as this latest shooting incident points out, which is 1 in 6 shootings that have taken place in the last week, two of them fatal. If this were happening in Hollywood, California, it would be a scandal. But movie stars are people, and victims of the drug war, especially when poor and black, are what Noam Chomsky calls 'unpeople.'
Yes, even the director of "Bamboozled" is bamboozled about drugs. He agrees with the drug warrior lie that there are psychoactive substances in nature that have no positive uses whatsoever, in any place, any time, any context. This superstitious way of thinking has forced me to go without godsend medicine my entire life. Thanks, Spike. Why do you want people to become drug-hating Christian Scientists, exactly? These things that you call "drugs" have inspired entire religions. The conservatives are laughing as they rush to the polls to elect fascists, because they have bamboozled Spike Lee himself to sign off on the drug war which brings death and incarceration to inner city blacks. Throw away that "just say no" teddy bear with which you were bribed in childhood, Spike, and open your eyes.
Mangual is the author of 'Cities got deadlier in 2020: What's behind the spike in homicides?' in which he never once mentioned the drug war!
Here's my letter to his website:
Hi, Rafael. Just wanted to suggest that you start holding the drug war responsible for inner-city violence -- since substance prohibition incentivized 'dealing' in poor neighborhoods and the guns soon followed. Because no one mentions this 64,000-pound Gorilla, Trump is able to blame the deaths on Democrats, so that, rather than ending the violence-causing drug war, he can begin executing the blacks that drug warriors were previously happy with merely incarcerating.
The Secret World: A History of Intelligence.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
All warfare is based on deception, said Sun Tzu. Yes, but what is all deception based on? A mistrust of one's fellows. And how do you combat that, Chris? With empathogens like MDMA and psilocybin.
London: East India Publishing Company, 2021.
Pious drug warriors have usually thought of Marcus Aurelius as the perfect replacement for bad evil drugs -- but Marcus had his cake and ate it too. He philosophized under the influence of opium (but don't tell the kids!)
Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People.
: IDEBATE Press, 2011.
In which we learn how over 150 countries withhold godsend pain medicine from dying kids in the name of the drug war ideology of substance demonization.
DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule.
Vermonth: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, 2021.
America spends millions on SETI and billions on NASA looking for alien beings -- and yet we ignore the world of world of inner visions with which naturally occurring substances seem determined to put us in touch
Society and Drugs.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1970.
Boullosa , Carmen.
A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'.
New York: OR Books, 2016.
How the US Drug War and Its Mexican Collaborators caused the so-called Mexican Drug that has killed over a hundred thousand
The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade.
India: Anna Ruggieri, 2017.
1920: The year that made the decade roar.
New York: Pegasus Books, 2015.
Carpenter, Ted Galen.
The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America.
Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2012.
Alice in Wonderland: The Original 1865 Edition With Complete Illustrations By Sir John Tenniel.
New York: Amazon, 2021.
Alice's shroom-powered adventures are a standing reproach to glum-faced drug warriors, who closely resemble the Queen of Hearts, shouting: "Off with their heads, for using godsend medicines of which I disapprove!"
Cohen, Jay S..
For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health.
New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2011.
Science is censored in a Drug War. They cover only the downsides of psychoactive medicine. That's why we need to learn the upsides of use from unconventional sources, like Lovecraft, Poe and Aleister Crowley.
De Quincey, Thomas.
Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
New York: Dover, 1995.
During De Quincey's informed opium use, he "partook" only weekly in order to better enjoy the opera, making his weekday life happier as well, however, thanks to anticipation of use, a benefit of which materialist science takes no account.
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner .
New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
A stark reminder that the world is living under a nuclear sword of Damocles. And why? Because it demonizes all the godsend medicines (like MDMA and shrooms) that could bring humanity together in universal harmony.
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys .
New York: Park Street Press, 2011.
First-hand accounts of psychological breakthroughs achieved with the guided use of entheogens, suggesting that one-time givens like "character" and "human nature" are far more susceptible to improvement than we thought.
The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally.
Rochester, Vermoont: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, 2011.
Psst! Don't tell anyone. This book actually talks about beneficial uses of the plant medicine that used to be in almost every medicine cabinet in England. That situation couldn't last long under unfettered capitalism.
A Disease in the Public Mind: Why We Fought the Civil War.
New York: Da Capo Press, 2014.
The late historian Fleming cites the popular mob-led public "diseases" of Witch-Hunting, Liquor Prohibition, and Communism -- yet says nothing about the Drug War, which was the great disease in the public mind of his own time!!!
Wall Street Journal.
New York: WSJ, 1989.
Liberalism and Its Discontents.
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.
Great bipartisan insights, BUT... Francis reckons without the drug war, so, like a good drug warrior, he blames all the ills caused by prohibition on the politically created boogieman called "drugs."
Cocaine: Global Histories.
New York: Routledge, 1999.
