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There is no drug problem

It is an invention of politicians to take our minds off of real problems

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 12, 2020

he Drug War represents a superstitious fetishization of psychoactive substances as the root of all evil. When poverty and ignorance combine with the black market to addict the poor inside inner cities, does America focus on the poverty, the ignorance or the black market? Of course not. Each of those approaches would require policy changes and real action. Instead, we bring out the red herring of 'drugs' and start raising a hue and cry, for the criminalization of the same, thereby turning the 'drug dealer' into the scapegoat for all of America's social problems. The drug dealer is thus demonized as a scum bag, worthy of immediate death, even though he or she is just meeting the demands of the black market that we ourselves created by outlawing nature's psychoactive plant medicines in the first place, in violation of the natural law upon which the American republic was founded.

This is why both conservatives and liberals believe in the Drug War, because they both find it convenient to demonize substances as a scapegoat for social problems. In this way, conservatives can avoid having to shell out money for social reform, while still being able to demonize the hated underclasses as mere drug users and delinquents. And so the Drug War is the best of all worlds for conservatives.

Liberals, on the other hand, can medicalize the 'drug' problem (the problem that exists only by default because we have given a free pass to the causal factors of poverty, ignorance, and the black market) and urge the sinner to come home: that is, urge the illegal substance user to submit him or herself to the power and authority of the medical establishment. What medical establishment? The one that has already addicted 1 in 4 American women to Big Pharma antidepressants, an addiction crisis that even the so-called addiction 'expert' Gabor Mate ignores in his best-selling book on the topic, even though many SSRIs and SNRIs are harder to 'kick' than heroin.

Meanwhile, both liberals and conservatives seem ignorant of the fact that our currently illegal substances have ever been used by anyone other than juvenile delinquents. The entire Vedic religion was founded around the worship of the psychoactive powers of a plant medicine. The time-honored Eleusinian mysteries, in which such western luminaries as Plato and Plutarch took part, centered around a ritual that involved the ingestion of a natural psychedelic substance. Meanwhile, these bipartisan Drug Warriors completely ignore the fact that Benjamin Franklin used opium responsibly, that HG Wells and Jules Verne used cocaine responsibly, and that psychedelics helped Francis Crick discover the DNA helix.

There is no drug problem in America just because some people misuse drugs. There is no car problem, either, just because some people drive poorly. That problem is not with cars, it's with those who are not properly trained to drive them.

There was no drug problem in Ancient Egypt. There was no drug problem in the Persian Empire. There was no drug problem in Ancient Greece. There was no drug problem in Ancient Rome. There was no drug problem in the Mongol Empire.

Why not? Because back then, folks still had the sense to judge people by how they actually behaved, without looking into the natural substances of which they chose to partake.

The only drug problem that ever existed was caused by government. That was when the British government purposefully attempted to get the Chinese to misuse an especially addictive brand of opium in order for British trade to prosper. The problem was not really "drugs" even then, however; it was immoral government attempting to get human beings to misuse substances. But Americans distort the lesson learned from that incident. Instead of demonizing corrupt governments, we demonize the substances that the government was attempting to get the Chinese to misuse.

The lesson should have been: keep the government and the profit motive out of the business of selling drugs. The message that the Drug Warriors took home was: we must give government a monopoly on mother nature's psychoactive substances and create a profit motive for selling those plants by instituting prohibition.

This is why John Halpern's book called 'Opium' has a subtitle which reads: "How an ancient flower shaped and poisoned our world." Halpern follows the usual Drug Warrior practice of blaming substances for the evil things that men do with them, as if moral attributes could be reasonably ascribed to mere plants. In so doing, the author gives a free pass to the racist British merchants who bamboozled the Chinese into dangerous practices. Such Drug Warrior tactics of demonizing substances also gives a free pass to conservative stateside politicians, those Christian Science bigots who gladly spend taxpayer money on locking up minorities for making what the politician deems to be bad life choices but who will not spend one taxpayer penny to educate those minorities while they are still young.

And so America ensures by law (and by diplomatic blackmail) that no one in the entire world can even study literally thousands of psychoactive plants, many of which hold the promise of potentially ending cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and depression. Why? Because we'd much rather demonize mother nature's psychoactive substances than understand them and use them to improve both our health and our attitude toward life, let alone expand our consciousness and find a more tolerant way of living, which seems obligatory to some of us, who recognize the fact that nuclear Armageddon is still only an ignition fuse away, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Only psychoactive plant medicines hold the promise of instituting the change of heart that can save other-hating humanity from itself.

I am no radical because I don't believe in the existence of a 'drug problem' (as opposed to a social problem, such as lack of education and so forth). Such a view as mine would have been common sense over the entire course of human history -- until 1914, that is, when the American government (of all governments) first usurped the right of human beings to the medical bounty of Mother Nature with the Harrison Narcotics Act, championed by anti-Chinese racists. Thus the one country that was founded on natural law turned out to be the country that took away one of a human being's most basic rights under such law: their right to the plants and fungi that grow at their very feet.

Unfortunately, the online world is an echo chamber for this Christian Science idiocy. And so folks like myself who argue for the time-honored status quo are instantly banned from the discussion by Reddit moderators, who seem determined to hide the truth. And that's no surprise. There are many beneficiaries of America's unique and deadly attitude about plant medicines, deadly because they cause a Drug War that kills inner-city Americans every day and causes civil war abroad. This overseas violence provides a weekend gladiator show for complacent Americans, who flock to theaters to see Drug War propaganda films, in which intolerant D E A agents travel overseas to torture and murder foreigners. Why? Because they were selling plants that have been used responsibly by non-western cultures for millennia.

