the post that got me banned for life from the DRUGS subReddit
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This post got me banished for life from the Drugs Sub Reddit. Apparently even those who oppose the Drug War have been snookered into believing in "drugs" as an objective term, when it's really just a political pejorative for substances that politicians have chosen to demonize, often for strategic political reasons. This is unfortunate, because by calling substances "drugs," demagogues like Donald Trump can call for the execution of those who sell them -- whereas if we referred to "drugs" more honestly as "plant medicines from Mother Nature," the callousness of Trump's proposal would be obvious to us all. (I've actually received feedback from this post claiming that "drugs" is "already a neutral term." Well, yes, it should be, but it certainly is not in Drug War USA.)
There are no such things as "drugs," the way that the Drug Warrior defines that term. There are no substances that are bad in and of themselves. There are only morally neutral substances: substances that can be used for good or bad purposes, at good or bad times, in good or bad doses, by good or bad people. That's why the whole crackdown on "drugs" is madness. It's not just that the Drug War is wrong, but that it represents a whole wrong way of looking at the world, where we see evil in a substance by itself without regard for the way that the substance is actually used by any given human being. It's a way of thinking that Thomas Jefferson would not have even understood. If someone were to have told him that some of his garden plants were somehow criminal by nature, he would have considered that person to be a fool. And the idea that you could stomp onto his property in jackboots and confiscate such plants (as the DEA did in 1987) would have struck him as common law tyranny, blatantly at odds with the natural law upon which Jefferson himself had founded the American republic.
The word "drugs" as used today is a linguistic red herring invented by bigots and politicians so that they can crack down on their enemies without appearing to be bigoted when doing so. Under the banner of fighting this custom-made bugaboo of evil "drugs," politicians can throw their opponents in jail for mere possession of plant medicines while claiming to be fighting for public health and safety while they do so. That's nonsense, of course, because most full-time Drug Warriors are vehemently opposed to a so-called nanny state and vote down any efforts on the part of government to enforce public health through laws. Their interest in public health only arises when there are political opponents who require silencing. Then public health suddenly becomes priority number one for them (the government can never spend enough money on it, buying guns and building prisons) since a healthy populace, in the Drug Warrior's mind, is one in which their political enemies are no longer free to walk the streets. The answer: criminalize the plant medicines that are popular among the despised populations that you wish to disempower and (if possible) remove that population from the voting rolls entirely (by charging them with felonies under your new seemingly disinterested law against "drug abuse").
Thus the war on opium originally targeted the Chinese, the war on cocaine originally targeted Blacks, and the war on marijuana originally targeted Hispanics.
Of course, if this superstitious belief in the existence of evil substances known as "drugs" was held only by the right, there would probably be no Drug War. But the left also finds the pejorative "drugs" label useful as well, not because they want to punish drug users but because they want to treat them, chiefly by bringing the whole vast medical establishment into the picture and giving them a cut of the "drugs" pie. But both the left and right are coming from the same place, philosophically speaking: they both assume that there must be something wrong with a person who uses plant medicines of which the government disapproves. The left wants to "help" those people, the right wants to "punish" them. But it never occurred to either side that there was no problem in the first place: or rather that there are many "drug-related" problems, but they are all actually caused either by the Drug War itself, or by a combination of that Drug War and bad social policies.
Why is the drug user's drug supply uncertain both as to quality and quantity?
Because of the Drug War: it works tirelessly to disrupt such merchandise both as to quality and quantity.
Why is the drug user limited to purchasing only a small fraction of the vast psychoactive pharmacopoeia of mother nature's godsends, often including synthesized substances that are far more addictive than what nature has to offer?
Because of the Drug War: its prohibitions create a profit motive that incentivizes the sale of highly addictive substances.
Why does the user lack statistical information about the actual observed results of psychoactive substance use, knowledge whereby he or she could choose wisely?
