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February 26, 2012

Anxiety, Dishonesty, and "Criminal" Drug Use

Our species’ biggest problems are our intrinsic anxiety and dishonesty, which often combine in political and other leaders as a quest for monopoly, the need to dominate whatever commercial, academic, or political venture they are engaged in. Although not fully expressed in everyone, that same need to control has often been prominent in charismatic leaders, who, through control of governments or important organizations, have exerted great impact by recruiting dedicated followers (Hitler and Gandhi are familiar examples, but there are many others).

Following the evolution of an effective Scientific Method roughly five centuries ago, the ability of governments to feed their populations, fabricate weapons and sponsor the invention of complex devices generated wealth and greatly enhanced the pace of “progress.” Unfortunately, those increased abilities were usually not accompanied by a matching increase in wisdom and restraint.

The human need to “control” has also increased human wealth, food supply, and population, especially during the Twentieth Century. Despite the record numbers killed by war, famine, epidemics, and natural disasters, the Earth’s human population increased four-fold during that hundred years and was, if anything, more politically unstable in 2000 than it had been in 1900; Ironically, not by wars between the “isms” that had struggled for dominance between 1919 and 1989, but resurrection of the religious differences that produced the Crusades in the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Centuries. The intensity of the residual hatred became apparent in 2001, when Muslim terrorists emulated Palestinian suicide bombers and Japanese “Bushido” warriors by combining hijacked Airliners with suicide in a devastating simultaneous attack on America and its economy.

Unfortunately, America’s own unsuccessful 14 year experiment with “Prohibition” of alcohol between 1920 and 1933 had inspired the rapid development of organized crime, which has since invaded other markets and institutions to a considerable degree. By 2000 we could boast the world’s most populous jail and prison populations, largely based on the federal bureaucracy’s conviction that arresting and incarcerating large numbers of “drug criminals” is good Public Health, to be preferred to actually understanding drug use as human behavior.

My own interest, and the source of much of my information, has grown directly from the unexpected opportunity provided by Proposition 215 to study the unique population of US drug users who began appearing in the mid-Sixties and has been growing steadily in number ever since. In fact, it is that growth and the failure of (federally compliant) “research” to understand the reasons behind it that seem to be the most important revelations of the study.

In essence, gaining an accurate understanding the complex relationships between human dishonesty, the noxious effect of childhood insecurity and the genesis of a "war on drugs" may be our biggest challenge as a species. Whether we are up to the job should start becoming apparent by November 2012.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 26, 2012 08:34 PM