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January 29, 2009

Lessons Learned: Clinical Effects (Benefits) of Cannabis 1

One of many drug war anomalies that's been hiding in plain sight ever since 1975 when the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future studies began tracking adolescent drug initiation rates, is that certain general findings have not changed much: legal alcohol and tobacco are still the two agents most often tried by young people with cannabis ("marijuana") remaining a fairly close third behind tobacco and unique among "drugs of abuse:" not only is it the one most commonly tried by youth, but it has generated the largest adult market; one that continues to expand.

Neither noted or commented on is another fact that must be deduced from MTF data: because cannabis has consistently been tried (initiated) by nearly half of all American "kids" by the Twelfth Grade, an overwhelming majority of those who tried any one of the three most popular agents must have done so by age twenty.

In other words, by 1975, less than a decade after the Summer of Love, “marijuana” was already one of three entry-level drugs tried most frequently by youth. My data suggested that adult chronic use of pot had been quite rare until large numbers of Baby Boomers had a chance to try it in the late Sixties and that a substantial fraction of those who did so are still using it in medicinal patterns to relieve a wide variety of symptoms despite their government's insistence, on strictly a priori grounds, that such benefits simply can’t be taken seriously.

The duration and obstinacy of (ridiculous) federal claims about "marijuana" actually reveal the most glaring deficiency of NIDA/DEA "science:” its failure to ask the most obvious questions raised by their own data: why did an agent for which there had been little demand between 1937 and 1967 become so popular with the first adolescents with a chance to try it? Why has that popularity been so durable? How did such an obviously unscientific and punitive policy become so firmly entrenched globally in a mere four decades that one of the few things our deeply divided modern world can agree on is that any attempt to bring cannabis through any international port of entry justifies immediate arrest?

Finally; why is the same policy here in the United States still so stubbornly supported by both major political parties despite its widely acknowledged record of failure?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 29, 2009 12:44 AM