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July 25, 2009

Knowledge vs Belief 2 (Personal)

The crescendo of media attention being lavished on medical marijuana confirms it was a good ploy for attacking America’s obscene drug war, even as the arguments of various “experts” now holding center stage can only hint at the eventual end-game. What definitely couldn’t have been predicted back in 1996 when California voters passed Proposition 215 to the consternation of the federal establishment and its law-enforcement toadies, was the improbable evolution of the initiative, or how its course would be impacted by the “election” of an unqualified candidate like G. W. Bush and that his eight inept years in power would force the election America’s first nominally black President.

I now expect that the various complex elements of the drug war, like similar chapters in human history, will be parsed, picked over, and misrepresented for decades, perhaps even centuries, unless some cataclysmic natural disaster suddenly erases a majority of our species or we wither away progressively from the accumulated injuries we are now inflicting on the planetary ecology.

To return to a more mundane level, one of this bog’s themes has long been that both sides in the medical marijuana argument have been relatively clueless. Since I’d been influenced by my own previous education and experience, I shared many of the same misconceptions of my era until chance led me to become an enthusiastic recruit in the drug policy reform movement in October 1995.

At the time I was unaware that a medical marijuana initiative was being prepared for the ‘96 ballot, let alone that it would pass and I would ultimately be recruited to screen applicants. From there, once I tumbled to the opportunity I'd been handed to conduct an opportunistic study of illegal drug use, it seemed entirely logical to do so. When I suspected the validity of its unexpected findings, I couldn’t wait to report them to presumed allies in the reform movement. What I would gradually discover in a series of unwelcome insights, was that the claimed default presumption of most human organizations: that individual humans are “naturally” honest, and sincerely, aspire to get along with their fellow beings, is seriously flawed. Further, that unless we find a way to correct that assumption, we are in for big problems.

In fact, we may have already progressed sufficiently along the path of self-destruction to render recovery from the combined effects of our current energy consumption, water pollution, and accelerated climate change doubtful, at best.

The next entry will return to the recent spate of media interest in medical marijuana and attempt to show how far behind the curve of current reality both its (probably successful) sponsors and (probably unsuccessful) adversaries are lagging, and, eventually, how that relates to the glum assessment offered above.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 25, 2009 08:25 PM