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May 22, 2013

A Distressing Revelation

I have long known who Mark Kleiman is: Professor of Public Policy at UCLA and highly opinionated drug war "expert." We became mutually aware in 1995 after publication of a letter I wrote criticizing an Op-Ed he'd co-authored with Psychiatrist Sally Satel. Much more recently I've been annoying him by sending him copies of this blog, which I'm now quite sure he doesn't read or can't understand; perhaps both. The distress referred to above was mine at learning that Washington, one of two states that approved "legalization" of cannabis last November had hired him to head a committee to recommend how to implement their new policy.

What I also know from occasionally monitoring his "group" blog, is that although Kleiman has varied somewhat in his antipathy to cannabis, he has remained opposed and has never questioned the legitimacy of the Controlled Substances Act.

While I'm painfully aware that a majority of American institutions pay lip service to that view, I would have hoped that an acclaimed Academic expert on drug policy would have done a bit more digging. On the other hand, Professor Kleiman and his closest academic colleagues have long been shills for a grotesquely failing policy.

Just how Washington state officials arrived at their choice isn't clear from the limited research I've had time for. That the modern cannabis market began evolving with with the maturation of the post war Baby Boom isn't completely obscure; however, Kleiman, an early boomer himself (born in '51) seems strangely unaware of that key demographic relationship. A major implication of my study is that anyone born when he was would have had many opportunities to try weed between the eighth grade and graduate school, but Kleiman, a la Bill Clinton, waffled. Either he didn't try it, or he failed to get high.

Now that I know a bit more about his background, following the Professor's public career as Washington State's pot czar promises to be both interesting and instructive.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at May 22, 2013 05:35 PM