Because of the Drug War: it produces lying propaganda stating falsely that all drugs fry the brain. Such whole-sale demonization of nature's plant medicines leaves the user with no objective information with which to choose the substance of their choice, thereby increasing the likelihood that they'll choose unwisely.
Why do some folks get addicted?
Because of the Drug War: the profit motive that it creates ensures that dealers will be selling highly addictive synthesized versions of mother nature's psychoactive plant medicines. Meanwhile, many less addictive (and totally non-addictive) plant medicines are unavailable because the research-quashing Drug War ensures that most people will never even hear of them, let alone get a chance to use them to improve their life, spiritually and emotionally.
Why is addiction treatment in America barbaric, consisting of three days of cold turkey on a cot, followed by monthly doses of Naltrexone, all for a price tag of around $3,000?
Because of the Drug War: it outlaws all psychoactive drugs (especially psychedelics) that can be used to change attitudes and thus make withdrawal easier.
Why is the great addiction of our time completely ignored by the Drug Warrior (i.e., the fact that 1 in 8 American men are addicted to antidepressants and 1 in 4 American women)?
Because of the Drug War: In addition to demonizing illegal "drugs," the Drug War also canonizes legal "medicines," so much so that those latter substances can do all the damage in the world yet we're completely blind to it.
Why are there vast empires selling drugs and fomenting violence in countries around the world? Why have America's inner cities been turned into shooting galleries?
Because of the Drug War: prohibition causes violence from the dueling profit-seekers that it empowers. It's a lesson that we should have learned from liquor prohibition but that politicians decided to ignore when they realized how they could turn the Drug War to their political advantage by using it to disempower their enemies.
Why do formerly freedom loving Americans now believe that extrajudicial murder and torture is good public policy, at least when it comes to fighting "drugs"?
Because of the Drug War and the Drug War propaganda films put out by Hollywood, which turn torturers and murderers into American Heroes. Example: the movie "Running with the DEA" from 2019, in which Leslie Bibb plays a DEA agent who tortures one drug suspect and shoots another at point-blank range. Why? Because they had the nerve to sell mother nature's plant medicine, the coca leaf, which had been used responsibly by non-western cultures for millennia. As if to rub our freedom-loving noses in the injustice, Leslie Bibb is hypocritically smoking tobacco while she shoots the movie's plant-selling "bad guy." In fact, she does all but hold up a banner saying: "This has nothing to do with health and safety: this is all about raw power."
But what can we expect when America launches a Drug War based on the false and superstitious notion that there are such things as "bad substances," i.e. "drugs"?
For psychoactive substances are just as morally neutral as any rock or tree. If we are looking for good and evil, we have to start talking about human behavior, and that includes the human-guided social policies that lead to bad outcomes. But this is exactly why the Drug War hangs on like an unwelcome guest: because politicians know that once the whipping boy of "drug abuse" is taken from them, they will have to actually address the vast inequities in American society that lead to misbehavior. They'll have to stop punishing the pre-crime of drug use and start dealing with bad behavior only. Bigots and overzealous do-gooders both prefer to believe in "evil drugs" because it gives them a mission: one to punish and one to rescue. But if they really wanted to help Americans and advance the cause of freedom, they would give up on their superstitious belief in evil substances and stop demonizing this thing they call "drugs."
Of course what politicians really mean when they use the word "drugs" is: "psychoactive plant medicines of which politicians disapprove." But they'll never use that language, because to do so would reveal the hidden Christian Science assumptions of America's Drug War, according to which there's something metaphysically wrong about using plant medicine to alter, adjust and improve cognition. That, however, is a religious point of view, not a scientific one, and should not inform public policy, let alone become the law of the land, as it has ever since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, when the US government first took the fateful step of criminalizing a mere plant. Since then, the Drug War has stood in stark contravention of at least two of the basic tenets upon which America was founded: the supremacy of natural law over common law and the separation of church and state as called for in our Bill of Rights.
Let us know what you think. Send your comments to me, Brian Quass, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Please be sure to mention the title of the essay to which you are responding.
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!)
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.
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.
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!!!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.