Drug addiction is not a moral failing or mental malfunction, but an adaptive response to circumstances. It would be cruel to put rats in cages and then, when they start using drugs, punish them for it. That would be like suppressing the symptoms of a disease while maintaining the necessary conditions for the disease itself.
Are we like rats in cages? Are we putting human beings into intolerable conditions and then punishing them for their efforts to alleviate the anguish? If so, then the War on Drugs is based on false premises and can never succeed.
Here are some ways to waste human potential and create a society of mass consumption:
1.Make children stay indoors in age-segregated classrooms in a competitive environment where they are conditioned to perform tasks that they don’t really care about or want to do, for the sake of external rewards.
2.Destroy community bonds by casting people into a society of strangers, in which you don’t rely on and needn’t even know by name the people living around you.
3.Create constant survival anxiety by making survival depend on money, and then making money artificially scarce. Administer a money system in which there is always more debt than there is money.
4.Divide the world up into property, and confine people to spaces that they own or pay to occupy.
5.Move life, especially children’s lives indoors. Let as many sounds as possible be manufactured sounds, and as many sights be virtual sights.
6.Remove as much as possible all opportunities for meaningful self-expression and service. Instead, coerce people into dead end labor just to pay the bills and service the debts. Seduce others into living off such labor of others.
7.Cut people off from nature. At most let nature be a spectacle or venue for recreation, but remove any real intimacy with the land. Source food and medicine from thousands of miles away.
8.Destroy the local stories and relationships that build identity, and replace them with celebrity news, sports team identification, brand identification, and world views imposed by authority.
9.Replace the infinite variety of the natural and artisanal world, where every object is unique, with the sameness of commodity goods.
10.Delegitimize or illegalize folk knowledge of how to heal and care for one another, and replace it with the paradigm of the “patient” dependent on medical authorities for health.
11.Reduce the intimate realm of social interaction to the nuclear family and put that family in a box. Destroy the tribe, the village, the clan, and the extended family as a functioning social unit.
Cannabis and psychedelics can directly induce nonconformity, weaken consumer values, and make the prescribed normal life seem less tolerable, not more. The growing movement to end the drug war might reflect a paradigm shift away from judgment, blame, war, and control towards compassion and healing.