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June 29, 2009

Annals of Validation

News sources are suddenly overflowing with items endorsing what I’ve been hearing from pot smokers for well over seven years. Just as I was just about to cite the Michael Jackson tragedy in an entry about the key role played by biological fathers in their children’s mental health, I came across Debra Saunders’ column in yesterday’s SF Chronicle on last week's “drug-related” Supreme Court decision. Deciding the Jackson story will linger considerably longer in the public consciousness, I opted for the equally instructive, but somewhat more convoluted, story from Oregon.

It involves a ninth grader who, in 2001, had been clinically diagnosed with ADHD, but was not “tested” for it and later developed “depression” and “cannabis use disorder” which led his parents to send him to a private school. In 2003, they sued for “equal education” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and after several affirmations and reversals along the way, were finally heard by the Supremes, who ordered, 6-3, that they be reimbursed for the cost of tuition at their son’s (outrageously) expensive boarding school.

True to the “anti-drug” bias of American media, most accounts fail to mention, as Saunders does in her first paragraph, that the unnamed juvenile was self-medicating his ADHD with pot. The “Supreme” irony for me is that our highest court sided with physicians over cops by unwittingly endorsing, albeit indirectly, the treatment of an emotional disorder with cannabis.

That’s a practice I know to be safe and effective, but the DEA regards as a felony and NORML considers “recreational.”

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 29, 2009 04:25 PM