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January 21, 2007

More of the Same; plus an appeal...

'The more things change, the more they stay the same,' could apply equally well to America's current wars  against 'drugs' and 'terror.' While the common denominators generating both are the pervasive human emotions of fear and greed, I've reluctantly come to the opinion that  although it's also failing, has been going on ten times as long, and causes avoidable human misery on similar a scale, the war on drugs will  be not be questioned politically until long after the one on terror has been abandoned.

In fact, it's already starting to happen.

I've been off-line for several days, but a quick review of pertinent news items discloses that the feds, even while taking unaccustomed lumps over Iraq and Afghanistan, have continued their campaign against medical pot in California.

The first of many examples: only a 'White House' confident of the drug war's popularity would honor those prosecuting medical pot dispensaries in California as 'heroes.' Also notice the story's Washington by-line.

Another example highlighted the most recent ploy for circumventing border seizures by  growing pot within the US; although Mexican cartels have financed large grows in California's National Forests for several years, use of Central Valley tract houses for indoor grows is a more recent tactic favored by ethnic Asians, many operating from Canada. As to the profits from either operation, one has to infer that so long as a tactic is used, it must be working; at least for the money men.

Which brings me to the issue of a different kind of 'surge,' one assiduously ignored by virtually every drug policy 'expert' who might have raised it as a logical question for the last thirty years or so: how does one explain the amazing commercial success of illegal 'marijuana' from the mid-Sixties onward?  That success was already underway by 1965 and well established by March,1972 when Nixon chose to  pursue his drug war instead of the timid recommendations of Ray Shafer's Committee.

That Nixon's judgement was expedient and has turned out to be 'politically correct' is a no-brainer. It's equally clear that the question about pot's popularity has been asked in the past. The best example I'm aware is  Andrew Morral's study, published in November 2002, which also provided  theoretical  'proof' of some other explanation beyond the long discredited 'gateway' concept.

Ironically; Morral's study was published at about the same time I was beginning to analyze previously unavailable market data gathered as clinical histories from some of the customers responsible for that commercial success at a time when, as adult pot smokers, they were seeking to have their own chronic use recognized as 'medical.'

If anyone can provide some logical reasons why their data should not have been gathered, or- once gathered- should be ignored, I'll be happy to read them. In the same spirit, if you think the results of such a study should be of interest to those implementing  American drug policy, please let me know that also.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 21, 2007 08:59 PM