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December 23, 2008

An Untold American Success Story; Part 3

Part 1 called attention to the virtual absence of a pot market between 1937 and 1967. The significance of that important negative has long been overlooked; at first, it was lost inf the blizzard of propaganda about pot's alleged evils after the Nixon Administration declared “war” on drugs. Then, following Watergate, anti-pot propaganda was toned down a bit under Ford and even more under Carter; but soon recurred and grew in intensity when PDFA, provoked “just say no” from the Reagan Administration. A vigorous drug war has been pursued by every subsequent administration; sadly, including Clinton’s.

Thus do both both sequence and things not mentioned loom as important in drug policy arguments. Similarly; although “marihuana’s” illegality did become an issue during World War Two, as illustrated by Harry Anslinger’s response to the report of the La Guardia Committee in 1944, the important negative is that during that War, there was never any mention of pot use by GIs. There was really no organized opposition to any aspect of drug policy until a young lawyer named Keith Stroup founded NORML 1972 in response to the growing number of pot arrests that had only started with Nixon's drug war

Perhaps because the connection between pot and the Counterculture became so well known, I had also missed the importance of the 30 year pot market gap until basic demographic data had been entered into a relational database. What suddenly came into focus was another key negative: prior to the Sixties, there could have been very little pot use by young people, which raises important questions never previously addressed. Why had pot suddenly become so popular with Baby Boomers at that particular time and why has the huge market that began with their interest continued to grow so irresistibly? Finally; why has the marijuana market developed so differently from all other illegal drug markets and continued to prosper despite the Draconian arrest and prosecution policies of both federal and local police agencies at every level?

Actually, all those questions can be readily answered once one understands that pot’s enormous appeal to youth has been a function of its very predictable anxiolytic properties.

The only residual question then becomes the historical one I intend to deal with next: just how was pot introduced to Baby Boomers in the Sixties?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at December 23, 2008 04:24 PM