July 27, 2019
Marci Hamilton Equates Drug Use with Child Abuseby Ballard Quass
In response to No, American Religious Liberty Is Not in Peril by Marci Hamilton in the Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2019
I think it is amazing that you equate the use of Mother Nature's psychedelic plants with child abuse. It shows how far the Drug War has gone in superstitiously turning mere physical substances into demons, into the very incarnation of evil, something to be feared and reviled rather than to be analyzed dispassionately with an eye toward their potential benefits for humankind.
If you are keeping up on world events, you surely know that psychedelics are now being shown to grow new neurons in the brains of the depressed and, when properly administered, to give new hope and mental resilience to cases that had hitherto been impervious to all other treatments. Moreover, you're surely aware that Nixon rendered psychedelics illegal, not to protect America's health, but to punish his political enemies by making them felons and thus removing them from the voting rolls - and that, at the time Nixon did this, psychedelics were showing unprecedented benefit in actually curing alcoholics. You're surely also aware that many legal antidepressant drugs are so addictive that they have to be taken for life - whereas the naturally-occurring psychedelics that you demonize are non-addictive and can sometimes facilitate mental cures in just one session!
As for the old Drug War canard that drugs "fry your brain," psychedelics have been shown to actually grow new neurons. If any drugs fry the brain, it is modern antidepressants, which are increasingly implicated in causing anhedonia in long-term users.
In other words, there is no evidence that legalized psychedelics would destroy America, least of all when those substances are used in a religious setting. No doubt you could cobble together a few statistics to the contrary, but any damage you may document would be minuscule compared to that done by alcohol, cigarettes, and the legal drug therapy on which more than 1 in 10 Americans are now chemically dependent, destined to be drug users for a lifetime thanks to the "rights" of Big Pharma (business rights which, as a conservative, you no doubt think are just and proper despite their catastrophic effect on actual human lives!)
It's funny that you should bring up the Christian Science attitude toward "childhood vaccination" in arguing against excessive religious rights - because the Drug War is nothing but Christian Science as applied to mental health: that is, the Drug War is based on the metaphysical premise that we should not use Mother Nature's psychedelic medicines to improve our mental health. That is a religious belief itself that cannot even in theory be proven: it is a faith, one that many Americans do not share. So you show your religious intolerance in deciding that everyone must respect your jaundiced view of Mother Nature's plants and fungi by eschewing the therapeutic use of those God-given substances. In short, if the anti-vaccination movement is ignorant, then so is the Drug War: for both argue against the use of demonstrably therapeutic substances.
You claim that the young people known as "nones" are on your side, philosophically speaking. I doubt that, but if you're right, this won't last for long. Research from the new psychedelic renaissance is proving that the guided use of Mother Nature's psychedelic bounty can increase mental resilience and clarity and help one think outside the box - which is the very definition of a psychotherapeutic godsend. The "nones" are going to be smart enough to realize that the Drug War is all about keeping them from these naturally-occurring therapies - at which point these "nones" will take the lead in denouncing the folly of criminalizing Mother Nature's therapeutic bounty.
It is my sincere hope that this pushback against the Drug War will result in new churches, in which Americans will seek transcendence together through the ritual use of Mother Nature's psychedelic plants.
This would not represent the claiming of some new exotic right as you seem to think: it would be the re-claiming of a God-given right to the therapeutic bounty that grows at our very feet, a right guaranteed by natural law until it was first unconstitutionally usurped by common law in 1914 with the Harrison Narcotics Act.
The War on Drugs is the establishment of a religion: namely, the religion of Christian Science, whose founder, Mary Baker Eddy, believed that we did not need "drugs" to cure what ailed us. Of course, Eddy claimed that we did not need "drugs" even for physical ailments, but the government version of her religion has modified her faith so that it prohibits only "drugs" that improve the mind, and even then the prohibition extends only to mother nature's psychoactive meds, whereas Big Pharma psychoactive pills are free to addict the public at will (hence the suppressed fact that 1 in 4 American women are addicted to Big Pharma meds, many of which are harder to kick than heroin). But the hypocritical drug war is still a religion, a religion which takes it on faith (in the teeth of millennia of proof to the contrary) that mother nature's psychoactive plants are of no therapeutic value (as the DEA has mendaciously maintained now for almost half a century). So oppressive is this religion that it actually forbids research into the psychoactive plants that it superstitiously deems to be evil, thereby preventing drug war critics from proving otherwise.