The Dream of Enlightenment: the Rise of Modern Philosophy.
New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.
The author seems unaware of the increasingly clear ability of empathogens like MDMA and shrooms to improve the very human nature which grumps like Hobbes portray as being so irrevocably fixed.
Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms.
Annapolis: William Griffiths, 2021.
Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, from Soul to Psychedelics.
New York: HarperWave, 2020.
Julie claims that Nixon criminalized psychedelics for health reasons. What? That's not the Nixon I know. He said himself that Leary was enemy #1. He was removing "users" from the voting rolls, not protecting them.
The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell.
New York: Penguin Books, 1970.
Huxley's speculations about perception jibe with modern science, which finds that human beings see what is presumably useful to them, not necessarily what is "really there" in the sensory-rich physical world.
Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People.
London: , 2019.
The Varieties of Religious Experience.
New York: Philosophical Library, 1902.
Synthetic Panics: The Sym- bolic Politics of Designer Drugs.
New York: New York University Press, 1999.
The Birth of the Modern.
New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
Johnson says that opium caused Samuel Taylor Coleridge's problems. Nonsense. Lack of education and irresponsibility causes problems. As Johnson himself says, most Brits used opium as needed without trouble.
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead .
New York: University Books, 1964.
Americans have been primed by the drug-war zeitgeist to consider everything Leary writes as nonsense. But he was the first one to announce loudly and clearly that what's really nonsensical is to outlaw plant medicine.
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
New York: Del Rey Books, 1970.
Lovecraft's work is full of opiate imagery that drug warriors want to render impossible for artists to feel: "I would often drift in opiate peace through the valley and the shadowy groves..." (Ex-Oblivione)
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction.
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009.
Gabriel moralizes "addiction." Addiction, however, is a political term. One can use psychoactive Big Pharma meds every day and be a good patient -- use heroin every day, however, and you're just escaping "inner pain." What?
Maupassant, Guy de.
Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques - Guy de Maupassant: Les classiques du fantastique .
Paris: , 2019.
In "La Horla," Maupassant anticipates Huxley by speculating that our perceptual habits blind us to a world of wonders. Many of today's demonized drugs, it appears, can at least partially open our eyes to that world.
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution .
New York: Bantam, 1992.
This was the book that reminded me of what I already vaguely knew: that it is tyrannical insanity for a government to outlaw plants. McKenna's philosophical speculations on why we criminalize inspired me to create abolishthedea.com.
Miller, Richard Louis.
Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca Kindle .
New York: Park Street Press, 2017.
Informative interviews with movers-and-shakers in the field, including Rick Doblin, Stanislav Grof, James Fadiman, David Nichols and Robert Whitaker. Packed with eye-opening one-liners about godsend meds.
Mortimer MD, W. Golden.
Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas.
Berkeley, California: Ronin Publishing, 2017.
Mortimer reveals how Coca leaf chewing was to the long-lived Peruvian Indians what coffee drinking is to modern society. It provided them with endurance and social cohesion, just as coffee provides us with ambition and competitiveness.
Out of our Heads.
New York: HiII&Wang,, 2010.
Noe reveals how patients with "locked-in" syndrome have reported being supremely aware of their surroundings during their supposedly brain-dead coma, a fact that puts in question our materialist assumptions about consciousness.
Drug War Capitalism.
Chico, California: AK Press, 2014.
Substance prohibition causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some. Nowhere is this more true than in Latin America, as Dawn Paley describes in painstaking detail.
Alistair Crowley on Drugs.
unknown: uploaded by Misael Hernandez, 2021.
Because of drug war self-censorship, we have to turn to renegades like Alistair Crowley to learn the positive sides of so-called 'drug' use.
When Plants Dream.
New York: Watkins Publishing, 2019.
I find philosophical problems with most of the books that I read on the subject of psychoactive medicine, but Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the few authors who could teach me a few things on this topic.
Poe, Edgar Allan.
The Essential Poe.
New York: Warbler Classics, 2020.
Because drug warriors never mention the good side of "drugs," we must turn to Poe to learn, for instance, that morphine can bring a surreal appreciation of Mother Nature (see "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains").
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence .
New York: Penguin Books, 2018.
Pollan has yet to realize that the very term "drugs" is just a modern pejorative epithet for "plant medicine of which botanically clueless politicians disapprove. "
Reynolds, David S..
Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville .
New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Exhaustively researched account of the 19th-century zeitgeist, and yet the word "drugs" (as defined, or rather derided, by today's drug warrior) is never even used. Last century's boogieman was liquor, it seems, not "drugs."
Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences Hardcover.
New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.
The psychedelic experience was once characterized as pharmacologically induced madness. Richards shows how the properly guided experience can lead to sanity instead -- and a way of life that is not self-destructive.
Diary of a Dirty Little War: The Spanish-American War of 1898 .
Connecticut: Praeger, 2000.
