The Drug War Philosopher essays against the bloody Drug War
Essay date: April 8, 2022

The problem with Modern Drug Reform Efforts

by the Drug War Philosopher

an open letter to Professors Peter Reuter and Alex Stevens

open letter to Peter Reuter, University of Maryland, and Alex Stevens, University of Kent, authors of "An Analysis of UK Drug Policy: A Monograph Prepared for the UK Drug Policy Commission."

Dear Professor Reuter and Professor Stevens:

As a 64-year-old Virginian who is deeply interested in ending the Drug War, I wonder if you'd be interested in some observations designed to increase your efficacy in fighting unfair drug laws (and ideally stimulate valuable discussion amongst those concerned with these topics). I chose to write to you two in particular after finding your "An Analysis of UK Drug Policy" on This is not a criticism of that work in particular, however, but rather a philosophical criticism about the whole progressive/reformer approach (as I understand it) to fighting the Drug War. The typical approach begins, I fear, by first conceding the Drug Warrior's "party line" that "drug use" is both dangerous and unnecessary -- and only then going on to argue that the current criminal punishments are counterproductive as a way of fighting this "scourge." The whole focus seems to be on containing and otherwise dealing with a "problem." There is no sense that the politically defined phenomenon of "drug use" can have any useful place in society, merely that "drug use" must be reluctantly tolerated, perhaps, with an eye toward limiting the inevitable side effects, both socially and medically.

It is this jaundiced attitude toward drugs, I believe, which led to the UK's crack down on Ecstasy in the middle '90s, at a time when the drug was bringing unprecedented "peace, love and understanding" to the dance floor. Folks of every race, creed and color were enjoying themselves in harmony (please see the documentary "One Nation") -- until one single solitary death was blamed on "E" and the UK cracked down on the drug, after which the dance floor became so violent (with the use of anger-facilitating drugs like alcohol) that special forces troops had to be called in to keep the peace. Special forces! Another "victory" for the Drug War. Moreover, this solitary death was caused by the Drug War itself, which discouraged and criminalized research and honest discussion that could have resulted in safe-use guidelines (namely, the need for ravers to keep hydrated while dancing, especially when, like Leah Betts, they weighed only 100 pounds). But the Drug War party line forces us to view such drugs as unnecessary and dangerous, and so Britain's Drug Warriors looked the gift horse of Ecstasy in the mouth and turned their back on "peace, love and understanding," in fealty to jaundiced drug-war sensibilities.

The fact is, I believe, that what we dismiss as "drugs" today have been used responsibly by other cultures for millennia. The Vedic religion was founded to worship the cosmic insights provided by plants and fungi (in light of which fact, the outlawing of "drugs" strikes me as an outlawing of religion: indeed, the outlawing of the very fountainhead of the religious impulse). Plato's idea of an afterlife was inspired by the psychedelic-fueled Eleusinian mysteries. Mesoamerican culture has a long history of using plant medicine to gain knowledge and religious inspiration. Coca has been used by South American cultures for centuries and HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their best stories while drinking coca wine. Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin swore by the creative inspiration derived from opium use.

And yet most modern writing about "drugs" makes the reader feel that "drug users" are only after a sordid high. But even if this were the only motivation for "drug use," we should consider that the phrase "sordid high" is subjective. One person's "sordid high" is another person's "self-transcendence," and I would argue that people have been seeking self-transcendence since caveman days -- indeed that's why WASP Americans enjoy alcohol -- and that we therefore seek to quash this propensity by law at our own peril. Indeed, the question is, why would we want to quash such use, such "alternatives to alcohol," when almost any drug is less dangerous than alcohol in attempting to silence the inner-mind and to thereby transcend self?

I believe that the current focus on only negative outcomes of drug use represents a kind of drug-war propaganda in and of itself, since it fills the academic journals with endless papers about misuse, giving the general impression to any reader that drugs are, indeed, a scourge and that there is no sensible reason for their use. We would surely feel the same way about aspirin or penicillin if we read nothing but horror stories about their misuse. But "misuse" itself is a fraught term in the age of the Drug War, since many Drug Warriors consider mere use to imply misuse when the substance in question is illegal. The substance is deemed dangerous and therefore it follows (in the Drug Warrior's superstitious mind) that use is both misuse and abuse.

