« Correction ! | Main | Blowing Smoke »

February 01, 2007


Timing is important. Yesterday's entry was intended to set the stage for advancing a number of related and somewhat complex ideas  about how the huge modern illegal market got started only after large numbers of baby boomers discovered the benefits of  inhaling pot in the mid-Sixties.

Even after posting that entry, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed until I opened my e-mail and found an item posted to a drug policy discussion forum that solved the problem: it seems a Bay Area pharmaceutical company is developing a drug delivery system for inhaling pain medication that's intended to take advantage of the same type of rapid brain processing that made cannabis an overnight success with American youth in the Sixties. Thus they not only neutralized the drug war's latest rhetorical argument against medical use of cannabis ('who ever heard of a medicine that's smoked?'), they simplified my job as well.

Now all I have to do is cut, paste, and edit last evening's hasty e-mail response to the discussion group: the key to understanding why  pot became such an over night sensation with adolescents in the mid Sixties is that they were the first American teens exposed in large numbers to its inhaled form, thus allowing its powerful anxiolytic properties to be more rapidly experienced and precisely controlled.   Because smoked cannabis is processed by the brain in real time, an experienced user controls dose by simply ceasing to toke after reaching a desired level.

Orally ingesting pot as an 'edible' is how most medicinal use took place before the MTA,  it makes dose much trickier for a user to regulate and also makes cannabis a much less satisfactory anxiolytic, although it may work quite well as an antinocioceptive (pain reliever) either alone, or in combination with an opioid.

In Viet Nam, young draftees discovered pot was effective self-medication for the stresses of a tour in a combat zone and many who returned with the condition later identified as PTSD discovered that inhaled cannabis was effective treatment for that as well.

Once pot became well established in American High Schools (by 1975) there was no stopping it;  the adolescent market has continued to grow despite the displeasure of Congress, as manifested by targeting young users with enhanced penalties. The least well-known market demographic from my study is that over 30% of California applicants for a medical recommendation are now between 40 and 60. Some in their generation have been self medicating with it for thirty to forty years.

 Ironically, all of this came about because American youth finally discovered 'reefer' after a thirty year latent period (1937-1967). The youngest ten year cohort in my applicant population, those born between 1976 and 1985,  first tried (initiated) pot at 14.9 years: the same average age they also tried alcohol and tobacco.

Now that boomers are reaching retirement age, they may be more receptive to the truth about their own pot use, as opposed to the nonsense the feds have been slandering them with recently.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 1, 2007 04:35 PM