December 27, 2019
The Drug War is a War on Patientsby Ballard Quass
my letter to Republican senators of the 116th U.S. Congress
Please end the Drug War. It is a war on patients.
I am a 61-year-old American who has been denied godsend medications for depression for the last 40 years, all because Washington legislators care more about punishing "drug users" than they care about helping those suffering from alcoholism, depression and PTSD.
When is Congress going to stop the war on drug research and the war on patients?
It is nothing less than a crime against humanity when the DEA knowingly withholds godsend medications from the American public - and lies while so doing.
Please end this war against patients today. Abolish the DEA and put its leadership on trial for causing immense and unnecessary suffering for America's patients through its anti-scientific lies about substances like MDMA and psilocybin.
And stop financially blackmailing other countries to make them follow suit with America's unscientific Drug War. Is it not bad enough that you've made it impossible for me to get help in America? Do you really have to make sure that I can't get help anywhere on the planet?
Substances are not evil, Senator. That is a drug-war superstition. They are good or bad, depending on how they are used.
Stop demonizing godsend medications just because they may be subject to occasional abuse.
Please stop denying godsend medication to millions merely because a few thousand may abuse them.
Get rid of the fascist DEA - the jackbooted thugs that stomped onto Monticello and stole Thomas Jefferson's poppies -- and let scientists study any substance that they please without government interference - that is, if you really want to live in a free country.
Meanwhile, just remember that "getting tough" means getting tough on patients. We are the ones who suffer so that conservative Republicans can get their demagogue soundbites.
Psychiatric godsend medications include: MDMA, ayahuasca, psilocybin, and ibogaine. Please tell the DEA to back off and let science, not politics, determine these drugs' availability to patients.
Instead, the DEA does everything they can to hinder research and to keep these drugs unavailable to suffering Americans, including tens of thousands of soldiers who have fought for freedom overseas. MDMA was working wonders - but the DEA decided to criminalize it in 1985, AGAINST the advice of its own judge. Why? The DEA has a conflict of interest: their jobs depend on drugs being illegal. It's an outrage that such an agency protects its jobs by keeping godsend medication from the American people.
The DEA is anti-American and anti-soldier. Please tell it to cease ruining the lives of America's patients.
NOTES I sent the above e-mail to Republican Senators, under the assumption that much of the Drug War demagoguery comes from that quarter. It was written in anger and may thus be a trifled disjointed. My principal point, however, is clear: namely, that the Drug War is anti-patient, insofar as it criminalizes substances without regard for the millions of patients who are thereby denied godsend medication. This is because the Republicans like to appear "tough on drugs" by locking up minorities -- and if that means they have to totally ignore the valid interests of millions of alcoholics, depressives, and soldiers with PTSD, then so be it.
Unfortunately, Democrats have to share the blame, since they also pay almost no attention to the millions of patients who are forced to go without godsend medications thanks to our across-the-board drug criminalization. They only differ from Republicans in that they focus on protecting potential abusers instead of prosecuting them. Both sides, however, promote policies that keep godsend medicines unavailable for those who need them most: alcoholics, the depressed, and soldiers suffering from PTSD.
This in turn is because both sides share the superstitious Drug Warrior belief that chemical substances are either good or evil -- when in reality substances are neither good nor evil: only people are. The same substance which seems evil at one dose and in one setting can work miracles at another dose and in another setting. Somehow our Washington representatives are blissfully unaware of this fact. (I'm being kind to the pols here, by the way. A more cynical author would claim that Congress's Drug War-enablers are simply cowing to the demands of lobbyists for Big Pharma, psychiatry, prison guards, and sheriffs, all of whom stand to lose financially if the Drug War is rescinded or pared back in any way.)
The DEA truly believes that substances are evil in and of themselves. Whenever they are forced to allow a little research into MDMA, for instance, they insist on elaborate and expensive procedures to safeguard the MDMA to be used in the study, as if the substance were some kind of highly enriched uranium or the Hope Diamond. This shows absurd priorities: the DEA is ready to stymy investigation into a drug that could help millions - even billions of people - and why do they run this interference? So that they can stop even a handful of Americans from being able to use the substance illicitly.
The DEA is so obsessed with "cracking down" that they would gladly scuttle a godsend cure for countless patients - just to get tough on a few minorities. But this is probably to be expected since the agency's raison d'etre is to punish Americans for using cures of which our politicians do not approve - our politicians, mind, not our scientists.