The war on drugs is a brutal, cruel and economically devastating military operation supported by a nearly eighty-year propaganda campaign that would make Mad Men weep [Lights Camera Cannabis!]. In the mix; a diabolical scheme to hold back mainstream research on a green suite of psychoactive plants [Schedule 1] and a stunningly successful campaign to keep cannabis and hemp out of business [The Cannabis Trades].
In America our epidemic overuse of alcohol and pills is a direct result of our limited choices.
To be sure, societies have been celebrating safely (and not) with alcohol and other drugs since the dawn of civilization. Hathor, for example, was (is) the Egyptian goddess of love and many other things, including joy, music, dance, beauty, culture and drunkenness. While using alcohol to excess clearly isn't new, legal, social and religious restrictions on choices didn't begin in earnest until the rise of the Romans a mere two thousand years ago.
In ancient times people understood plant medicines and inebriates as gifts of nature. They also knew at a cultural level what plants to avoid. In the Americas they used psychoactive mushrooms, peyote and ayahuasca, particularly for religious and shamanic purposes. Scandinavians seem to have favored the curiously Santa-colored amanita muscaria mushrooms, which just as curiously can make shrooming reindeer dance, prance and leap.
Cannabis sativa was an early choice for medicine in China and in India, and arrived (along with hemp) in Egypt by way of ancient trade routes [Seshat's Secret] The ancient Egyptians, who knew how to party, also adored their fabled Nile blue lotus and the mandrake--both of which figure prominently in their erotic art and love poetry [see Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt by Ruth Schumann-Antelme and Stephane Rossini].
In the 'modern' world the prescribed choice for addiction is typically sobriety, except of course for the pills taken for depression and related ailments. My mom, a delightful giving woman brimming with creative talent, struggled for decades to maintain her sanity in a tragic, heart-breaking last-century existence defined by restrictive drug choices. In the late 70s my attempt to switch her to cannabis failed because a well-born eastern Yankee such as herself could not--dared not-- step that far out of line [Baking with Mom].
In cannabis country we don't buy into that crap anymore. As adults in America we are free to make our own choices and explore our own remedies. As parents in America we have the right to make mature and rational decisions in the best interests of our children. And naturally we are free to make our own cannabis medicine, share those remedies with others, and tell the truth to our kids [Shona's Secret].
End this terrible war, Mr. President. If you don't your successor will surely have to.