Two days ago, I received a Twitter reply that troubled me just a touch. Of course, I'm used to being troubled by the standard replies from Drug Warriors, who seem incapable of recognizing the endless downsides of prohibition, but this reply came from a fan of substance legalization, a position that I myself champion. The reply was surprising to me because it questioned two major assumptions that I hold to be self-evident with regard to wise drug use, namely 1) that education can be useful and effective and 2) that naturally occurring medicines are generally better and safer than synthesized drugs created by Big Pharma, roughly in the same way that natural foods are generally to be preferred over processed products. In this view, chewing of the coca leaf would, at least "in the abstract," be preferable to using crack cocaine as using opium would be preferable to using fentanyl, "preferable" in terms of being both a more sustainable practice and a practice more readily renounced if desired (not through the cold turkey of the Christian Science Drug Warrior, but through a gradual replacement of said substances by a mixture of hitherto demonized substances as prescribed and administered by a pharmacologically knowledgeable shaman, the type that I picture taking over for psychiatrists in a sane post-Drug War future).
I am not writing this to slam this Twitter respondent. To the contrary, I thank him for questioning these premises of mine so that I can be sure that I'm arguing from solid ground when I attack the Drug War. In fact, this essay is really written for myself, so that I can determine precisely what I believe on these topics, for I am like author Joan Didion in that "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking." However, if the reader cares to join me as I storm the citadel of my preconceptions, then, please, by all means: grab a musket and get in rank!
1) Education is useful.
This is a mainstay of traditional liberalism, in which I have always believed, the idea that wisdom can set you free and allow you to see through the "systems" by which the status quo can otherwise confuse you and limit your choices. The Twitter respondent maintains, however, that young people in particular do not pay attention to drug-related education. And I readily agree. But then I ask, why is that so? In my view, it is so because America has been explicitly lying about "drugs" since the DEA adopted its mendacious scheduling system in 1973. That's a system that tells us that the kinds of drugs that have inspired entire religions (like coca and psychedelics) have no potential therapeutic uses whatsoever. That is a bold-faced lie, and an anti-religious lie at that, to tell us that drugs that have inspired religions have no positive uses whatsoever: not for me, not for you, not here, not there, not anywhere, in any dose, ever. Even cyanide has positive uses in the right places, at the right times, for the right reasons, in the right dosage. Moreover, the human mind is a resourceful thing. It can find a cure for bacterial infections in a moldy cantaloupe and a cure for diabetes in the urine of a dog. To declare in advance that a substance has no uses whatsoever is therefore both anti-scientific and anti-progress (putting aside here the fact that Mother Nature's bounty is under no obligation to be therapeutic or to meet FDA standards in the first place).
Young people may be poorly educated, but they're not stupid. They know at some level that the government is "full of it," that their declarations about "drugs" are informed by politics, not by science or history (or even the common sense psychology of happiness, for that matter). They know that it's absurd to arrest folks for possessing plant medicine, especially in a country that promotes Big Pharma meds on prime-time television, some of which nostrums report side effects that actually include death. They also see folks using legal Big Pharma drugs every single day of their life, and watch doctors on Oprah shilling for pharmaceutical companies that want us to "keep taking our meds." Young people sense that something's wrong with this picture and that the Drug War is not really designed to get us off of drugs, but rather to get us on "the right drugs" as defined by Big Pharma and Wall Street.
No wonder no one's paying attention to government-sponsored education about drug use! It's never clear where the propaganda ends and the education begins. In fact, the ONDCP's original charter actually forbade it from saying anything positive about criminalized psychoactive medicines. In other words the government has long been on a propaganda campaign about drugs, masquerading as an education campaign. It's thereby destroyed the perceived credibility of any authoritative information about drugs.
But that doesn't mean that education doesn't work. It rather means that we have never really tried education.
But I believe that we can and must move beyond that know-nothing status quo and begin being totally honest about all psychoactive substances. We're already doing that in a small way on sites like Erowid, where all psychoactive substances are discussed honestly, by users who typically have no axe to grind and no vested interest to maintain. Such sites do, in fact, have credibility among "users," and our job should be to encourage the use of such sites as potential users search for options. A non-profit and non-partisan Drug Education Agency could help organize the information of such sites in a literally "user" friendly way, a way that would truly be helpful and informative to those who are contemplating the use of one psychoactive drug or another. I picture a sort of clearinghouse site wherein each psychoactive drug is listed, along with alternative substances that might be deemed to produce a similar effect, subjectively speaking, a site full of Amazon-like reviews of substances along with prominent medical opinions and suggestions for safest possible use.
As Thomas Szasz once said, America needs to "grow up" and learn to live with the fact that psychoactive substances are all around us. The way to grow up, in my view, (after legalizing all psychoactive medicines, that is) is education, not just in websites but in grade schools, where, instead of teaching kids to say no to medicines that have inspired entire religions, we tell them the facts about historical use and subjective and objective effects and advise them that it will be their responsibility as adults to make decisions about use based on their own priorities and values. The Christian Scientist will want to abstain on principle; whereas those of us who live by the Platonic imperative of knowing ourselves and the world around us will demand the freedom to partake of the psychoactive substances that inspired Plato's view of the afterlife and supported the happy and energetic lifestyle of the long-lived Peruvian Indians.
One of the big truths that a CREDIBLE education campaign will promote is the heretofore unmentioned fact that so-called "hard drugs" can be used on a non-addictive basis. The Drug Warrior never bothers telling us that because they would rather use "addicts" as poster children for prohibition than to counsel them honestly about how to refrain from becoming "addicts" in the first place. That said, a country which looks the other way when 1 in 4 of their women are chemically dependent on tranquilizing Big Pharma meds is not a country that should be demonizing folks for the daily use of Mother Nature's psychoactive medicines, especially when the latter medicines can give the user mental focus and some compelling intimations about their true place in the cosmos (effects which I have never noticed in using Big Pharma meds every day of my life for the last 40 years).
To repeat: education hasn't failed. Rather, education hasn't been tried.
2) Naturally occurring psychoactive drugs are generally better than Big Pharma synthetics?
I don't really have a dog in this race. But I am not personally eager to use any more Big Pharma meds, after becoming addicted for life to the brain-numbing Effexor anti-depressant, a drug for which chemical dependence seems to have been a feature rather than a bug. Actually, the SSRIs and SNRIs were not initially intended for long-term use, until doctors discovered that their patients were having a hard time "kicking them," at which point the psychiatrists made a virtue of necessity and told folks like myself that (surprise, surprise) I had a medical duty to take them every day for the rest of my life. (A simple "sorry for addicting you" would have sufficed!)
This topic only really arises here because the Twitter respondent (to whom I'm responding in this essay) got the impression that I wanted to ban synthetic drugs. Although I never said so, I have often stressed the ironic fact that prohibition caused opium and the coca leaf to disappear, while giving rise to the use of what are generally deemed to be far stronger and more habit-forming substances like fentanyl and crack cocaine. I do not mean thereby to demonize those latter drugs, only to point out the utter failure of prohibition in its alleged goal of "saving us" from dangerous substances. On the other hand, I think it's premature to begin cheerleading on behalf of synthetics given the fact that there are many dozen (perhaps hundreds) of psychoactive plant medicines that few if any persons in the west have even heard of yet, let alone used psychoactively to improve their mood or mental state. All I am saying is give Mother Nature's uncensored pharmacopoeia a chance.
There are two other reasons I focus on Mother Nature's bounty as opposed to synthetics: 1) For some of us, the universe does have a purpose, and the fact that Mother Nature has surrounded us with psychoactive medicines suggests to us that we are actually meant to take advantage of those medicines, wisely, of course, given our status as rational and goal-driven human beings, the more so in that God pronounced that bounty "good" in the Book of Genesis. 2) From a strategic point of view, it seems far easier to call for the re-legalization of Mother Nature's medicines alone than of the legalization of all psychoactive medicines synthetic and otherwise. I believe that the case for re-legalizing Mother Nature can be made merely by appealing to the Natural Law upon which America was founded, thanks to which, as John Locke wrote, we have the right as citizens to the use of the earth and all that lies therein. Of course, I completely agree that government has no right to control how and how much we can think and feel in this life -- indeed, that's the ultimate invasive tyranny in my book, limiting, as it does, our very way of seeing the world -- and that therefore no psychoactive substances should be banned, either natural or synthetic. I only think that, as a practical matter, that latter claim, as obvious as it is to myself, might be hard to sell, at least in the short-term, to the demagogue politicians who are used to winning elections today by scapegoating psychoactive substances for every social problem imaginable.
I believe that modern psychiatrists should be replaced by (or morph into) pharmacologically savvy shaman, empathic individuals who possess a deep sociocultural and psychosocial understanding of the many psychoactive plants and fungi that so-called scientific America has long been in the habit of "shunning out of hand" thanks to prohibition and the Drug War ideology of substance demonization. There is a growing body of evidence for the ability of psychoactive medicine to rapidly change folks' "take" on the world and to get them over trauma. The scientific mind would want to systematize this growing world of nostrums, place their effects in a bottle and sell them at the local drug store as one-size-fits all cures for everything that ails us. But the shamanic approach I champion is about human relationships. It would be an art, not a science. Of course, the shaman will have the knowledge necessary to avoid dangerous use, but his or her real role will be as a pharmacological matchmaker, matching unique troubled individuals (or folks who just want to get more out of life) with the substances and substance-fueled therapies that will help them become the person that they wish to be in life, as opposed to the sort of person that Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy would like them to be, namely 'sober' and God-fearing Christians.
