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October 21, 2012

The Drug War's Watergate Connection & Why Marijuana Prohibition is a War Crime

The Presidential debate scheduled for Monday reminds me that Watergate was not the only disaster caused by Richard Nixon, not even the worst. Two others that were much worse were the bombings of Laos and Cambodia, which left behind thousands of bomblets that are still maiming children forty years later; also the evil, dishonest Controlled Substances Act which has no basis in science, but depends entirely on bogus assumptions for the "scheduling" of drugs that are laughably simplistic and entirely without foundation. That the same assumptions are still cited (by a police agency) as the reasons "Marijuana" must remain illegal is both a national and a species disgrace.

A review of the sequence of events that led to that culprit legislation is straightforward enough to grasp the flagrant nature of the dishonesty it was based on. The first event was the 1969 Supreme Court decision to nullify the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act in a case involving Timothy Leary, a development that was both unexpected and a significant problem for Richard Nixon, who was then being assailed by young people outside the White House protesting those illegal bombings of Laos and Cammbodia, as well as the Vietnam war in general. The Court's action required that the deceptive MTA be replaced forthwith; another problem for Nixon.

Attorney General John Mitchell's solution to Nixon's problem was a clever, but dishonest rhetorical exercise: the creation of a simplistic "scheduling" algorithm by which to rate drugs ("substances") on the basis of their "danger," "habit forming" potential, and "acceptance in American Medical practice" (as if any AG would be qualified to judge those nebulous criteria). Another problem with Mitchell's schema was his total lack of knowledge of Pharmacology. Although no self-respecting pharmacologist would have taken his schedules seriously, none were given that chance. nor were, there any data offered to support Mitchell's assumptions; nevertheless, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, incorporating all of them, and tragically; policemen around the world have used them to make millions of felony arrests and destroy countless lives for forty years.

Even worse, the CSA contains another provision that allows the US Attorney General to place new drugs on schedule one as he deems necessary. With each new addition, a lucrative, and potentially violent, illegal market has been created.

Since 2001, I have been using the access to chronic cannabis users provided by California's medical marijuana initiative to interview over 6800 applicants seeking to take advantage of's Proposition 215 to profile them and investigate their histories of use. Their data reveals a profile of chronic cannabis use which is overwhelmingly at odds with the uninformed and generally incoherent DEA propaganda used to counter the generally valid information published by reform organizations.

In that connection, "reform has consistently been snookered by its tendency to take ignorant DEA claims at face value and then base their own arguments on the benefits of cannabis as medicine without realizing that their opponents are so deeply committed to a bogus policy, they will simply not be moved by contradictory data.

Suffice it to say that a careful comparison of my data with federal claims reveals that the dug war is even more egregiously mistaken and cruel than could have been imagined

Beyond that, cannabis is uniquely complex and treats a wide variety of psychotropic and somatic ailments very safely and effectively. For example, it's excellent treatment for common "Autism Spectrum" syndromes ranging from dyslexia, and ADD to Bipolar disorder. It's also a well tolerated anticonvulsant. When ingested as an edible in proper dosage (which can be tricky to establish) it provides surprisingly effective pain relief from severe neuropathic and arthritic pain. An exciting recent insight requiring further investigation is that it may also relieve a wide variety of symptoms of autoimmune disorders.

A final thought: The CSA was cleverly supported when the DEA and NIDA were created by Nixon's Executive Order in 1973 and 1974 respectively. That also provided plenty of money, mostly to psychiatrists and psychologists, for writing policy-friendly papers with which to stuff peer reviewed literature. What all the early papers missed is that thousands, perhaps millions, of adolescent baby boomers who began trying "marijuana" in the Sixties were susceptible to the anxiolytic properties of inhaled weed. That was a phenomenon that turned the relatively small market that had existed in Anslnger's day into the monster that scared parents in the Sixties.

That seems like quite enough for one day; I'll have a lot more later.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at October 21, 2012 08:15 PM