mericans are so determined to treat Mother Nature as a drug kingpin that I sometimes think the war on drugs can never end. There are just too many parties that stand to benefit from it:
Big Pharma, Psychiatrists, Big Liquor, Law Enforcement, the Corrections Industry -- and above all politicians, who can give up on solving real problems in the real world thanks to the "Drug War," which allows them to blame everything that happens on the modern all-powerful boogeyman of "drugs," although the latter word is really just a pejorative term for the plant medicines that grow at our very feet.
Sometimes I just want to say, "Fine! The America I loved no longer exists. It has given up on Jefferson's natural law by giving the government the right to tell me which plants and fungi I can use. The only question now is, 'When will they start taxing the very air that I breathe?' Okay, then. If America is no longer going to stand for the freedoms that Thomas Jefferson prescribed for it, then I'm 'out of here.' I'll move to a country where the bounty of Mother Nature is considered to be mine by birth, as it was practically everywhere on earth until 1914, when racist American politician Francis Burton Harrison succeeded in toppling natural law by criminalizing a mere plant, the poppy, which he associated with the much-maligned Americans of Chinese ancestry."
But before I can even think about buying a plane ticket to a free country, I realize the sad truth:
America is not happy to violate natural law on its home turf alone. It is so deluded by its own jaundiced view of Mother Nature's plant medicines that it is blackmailing every other country in the world to follow suit and criminalize mother nature's bounty as well. And Western countries are all too happy to go along, for two main reasons: 1) because their politicians do not even realize the profound political principles at stake here and 2), because they themselves are ignorant of the magical healing powers of nature's psychoactive pharmacopoeia and therefore easy prey for American propaganda according to which psychoactive plants can bring about nothing but evil in the hands of a free citizenry.
Fortunately for America, the few countries that would refuse to go along with such blackmail are despotic in nature and so are naturally inclined to make a huge law enforcement issue out of the boogeyman of "drugs" without any prompting from the American Empire. It gives those despots just the excuse they need to crack down on opponents without inciting the wrath of the United Nations: they're cracking down on "drugs" after all, not on dissent.
And so there's no point in buying a plane ticket to escape America's Drug War: the Drug War has gone global, thanks to financial blackmail and the many cynical politicians who see that war as a way to further their own political agenda. And so America - a country that claims to despise the mentality of colonialism -- goes overseas in a Quixotic quest to make the world safe for Big Liquor, burning plants that have been used responsibly for millennia by non-Western cultures, under the pretext that they cause addiction in the States, failing to realize that, by that same selfish logic, the Islamic world should be able to come Stateside and burn America's grape vines.
And so it's Christian Science Uber Alles, we must all shun "drugs" or else -- because the entire world has now adopted America's anti-scientific notion that psychoactive plants can cause nothing but evil-- unless, of course, they are synthesized by Big Pharma into highly addictive pills that one must take every day of their life, until death do they part from the psychiatric pill mill.
That's morality for you in the age of the Drug War: addiction is fine, as long as Fortune 500 corporations are receiving the profits therefrom. And so Big Pharma has a free pass to addict 1 in 4 American women to antidepressants, without even raising one Drug Warrior eyebrow.
What further proof do we need that terms like "drugs" and "addiction" are political, not scientific terms, as they are used today in a Drug Warrior society? Here we are, living in the midst of the biggest addiction crisis in human history -- the mass addiction to a class of antidepressants that were never even intended for long-term use -- and Americans are silent about it. The pill mill is turning faster than ever with Big Pharma now targeting toddlers with such pills under the pretext of "nipping ADHD in the bud" -- along with the child's psychological freedom and financial prospects, one might add.
What irony, that this addiction crisis goes unnoticed in a country that considers "empowerment" to be the ne plus ultra of human goals. What could be more DISEMPOWERING than to turn a human being into an eternal patient, who has to visit an expensive shrink every three to six months of their lives, in order to get yet another expensive prescription for a drug that has nothing to do with helping one thrive, merely with helping one "get by"?
This, then, is the worst thing about the American Drug War: the fact that the country that founded it has turned it into the law of the very globe, thus ensuring that folks who believe in natural law cannot access psychoactive plant medicine anywhere on the planet.
