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November 08, 2007

Is the Drug War Ending?

I've long believed  the drug war couldn’t end so long as organized Medicine provided it with even tacit support. That belief will soon be put to the test because the support of Psychiatry, the branch of Medicine arguably most crucial to the drug war,  has just been ended by the American Psychiatric Association's announcement that it will now support the concept of medical marijuana and is opposd to the federal prosecution of marijuana users in states with medical marijuana laws. That could be very big news for the Californians who have been convicted of marijuana violations in federal court, have accepted plea bargains, or are awaiting trial on federal dharges. While this new stance by the APA should ultimatly lead to significant changes in the nation's drug policy, those now implementating that policy will retain considerable power to affect the pace at which those changes occur; as will our federal courts.

For example, my friend Dustin Costa, whose plight I've often referred to, and who was convicted a year ago following an egregiously unfair change in jurisdiction from state to federal, is scheduled to have his appeal heard by the Ninth Circuit on December 3 in San Francisco. Not only is the APA's announcement a stunning reversal, it was completely unexpected; in many respects, far more than the fall of the Berlin Wall which signaled the end of the Cold war.

One other thing: the Harm Reduction Journal will publish my paper on the use of cannabis by over 4000 Californians seeking a recommendation to use cannabis medically.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at November 8, 2007 10:09 AM