By O’S News Servce  October 27

A front-page article in today’s New York Times, headlined “Few Problems With Cannabis for California”  takes a common-sense, macro-level look at what 17 years of medical use hath wrought in the Golden State.  Among the documented benefits: marijuana use reduces alcohol use and drunk driving. 

Tod Mikuriya, MD, predicted this would happen and provided relevant documentation in his 2003 paper, “Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol.”  The Newspaper of Record did not give the Mikuriya any acknowledgment. Instead, he was ignored —implicitly dissed— by UCLA’s famous  “drug policy expert,” Mark Kleiman. To quote the NYT piece by Adam Nagourney and Rick Lyman:

Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an expert on marijuana policy who was the chief adviser to Washington on its marijuana law, said the connection between alcohol and marijuana use, if borne out, would be a powerful argument in favor of decriminalization.

“If it turns out that cannabis and alcohol are substitutes, then by my scoring system, legalizing cannabis is obviously a good idea,” Mr. Kleiman said. “Alcohol is so much more of a problem than cannabis ever has been.”

Still, he said, it will take time before long-term judgments can be made.

“Does it cause problems?” he said. “Certainly. Is it on balance a good or bad thing? Ask me 10 years from now.”

Tod’s paper reported on 92 patients who were using cannabis, entirely or to some extend, instead of alcohol (mainly to promote disinhibition in social situations). Tod corresponded with Kleiman, whom he considered somewhat pompous and opportunistic.  Kleiman once knew about —and should have borne in mind— Tod’s findings. Tod was the real expert when it came to marijuana. But to Kleiman and his ilk, findings not published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine can conveniently be overlooked, and researchers not university-connected can easily be marginalized. One of Tod’s reasons for willing O’Shaughnessy’s into existence in 2003 was to have an outlet where he could publish “Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol” and get it to patients and colleagues.  The paper is a magnum opus. Hard to imagine anything more understanding and empathetic being written on the subject. 

When Hollywood writers who held anti-establishment views couldn’t get their movies produced, everybody recognized it as “blacklisting.”  When pro-cannabis doctors can’t get their findings publicized, nobody calls it blacklisting. They call it “you really ought to do a double-blind placebo-controlled study.” 

PS Kleiman calls his blog “The Reality-Based Community.”  What he means is “The Status-quo Loving Community.” The man expects to be dispensing expertise at taxpayer expense 10 years from now. Nice work if you can get it. And you can get it, if you give The Man the blither he needs to sustain his system.