But the modern progressive approach to drug-war reform is not simply ahistorical when it implies that drug use is a mere unqualified vice. The progressive approach also completely ignores the many benefits that could accrue when a society decides to look at drugs as potential godsends rather than as "boogiemen" that are to be feared rather than understood. There is strong evidence that psychedelic and empathogenic drugs (like psilocybin, LSD and MDMA) improve neural connections and even grow new neurons -- and yet there is very little research going on today about using psychedelics to fight Alzheimer's and autism. Why not? Because the drug-war ideology of fear is so ingrained in western society that we would rather live with these conditions than fight them using the boogieman called "drugs." And so, the Drug War ideology not only persuaded Britain to turn its back on peace, love and understanding, it persuaded the west to turn its back on potential cures for Alzheimer's.

And what about school shootings? MDMA helps the user experience a oneness with humankind. In an age of school shootings, we should be therapeutically treating all known "haters" with MDMA. But as far as I know, I am the only one who has ever even thought of this idea. Why? Because the Drug War ideology of substance demonization forces us to ignore the obvious when it comes to psychoactive plant medicine. And how is this ideology maintained? By the fact that even proponents of drug-law change seem to accept the drug-war lie that proscribed substances can only be used in order for vulnerable young people to obtain a sordid high.

I have thus far tried to suggest that the drug-war, with its false and ahistorical assumptions, blinds us as a society to great social benefits that can obtain from drug use, ranging from potential treatments for Alzheimer's to ways to bring about "peace, love and understanding" and end mass shootings. But this is only the beginning of a long list of potential benefits that become apparent only when we change our presuppositions, only when we begin looking at Mother Nature's psychoactive pharmacy as a godsend pharmacopoeia rather than as the ever-dangerous "stash" of a metaphysical Drug Lord. Take music appreciation, for instance. Imagine a music appreciation course that involved the partaking of a psychoactive substance (like MDMA or psilocybin) that enormously improved the "users" ABILITY to appreciate music. That's unthinkable today due to the ideology of demonization, but the idea would naturally occur to a society that agreed with God in the book of Genesis, when He told us that his creations were "good" both as to flora and fauna.

Sure, there's a role in pointing out the negative effects of drug misuse. The problem is, the current fight against the drug-war seems to involve that one single dimension of the problem, implying that there is no sane use for the substances that politicians have chosen to demonize -- this despite the fact that the substances that they greenlight (especially alcohol and tobacco) cause over half a million deaths a year in America alone. Nor does the current approach place the so-called drug problem in context. Progressives never point out the inconvenient truth that 1 in 4 American women are chemically dependent on Big Pharma drugs, which they have to take every day for life, and that these substances can be harder to kick than heroin because the former substances muck about with brain chemistry (Julie Holland). 1 in 4 American women. That's almost three times the number of Americans (men AND women) who regularly used opium prior to the outlawing of the poppy plant in 1914, and even they were considered "habitues," not "addicts," until the Drug Warrior removed their supply and started labeling them as deviants.

Speaking of addiction, modern "experts" tell us how hard substances are to "kick" -- but they fail to recognize that they have (in fealty to drug-war ideology) ruled out the use of a whole pharmacopoeia of psychoactive medicine that could be used to help an addict. We have no idea yet what wonders a free and pharmacologically savvy empath (or western shaman) could achieve when he or she is free to work with a client using any plant or fungi that grows on the planet. But there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about such "unthinkable" therapy. The ergot derivative known as LSD (see Grof and Fadiman and Bill W. from Alcoholics Anonymous) helps users consider whole new ways of being, as does psilocybin. (This is what's needed for one to initiate big life changes: not clenched teeth and a desperate belief in "a higher power," but a new personal agenda.) Moreover, even the drugs that we most demonize (especially opium and coca) can be used non-addictively and on a therapeutic basis, a simple fact that the Drug Warrior does not want to hear because they want to demonize drugs, not understand them. Even regular use of coca and opium can only be hypocritically referred to as addiction, given the west's enormous indulgence in Big Pharma meds that have to be taken every day of one's life, and for one's entire life.

