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March 14, 2007

Query and Reply

Although I've made no secret of my frustration with the unenlightened attitude of reform, I have continued reading two of its e-mail lists (one national and the other focused on CA) to keep abreast of both drug policy news and reform responses to new developments.

Yesterday (March 13) the following query was addressed to the national list from an unfamiliar source:


Long (24-pages) comprehensive article on the drug war and drug policy
reform with solid suggestions.

Due to it's length I'm not reposting here, but I would love to hear
opinions by folks on this list.

My Response (after a bit of editing):

I've been familiar with Professor Kleiman's views on drug abuse since the mid-Nineties and have continued to read his blog occasionally to keep abreast of his thinking because I recognize him as one of a small coterie of academics that has become somewhat influential in the shaping of US policy.

That said, I disagree that his analysis is 'brilliant' for one compelling reason: it's far more judgmental than he realizes, and for the same reason that both prohibitionists and reformers  (ironically the two groups he has built his academic career on criticizing) also remain uninformed: there have been no unbiased studies of a large population of actual users.

Such studies should have been essential in evaluating the impact of any policy predicated on science; yet their prohibition has been, arguably, the ONLY success of an American drug policy claiming to be 'scientific.'

I've been engaged in a study of admitted chronic pot users for over five years and actually tried to interest Kleiman in it shortly after I had the intuition that it was possible. Following an immediate show of interest and a brief e-mail exchange, he suddenly broke off our correspondence without either warning or explanation. His current position as stated in the URL you supplied is essentially unchanged from what it was then.

What I've learned so far from my study, which now involves over 4000 individual pot users, is discussed in a blog which, while not as sophisticated as Keliman's, is firmly rooted in unique data he is unaware of. I'm now trying to get a peer reviewed paper published and hope it will have an impact similar to the paper he helped Doblin publish in 1991.  Also, if you take the trouble to search my blog for 'Kleiman,' you'll end up with a fairly detailed answer to your question.

Please note this is a personal reply; it was NOT sent to the list because I don't want it disseminated there. However, I do wish to thank you for bringing the item to my attention because I may use it in the blog as time permits.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at March 14, 2007 06:31 PM