But then such an approach could serve the interests of Christians as well. The point is that such future drug-assisted therapy will be about what the client wants, not what racist and pharmacologically clueless politicians believe that they should receive.
Author's Follow-up: November 23, 2022
Of course, we should not really prejudge any psychoactive medicine, synthetic or otherwise, but rather accept it on its own terms. Morphine, for instance, has been used for a lifetime (just like SSRIs) by very successful people, including Dr. William Henry Welch, a founder of John Hopkins University. Edgar Allan Poe also writes how morphine can give the properly inclined individual an intense appreciation of the byzantine complexity of mother nature. That's a real feat that Drug Warriors completely and totally ignore. The Drug Warrior wants all the talk to be about addiction, but why not call it maintenance use, which is, after all, the euphemism that we breezily apply to the use of those anti-depressants upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life?
Besides, how difficult is addiction to "beat"? The fact is that we have no idea, because America has outlawed all the substances that could make withdrawal bearable and help the user slowly shift to a different substance or substances whose use they might find less problematic. And why have we never done this? Because Americans are Christian Scientists without acknowledging it. They believe that the moral thing is for a "user" of illicit substances to become "sober," as that term is hypocritically defined by beer-swilling and pill-popping Drug Warriors. That's why 12-step programs are a violation of religious liberty because they first teach the initiate to consider themselves powerless and thus in need of a "higher power." But WHY is the initiate powerless? Because the game is rigged. The powers-that-be have outlawed all the substances that would have empowered him or her to carry on in life without dancing the 12-step boogaloo of the moralizing Drug Warrior.
Author's Follow-up: November 24, 2022
Before Drug Warriors have a coronary, let's remember that the shamanic empathic confabs that I'm advocating above could involve nothing more than the sipping of coffee or tea during what we call "talk therapy." For at the risk of repeating myself, the pharmacologically savvy shamnism that I champion would be tailored to the client's priorities, not that of the healer. That said, since there are substances out there that can increase aesthetic appreciation, focus the mind, clarify life goals and even help one make one's peace with death, the therapist is really duty bound to advocate for their advised use. But relax. The clients will always be free to reject such treatment on the basic of some unconsciously held Christian Science metaphysic, which tells them that: "drugs bad, sobriety good."
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!)
Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People.
: IDEBATE Press, 2011.
In which we learn how over 150 countries withhold godsend pain medicine from dying kids in the name of the drug war ideology of substance demonization.
DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule.
Vermonth: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, 2021.
America spends millions on SETI and billions on NASA looking for alien beings -- and yet we ignore the world of world of inner visions with which naturally occurring substances seem determined to put us in touch
Boullosa , Carmen.
A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'.
New York: OR Books, 2016.
How the US Drug War and Its Mexican Collaborators caused the so-called Mexican Drug that has killed over a hundred thousand
The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade.
India: Anna Ruggieri, 2017.
Carpenter, Ted Galen.
The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America.
Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2012.
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!"
Science is censored in a Drug War. They cover only the downsides of psychoactive medicine. That's why we need to learn the upsides of use from unconventional sources, like Lovecraft, Poe and Aleister Crowley.
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.
The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally.
Rochester, Vermoont: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, 2011.
Psst! Don't tell anyone. This book actually talks about beneficial uses of the plant medicine that used to be in almost every medicine cabinet in England. That situation couldn't last long under unfettered capitalism.
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.
Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms.
Annapolis: William Griffiths, 2021.
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.
Mortimer MD, W. Golden.
Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas.
Berkeley, California: Ronin Publishing, 2017.
Mortimer reveals how Coca leaf chewing was to the long-lived Peruvian Indians what coffee drinking is to modern society. It provided them with endurance and social cohesion, just as coffee provides us with ambition and competitiveness.
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.
Drug War Capitalism.
Chico, California: AK Press, 2014.
Substance prohibition causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some. Nowhere is this more true than in Latin America, as Dawn Paley describes in painstaking detail.
Alistair Crowley on Drugs.
unknown: uploaded by Misael Hernandez, 2021.
Because of drug war self-censorship, we have to turn to renegades like Alistair Crowley to learn the positive sides of so-called 'drug' use.
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."
The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances.
New York: Macmillan Publishers, 2014.
Hurray to Rudgley for failing to dance to the Drug Warrior's tune and name his book "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs." Instead, he refers to "drugs" as substances, removing all the value judgments with which prohibitionists seek to demonize the sub
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.
Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class.
: Pegasus Books, 2014.
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.
Here are two additional steps for good measure:
Replace pill-pushing psychiatrists with pharmacologically savvy empaths
Replace the Drug Enforcement Agency with the Drug EDUCATION Agency