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Straight Dope (part 1 of 4)

By Hempology | March 12, 2007

The Research on Marijuana Safety

(Part 1 of 4) by Gary Stimeling
Copyright 2005 Psychotropics Cornucopia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. I must, of course, admit that if such an opinion became common it would completely transform our social life and our political system….— Bertrand Russell, “On the Value of Scepticism,? Sceptical Essays I (1928) Of all the thousands of medicinal and psychoactive drugs known to earthlings, cannabis is by far the most extensively studied. Science has answered most of the questions put to it about marijuana. Indeed, science has answered these questions over and over again, generation after generation, always coming to more or less the same conclusions: The drug is very enjoyable, often beneficial, medically useful, and remarkably harmless even when overused, posing little or no threat to public health and safety. The accumulated body of research is vast and constantly growing, yet little of this knowledge has made it into the mainstream media or the thinking of lawmakers, and it has had no effect on American federal policy since prohibition began in 1937. In fact, the government has consistently made its programs and pogroms more at odds with science rather than less. In their propaganda campaigns, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and its allies continue to fight the facts of research with untruths disproved long ago in the scientific literature—avowedly and with the consent of Congress.([1]) This cognitive dissonance may seem surprising until one examines Dope War politics [see the Activism page]. As George Carlin has observed, “The reason the mainstream is referred to as a stream is because of its shallowness.?

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