Weapons of mass destruction (weapons-grade fissile nuclear material (reprocessed plutonium or yellowcake uranium), biological weapons (e.g. Ebola, Fusarium)), Chemical Toxins (lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), NOx emissions, fine particulate matter, PBTs such as PCBs and PBDEs, mixed radioactive nuclear waste), Greenhouse Gas emissions (CO2, CH4, H2O(g)) –
These are the substances and chemicals that, for the sake of a healthy, peaceful, and sustainable world, we need policies implemented to heavily curtail, reduce and/or abolish their production and use.
What can obscure and retard these goals are public policies that attempt to control/eradicate substances that are treated as if they were nuclear fissile materials or virulent contagions. “Drugs” are one set of substances that get in the way of these goals due to the influence of powerful interest groups who persist in claiming that drugs require massive curtailment, reduction, and total eradication.
This rhetoric, while sounding totally normal and familiar due to its oft-repetition, is not based on science or reason. Drug-taking is a normal and ordinary aspect of human culture that has appeared universally cross-culturally and throughout recorded history and prehistory. Not everyone is satisfied with the national “un-drug” drug alcohol, and it is chauvinistic to force people to be so.
Allow me to quote from a manuscript by a Canadian drug policy analyst that is about the debunked mythology of the Marijuana Gateway:
We also need to learn to accept the reality that mental health is as important as physical health. The Vedas are believed to be among the oldest, if not the oldest, religious scriptures extant. One of them, the Rig Veda, specifically focuses on the worship of a psycho-active substance that opens the doors to intense spiritual experience. A number of other scriptures, from various religions, seem to cover the same ground, although usually in a more disguised form. Even the Bible has numerous entries that could plausibly be references to cannabis and powerful psychedelics.
The need to explore human consciousness is as vital as the need to eat or sleep. Since time immemorial and until the end of time, humans have been, and will be, using drugs or plants that seem to facilitate interesting or productive explorations and, without the opportunity to use them under supervised conditions, many people will inevitably be misusing them as long as their dominant cultures, to which they’re pressured to conform, continue to insist that these substances have no legitimate use.
Some psychopharmacologists have described this acquired human drive to psychoactivate as “the fourth drive.”
Thus, taking it into account is essential for a full understanding of human health.
The ‘war on drugs’ or ‘drug abuse prevention and control’ is therefore more appropriately seen as a low-grade, persistent, prisoner-taking war on the acquired human drive to psychoactivate steeped in an ideology of pharmacologicalism in which some substances are allowed and encouraged for psychoactivation (e.g, tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, cacao, “better than well” mood brighteners) and others are morally forbidden.
Pharmacologicalism is a matrix of centralized powers and discursive practices whose object is to reinforce an essentialism of drugs, of angel drug and demon drugs.
Take a peek into the racist, morally panicked and drug scare history.
Former Congressman, Spanish-American War hero, and prohibition propagandist Richmond P. Hobson issued the following national radio broadcast in 1928 during the “Narcotic Education Week”:
Heroin addiction can be likened to a contagion. Suppose it were announced that there were more than a million lepers among our people. Think what a shock the announcement would produce! Yet drug addiction is far more incurable than leprosy, far more tragic to its victims, and is spreading like a moral and physical scourge.
There are symptoms breaking out all over our country and now breaking out in many parts of Europe which show that individual nations and the whole world is menaced by this appalling foe…marching…to the capture and destruction of the whole world.
Most of the daylight robberies, daring holdups, cruel murders and similar crimes of violence are now known to be committed chiefly by drug addicts, who constitute the primary cause of our alarming crime wave.
Drug addiction is more communicable and less curable than leprosy. Drug addicts are the principle carriers of vice diseases, and with their lowered resistance are incubators and carriers of the streptococcus, pneumococcus, the germ of flu, of tuberculosis, and other diseases.
Upon the issue hangs the perpetuation of civilization, the destiny of the world and the future of the human race.
(quoted in The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control by Dr. David Musto, Yale Professor and UW Medical School graduate)
My main point is that psychoactivity is not the same as dangerous toxicity, despite the histrionic ranting of Mr. Hobson!
Despite this, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration/Agency maintains over 78 offices in 56 countries outside the US, reflecting the hegemonic status that the United States has enjoyed since the early 20th century in matters related to international drug control.
This is total insanity.
When are we going to separate the effects of drug prohibition from drug use?
Why do we not strengthen our call for the eradication of dangerous substances by pointing out the violence and irrationality of spending approximately 100 billion dollars a year on curtailing naturally occurring seeds which mature into plants that satisfy the natural human drive to psychoactivate?
Let’s advocate for the public-health backed policy of harm reduction and strengthen our credibility on speaking up for the truly dangerous substances.