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May 24, 2009

Still Connecting Dots: Science, Religion, and Drug Policy

Although Science has only been an instrument of human cognition for about five hundred years, the theory and information thus accumulated have had more impact on our species and its environment than occurred in the previous six thousand; roughly the interval since our ancestors began domesticating animals, practicing agriculture, and communicating in abstract symbols.

Nevertheless, the belief systems still dominating modern governments, whether acknowledged as theocracies or nominally sectarian, are predominantly religious in nature; thus in continuing conflict with Science, and with each other.

Despite nearly continuous background warfare throughout human “civilization,” recent scientific progress has been so quickly translated into ever-accelerating expansion of the human population, that we now depend more than ever on fresh water, petroleum, and commerce for essential commodities, a major reason why today’s economic crisis may represent an unprecedented threat to human survival.

In that context, the fact that the poignant description of Autism in today’s NYT makes no mention of cannabinoids should be disturbing, given the fact that all the Californians I’ve seen because they were seeking a recommendation to use cannabis had been illegally self-medicating with it and many had been diagnosed and/or treated for a “high functioning” “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

Since learning to approach pot applicants minus the prejudices still clearly so prevalent in most of society, I’ve been trying to understand the kind of thinking that would allow a federal judge to sentence Eddy Lepp to ten years in prison with a snide quip. Perhaps one day, she will explain the “justice” of her decision, or the physicians specializing in related conditions will also explain why so many of their patients with “high functioning” variants seek solace from drugs during adolescence. Perhaps other professional scientists will explain their passive forty year acceptance of a blatantly unscientific and unfair drug policy.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at May 24, 2009 09:15 PM