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July 19, 2010

Mark Kleiman still doesn’t get it

A recent entry described how UCLA Public Policy Professor Mark Kleiman and I have been interacting negatively since 1996 over our differences on drug policy. Because I'd identified him as one of Academia's more important supporters of the drug war, I'd recently started sending him blog entries hoping to provoke a discussion. Instead, he responded with an angry demand that I stop, which I agreed to do; still not knowing if he'd ever bothered to read what I'd sent him.

I had an answer of sorts when his dismissive put-down of Proposition 19 appeared in the LAT. It also confirmed what I'd long suspected: Kleiman relies heavily on NIDA propaganda for both facts and assumptions about cannabis prohibition, a dangerous stance for a policy maven focused on a policy based almost entirely on Harry Anslinger's imagination and nearly bereft of unbiased clinical confirmation. It's a particularly vulnerable position for a policy wonk because, starting with Urban VII and Galileo, some of Science's most important revelations have started with observations that challenged long-accepted false assumptions.

It's especially ironic because a paper Kleiman had written with Rick Doblin may have provided the impetus required to get "medical marijuana" on California's ballot in 1996.

I've also been one of the "recommendationists” he sneers at, but If he'd taken the trouble to read the material I sent him, he'd have learned that data supplied by the applicants I've studied challenges NIDA and DEA dogma in very fundamental ways.

Beyond uncovering several unexpected and/or under-appreciated medical benefits experienced by cannabis users, the study also revealed that some of the most critical assumptions made on behalf of the drug war are seriously off the mark and go a long way towards explaining its perennial failure to “control” pot use.

As noted only yesterday, it doesn't matter that the data may not be believed immediately; only that the false assumption is challenged. In this case, time is also on the side of pot smokers because their large numbers, still unsuspected by the establishment, will start becoming more obvious as more Baby Boomers reach Medicare age, starting next year.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 19, 2010 08:09 AM