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December 19, 2009

The Ubiquity of Denial

My experience with cannabis users convinces me that denial is not only a serious human cognitive flaw, but has become so pervasive and widespread that it can prevent our species from recognizing its serious problems until they are almost beyond solving. Thus we now find ourselves unable to deal effectively with a panoply of unprecedented disasters looming on the global horizon. It's precisely because a large fraction of living humans is either incapable of understanding them or acknowledging their existence. Lest anyone think the frailties of cannabis users are what led me to those conclusions, I hasten to point out that it was the overwhelming dishonesty of both America's drug war bureaucracy and the multiple national and global institutions it has intimidated so successfully. Individual pot smokers are refreshingly honest when treated with respect and the same degree understanding accorded to other patients.

Three current items in the news illustrate our national veracity problems as abetted by the essential contributory role of denial; two relate to medical marijuana, the controversial subject I've become most familiar with; however, there are innumerable others in the news on any given day.

With respect to pot prohibition: although Wisconsin will likely be joining the growing list of states allowing medical use of "marijuana," one looks in vain for any admission from the federal government that its rigidly enforced policy has been a counterproductive failure. Another example in the news is the most recent horror story about Mexican cartels. As for the attendant denial, one is equally hard pressed to find any hint from either the Mexican Government or the UN drug enforcement bureaucracy that their efforts are expensive failures. Ironically, as I was composing this entry last evening, I watched a DEA functionary named Strang try to convince a skeptical Michael Ware on CNN that Leyva's death was a "victory" for both the US and Mexico!

Finally, another report heard on NPR Friday morning while on my way to Oakland predicted the inevitable failure of the Copenhagen climate change summit, while an update on its immediate aftermath that same evening showed improbable video images of an exhausted American President trying to spin it as a partial victory before heading back to a Washington DC being buffeted by a huge snowstorm produced by an unseasonably warm Atlantic Ocean.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot: while driving back from Oakland Friday evening, I spent 5 minutes, or the duration of my tolerance, listening to a Right Wing jackass braying on AM radio (the Bay Area variety is as virulent as any other). He was bemoaning the "fraud" in Copenhagen and implying that it was just a Democratic Party conspiracy to give away American tax dollars.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at December 19, 2009 03:41 PM