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February 21, 2014

Medicine is Still Under Nixon's Spell

Among the many things I've learned by studying cannabis through the medical histories of people who have been (illegally) self-medicating with it is that Medicine itself has remained blind to a lot of helpful information that would have directed research in more useful directions had they learned what I've been told. Yesterday's (somewhat garbled) entry referred to a hitherto unrecognized source of emotional stress (absence of the biological father from a child's life) which seems still unknown to the psychiatrists treating affected children with Ritalin and other "uppers" for ADD.

Sorry for the poor editing; it's been corrected.

Today, as an experiment, I took a CME course offered through the British Journal Lancet on the latest diagnostic criteria and treatment recommendations for multiple sclerosis, a disease of uncertain etiology (cause) which seems to be increasing- especially in young women. It's also one of several such conditions that have been classified as autoimmune, in other words, associated with an immune system that has trouble differentiating self from non-self and thus attacking normal tissue with an inappropriate inflammatory response. Rheumatoid Arthritis (which also responds favorably to cannabis) is another.

These conditions seem to have been increasing in both the number being recognized as autoimmune, and the number of their victims. MS has long been recognized "anectdotally" as a condition that responds to cannabis. Of course Nixon's doctrine- as officially interpreted by the experts at the DEA, says that no "drug of abuse" on Schedule One can possibly be medicine.

To cut to the chase, my worst suspicions were confirmed when a panel of 4 alleged expert neurologists, three from the US, and one from Canada, spoke for over an hour without mentioning either autoimmunity or cannabis. I wasn't particularly surprised at the omission of cannabis, but their failure to at least mention the autoimmune connection has me worrying about just how deeply Big Brother is snooping and how desperately he is censoring medical information that might challenge official dogma.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2014

Gertrude Stein, US Drug Policy and American Presidents

Gertrude Stein once famously quipped about Oakland: “there's no there there.” Exactly the same might be said of America's drug policy. When one examines the three criteria for listing a "substances" on "Schedule One" (DEA double talk for illegal) of the Controlled Substances Act, all three are utterly devoid of either science or ordinary common sense.

The first criterion: "dangerous" is not defined at all. Ditto the second: "habit-forming," probably meant as a synonym for "addictive." Finally, the third– and most frequently cited by modern drug police trying to hang on to their meal ticket: “of no recognized use in American Medical Practice.”

Says who? What gives Nixon's DEA, a police agency he created with his fountain pen, the right– or expertise– to define proper medical practice?

Ironically, for anyone who has read history, the question of defining "standard" or "usual" medical practice was what preoccupied the Supreme Court when they considered the Harrison act between 1915 and 1920. Thus we have come full circle in an inane discussion that's lasted 100 years. The most logical– but least likely– resolution is that lawyers and politicians should give up the practice of Medicine.

The judicial intrusion into Medicine plays a major role in Obama's woes, the disappointment of pot reformers (and the detriment of the nation's health care). He's a lawyer who clearly smoked pot therapeutically while in High School (and probably as an undergraduate at Columbia) yet never realized it. He definitely suffered from the paternal deprivation syndrome I encountered in a high percentage of applicant seeking to use cannabis legally in California.

As Obama revealed in “Dreams From my Father," he learned of the death of the biological father who had not been him his since he was two through a phone call from an aunt in Kenya he'd also never met.

Some degree of paternal absence had been so prominent among the thousands of applicants I interviewed in California that i took special pains to characterize it. It's now quite clear that it's been associated with in a forms of both adolescent and adult PTSD, yet has been unrecognized for years and is probably increasing in incidence because of the pace of modern life. Two common syndromes with which it's associated, both of which are mitigated by marijuana are ADD and Bipolar disorder. .

Of particular interest to me has been the knowledge that President Nixon qualified by having a father Frank, who was described as brutal and cruel. That several other presidents and aspiring presidents had fathers who could easily have qualifies for my list was disclosed in a search for this entry. That Nixon's hodgepodge of authoritatively asserted nonsense has bamboozled the world into signing on to a false doctrine is bad enough, but its 40 year durability with UN support at a cost of millions of destroyed lives is a disgrace– not merely for the United States, but also for the UN a and the majority of member nations that enforce the policy.

Hopefully, the increasing push for "marijuana" to be reclassified, together with increasing knowledge of absent daddy disorder and other conditions relieved by America's most popular illegal drug will lead to more questions from a press that has itself been culpable for its own role in the trivialization of what is actually a serious health issue.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2014

Shocking Ignorance in High Places

When the youthful Barack Obama surged into national prominence as Senator-elect from Illinois in 2004 I, like many others, quickly saw him as "presidential timber." His election in 2008 seemed to validate my hopes, although his first term failed my expectations by a wide margin. I remained in his corner in 2012 for the simple reason that I saw the GOP candidate's repeated endorsement of his Mormon faith as a crippling handicap in terms of my dominant issue: the many global harms being inflicted on our species by the American "War on Drugs."