Drug war beneficiaries include: Big Pharma (who have a monopoly on 'mood medicine when a Drug War is in force), Psychiatrists (who have a monopoly on dispensing that medicine), Law Enforcement (whose workload and bottom line rise dramatically in a Drug War, with lucrative 'drug property forfeitures'), the Corrections Industry (who profit from the caging of Americans for the crime of possessing mere plants), and Big Liquor (who are given a monopoly on providing human transcendence -- a shabby transcendence indeed compared to the insightful dreams provided by the responsible use of many banned plant medicines). And so truth cries out in the wilderness while America listens to psychiatrists appearing on Oprah under the pay of Big Pharma to remind us all why we must 'take our meds. There is the REAL drug problem in America: that plus the fact that the Drug War has inspired us to deliberately ignore godsend medicines that hold great promise for curing everything that ails us. But no. In Drug War America, scientists cannot be allowed to practice their trade as usual, lest they thereby debunk the superstitions of the Drug Warrior, according to which criminalized plant medicines must be seen as nothing else but evil.


Ever wonder why Americans belief Drug Warrior lies? Thanks to Drug War propaganda, like the following.

1) Academic papers on criminalized "drugs" never, but never speak about how the substances can increase creativity, or focus, or religiosity. Instead, all the academics write about is abuse and abuse and more abuse. In this way, academics are willing collaborators in the Drug War, this despite the fact that they should be protesting the way that the Drug War criminalizes scientific research.

2) Movie and film producers are Drug War collaborators as well. They never, but never publish films showing the wise use of criminalized "drugs." If someone is seen using coca, they're dressed in plaid with a hooker on their lap. If someone is using a psychedelic, they're depicted as a fringe lunatic. And so movie and film producers hide the fact that banned medicines can and have been used for the purposes of increasing creativity, increasing focus and even providing novel insights that have spawned entire religions.

3) Of course Americans are already primed for accepting this Drug War censorship, having been raised from childhood to fear and demonize banned substances rather than to understand them.


The real problem is a LACK of drugs (caused by prohibition):

a lack of drugs to cure addictions, thanks to which so-called treatment centers today are really Christian Science torture chambers, wherein politically defined "addicts" are tossed on a cot and charged $3,000 for the privilege of going cold turkey under doctor supervision (Christian Science being the religion that despises drugs). Thanks to Drug War ideology we never think of the obvious tactic of interesting the user in OTHER less problematic, less addictive or totally non-addictive drugs, rather than simply weaning the user of all drugs in the name of a politically defined "sobriety."

a lack of drugs to cure Alzheimer's disease and autism, each of which could be treated (possibly someday even cured) with the mind-expanding and neuron-growing drugs that America has criminalized.

a lack of drugs to bring about world peace and end school shootings, since when we outlaw entheogens and empathogens, like psilocybin and Ecstasy repsectively, we outlaw the very substances that can make the user feel good about his or her fellow human being.

Next essay: Ten Reasons why the Drug War is Nonsense
Previous essay: 10 Idiots who helped spread drug war propaganda on Listverse

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

Unfortunately, the prohibitionist motto is: "Billions for arrest, not one cent for education." To the contrary, drug warriors are ideologically committed to withholding the truth about drugs from users.
That's another problem with "following the science." Science downplays personal testimony as subjective. But psychoactive experiences are all ABOUT subjectivity. With such drugs, users are not widgets susceptible to the one-size-fits-all pills of reductionism.
"Dope Sick"? "Prohibition Sick" is more like it. For me the very term "dope" connotes imperialism, racism and xenophobia, given that all tribal cultures have used "drugs" for various purposes. "Dope? Junk?" It's hard to imagine a more intolerant, dismissive and judgmental terminology.
It's interesting that Jamaicans call the police 'Babylon,' given that Babylon denotes a society seeking materialist pleasures. Drug use is about transcending the material world and seeking spiritual states: states that the materialist derides as meaningless.
I can't believe people. Somebody's telling me that "drugs" is not used problematically. It is CONSTANTLY used with a sneer in the voice when politicians want to diss somebody, as in, "Oh, they're in favor of DRUGS!!!" It's a political term as used today!
Jim Hogshire described sleep cures that make physical withdrawal from opium close to pain-free. As for "psychological addiction," there are hundreds of elating drugs that could be used to keep the ex-user's mind from morbidly focusing on a drug whose use has become problematic for them.
The most addictive drugs have a bunch of great uses, like treating pain and inspiring great literature. Prohibition causes addiction by making their use as problematic as possible and denying knowledge and choices. It's always wrong to blame drugs.
There's a run of addiction movies out there, like "Craving!" wherein they actually personify addiction as a screaming skeleton. Funny, drug warriors never call for a Manhattan Project to end addiction. Addiction is their golden goose.
Only a pathological puritan would say that there's no place in the world for substances that lift your mood, give you endurance, and make you get along with your fellow human being. Drugs may not be everything, but it's masochistic madness to claim that they are nothing at all.
The whole drug war is based on the anti-American idea that the way to avoid problems is to lie and prevaricate and persuade people not to ask questions.
More Tweets

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front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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

You have been reading an article entitled, There is no drug problem: It is an invention of politicians to take our minds off of real problems, published on July 12, 2020 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, 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, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)