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February 29, 2008

Hear no Evil; See no Evil... (Logical, Historical)

My study of cannabis use was funded by fees from the applicants themselves, plus a relatively small private donation; most medical research is far more expensive and requires funding from either government, commercial interests such Big Pharma, private foundations, or academic institutions. Beyond that, human studies involving (arbitrarily designated) “drugs of abuse” are subject to further limitations as recently spelled out in a formal NIH publication.

The lists of old and new rules make interesting reading, if for no other reason than they so conclusively demonstrate the absurdly unscientific nature of American drug policy. For example, newly added Provision 2), forbidding use of federal funds to disseminate “False or Deliberately Misleading Scientific Information.” Shouldn’t that also apply to NIDA? Also, how does one differentiate “deliberate” error from an honest mistake?

As it was, the earlier strictures against lobbying (2), and (7), “Limitation on Use of Funds for Promotion of Legalization of Controlled Substances” were already as conclusive evidence as one could wish that our policy was unabashedly unscientific. Given the evolution of these rules over the past four decades, the degree to which they are now meekly accepted by both our “Scientific” Institutions and also (to some extent) “reform” organizations, is there any realistic prospect of a policy change in the near future?

I’m now of the opinion it will take a major shock to American public awareness before the drug war is subject to any serious review. That doesn’t mean it should be meekly accepted; only that we probably shouldn’t become too optimistic that “change” is just around the corner.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 29, 2008 06:14 PM