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January 13, 2008

A Peculiar Disinterest (Personal, Speculative)

One way Proposition 215 might have been thought of right after it passed in 1996 was as an opportunity for the Initiative process to function. Initiatives had originally been intended as ways for the electorate to either scrap or amend policies that had become controversial; in other words, an enhancement of the democratic process. 215 had been passed because cannabis prohibition, always contentious, had become more so as evidence of pot's medical benefits continued to mount in the Nineties. One seldom considered point is that although it had been used chronically by untold millions of Americans in the thirty years after the 1970 Controlled Substances Act passed, and millions more had tried it for the first time in the ten years since 215 passed, none of that use had ever been studied systematically. Even after the existence of a compliant user population with multiple shared characteristics had been pointed out  in 2004, little interest in them had been manifest.

Apparently they were not seen as either fitting the preconceived notions of reform or fulfilling the vaguely dire predictions of the DEA.

What had been assumed instead, by nearly everyone expressing an opinion, was that any young person with a pot recommendation who looked healthy to a deputy sheriff from across the street must be a cheating "recreational" user who was somehow hurting the generally older and sicker “legitimate” users.

In other words, although both the feds and the advocates of medical use now seem in agreement about who the irresponsible recreational users are, neither side wants to talk much about them. Perhaps the feds finally realize that the ernormous demand uncovered by having a functioning gray market for a few years means that teen pot initiation is here to stay and their policy is ultimately doomed.   

 My data also suggests that pot’s sudden popularity among teens in the Sixties had been due to the rapidly accessible and relatively easily controlled anxiolytic properties cannabinoids exhibit when inhaled, a premise that would be quite easy to test in a sane world.

That cannabis might also play a role in the initiations and subsequent use of alcohol, tobacco and selected other drugs by its regular users had long been suspected; that fact alone makes the manifest disinterest of reform in confirmatory evidence to that effect something requiring an explanation. Finally, the tacit acceptance by the  global scientific community, of  four decades of shabby “science” backing America’s drug war should not be ignored either. I'm not seeking people to blame, only raising questions  about our own behavior as a species.

If ever there was an American sacred cow based entirely on unscientific nonsense, it’s been our war on drugs. Unfortunately, in the real world, such policies have not been either all that rare, or uniquely American; Third Reich, anyone? But how about chattel slavery here in the US; or ethnic cleansing in Bosnia?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 13, 2008 06:59 PM