« Meteorology, Denial, and the Drug War | Main | Extreme Weather and Extreme Denial »

June 03, 2013

The Slow Evolution of a Social Catastrophe

Once I understood that America’s Drug war is based almost entirely on the "expertise" claimed by Nixon and Mitchell in their 1970 Controlled Substances Act, my most pressing questions soon became: how could such foolish, untested criteria have been accepted so quickly both here and at the UN? Why is our marijuana policy still being vigorously asserted and rigorously enforced after 40+ years of grotesque failure? Finally, how can such "legal" nonsense be reversed?

Unfortunately, the only way the consequences of a prohibition policy can be studied scientifically is in retrospect and then only after a legal market has been in operation for a while. That's because truly unbiased studies of illegal markets are almost impossible because of the prejudice inflicted by years of having been officially "against federal law." Sound familiar?

Although studies of the gray markets produced by state "medical marijuana" laws are better than nothing (they at least have the potential to gather accurate information) but- as I've discovered- they are also plagued by the "illegality" stigma and dependent on the viewpoint of the physician gathering applicant information. In other words, the physician must be intellectually honest and convinced that cannabis offers real therapeutic benefits.

Until Proposition 215 was passed by California in 1996, all American studies of forbidden drugs had been severely handicapped because the Harrison Act of 1914 gave untrained policemen the power to not only define "addiction," but also to hold physicians criminally liable for any prescription law enforcement considered excessive. Once approved by the Supreme Court, Harrison, validated a dangerous principle: that the law enforcement establishment should have the power to enforce its (ignorant) medical judgements through the criminal code.

That "principle" has cost society dearly. The most obvious example to me as a physician, is denial of the great therapeutic benefits cannabis offers to people with serious symptoms, two realities that have been obscured by forty years of uninformed police propaganda in support of the Nixon-Mitchell drug war.

Needless to say, I have a low opinion of those police agencies now squandering scarce tax dollars in a futile attempt to turn back the clock on "marijuana" prohibition.

Don't the Modesto cops get it?

I guess not.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 3, 2013 06:26 PM