Drug wars perpetuate destabilizing authoritarian political policies. One such US drug war policy relies on the pharmaceutical industry doping children to forestall rebellious behavior proven absolutely essential for preserving self-government.
Authoritarians rely on their ignorance and the ignorance of others for their own economic and political survival. Where ignorance fails, failed propaganda and failed social policies are deployed. According to author and clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine, the disinformation schemes can prove disruptive, or even fatal, for individual citizens:
The United States is home to a drug culture in which both authoritarians and anti-authoritarians participate. Some authoritarians seek drugs that can turn large profits and that maintain the status quo by facilitating compliance. Some anti-authoritarians, especially early in life, prize a drug that makes them less compliant to authority and that blissfully connects them with the universe. Some people swear by Prozac or Zoloft, while others swear by marijuana or LSD. […]
…when we have experienced enormous pain from an illegitimate authority, we may be drawn toward any other authority that validates our pain, and it can become difficult to think critically about that validating authority, especially if we are stressed and vulnerable.
Malcolm X’s attraction to the Nation of Islam was similar to people whom I’ve known who have been assaulted by psychiatry and become attracted to the Church of Scientology, and then become embarrassed when they realize they’ve joined an authoritarian organization…. The greatness of Malcolm X lay not simply in his courage to challenge and resist illegitimate authority but in his courage to reassess his views.
As traumatizing as Malcolm X’s young life was, he was lucky in one sense. Nowadays, a teenager with a history of stealing would get a psychiatric diagnosis of “conduct disorder,” a severe “disruptive disorder,” and such kids are increasingly prescribed psychiatric drugs. After the breakup of his family, Malcolm lived in foster homes, and foster kids today in the United States are even more likely to be medicated on antipsychotic drugs than other children. And so it is quite likely that in today’s world, the young Malcolm would have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs, and the arc of his life would have been a very different one. […]
Bruce E. Levine, Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian—Strategies, Tools, and Models (Kindle Locations 3280-3283, 950-963). AK Press Kindle Edition (2018)
Malcolm X’s confrontations with authorities and the story of the Nation of Islam church members who assassinated him are as informative as any of the religious, juridical or political entities who shortened the life of Peter McWilliams, author of Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, the title taken from the classic song by Billie Holiday, herself a victim of 1930s Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger.
Prohibition-biased politicians serve as lightning rods for prohibition. The legislator’s role emerges as a distraction concocted by a corporate media and aimed at gullible people. Separated from the therapeutic state, prohibitionists have no defense. They can’t rely on science and its vast amount of research that delegitimizes current drug war engagements. By definition, they won’t rely on cannabinoids or psychedelics for self-medication.
Given its pharmaceutical advertising revenue, the major news media is less likely to show up for the rescue. Meanwhile, Big Pharma exhibits no insistence for placing warning labels on its products alerting teenage consumers of threats to their freedom and that of the nation posed by legions of anti-democracy pills. Drug consumers shouldn’t lose hope and feel the need to relinquish their freedom, or die, to help a company’s stock go up, as some have done with opioids.
Provided with the correct information, and maybe some cannabis or magic mushrooms, patients and parents alike will be armed with options that set them and their teenage rebels free.