The war took place 16 years before anti-Chinese Drug Warriors criminalized the poppy plant, and yet opium is only mentioned with regard to a group of unimaginative volunteers who smoked some and "couldn't see the point."
The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances.
New York: Macmillan Publishers, 2014.
Hurray to Rudgley for failing to dance to the Drug Warrior's tune and name his book "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs." Instead, he refers to "drugs" as substances, removing all the value judgments with which prohibitionists seek to demonize the sub
Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered.
New York: Arlington House, 1967.
Burke was a conservative in a sense, but he would not recognize America's Republican party of today. He would surely have seen that prohibition causes all the problems we ascribe to "drugs," and then some.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.
New York: Penguin, 2014.
In 1980, the Air Force nearly blew up Arkansas and irradiated half the country. When Reagan took office the next year, what was his priority? Outlawing plant medicine that could make our species less warlike.
Red Star Rogue: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine's Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. .
New York: Pocket Star, 2006.
On March 7, 1968, a rogue Soviet submarine nearly blew up Pearl Harbor with a thermonuclear bomb. Instead of launching a war on nukes, then-President Nixon launched a war on medicines that could inspire peace, love and understanding.
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler.
New York: RosettaBooks, 2011.
Paraphrase from book: "No one who has not lived for years in a DRUG WAR SOCIETY can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime's calculated and incessant propaganda."
PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story.
New York: Transform Press, 1991.
'A tale of self-discovery, accompanied by the faint
stirrings of a technology that is yet to be fully born, much less developed.' - David Nichols
The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact.
Santa Fe: Transform Press, 2021.
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds.
Back Bay Books: Boston, 2019.
Despite griping about the weight she's put on from taking her daily 'meds,' Slater gives Big Pharma a big fat mulligan for consigning 1 in 4 American women like herself to a lifetime of chemical dependency on SSRI antidepressants.
Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief.
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Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology.
New York: , 2022.
St John, Graham.
Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT.
: , 2021.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences .
New York: Park Street Press, 2001.
Rick doubts DMT's therapeutic usefulness, but common sense psychology suggests that any break from full-on introspection would be a treat, notwithstanding materialists who aren't even sure that laughing gas could help the depressed!!!
Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography.
New York: Picador USA, 2003.
Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy.
New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Ceremonial Chemistry: the ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers.
New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1974.
Filled with inconvenient truths that critics ignore rather than refute, including how politicized science tells us a la God: "Eat of the fruit and you shall die," ignoring the fact that education tells us how to eat of that fruit safely.
Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt.
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Our Right to Drugs: The case for a free market.
New York: Praeger, 1992.
Chock-a-block with all-too-rare common sense: "Doctors, lawyers and politicians started the War on Drugs and continue to wage it, and they are its real beneficiaries -- the drug war's ostensible beneficiaries... are its victims."
Tyler, George R..
Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System.
Michigan: Pegasus Books, 2016.
Doesn't mention drugs, but illustrates how drug reform can be stymied by just 3% of the public: namely, those holding stock in Big Pharma, etc., especially when these elites can bribe politicians to retain the status quo.
The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness.
New York: Vintage, 1965.
Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class.
: Pegasus Books, 2014.
From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs.
New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2004.
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America .
New York: Crown, 2010.
Prohibition has facilitated the creation of a psychiatric pill mill upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life. Moreover, these pills cause the chemical imbalances that they purport to fix.
Zuboff , Shoshana.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
New York: Public Affairs, 2019.
Surveillance capitalists and drug warriors share the same goal: to keep human beings predictable: one by rendering us more robot-like and the other by denying us the mind-improving blessings of psychoactive medicine
There are an absolute LEGION of online articles and newspaper stories that get it wrong about so-called drugs. Even those in favor of drug law reform have been subject to drug war propaganda from childhood (and they probably have a DARE teddy bear to prove it!) so speak truth to nonsense and comment on the articles that get it wrong.
Bloody disgusting fact: The Drug War brought almost 800 deaths to Chicago in 2021 by incentivizing the hugely profitable sale of psychoactive medicine in poor communities. And now Trump and his fellow fascist drug warriors want to use that violence as an excuse to KILL drug dealers via execution! Any community leaders supporting the drug war are complicit in this genocide. For as Heather Ann Thompson wrote in The Atlantic in 2014: "Without the War on Drugs, the level of gun violence that plagues so many poor inner-city neighborhoods today simply would not exist."
How America can end inner-city homicides overnight in three easy steps:
Re-legalize Mother Nature's plant medicines
Treat substance abuse as a health problem
Buy back inner-city guns at double their purchase price (even triple the price would be a huge bargain in the long run)
This will, of course, be a huge sacrifice for everyday Americans, who do love their drug war, bless them.
Here are two additional steps for good measure:
Replace pill-pushing psychiatrists with pharmacologically savvy empaths
Replace the Drug Enforcement Agency with the Drug EDUCATION Agency