Sunday, February 01, 2009

The War on Drugs is in essence a religious war

"The War on Drugs is in essence a religious war. That is why drug offenders get longer prison sentences than violent criminals. A drug user is worse than a criminal -- no punishment is too severe, because drug users are heretics."

That's from Dale Pendell's "Amrta: the neuropharmacology of Nirvana" which appears in The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry, edited by Andrew Schelling.

Pendell has produced books focused on psychotropic plants, Pharmako/Poeia and Pharmako/Dynamis. I have at least one of these upstairs, currently lost in the disorganization of the library.

"Drugs, as a general term, is an obfuscation of the War on Drugs. We hear the phrase 'alcohol and drugs,' as if alcohol were not a drug, and as if by drugs we all know what is being talked about. Addiction is an issue with tobacco, alcohol, and the opiates, but is not at all a property of the entheogens. Addiction to alcohol, a cellular poison, is characterized by physical and mental deterioration that is virtually absent in opiate addiction. Tobacco kills nearly half a million Americans each year, but there are no recorded deaths from marijuana. Each of these plants and substances has distinct properties, promises, and dangers. All that is served by lumping a group of them together is a government program of spiritual and political oppression aimed at cutting off all dialogue."