That was because my advocacy of cannabis legalization had also sensitized me to the fact that the US– despite its many unique accomplishments– has also been guilty of several protracted injustices (slavery, segregation, and racism). Some readers may now be thinking: "wait a minute, didn't we save the world from Hitler in World War two?" Yes; but that was self-preservation, not altruism. Others could now be thinking, "this nut wants to legalize marijuana! I'm outta here!" before clicking off to another screen.

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, we are a species sparated by a common genome. Another way to think about our conundrum is that despite the ultimate Darwinian revelation that anatomically modern humans are a single species with DNA allowing us to reproduce almost at will, individual humans, including some raised in the same culture– or even the same family– can respond to differences in belief, even in opinion– by killing themselves or each other. While we don't know how Neanderthals, our most recent hominid predecessors, responded to emotional stress, we know that in modern times, whole religious communities strenuously deny that evolution took place at all or prefer some variant, including different religious views on that issue.

Now I realize that my expectations for Obama had been set much too high. Just because he'd smoked weed avidly as a member of the choom gang, didn't mean he understood its benefits in terms of his paternal deprivation any more than Steve Jobs did when he was an avid pot user.

In some respects, Obama is simply another lawyer, his Harvard degree and the Presidency of their Law Review notwithstanding. He recently revealed himself, in an interview by CNN's TV Jake Tapper, as woefully ignorant of the drug war's legal basis and its history; not to mention American Presidential history. Also that he had probably not even read the Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, I'm glad he's in the White House because now that his shortcomings on drug policy are finally being exposed, there's time to embarrass him into doing the right thing for the sake of his historical legacy.

I'll explain what I mean by "paternal deprivation" and how I was tipped off to it in the next entry. I'll also return to the Tapper interview to explain what President #44 doesn't know about #37 and just how he's been conned by the most successful scam in history.

Unfortunately, he's had a lot of company.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at 04:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2014

America's Cigarette Problem as a Segue into Potential Legalization (of Cannabis)

No sooner did I observe in the last entry that,"cigarettes have never been banned despite being responsible for nearly a half million premature deaths a year," than a national Pharmacy chain announced plans to stop selling all tobacco products next October. I must say the decision caught me by surprise, but I also know that because CVS appears more profit driven than most, they wouldn't be making it if sales hadn't been declining. That the overall rate of chronic cigarette smoking in the US has declined to around 20% (as noted in the CNN video) is also good news to this former smoker.

To return to the uncredited benefits of chronic cannabis use, I have long maintained that it is beneficial self-medication for those who need it. For example, when people who drink too much start using cannabis, they tend to moderate their alcohol intake to safe levels. Likewise, those who smoke cigarettes every day begin reducing the number and many ultimately succeed in quitting completely, although many others remain stuck on a minimal number for years– and thus vulnerable to increase under stress. My own experience was similar: although I knew cigarettes were unhealthy and felt guilty because I couldn't quit, I smoked from the age of 13 (in 1945) until I was 43, when I quit for 2 full years; only to relapse while going through a divorce. I was unable to quit for good until 1993, following the death of my younger brother from lung cancer.

Of course, one can't become a repetitive user of any drug without first trying it, a phenomenon that's been labeled initiation (click "look inside") by the two medical specialties that were created by Nixon's CSA: Addiction Medicine and Pain Medicine, both of which are apparently now officially accredited Specialties.

A problem I have with the conventional notion of "initiation" is that it doesn't require that initiates experience the "high" associated with the drug in question. In the case of cannabis, the inhaled high is very complex and not experienced by all would–be initiates even after multiple attempts. Beyond that, the edible high is also very different for anatomic and physiologic reasons– a critical difference that seems to have escaped nearly all researchers.

The bottom line is examiners can only learn about those critical differences by asking about them, which causes me to wonder how many drug researchers have ever experienced the two (very different) marijuana "highs" they write about so knowingly.

In my own case, I realized– belatedly– that although I'd tried "weed" a few times between 1968 and 1971, my first high wasn't until '71 and it was the normally aversive "paranoid" reaction, (about which, more later). Likewise, my third or fourth "edible" high was a memorably incapacitating experience from which I also learned some valuable lessons. It- and those lessons- will also be described in a later entry.

All of which provides a providential seque into an exciting new development, one I found hiding in plain sight in a recent item on marijuana "legalization" in– of all places– The New York Times.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

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 06:24 PM | Comments (0)