Saturday, December 29, 2012

Andrew Sullivan on Cannabis.

Andrew Sullivan for whom I have great respect writes this week about cannabis and its use among high school students in the US. I have read the article and I am not sure I agree with it. First of all he cites a study cited in an article in USA Today in which the author of the article says “As states increasingly adopt laws allowing medical marijuana, fewer teens see occasional marijuana use as harmful, the largest national survey of youth drug use has found.” That is all well and good and I am not questioning the numbers set out in the article respecting the views of adolescent responders.
What causes me pause however is Andrew's take on the study. One of its basic assumptions both in Andrew's comment and in the USA Today article,without citation to authority other than the 'everyone knows' argument is that pot is harmful to the adolescent brain. I am not willing to accept that without reference to some science. I refuse to accept the argument that “everyone knows” this or that thing. That argument is fallacious ab initio for the simple reason that 'everyone' does not know this or that article of presumed fact. I understand that there have been very few studies of cannabis and its harmful effects on the human brain generally, if any there are. I also understand that the paucity of such studies results from the institutional corruption of the federal agency charged with regulation of cannabis and its use. The Drug Enforcement Administration doesn't want studies about cannabis. Studies inhibit the administration's mission which is the total prohibition of the cultivation, preparation, transportation, transfer, possession and use of a plant by anyone. In short DEA is the occupying army in our 75 year old failed War on Drugs.
Remember in a free society we need a good and substantial reason to criminalize an action, an activity or a thing, we do not need a reason to make such an action, activity or thing legal. In a free society the default setting is or should be 'lawful.'

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