March 02, 2014
The Looming Marijuana ConundrumNow that there has been a steady increase in the clamor for recognition of marijuana as medicine for almost 20 years– accompanied by overwhelming “anecdotal” evidence that its medical benefits are far greater than imagined– one would think that such pressure would auger well for pot "legalization." But one would be wrong; and for the most human of reasons: no one– especially government officials– wants to cop to such a colossal blunder.
"Marijuana" was classified as a Schedule 1 substance in 1970 because it was found to be "dangerous, habit forming, and of no recognized use in American medical practice," a judgment that's been upheld over and over again in state and federal courts at every level.
To admit at this late date that the findings responsible for millions of felony arrests over an interval of 44 years have been erroneous would indeed be difficult, particularly since the real reason is that the authorities making and confirming them were medically incompetent, yet refused to allow pertinent evidence to be presented or heard.
Someone in the federal government has to either bite a huge bullet or invent one hell of a cover story so we can move on.
February 21, 2014
Medicine is Still Under Nixon's SpellAmong 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.
February 20, 2014
Gertrude Stein, US Drug Policy and American PresidentsGertrude 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.
February 18, 2014
Shocking Ignorance in High PlacesWhen 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.