Transhumanists Are Drug Law Reform Advocates
An enormous constituency for transhumanism are the billions of people whose lives are harmed by laws against cognitive liberty, i.e. laws against illicit drugs. Drug dependency is a huge public health problem and should treated as such. All the problems associated with drug use are made worse by the Drug War.
In this century drugs and other brain control technologies will only become more complex, and the technologies of surveillance and repression more powerful. A society that denies us the right to put cannabis in our brain, and forces us to pee on demand to prove we haven’t, is a society more likely to tell us we can’t use intelligence enhancers and mood modifiers and willing to use new technologies of repression to ensure we don’t.
For instance, drug vaccines that prevent the action of specific drugs are not simply being developed as voluntary tools for people trying to kick addictions, but as preventive measures that businesses can require their employees to take. A far better use of public monies, as Aldous Huxley proposed in Doors of Perception and transhumanist David Pearce proposes in “The Hedonistic Imperative,” would be to develop better drugs with fewer health risks.
Fighting the Drug War puts transhumanists in solidarity not only with the millions of political prisoners serving time for nonviolent drug use and possession, but also with the new cutting edge activists for cognitive liberty, such as Wrye Sententia and her Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, who is working to “establish, promote, and protect the right of each individual to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, to engage in multiple modes of thought, and to experience alternative states of consciousness.”
Recent scientific results additionally support an even stronger positive position on cannabis and some psychedelics as well. Cannabis and derivatives have been demonstrated to help maintain healthy weight and metabolic functioning, cure some cancers, and even moderate intractable epileptic seizures. Psychedelics are being tested as treatments for PTSD as well as both MDMA (ecstasy) and marijuana.
Jason Silva waxes philosophical on legalization in a recent Shot of Awe.
- Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
- Drug Policy Alliance
- “Stand Up to the Drug War Tank,” by James Hughes – 11/10/2003 – Betterhumans
- “Vaccinating against Vice: The technology and political interest are there, but inoculating kids against bad habits might do more harm than good,” by Shannon Klie – 9/30/2004 – Betterhumans
- “Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War” A report by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
- “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults“
- Table of Cannabis Medical Uses
- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
- Is Drug Addiction Part of Human Evolution?
- The Psychedelic Transhumanists
This short article originally appeared on the WTA site here. Update by Peter Rothman.