What a coup for the medical "professionals" and Big Pharma. What a loss for the mere human being. What a loss for freedom. What a loss for human potential.
Because, believe it or not, some people don't want to use "drugs" in order to behave irresponsibly: they want to use "drugs" in order to increase their creativity, in order to increase their passion for life, in order to increase their appreciation of mother nature, in order to increase their friendliness and caring for their fellow human being.
Of course, these goals won't make sense to the Drug Warrior, who holds the anti-scientific and counterfactual belief that illegal plant substances can cause nothing but evil. But those of us who study plant medicines (rather than demonize them) know that mother nature's psychoactive pharmacopoeia holds out the promise of changing attitudes for the better -- of inspiring creativity and helping us to come to terms with our place in the universe -- while potentially curing Alzheimer's disease and fighting depression into the bargain.
But America has a vested interest in the superstitious status quo thanks to which we turn psychoactive plant medicines into boogeymen that can't even be studied under pain of law. Just imagine such a state of affairs in America -- America, of all places! A country that prides itself on being "scientific" is actually a country in which the very scientific process is emasculated by politically motivated drug laws.
I really wish I could vote against this anti-scientific status quo with my feet and leave America, thereby evincing my disgust with the way that politicians have violated Jefferson's natural law and taken away my right to Mother Nature's bounty. But the Drug War virus has taken over the entire world, buoyed by Drug War propaganda, chiefly in the form of TV, movies and other media in which the positive and responsible use of criminalized substances is never ever depicted, leaving the viewer to conclude that mother nature's psychoactive substances are only used by scum bags and deviants.
Then there's the blatant lie by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, which claims that mother nature's psychoactive substances "fry the brain" the moment that they're declared illegal by politicians. This is surely the most mendacious public service advertisement in human history. The truth is exactly the opposite. Cocaine sharpened Freud's mind. Opium increased Benjamin Franklin's creativity and affability. Far from scrambling his brain, psychedelics helped Francis Crick discover the DNA helix. The Air Force itself has required its pilots to use what the Drug Warrior would derisively refer to as "speed" on long, crucial missions, not to scramble the pilot's brain but to sharpen it. If any drug actually 'fries' the brain, it is the modern Big Pharma antidepressant, which was never studied for long-term effects and which causes emotional flat-lining in long-term users.
And so, with such blatantly false propaganda, the Drug War has succeeded beyond the wildest expectations of the corrupt and racist politicians who started it - or rather who incited it with their self-serving demagoguery. It has taken over the entire world, with its jaundiced view of mother nature.
Indeed, the future looks dim for those of us who still believe in natural law and who think of mother nature as a goddess rather than as a drug kingpin. Where can we go in order to 'be all that we can be' with the help of mother nature's psychoactive godsend meds? We have only one life, after all. How dare politicians declare that we have no right to live it to the fullest? And this in a country that guarantees the pursuit of happiness? (If we ever find life on another planet, freedom lovers better get there fast before America 'persuades' those little green men to ban psychoactive medicine there as well.)
Yet there is hope. The state of Oregon is floating an initiative that will decriminalize all drugs. Portugal has already taken that step. And Israel has abolished its Drugs Agency. Maybe those of us who still value our rights under natural law will eventually be able to vote with our feet and relocate to a state or country that takes a rational view of psychoactive substances, refusing to demonize them on behalf of racist political agendas -- someplace where a citizen is judged by how they actually behave in life rather than by the substances that they choose to ingest.
Related tweet: May 15, 2023
I'm aware of course that there is a technical difference between addiction and chemical dependency, but such hair splitting is reserved for the Ivory Tower. On Main Street, addiction is confounded with dependency. Indeed, addiction is CREATED out of dependency by the war on drugs. If you want to turn an opium habitue into an addict, just outlaw the poppy plant and then you will be able to point to the wretches that you yourself have created and cry: "See, they're all addicts!" If you want to see millions of more addicts, just outlaw SSRIs and within a week, there will be so many brain zaps in middle America that you could run a power plant off of them. Addiction, as the term is used today, is merely the regular use of substances of which botanically clueless politicians disapprove.
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).
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