Essay date: April 21, 2020





The War on Plants

The new American Conquistadores: using flame throwers to keep the world safe for Big Liquor




The Salem Witch Hunt never ended: Christian Science drug warriors continue to persecute those who reach higher states of consciousness using plants

f you ever want to understand how absurd the Drug War is, just substitute the word "plants" for "drugs" in your mind the next time politicians start blaming "drugs" for something.

"Today," says Donald Trump, "I am calling for the execution of those who deal in drugs."

TRANSLATION:

"Today, I am calling for the execution of those who deal in Mother Nature's plants."

For that's what the Drug War really is: A WAR ON PLANTS, and as such it is every bit as superstitious and idiotic as the war on plant-using females of the witch-hunt days, to which the Drug War is philosophically linked. For witch hunting never died out in America: it is alive and well. The Cotton Mathers of the 21st century have just replaced the word "witch" with the term "drug user" and gone on their merry way persecuting Americans whom they don't understand. What was the witch's crime, after all, but the fact that she achieved "forbidden knowledge" through the ritualistic use of psychoactive plants?

To put this another way: The Drug War is just a Christian Science crack down on those who use Mother Nature's medicines for psychological healing and to achieve higher states of consciousness.

Christian Scientists, as you know, believe that we should be able to cure ourselves physically without resorting to drugs. Likewise the Christian Science Drug Warrior believes we should be able to control our mood and our conscious states in general without resorting to plant medicine. I need hardly add that this latter Christian Science is hypocritical, since the Drug Warriors have no problem with tobacco or alcohol - or even with synthetic drugs from Big Pharma to which 1 in 8 American males and 1 in 4 American females are addicted even as I type this - with many SSRI antidepressants being harder to "kick" than heroin.

But Drug Warriors will never use the word "plants" for "drugs" because they know it will make them sound every bit as silly, stupid, and intolerant as they actually are.

Substitute "plants" for "drugs" and then think about so-called "drug testing." That all-American business practice suddenly turns into the extrajudicial enforcement of Christian Science Sharia.

This, my friends, is why the Drug War needs to end: not because "it does not work," as my fellow liberals are fond of saying, but because it should not work, it MUST NOT work in a free society, least of all in a country that was founded on natural law: i.e., the idea that there are some rights that the government cannot take away, even under the guise of protecting its citizens from themselves: and the most obvious natural right in the world is what John Locke called our right to the earth "and all that lies therein."

This is not rocket science. It is obviously absurd and unconstitutional to criminalize plants. But tyrants and worrywarts still get away with it. How? By strategically using the word "drugs" in place of "plants."


The Links Police



Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, because it would be criminal to have a discussion of this sort without adverting to the common sense adumbrations of Dawn Paley in Drug War Capitalism. (That plus the fact that your left rear tail light is out.) Paley, Dawn. "Drug War Capitalism." AK Press. October 20, 2014. https://www.scribd.com/read/432856229/Drug-War-Capitalism.


October 24, 2022

The above arguably interesting reflections were posted an entire 2 1/2 years ago, when Brian was still a kid, scarcely more than 61 years old at most. Oh, he knew that the Drug War was wrong back then too, of course, but he had yet to fathom the full extent of its negative impact on such diverse socio-cultural categories as academic freedom, civil rights, and religious liberty -- and how it has inspired what Thomas Szasz calls the "language of loathing" and turned the American moviegoer into a fascist who cheers on DEA agents as they plant evidence and shoot unarmed Latino suspects at point-blank range. Had Brian indited this broadside today, in the full wisdom of his years (he's now 64 if he's a day!), he would have surely adverted to Dawn Paley's insights in "Drug War Capitalism," that 2014 must-read wherein we learn how the Drug Warrior dubs the time-honored Indigenous villages of Latin America as 'narco-communities' in order to justify their mass displacement and literally pave the way for Walmart and co. (Don't take it to heart, Brian, old boy, we were all young once -- some of us twice, even, with the help of godsend plant medicine and fungi!)


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


DRUG WARRIOR MINDSET

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.
"When two men who have been in an aggressive mood toward each other take part in the ritual, one is able to say to the other, 'Come, let us drink, for there is something between us.' " re: the Mayan use of the balche drink in Encyc of Psych Plants, by Ratsch & Hofmann
Right. In fact, the drug war can be seen as a way for conservatives to keep America's eyes OFF the prize. The right-wing motto is, "Billions for law enforcement, but not one cent for social programs."
If NIDA covered all drugs (not just politically ostracized drugs), they'd produce articles like this: "Aspirin continues to kill hundreds." "Penicillin misuse approaching crisis levels." "More bad news about Tylenol and liver damage." "Study revives cancer fears from caffeine."
Next essay: The Church of the Most Holy and Righteous Drug War
Previous essay: The Depressing Truth About SSRIs

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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. (For proof of that latter charge, check out how the US and UK have criminalized the substances that William James himself told us to study in order to understand reality.) It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions (like the Vedic), Nazifies the English language (referring to folks who emulate drug-loving Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as "scumbags") and militarizes police forces nationwide (resulting in gestapo SWAT teams breaking into houses of peaceable Americans and shouting "GO GO GO!").

(Speaking of Nazification, L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates thought that drug users should be shot. What a softie! The real hardliners are the William Bennetts of the world who want drug users to be beheaded instead. That will teach them to use time-honored plant medicine of which politicians disapprove! Mary Baker Eddy must be ecstatic in her drug-free heaven, as she looks down and sees this modern inquisition on behalf of the drug-hating principles that she herself maintained. I bet she never dared hope that her religion would become the viciously enforced religion of America, let alone of the entire freakin' world!)

In short, the drug war 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.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher
abolishthedea.com

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.

PPS 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."

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bernays, Edward "Propaganda"1928 Public Domain
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Gianluca, Toro "Drugs of the Dreaming: Oneirogens"2007 Simon and Schuster
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Grof, Stanislav "The transpersonal vision: the healing potential of nonordinary states of consciousness"1998 Sounds True
  • Head, Simon "Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans"2012 Basic Books
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Illich, Ivan "Medical nemesis : the expropriation of health"1975 Calder & Boyars
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Lindstrom, Martin "Brandwashed: tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy"2011 Crown Business
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896 Gutenberg.org
  • Miller, Richard Lawrence "Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State"1966 Bloomsbury Academic
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Nagel, Thomas "Mind and Cosmos: why the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false"2012 Oxford University press
  • Newcombe, Russell "Intoxiphobia: discrimination toward people who use drugs"2014 academia.edu
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rosenblum, Bruce "Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness"2006 Oxford University Press
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
  • Whitaker, Robert "Mad in America"2002 Perseus Publishing
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at abolishthedea.com. For more information, contact Brian at quass@quass.com.