Again, this is not a criticism of your work, but rather a criticism of the whole approach to drug reform these days, that it accepts the flawed drug-warrior assumption that "drugs" are indeed bad-- thereby ignoring history and turning a blind eye to godsend uses for the medicines that our botanically clueless politicians have chosen to demonize.

My solution?

Facts, not fear. Teach, don't demonize.

The whole business of criminalizing and demonizing substances has to end, since it is subject to flagrant abuses by power-hungry politicians. (Indeed, the Drug War was begun in 1914 by Chinese-hating politicians and then ramped up by the racist Harry Anslinger, who hounded black singer Billie Holiday to her death, planting "evidence" of drug use under her hospital bed, not because she was using heroin but because she was singing songs that made white Americans uncomfortable.) We need a policy that recognizes the benefits of drugs and teaches about them rather than demonizing them. Moreover, this education has to be completely fair: that is to say, the term "drugs" must include ALL drugs: including those anti-depressants that I referred to above, on which 1 in 4 American women are reliant for life. No longer can we maintain the hypocrisy of demonizing the daily heroin user while at the same time claiming that the American woman, for instance, actually has a duty to "take her meds." That's based on scientism, not science. I know this from a lifetime of experience (and the work of Richard Whitaker). I have to take Effexor until my dying day, but my depression remains, and I am now feeling the emotional-flatlining that comes with long-term use of these meds, which were never originally intended for long-term use in any case. (In retrospect, I now believe it would have been bravery, not vice, had I found suppliers of less addictive drugs to meet my psychological needs. Instead, I am an eternal patient and a demoralized ward of the healthcare state.)

But it's a hard battle because there is Drug War propaganda all around us -- beginning with "drug free zones." "Drug Free Zones" tell kids, from grade-school on, that there are evil substances out there that must be avoided instinctively, as it were, without asking questions. Thus "Drug Free Zones" are really Christian Science propaganda, teaching kids to share the anti-drug views of Mary Baker Eddy when it comes to psychoactive medicine.

That's nonsense, of course. Substances are not good or bad without reference to how, when, where and why they are used.

I sincerely hope that this email of mine has given you some ideas.

As you are both criminologists, I should add that I consider the outlawing of plant medicine to be wrong in a still more fundamental legal sense, at least in America, since I believe it is a prima facie violation of natural law to deprive the citizenry of their right to the bounty of Mother Nature that grows at their very feet. John Locke said as much in his 2nd Treatise on Government when he wrote of our natural right to "the use of the earth and all that lies therein." This is why I believe that Thomas Jefferson was rolling in his grave when the DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the garden-loving president's poppy plants.

Thanks for your time! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Brian Quass

PS Again, this email contains my concerns about the shortcomings of the progressive pushback against the Drug War. For aught I know, you both have already addressed these subjects in different ways. If so, I would love to hear about it!

PPS One other problem with the Drug War that I never see addressed by reformers: the fact that it is censoring scientists. And this censorship is particularly insidious due to the fact that most scientists do not even recognize that it exists. Why not? Because they have been indoctrinated since childhood to fear "drugs" and so they take our modern drug-hating sensibilities as a natural baseline for their research. And so we see otherwise excellent, seemingly authoritative articles about fighting conditions like depression, Alzheimer's or alcohol, in which the author does not even consider the way that the hundreds of drugs that we have outlawed might have helped us solve these very problems. You'd think they would at least leave a footnote informing the reader that they have been forced to limit their search for solutions due to government edict. But they never do. And it is hard to see how the Drug War will ever end if we do not hold it responsible for the evils that it inflicts. At least Galileo KNEW that he was being censored by the Church.

Author's Follow-up: August 15, 2022

There are no such things as "drugs" as that word is used today. The term "drugs" today means: dangerous substances that cannot be used wisely, ever, by anyone, for any reason whatsoever. And there are no psychoactive substances that fit that definition. The deadly Botox has positive uses in the right circumstances.

"Drugs" is a term that should be retired from the modern dictionary, for it is a political and emotional term, not a scientific or logical one.

