Monday, April 20, 2015

Drug War is Over (If You Want It)

(click to enlarge)

I created this poster to express my dissatisfaction with "The War on Drugs" and the harm it has caused our society over the past 100 years.

Feel free to save it, share it, print it, distribute it, remix it, or do whatever you want to do with it! If you could link to this page as a source, it would be appreciated.

At first, I considered using the phrase "(Drug) War is Over" in the graphic. However, I decided to keep it phrased without the 'drug' reference. This way, it can also be seen as a call to end the overall "war" mentality that keeps us in the primitive mindset of aggressive primates.

The inspiration is obviously from the "War is Over (If You Want It)" poster that John Lennon and Yoko Ono distributed during their famous "Bed-in" peace campaign in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War.

 Today (April 20th) is the counter-culture holiday known as "420".

I don't usually delve into the issue of "drugs" on this blog. I don't really think it's anyone's business what kind of legal or illegal materials you ingest, as long as you're not doing serious harm to yourself or others. When it comes to mind-altering substances or techniques, I think Graham Hancock said it best, "If we are not sovereign over our own consciousness, then we cannot in any meaningful sense be sovereign over anything else, either."

Regardless of how you feel about the various issues regarding drugs, it's hard to argue that we have had positive results in addressing drug use within our modern culture. Most people would agree that the conventional approach to the "War on Drugs" as been a failure in almost every respect, other than lining the pockets of law enforcement, the prison industry, and criminal drug cartels. Countless individual lives and families have been ruined by the senseless crusade against the use of these plants & chemicals. Drug use & abuse should be considered health issues, not criminal offenses.

The most absurd aspect of the Drug War is, without a doubt, the classification of the Cannabis plant as a Schedule I controlled substance. In my life, I've seen people under the influence of pretty much every substance imaginable. Alcohol and opiates are, by far, the most debilitating, addictive, and destructive in large doses. However, these are legal- sold everywhere in stores in the case of liquor, and prescribed by doctors in the case of pain-killing opiates.

The worst effects I've ever seen in reactions to marijuana are not very harmful, like people becoming ravenously hungry or feeling paranoid for a short time. Most of the time, people under the influence of THC are quite happy, peaceful, and content to enjoy whatever they are experiencing at the moment.

Using cannabis can be habit-forming, and the act of smoking anything is obviously not great for the lungs, so there are some downsides to it. These are not nearly sufficient reasons to criminalize the plant, though. The lethal dose (LD) of marijuana is so high that it is physically impossible to overdose (OD) on it.  Despite this fact, this mildly psychoactive plant is placed in the most controlled category- more restricted than most highly addictive opiates. It is absolute madness, based on historical ignorance and century-old propaganda.

In the future, people will look back on this time period with disdain, like we currently look on the Prohibition Era. The mass incarceration of people, especially over offenses for relatively harmless drugs like marijuana, will one day be widely seen as a violation of human rights on a grotesque scale.

The tide is already turning, with many states in the U.S. decriminalizing cannabis. The "dominator culture" (as Terence McKenna would say) cannot suppress the will of the people to affect their own minds.

Since ancient times, human beings have used various plants, substances, and physical techniques to alter their mental & spiritual states. In some cases, it has even been institutionalized, as in the case of Eleusinan Mysteries or indigenous shamanism. There is a growing movement of people who want to re-introduce these archaic techniques & sacred rites back into society, to help awaken it from its ego-induced slumber.

Another effect of the Drug War and our current approach to drug scheduling is the inability to study certain compounds for scientific purposes. Despite their low toxicity & lethality, Schedule I substances like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA cannot currently be researched for possible treatments to PTSD, depression, or other mental conditions.

The bottom line is that the current approach to drug policy is unjust, unproductive, and completely irrational. This is also true for many aspects of our society- like politics, education, and health care. Maybe by ending the farcical "War on Drugs," we can focus our energy on changing other important aspects of our culture.

Ultimately, this is an issue of personal freedom- We are not truly free, unless we have the freedom to explore our own minds.

No comments: