Illegal drugs are illegal, so we are told, because they harm the brain. Drugs such as cannabis are apparently toxic enough to cause brain damage in those who use them, rendering them mentally defective and often permanently so. One notable thing harms the brain more than cannabis though – lies.
The brain is an extremely plastic organ, and it has a number of defences against injury and poisoning, notably the blood-brain barrier which prevents poisons reaching the brain from the main blood supply (contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis doesn’t cause psychoactive molecules to enter the brain directly through the lungs). It’s a terrible idea to mistreat your brain, but the fact is that the brain can deal with a lot.
The human mind is also extremely plastic, but, also like the brain, there are circumstances in which it is not. Under these circumstances, suffering can cause part of the mind to solidify so that it fixates on a certain belief or impression. This is very common in the case of trauma, because there is a clear biological imperative to learn quickly to avoid it.
A great example of this is how a religious upbringing often leads to people who hate religion with a passion. It is traumatic to be subjected to the heavily guilt and shame-based psychological manipulation that is a cornerstone of many religions (particularly the Abrahamic ones). Many women and homosexuals grow up hating themselves because of religious abuse, and if/when they realise as adults that this abuse was unnecessary, they come to hate the culture that abused them.
When people are told that, for example, male infant gential mutilation is a good thing, or that Johnny from down the street is going to hell forever because his family are the wrong denomination, they learn to hate and fear. When these people grow up and become adults, and realise that they now need Viagra because of lost penile sensitivity from the mutilation in infancy, the natural response is to hate the religious and anyone who claims to speak for the spiritual.
Perhaps the most disgusting, harmful and shameless set of lies are those stemming from the War on Drugs that the Government is conducting against us. These lies have been destructive in two major ways. Not only have they obscured the truth about the medicinal value of the cannabis plant, but they have also eroded public trust in institutions that society relies on to function.
For instance, many people who distrust and despise Police officers do so because they had a Police officer come to their school and lie to them about the alleged negative effects of cannabis use. It’s distressing to have an authority figure and representative of the state come and lie to you in order to justify their War on Drugs, and doubly so when you have family members who benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis, as many people do.
Many people have similar feelings towards, psychiatrists, who have also been willing tools in the Government’s war against drug-using members of its own population (i.e. us). It’s an awful feeling to be told, by a supposed mental health authority, that cannabis only causes psychosis and brain damage, while also being aware of the reality that medicinal cannabis is helpful for a range of psychiatric conditions – a reality that is becoming ever more apparent as research progresses.
It’s hard to overstate the amount of psychological damage that such actions cause. Many of the students who see a Police officer lying to them about cannabis – like the patients who hear a doctor lying about cannabis – come to lose trust in all authority figures. This makes it harder for the Police to find witnesses to crimes, because any witness who also happens to be a cannabis user will not want to volunteer their contact details, and it makes it harder for psychiatrists to convince patients to take medicines that do benefit them, because the patients suspect that the doctor is lying.
Much of the antagonism that Police officers face on a daily basis is a consequence of the lies that their authority upholds by virtue of upholding the drug laws. In the Netherlands, where these lies are not told (at least, not about cannabis), relations between the Police and their communities are much warmer. Dutch people don’t have to worry about the insult of getting arrested from using or cultivating a medicinal plant, and so they have little reason to see Police officers as enemies.
Another extremely damaging set of lies relates to the “Wir schaffen es!” mentality of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats with regard to the hundreds of thousands of allegedly Syrian refugees that have poured into Germany in recent years. We were told they would integrate, work, learn the language, pay taxes, abide local laws, but these promises turned out to be lies also.
They should have told us the truth about all of these things. Lies generalise, so that when a person suffers trauma from believing one they learn to distrust not only the person who told the lie, but also any other people who belong to groups that the liar also belonged to. And so, one doctor lying about cannabis one day leads to a parent refusing that doctor’s advice to vaccinate their children on another day.
The real danger for the West is that authority figures have told so many lies now, and for so long, that no Westerner has cause to trust any authority at all any more. If the masses decide that religious, political, academic, scientific and business authorities are all just liars, they will be primed for the coming of a demagogue and the catastrophes that demagogues bring with them.
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