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July 07, 2006

Another Federal Riposte

Another Federal Riposte The Hinchey-Rohrabacher  Amendment, little known to those who aren't drug policy 'reform' insiders, has become an annually recurring  example of their blindness. It began as a well meaning bipartisan plea from two California Congressmen with personal reasons for endorsing the 'traditional' notion of 'medical marijuana' as a reason to grant very ill or dying patients the privilege of  smoking pot. That this year's (predictable) defeat in the House was so quickly followed by a crisp federal riposte has served to confirm at least two of my suspicions. The first is that aside from their opponents in government, the reform movement is relatively unknown to the great mass of Americans.

The second suspicion is that the feds working assiduously to protect current drug policy DO pay a lot of attention to reformers and have carefully crafted their anti-marijuana campaign in California to take full advantage of their ignorance. California's law, by far the nation's liberal pot law, has allowed the largest numbers of ordinary pot smokers to think of themselves as potential 'patients.' What I learned shortly after starting to examine them in 2001, was that virtually all those who would usually be dismissed as 'recreational' users are actually self-medicating, with benefit, for very common emotional symptoms which most people,especally young males, are usually loathe to admit.

That concept had been a tough sell, especially to the generationally blind, pot-smoking reform community which clings stubbornly to the original 'seriously ill' model their opponents are now using so skillfully to hoist them on their own petards.

Yesterday's escalation of a state-wide federal and local police campaign was a case in point;  San Diego is the biggest city with a strident anti-pot tradition and the carefully timed busts plus the accompanying publicity involved all the elements of the recent 'moratrium' campaign and added a new one: a renewed attempt to threaten physicians who write recommendations with punishment by the Medical Board of California.

Whether it will succeed in provoking the Board to resume its harassment of physicians remains to be seen...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 7, 2006 04:13 PM