« The Great Gun Debate and other Random Thoughts | Main | The Drug War: Rhetoric Trumps Science »

January 23, 2013

Post Inauguration Blues

Over the past weekend, I listened carefully to the parsing and analysis of President Obama's inauguration rhetoric without hearing any clear mention of my favorite subject: his take on America's drug war. My own ten year study of Californians seeking to use cannabis as Medicine convinced me long ago that President Nixon's "war" on drugs has been a classic government folly of the type lucidly analyzed by historian Barbara Tuchman in 1984. Indeed, given its shabby provenance and unbroken record of failure, the drug war's survival as UN policy is a disheartening comment on our entire species. That it compounds the costly error of domestic alcohol "Prohibition" is bad enough, but its exacerbation of the racist residuals of America's tragic embrace of chattel slavery is even worse.

Until his second inauguration, I was hopeful that President Obama's own biracial background, his having been raised by a single mother, and his adolescent cannabis use might combine to encourage him to use the expanded powers enjoyed by a second-term President to begin rolling back our drug war; but so far, there's been no evidence of an epiphany.

Quite the contrary, as Norman Solomon's bitter quip implies, and our summary executions of suspected civilian "terrorists" from the air suggests. Perhaps further questions will be raised; even leading some to question an American drug policy that has encouraged thousands of poor Mexicans to slaughter each other for the privilege of smuggling drugs over our border.

What history tells us is that we are a mistake-prone species inclined to adhere to false beliefs long after they should have been discarded for a variety of reasons.

Although varied, those reasons most often boil down to the ones exposed in Tuchman's historical examples and should be easily recognizable within contrived "logic" aired every evening on TV news broadcasts.

We Americans now seem to have decided what "truths" we will permit ourselves to discuss. Homosexuality and gay marriage are now OK, but legal pot is still out in the the waiting room.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 23, 2013 06:02 PM