Give Me Cognitive Liberty

‘Even in my current, sober state of consciousness, their
arguments make a lot of sense,’ writes
These Times
‘ Salim Muwakkil
of cognitive liberty advocates
— those who want to loosen the law’s reins on expanding
consciousness through, among other things, psychoactive drugs.

One of the movement’s hubs is the
Center for Cognitive
Liberty & Ethics
, founded by Richard Glen Boire, who
explained in the group’s journal that ‘The so-called war on drugs
is not a war on pills, powder, plants and potions, it is a war on
mental states — a war on consciousness itself — how much, what
sort we are permitted to experience, and who gets to control it.’
The ranks of folks who believe that the war on drugs is an effort
to control consciousness include a few bohemian types and ‘graying
hippies’ who may not be sober all the time. But a few straight-edge
libertarians would agree with their basic argument: An individual
should have the right to choose access to a variety of mental
states, some of which can be achieved through the use of
mind-altering drugs.

For thousands of years, humans have used ‘entheogenic’ (divine
generating) substances to contribute to religious experience and
bring them into communication with the divine. The war on drugs,
according to some cognitive libertarians, is an extension of the
colonial taboos against substances used by native peoples as a
spiritual medium. Those fighting for cognitive liberty want to
reclaim the right to commune with visionary plants and potions,
something humans have been doing for millennia.
Rose Miller

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Me Cognitive Liberty

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