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February 11, 2007

More Drug Policy 'Science'

As I’ve emphasized since starting this blog, my now-five year old study of pot smokers has been opportunistic from the beginning, thus it couldn’t have been designed in advance. Rather, it had to take direction from whatever
characteristics might be exhibited by whatever candidate population was motivated by the (unexpected) passage of California’s initiative in1996 to seek a ‘recommendation.’ It would also be a function of whatever information could be obtained from them under whatever circumstances might prevail when they were seen.

An important corollary turned out to be that those exhibited characteristics would also depend both on how pot smokers perceived themselves, and how their perceptions had been nfluenced by prevailing beliefs. Thus, whatever I could learn from them would be a mixture of truth, drug war propaganda, their take on that propaganda, and my own ability to discover, record, and analyze what they knew.

The most basic consideration of all may be that recent expensive federal anti-marijuana campaigns could not have been based on lies, because one can’t lie if one doesn’t know the truth, and the most obvious conclusion that can be drawn from my data is that critical elements of the truth have been successfully hidden from nearly everyone by the drug war since it was declared nearly forty years ago.

On the other hand, since its rhetoric is nearrly always intended to shore up yet another improbable belief rooted in speculation, recent federal campaigns in defense of the drug war have had to be increasingly improbable just to deal with the slowly accumulating mountain of evidence that cannabis is safe and effective medicine— especially for anxiety disorders.

A good example was just published; the fact that cannabinoid agonists do hold great promise in the treatment of several diseases (Parkinson’s in this case) raises questions that should properly have  been asked long ago in any rational society:
1) Why did it take so long to identify cannabinoids and an endocannabinoid system in the first place?

2) How can the ‘scientists’ studying cannabinoid agonists in rodent models  spout such doctrinaire nonsense  in defense of a policy that’s kept  research confined to blind alleys for years?

3) In a setting in which millions of Americans have been self-medicating with cannabinoids for nearly four decades, why should that experience be rejected on the grounds that their self-medication was once foolishly made illegal or is now seen as insufficiently 'precise' on spurious a priori graounds?

4) Just how stupid can one society be?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 11, 2007 06:40 PM