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February 06, 2014

Postscript to a Disappointing Week

The past week promised lots of excitement: a State of the Union Address on Tuesday followed by Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. Sadly, it ended on a flat note: our Toker-in-Chief had nothing new to say about marijuana legalization and Super Bowl XLVIII was one of the least competitive in history. Even the vaunted Super Bowl TV commercials seemed contrived and overproduced. I would guess that except for ecstatic Seattle fans, most of the TV audience had turned off their sets by the end of the third quarter.

However some shocking postscripts arrived on Monday; chief among them, news that Oscar winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead of an apparent opiate overdose in his Greenwich Village apartment– which, according to police, also contained over 20 used syringes and needles plus large supplies of heroin and other opioids, including the powerful morphine agonist fentanyl.

Hoffman, a uniquely talented actor, had copped to a heroin problem decades ago and had been considered to be safely in "recovery" for years. However from my admittedly unconventional perspective, he has just become another celebrity victim of Richard Nixon's evil war on drugs.

I'm able to say that because my interviews with thousands of admitted chronic cannabis users reveal that– contrary to conventional wisdom– self-medication with cannabis protects vulnerable patients against the use of more dangerous substances they may have tried, especially against tobacco and alcohol. While alcohol in moderation may actually be beneficial to health, tobacco in he form of cigarettes is clearly the most addictive and harmful "substance" available. Yet cigarettes have never been banned despite being responsible for nearly a half million premature deaths a year in the US alone.

My interviews with admitted chronic users also indicate that continued self-medication with cannabis is associated with reduced use of alcohol to safe levels and reduced use of cigarettes by people who have acquired a cigarette habit. The great majority of "inveterate" smokers reduce their consumption to safer levels while they continue trying to quit. Beyond that, those who have initiated "schedule one" agents rarely return to them while using cannabis, an observation that directly contradicts the (uninformed) assertions of the DEA and others about a (non-existent) Gateway effect.

I'll have a lot more more to say about the Agency of Fear in another entry.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 6, 2014 06:24 PM