Thursday, November 17, 2005

Give Me Cognitive Liberty

Another great article from In These Times. Some thoughts from Give Me Cognitive Liberty:

Psychoactive drugs offer access to varied states of consciousness; restriction of this access is a fundamental form of repression. Consequently, the “war on drugs” is not just a campaign against the use of certain substances; it’s also an attack on “cognitive liberty,” or the right to control individual consciousness.


One of the most significant aspects of this war, [Richard Glen Boire] suggests, is the demonization of “entheogenic” (which means generating the divine within) substances thought to facilitate sacred experiences.

“Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have communed with visionary plants and potions for thousands of years,” he writes. “Peyote, for example, has been used for over 10,000 years. Mushrooms, of the Genus Psilocybe, were used to produce visionary states at least as early as 4,000 B.C.”


Not only have our antidrug policies not produced a drug-free society, they have endangered civil liberties, nourished a bullet-riddled underground economy and earned the United States the title of the world’s largest jailer. These policies have generated global cartels of drug dealers, inflamed racial animosities at home and diverted untold resources from productive social investments.

Even on its own terms, the drug war has been a flop; illicit drugs are more available and less expensive than before the war’s declaration.


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