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March 29, 2010

A Line in the Sand

On March 4, three weeks to the day before an announcement that California’s marijuana legalization initiative had qualified for the November ballot, Gil Kerlikowske, former Seattle Police chief and the Obama administrations low-profile drug czar, spoke to the California Police Chiefs in San Jose where he spelled out firm federal opposition to any further liberalization of medical use and to any effort at legalization. It was traditional reefer madness; not as over the top as John Walters’ flagrant nonsense, but bad enough in its own right to reflect negatively on the Obama Administration’s reputation for honesty.

Within the following week, several angry reform responses took issue with both Kerlikowske’s facts and logic, which were simply an updated rehash of familiar slanted arguments cherry picked from recent NIDA sponsored literature. Unfortunately, they also omitted any mention of my data showing that properly taken applicant histories reveal that the vast majority were born after the Baby Boom started and that today’s huge “recreational” market didn’t begin until the mid-Sixties, a critical finding steadfastly ignored by both reform and ONDCP .

Thus the indications are that the pre-November “debate” will be an unenlightening rehash of 1996 arguments; however, given California’s robust pot market and the sagging economy, it’s quite likely the initiative will pass anyway. If so, it will present its opponents in both state and federal government with a new set of problems (and perhaps threaten dispensary profits).

In any event, it will be interesting.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at March 29, 2010 03:07 PM