Essay date: October 4, 2022

There are no such things as 'killer drugs'

he Drug War is one big game of wack-a-mole created to militarize police forces and boost budgets for law enforcement worldwide. As soon as the sale of one "killer drug" declines because of police brutality worldwide, another "killer drug" will rise to take its place, and here we go again.

It's odd that no one -- neither democrats nor republicans -- ever considers the possibility of teaching honestly about substances rather than demonizing them. For there are no "killer drugs" in the world. That is a Drug Warrior myth. Any substance can be a killer if misused, but the actual "killer" status is created by ignorance, not by the substance itself. Ecstasy is one of the safest substances on the planet, but the Drug War makes it a killer drug by demonizing it rather than teaching dancers how to use it safely, which basically means that E-using ravers should remain hydrated. Even crack cocaine is not a killer drug, since it can be used non-addictively, by those who are actually taught how to do so, namely by using it intermittently. But the Drug Warrior is not interested in telling us how to use drugs safely: he or she is in the business of lying about criminalized substances by telling us that they have no good uses, ever, in any dose, in any place, for anyone, at anytime.

Of course, we might call cyanide a "killer drug," but even that infamous drug has legitimate medical uses, as in clinical chemistry where it's used to measure so-called ketone bodies in the urine of diabetics. It's a good thing that cyanide is not a popular psychoactive substance as well, because then the government would demonize it to the point that even diabetics could not benefit from it, just as hospitals around the world today withhold morphine from pain-wracked children in the supposedly enlightened 21st century, under the perverse drug-war theory that morphine is bad without regard for when and how it is used. Meanwhile drugs that could help cure Alzheimer's are dogmatically shunned by researchers because they and their funders want nothing to do with substances that have been tarred with the pejorative epithet of "drugs."

Then again, the substance demonization campaign that we call the Drug War makes sense when you consider the alternative, which would be complete honesty about all psychoactive substances, including alcohol, tobacco and those Big Pharma anti-depressants upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life, a fact that the Drug Warriors will never tell you. Because no politician wants to be THAT honest about substances. They want to encourage us to use Big Pharma meds through prime-time television advertising that appeals not to facts, but to our emotions. Then they want to demonize all substances that have been criminalized by botanically clueless politicians, so that we all think ill of the very substances that have inspired entire religions in the past. The last thing they want is an honest account of all psychoactive substances based on actual user reports, both as to the subjective and objective effects of each particular substance, for that would reflect very poorly on the current Big Pharma meds whose sales to addicted Americans are currently super-sizing the already huge nest eggs of the 1%.

We can only conclude from this status quo that capitalism requires a Drug War to keep the consumer's eyes off the prize. Because in an educated world without substance prohibition, no one in their right mind would settle for the expensive dependence-causing pills of Big Pharma when they could reach down to the ground and cure their neuroses with the help of one plant (like the coca leaf) or fungus (like the psilocybin mushroom). Indeed, in the 19th century, doctors were mostly irrelevant in many English counties because almost every household had laudanum on hand (from the opium poppy) to treat things like sleeplessness, colds and bouts of depression. Since then, that naturally occurring go-to remedy has been outlawed, allowing the medical field to claim a monopoly on mind medicine. Meanwhile the Drug Warrior has taught us to fear Mother Nature's psychoactive bounty rather than to understand it. The result of all this self-interested wheeling and dealing by the Drug Warriors and the medical community? Americans are now children with respect to psychoactive substances and the DEA treats them as such, forcing depressed folks like myself, for instance, to visit a doctor 1/3 their age every three months of their life to get a new prescription for another habit-forming and expensive refill. Apparently, folks like myself have learned nothing from our 40 years of socially sanctioned pill popping. We are all still babies when it comes to the almighty subject of "DRUGS!"

Instead of teaching us how to use mother nature's bounty wisely, the Drug War tells Americans to "Be afraid, be very afraid!" Why? Because, they say, there are "killer drugs" out there that will destroy our lives! But to tweak a line from FDR, we have nothing to fear but ignorance itself. And ignorance is precisely what the Drug War demands, Indeed, the original charter of America's Office of National Drug Control Policy forbade its members from even contemplating good uses for the psychoactive substances that we've been taught to hate. It's no wonder then that American scientists today actually think it's their duty to denounce the mere study of plant medicines that the Drug War has banned. When W. Golden Mortimer published his book on the coca leaf in 2019, he was scolded by academics for promoting drug abuse. How? By merely writing about the coca leaf! As if factual and objective analysis was no longer the job of a good scientist! Thus Drug War propaganda has led to the perfect form of censorship: one in which the academic community gladly censors its own work in order to help politicians and law enforcement prop up the straw man of "killer drugs"!

Ignorance is the enemy, not Fentanyl

October 20, 2022

Brian was a trifle ticked when he indited the following admittedly interesting adumbrations for Kevin Sabet. Can't really blame him, tho' (Brian, I mean). Kevin Sabet is, after all, the mainstream media's poster boy for Drug War 2.0.

Here's a "what about" that you haven't been asked yet, Kevin: What about the 1 in 4 American women who are dependent on Big Pharma meds for life? Stop fighting drugs, start educating citizens. The alternative is the militarization of police and the unlawful worldwide outlawing of plant medicines. The problems with substance demonization are too huge for Americans to see. Thanks to Drug Warriors, I have gone a lifetime now without godsend medicine that grows at my very feet. The ONDCP had a charter that prevented it from even considering positive use. The Drug War has ruined my life, that's why I push back. It addicted me to Big Pharma meds -- and kept me from using the plants at my feet for 40 long years! Prohibition and ignorance are the trouble-makers, Kevin, NOT DRUGS. Get rid of fentanyl and a new "monster drug" will take its place. That's why the Drug War is a makework program for law enforcement. Plato got his views of the afterlife from psychedelics. The Vedic Hindu religion was founded to worship plant medicine called soma. When you demonize and outlaw plant medicine, you deny me freedom of religion. Plants do not need to be approved by the FDA. They are mine by natural right, unless you think government has the right to criminalize the rain or, like King Canute, to order the tides to cease.

To see Brian's full refutation of Kevin Sabet, read Why Kevin Sabet is Wrong

Next essay: How to end the war in Mexico, stop inner-city killings and cure depression in one easy step
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old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at 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.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher

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.

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)
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