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October 29, 2012

Annals of Denial

What follows is an admittedly gloomy analysis of the drug war's largely unrecognized adverse effects on our species and the bleak prospects for their early mitigation. The most appropriate current analogy may be the slow motion progress of Hurricane Sandy as it bears down on the US East Coast. Record breaking storm surges are expected and TV’s Weather Channel experts are predicting unprecedented flooding in an area that's home to nearly a third of the US population. Nevertheless, recently written articles denouncing global climate change as a “hoax” are still easy to find.

With respect to the drug war, we have been victims of a hundred year policy error, the magnitude of which has been exacerbated by the fact that its principal architects were largely unknown to each other, lived during three different political eras, and were connected primarily by their desire to protect the early federal hegemony over "drugs" that had been arrogated by the policy's earliest proponents, men who could not possibly have predicted how their largely invalid assumptions about "addiction" would have eventually matured in today’s overpopulated, competitive, and dangerous modern world.

The next entry is planned as a simple narrative describing that evolution and suggesting the magnitude of the modern world's self-imposed drug problem. I certainly wouldn't expect it to find immediate favor; in fact, quite the opposite. That the drug war is a necessity is still one of the modern world's most cherished myths (but one starting to show signs of age). I'm also e-mailing the text to people I have good reason to believe will not reject it out of hand; but might even read and discuss it (revolutions have to start somewhere).

As time permits, I hope to offer specific evidence on key points that reinforce the idea that the drug war began as an understandable mistake that has evolved into a tragedy. Predictably, one of the first obstacles it will face is denial a human characteristic by used increasingly to avoid the need to even think about bad news, especially that with dire existential implications: financial melt downs, threats of nuclear war, and weather disasters like Sandy, for example.

As for me, I'm going to watch Sandy's development on on the Weather Channel and be grateful that I ended up in the Bay Area by opting to intern at San Francisco General Hospital after medical school graduation in 1957. Had it not been for that decision (and a slew of other unpredictable events) I wouldn't have had the chance to study pot use in California, learn why the drug war is such a disaster, and have an opportunity to tell the world news it would prefer not to hear about the real "Hoax of the Century."

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at October 29, 2012 06:58 PM