William James is considered by many to be America's greatest philosopher. His entire philosophy was inspired by the world he encountered under the influence of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. In his master work, "The Varieties of Religious Experience," James wrote the following: "No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded." When you "schedule" substances like laughing gas, then you are censoring science and philosophy.
You are also denying godsend treatments for chronic depressives like myself. For laughing gas improves mood -- not just the gas itself, but LOOKING FORWARD to use. Materialists may not be able to "prove that" with their reductive reasoning, but, frankly, it's common psychological sense. Even the Reader's Digest knows that laughter is the best medicine. Instead of scheduling nitrous oxide, we should be teaching safe use and making it available to researchers and the depressed.
I perfectly understand that some folks may misuse it -- but we should teach them, not arrest them. We have got to stop acting like drugs must be banned if they are capable of misuse. All drugs can be misused. We must teach, not practice fearmongering. You may feel like you're saving a few hundred users from their own folly by scheduling, but you are simultaneously throwing millions of the depressed under the bus, along with philosophers who wish to follow up the studies of William James.
Instead of SWAT teams ready to arrest Americans, we need SWAT teams full of educators, ready to teach safe use wherever drug problems arise. That could surely happen if we spent the multi-billion-dollar DEA budget on educating rather than arresting.
The DEA scheduling system is political, not scientific. It outlaws drugs that have inspired entire religions. Coca was considered divine by the Inca, mushrooms by the Maya, and the psychedelic soma inspired the Vedic-Hindu religion. We have to stop using the scheduling system to outlaw substances that inspire religions and philosophical thought. That kind of censorship is not what America should be about.
In conclusion, when you schedule mind-expanding substances like laughing gas, you are not just denying godsend treatment to millions, but you are censoring science and philosophy and telling researchers to "stand down" in their attempt to study ultimate reality. William James would be rolling in his grave to know that his philosophical field of inquiry has been shut down by government. Let's be the free country that we purport to be. Let's not censor science and philosophy.
Please do not "schedule" laughing gas and other related mind-enhancing substances in a way to limit their legitimate and beneficial use for science, philosophy, and the depressed.
Laughing gas is already out of reach for myself for practical reasons, and so I have to suffer without relief for depression that is untouched by the Big Pharma drugs that have made me chemically dependent for life. That's why we actually need to make substances like laughing gas MORE available, not less.
Scheduling and cracking down is not the answer. That's why the drug situation in the country is now incalculably worse than it was in 1914 when Congress first affectively outlawed a plant in violation of the natural law upon which America was founded. Let's learn from our mistakes. Let's start educating instead of outlawing. Let's start educating about substances instead of "scheduling" them. The prohibition thus created has already had ruinous effects by resulting in no-go zones in inner cities. For as Ann Heather 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."
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