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February 10, 2008

The Schizophrenia of Cannabinoid Research

A major problem confronting anyone seeking to “reform” American drug policy is that both its basis and core views have been so thoroughly mistaken for so long and its authoritarian enforcement has allowed much of its true history to be either entirely forgotten or blatantly misrepresented. A good example is the degree to which I encounter amazing ignorance among younger pot smokers: almost to a person, they are surprised to learn that high school students in the Forties and Fifties would have found pot nearly impossible to obtain; had it even occured to them to look for it.

Another facet of that ignorance is the situation that now exists with respect to marijuana research: the NIDA approved studies by Behavioral Scientists involving any “drug of abuse”  are seriously hampered by their obligatory design limitations, the drug’s illegaliity, and the fact that all use is a crime. For those reasons, most such studies have been school surveys based on MTF surveys and inevitably assume that all juvenile use has pejorative consequences.

Animal studies of cannabinoid agonists, on the other hand, are now of great interest to pharmaceutical companies seeking a moral molecule that will retain the therapeutic benefits of “crude” cannabinoids without their “undesirable” cognitive effects. Do they not realize that it was precisely those cognitive effects that’s made pot so popular with many who tried it in their teens and have continued to use it in therapeutic patterns for decades? Or do they know that and just pretend not to?

Who knows who to believe?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 10, 2008 04:53 PM