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July 12, 2009

Sounds of Silence

Several important implications can be drawn from our study of medical marijuana applicants. One is that prior to the Sixties, American youth had shown remarkably little interest in inhaled cannabis, which is interesting because “reefer” had been banned as "marijuana" at the behest of Harry Anslinger in 1937, allegedly because it led to homicidal mania in at least some adolescents. Another implication is that inhaled marijuana hadn’t become well known to adolescents until after many hundreds of thousands had tried it within the span of few years in the mid-Sixties, but once that happened, its market began growing steadily to soon transform it into the most popular of all “drugs of abuse;” indeed, the only one ever to approach alcohol and tobacco in number of adolescent initiates year after year.

Another implication of the study is that once “reefer” had been discovered by leading-edge Baby Boomers, its steadily growing market had been sustained by millions more "kids" who continued to try it by getting “high” between the ages of 12 and and 18, as faithfully documented by annual MTF studies since 1975.

By way of ironic coincidence, the phenomenon of anxiolysis had been articulated and the first effective anxiolytics were being discovered, patented, and aggressively marketed by the Pharmaceutical Industry as Miltown,Thorazine and Valium.

The ultimate result was that Nixon’s drug war against marijuana users became easy to sell to the "silent majority" that elected him, thanks largely to a generation gap exacerbated by the Baby Boom, an unpopular war, and the behavioral indiscretions of idealistic pot-smoking “hippies.” Despite its multiple failures, the drug war still retains a measure of undeserved credibility, precisely because of pot’s continued popularity in junior Highs and High Schools.

The quasi-religious restraints of drug war doctrine seem to have prevented anyone in a position of responsibility from asking some very obvious questions: why did pot suddenly become so popular in the first place? Why has that popularity been so stubbornly maintained? Why is it the only "drug of abuse” to have developed its own legalization lobby?

That those questions haven’t been asked throughout the first four decades of a failing drug war is a matter of record; that they are still neither asked nor even discussed 18 months after publication of a widely read profile of pot users confirms that humans have a penchant for denial.

Another facet of drug initiation and use brought up by our study is the possible role of biological fathers in producing anxiety syndromes in their children, a prominent example of which is currently in the news. As I’ve noted earlier, those syndromes shouldn’t be confused with diseases because they lack characteristic anatomical and chemical features, but they are real, nevertheless. That so many are clearly expressions of “anxiety” and have responded well to self-medication with cannabis should not be ignored (but it is).

One is forced to wonder when, or even if, the world will finally wake up. Will it be before or after wishful thinking and “green” propaganda fail to prevent runaway climate change and widespread coastal inundation?

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 12, 2009 07:13 PM