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June 04, 2009

Going Back in Time

One of several themes I’ve been harping on with little visible effect is that the modern mass market for marijuana didn’t start developing until young adults and their adolescent brothers, sisters, and cousins began trying it in the Sixties. Once it caught on with youthful baby boomers, it became an overnight sensation, but only with them.

Characteristically, the pot market that began growing in the Sixties has remained a youth market; nearly all its new customers tried it while in High School or Junior High, and with at least half (perhaps more) of all new students admitting to trying pot since Monitoring the Future surveys began in 1975, it hasn’t taken long for the modern market to dominate all illegal drug markets.

The percentage of youthful initiates who continue to use pot on a regular basis can’t be measured directly, but the increasing appetite for "medical" marijuana here in California, despite the vigorous opposition of both federal and state narcs, can no longer be hidden by the inept reporting of the state's newspapers nor the dissembling of police agencies. The reasons are obvious: once a substantial number of retail “medical” outlets opened, growers were able to sell to the same buyers through either a black or a gray market. It combines the convenience of multi-level marketing with price support by the police (compare today's with those given in the Time article).

Now that Google is making our past more accessible, it’s literally possible to go back in Time (Magazine) and read a revealing account of how marijuana was perceived and used around the time of the Marijuana Tax Act. One of the more famous pot busts of that era was drummer Gene Krupa in San Francisco in 1943. An unexpected bonus from Time’s account was then-contemporary lore, amply confirming there was appreciation that pot was a healthier and more peaceful alternative to alcohol; also that law enforcement was just as unfair as it is now. The major difference between then and today is a big one however; our modern failure is much more costly and destructive.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 4, 2009 05:42 AM