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January 01, 2012

What Pot Smokers Have Taught Me

When I began screening cannabis applicants in late 2001, I didn't realize I was starting a research project that would last more than 9 years and still be in progress in 2012. Nor that such a simple clinical study could answer so many important questions about the policy we have been calling a drug “war” since Nixon pushed the CSA past Congress without anyone in government really understanding it, or how such a grotesque perennial failure could gradually become so untouchable as to become literally beyond criticism. The answers to those questions turn out to be more credible and coherent than either the federal policy minders or many of their political opponents in "Reform” can bring themselves to believe

In truth, the study I've been engaged in reveals far more than just the drug war’s failures; it exposes the critical human weaknesses: fear, greed, and dishonesty, that are most responsible for the many crises now threatening our species, but which our denial won’t allow us to address.

As it turned out, the simplest way to understand the drug war was by studying a large group of pot smokers and then comparing their behavior patterns with the laughably inaccurate explanations being offered by the DEA. That's because the drug war's federal guardians had never performed (or even allowed) an unbiased clinical study of the very complex drug they have been attempting so unsuccessfully to ban since the Nixon Presidency. They have thus been forced to rely on their own mistaken beliefs and have yet to learn the truth.

Meanwhile, the “reform” movement has had some problems of its own. It has been listening to doctors, who despite having tumbled to many DEA errors, are still taking others seriously, usually by misidentifying pot's most important psychotropic benefits as "recreational." Seemingly not a big mistake, but it still gives hard line DEA supporters reason to sneer, and to arrest. In the next entry, I’ll tackle what may be the most important finding of all: why cannabis became a smash hit with boomers in the Sixties and what that portends for the future.

Happy New Year,

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 1, 2012 07:46 PM