Asaf Shimoni
Asaf Shimoni

The DNA of censorship: war on drugs hinders research

In recent decades hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds have been misappropriated in a war on drugs based on ignorance and a shadow economy that evolves around hundreds of billions of dollars in profits.

This senseless war is today’s version of the Inquisition’s campaign against scientists such as Galileo who argued that the world was round.

Duterte visits Israel

This week Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting Israel. He has killed many thousands of drug users and has vowed to kill millions. What makes no sense is that he himself is reportedly addicted to the opiate fentanyl following a motorcycle accident more than four years ago. However it is doubtful whether he will be arrested or have himself killed.

The War on Drugs is based on ignorance and profits, not science and logic

The United States’ War on Drugs can be traced to a US missionary in the Philippines (Reverend Charles Henry Brent) who at the beginning of the 20th century began a campaign to rid the world of opiates. He represented the US at the 1909 International Opium Conference in Shanghai. As a result, treaties were signed at the International Opium Conference in The Hague in 1912 which were later incorporated in the 1919 Treaties of Versailles. The worldwide War on Drugs was initiated by people who had no knowledge of drugs or science and were considered prejudiced and ignorant.

By banning extremely cheap plants and their derivatives tremendous profits are made on substances such as cannabis. For instance, the War on Drugs has led to the arrest of tens of millions of cannabis users while generating hundreds of billions in profits. Although there has never been any evidence that cannabis is harmful – to the contrary – media and governments have stigmatized the use of cannabis for the past century.

Addiction is a medical condition, not a crime

Opiate addiction is a medical condition caused by genetics or traumas. The War on Drugs has criminalized addicts and caused the death of millions of people. In countries in which drugs have been decriminalized addicts have stopped dying and crime has decreased. However money talks and the hundreds of billions in profits from drugs have helped corrupt governments as well as judicial and financial institutions. Not to speak of the media.

Journalists as intellectual prostitutes

While many journalists are courageous, in general they are cogs in the system and intellectual prostitutes. For instance, it is not too difficult to figure out that if nature is destroyed there will be consequences. Nevertheless, only relatively recently have environmental issues begun to play a role in the media – and only out of necessity. The media gets a great deal of its money from the oil and automotive industry. Profits are more important than the truth.

Pharmaceutical industry

The same holds true of the pharmaceutical industry, where huge sums are invested in order to sell the public worthless medications, or medications which only work temporarily.

Scientific research

Governments and research institutes must start investigating the positive aspects of drugs instead of spending huge sums of money to fight a war which is not based on logic or science.

One step would be to begin researching how internal and external opiates have led to an acceleration in human evolution. I first proposed this theory in The Times of Israel.

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel in 2016 after spending 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He is currently in Amsterdam to sort our affairs. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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