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December 24, 2011

Steve Jobs and the Blight of Adoption

I had several compelling reasons for wanting to read Walter Isaacson’s lengthy biography of Steve Jobs ASAP when I first saw it prominently displayed at my local Barnes & Noble the other day; I didn’t hesitate to buy a copy and have been engrossed in it ever since.

Parenthetically, the book would not have been available this soon after Jobs' death had his subject not invited Isaacson to be his biographer in the Summer of 2004, a fact immediately related in the book’s Introduction. That Jobs had been adopted is something I'd known for quite some time; it had become important to me as a result of several other unexpected findings derived from my ongoing study of cannabis use. For example, biological fathers are far more important to the long term emotional health of their offspring than is commonly realized, a circumstance that can convert their physical or emotional absence from a child’s life into an important cause of lifelong emotional distress. One manifestation of that distress seems to a form of PTSD diagnosed variously as ADD, bipolar disorder, and other entities on the so-called "Autism Spectrum;" all of which may be associated with aggressive drug initiation at the first available opportunity. For most modern adolescents that's the interval between sixth and tenth grades (ages 12 to 16) depending on several other variables, the most important of which seem to be: when they were born, where they went to school, and what drugs were available in the school yard when they reached the age of initiation.

If that’s generally true, then it follows that the drugs most available in the schoolyard during Middle School (Junior High) will be the first ones tried. Indeed, that's exactly what my study reveals to have been the case since the Sixties. 100% of all applicants had tried cannabis (no surprise), all had tried alcohol, and only 4% had not tried cigarettes.

Beyond that, another important facet of the study is that if fathers are that important, adopted children could well be the most troubled of all. Indeed, that turns out to be true of my applicant population; and to an uncanny degree. Although they represent only 78 of the 6637 applicants in my data base (1.12%) they stand out like sore thumbs because of the intensity of their histories.

That was one of several phenomena I was unable to quantify until I could enter data in a relational data base around 2005. I have not blogged about adopted applicants all that much because their numbers are so small; but, as with several other findings in the study, I'm sure that if other "pot docs" had been examining their own applicant populations with the same issues in mind, we might have had have had more definitive data long before now.

In other words, I've been a lonely voice in a wilderness of cannabis uncertainty, which is one of the important reasons I believe a policy as dishonest and stupidly destructive as the drug war is still being taken seriously on a planet where the most clever hominids ever to have evolved may be poised on the brink of self-destruction

Sorry to sound so apocalyptic at a time when everyone is supposed to be infused with "Christmas Spirit," but hey, someone has to be realistic. More on Steve Jobs and adoption when I can tear myself away from X-mas.

By the way, although I think his biography of Jobs is first-rate, I think Isaacson may have missed the importance of his subject's adoption.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at December 24, 2011 05:23 PM