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July 23, 2006

A Note of Alarm

Sometimes I'm forced by current events to tear myself away from considering the medical uses of pot, which, I admit,  has become somewhat of an obsession over the past four-and-a-half years. The current deterioration of conditions in the Middle East is one such occasion.

A few entries ago,  I compared the American war on drugs with the phenomenon of Nazism which, after gaining total political control of Germany in 1933, had transformed that nation into the strongest military power in Europe by September 1, 1939; only to lead it into a helpless state of unconditional surrender and near-total devastation by April 1945.

In the headlong dash toward their own destruction, the Nazis combined several barbaric practices which, although not exactly new, added a new dimension to both slavery and political murder while inspiring two new names for such practices: holocaust and genocide.

Historians were quick to apply genocide to an earlier Twentieth Century Turkish repression of Armenians;  now anyone so inclined can find multiple credible examples of attempted genocide in our post World War Two 'modern' world despite a strong UN resolution firmly condemning it.

In fact, Wikipedia's discussion of what constitutes genocide is could easily apply to the treatment of people identified as 'drug abusers' in America. While it's obvious that drug warriors would object, anyone with a capacity for ordinary logic and a modicum of historical knowledge should be able to see that American drug policy is less concerned with 'Public Health' and than it is about justifying a 'need' to  identify and punish consumers of certain arbitrarily designated 'drugs of abuse.'

In parallel, the modern world's posturing over how best to resolve political differences in the Middle East is not encouraging; we are clearly still hung up over the same old issues: assigning blame and then using military power to punish 'terrorists' without any recognition that imposing the 'rule of law' on people trapped in an onerous status quo will always be seen by them as terrorism and simply inspire more behavior of the type being punished. Is the 'legal' killing of innocent children with high tech weaponry (collateral damage) any less reprehensible than when carried out by a suicide bomber or a Hezbollah rocket?

Certainly the evidence is that all such killings are not only reprehensible; but at odds with the goals of any sustainable policy.

The closer one gets to the official 'thinking' of the various governments now thrust into the Mid-East crisis, the less practical recognition there seems to be that all current responses will be futile. The only thing more disconcerting is our stubborn human tendency to ignore the dangers of 'business as usual' while hoping for the best.

Two related questions remain: how much resilience does the modern world still possess; will it be sufficient to permit 'recovery' from yet another mismanaged crisis?  By now, one would think the fundamentally emotional nature of the resentments which precipitated them should be apparent to all...telling people they 'shouldn't' feel the way they do is like telling them they don't count. It has never worked as policy; there's certainly no reason to expect that to change in an era when the same TV images are being seen around the world in real time.

Oh, yes. The pot connection. That's easy; it's stress and 'depression.' Most chronic use of cannabis has clearly been generated by the same symptoms that have made Prozac and other antidepressants runaway best sellers since the Eighties. The dirty little secret is that pot probably has a (much) bigger market share.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 23, 2006 12:25 AM