Once again, Science News reckons without the Drug War. Ms. Gupta does not even mention MDMA, which has delivered fabulous results for PTSD sufferers over the last 35 years - albeit only in trials, since the self-serving DEA decided against the advice of its own counsel to criminalize the ultra-safe substance in 1985. Meanwhile, there is plenty of prima facie evidence that psychoactive botanicals could work wonders for PTSD patients in the proper settings. Some of these substances have inspired entire religions after all and given Plato his visions of an afterlife, but the Drug War either criminalizes such research or stigmatizes it such that little or no funding can be found for pursuing these tantalizing new approaches.
One can hardly blame the writer, however, since the experts that she interviews are also in denial about the way that the Drug War has limited their research on PTSD, as if they were approaching the problem from a natural baseline when nothing could be further from the truth; rather, they are approaching the problem in a country in which drug-war proscriptions have become so internalized that scientists do not even realize that they are censoring themselves. And how are they censoring themselves? By completely ignoring the role that psychoactive medicine could play in changing the prognosis for conditions like PTSD. This self-censorship on the part of scientists is the mother of all "western biases" and yet it is apparently invisible to psychologists like Iara Meili and Andreas Maercker, who are otherwise so sensitive to the mere theoretical possibility of culturally-based presumption.
And they're not the only scientists in this article who have been bamboozled by the Drug War. Psychologist Richard Tedeschi is quoted as saying: "You can't expect people to change their spiritual beliefs in eight weeks." But actually you can, if you dare to consider the use of medicine that the Drug War has gone to such great pains to demonize over the last 100+ years (since anti-Chinese politicians first effectively criminalized the poppy plant in 1914). People have changed their spiritual beliefs in less than eight weeks, and usually for the better, under the influence of properly administered psychoactive medicines like psilocybin and MDMA. (See the work of such researchers as James Fadiman, Stanislav Grof, Rick Doblin, David Nichols, DJ Nutt, Julie Holland, Charles Grob, Michael and Annie Mithoefer, and Amanda Feilding.) But Richard Tedeschi is apparently not aware of such research. And why not? Because he has ruled out the consideration of "drugs" a priori in fealty to the Christian Science metaphysic of the Drug War.
There is yet a third psychologist whose comments only make sense in the age of the Drug War, namely psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme, who helps conclude Gupta's article by telling us:
"The most compassionate response to suffering is to validate survivors' feelings."
This is just plain wrong. The most compassionate response, at least to PTSD suffering, is to end the war on drugs and call for the immediate legalization of godsend medicines like psilocybin and MDMA.
PTSD sufferers want help, not kind words.
Moral: the Drug War is impeding scientific progress, and Science News should not be writing articles that imply that such a war does not even exist.
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