Let us know what you think. Send your comments to me, Brian Quass, at Thanks! Please be sure to mention the title of the essay to which you are responding.

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Welcome to The Drug War Philosopher: Philosophical essays against America's bloody war on plant medicine, aka the drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-science, 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. Calling for facts not fear, education not demonization.

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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.

old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

Top 10
1: How Ecstasy could end mass shootings
2: The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom
3: How the Drug War killed Leah Betts
4: Addicted to Addiction
5: The Drug War Board Game
6: Common Nonsense from Common Sense Media
7: How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
8: Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
9: Ten Reasons why the Drug War is Nonsense
10: Time to ACT UP about the racist drug war
Click here for more essays against America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-nature, imperialistic, a violation of the Natural Law upon which Jefferson founded America, and the establishment of drug-hating Christian Science as a state religion.

2021 Deaths Caused by the Drug War*

  1. Chicago:797
  2. Philadelphia: 501
  3. New York City: 485
  4. Los Angeles: 397
  5. Memphis: 346
  6. Indianapolis: 247
  7. Kansas City (MO): 244
  8. New Orleans: 218
  9. Columbus: 179
  10. Louisville: 175
  11. Baton Rouge: 137

*"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

Name: Unknown

Age: 40

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.'

Source: WTOP news
More Drug War Deaths

Drug War Poetry

The Drug War Philosopher

Drug War, Black Death


Is this the little boy I carried
Here with a bullet in his head?
Is this his sister right beside him,

When did the city get so violent?
When did it turn a bloody mess?
Wasn't this caused by prohibition?
Answer: yes.

Drug War, Black death
Drug War, Black death
Each day grows the link
Street gangs created out of whole cloth
Bringing us death from Murder Inc.

Drug War, Black death
Drug War, Black death
Racists win the day
Packing minorities in hearses
Carting our hopes and dreams away

Is this my homie with a chest wound
Blood pooling slowly on his lap?
Never again will I believe in
Drug War crap

Drug War, Black death
Drug War, Black death
Each day grows the link
Street gangs created out of whole cloth
Bringing us death from Murder Inc.

Drug War, Black death
Drug War, Black death
When will we think twice?
Drug Law incentivizes dealing
Leading to homicide and vice.
More Drug War Poetry

Check out the latest Drug War News!
Today's story:
It's the Prohbition, Stupid!

Drug War Comics

Lights, Camera, Drug War

Quotes From TV and movies

Jungle Fever

"If you ever use drugs, I'll kill you."

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.
More TV and movie Quotes at Lights, Camera, Drug War.


by The Drug War Philosopher

Open Letter to Rafael Mangual

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.

MORE Anti-Drug War Blog

Thoughts? Contact Brian Quass at


Andrew, Christopher. 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.
Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. 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!)
Carroll, Lewis. 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!"
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.
Ellsberg, Daniel. 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.
Fadiman, James. 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.
Fleming, Thomas. 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!!!
Fukuyama, Francis. 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."
Gottleib, Anthony. 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.
Holland, Julie. 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.
Huxley, Aldous. 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.
Johnson, Paul. 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.
Leary, Timothy. 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.
Lovecraft, HP. 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)
Mate, Gabriel. 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.
McKenna, Terence. 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
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.
Noe, Alvin. 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.
Pinchbeck, Daniel. 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").
Pollan, Michael. 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."
Richards, William. 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.
Rosenfeld, Harvey. 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."
Russell, Kirk. 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.
Schlosser, Erich. 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.
Sewell, Kenneth. 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.
Shirer, William. 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."
Slater, Lauren. 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.
Straussman, Rick. 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!!!
Szasz, Thomas. 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.
Szasz, Thomas. 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.
Whitaker, Robert. 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

Welcome to THE DRUG WAR PHILOSOPHER: essays against America's bloody war on plant medicine, aka the drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-children, anti-elderly, anti-science, 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. Calling for fact not fear, education not demonization.

What You Can Do: 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:

  1. Re-legalize Mother Nature's plant medicines
  2. Treat substance abuse as a health problem
  3. 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.

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