Posted by bob (not boB, but on his side anyway) on April 6, 2000, at 11:29:06
In reply to above not was not written by Dr. Fried, posted by Sorry on April 6, 2000, at 0:16:33
After reading Cam's post, I just wanted to chime in to say that bob (me) and boB aren't the same person, just in case people were wondering. I've been staying out of this thread to avoid confusion, but I guess I'm in it now.
Personally, I agree with what my fellow boB (and others) has (have) been putting forward here. I can't say that I'm for the legalization of *all* illicit drugs, but there are definitely a few (like marijuana) that have come up against interests like the Tobacco Lobby and lost the battle (even though, if you've ever seen the WWII documentary Hemp for Victory, marijuana certainly helped us win the war!).
More importantly, tho, is how the scientific community has not just been constrained by cultural biases, it has swallowed them whole and made them their own when it comes to these substances. The whole fervor over studying the medicinal uses of marijuana is perhaps the best example. The sort of pariah status that researchers in this area have had to fight against shows just how value-laden scientific work is, despite all claims to its objectivity.
I guess what concerns me most, given that we just left behind us what many have called the Decade of the Brain (in terms of medical research and advancement of understanding), is that our increased knowledge about brain function is not being applied to what these substances might be able to contribute. I keep hearing about how the "next generation" of meds like TCAs and SSRIs are going to be so much "cleaner" because we're beginning to understand which receptors in the brain are responsible for specific changes in behavior *and* gaining the pharmaceutical expertise in targetting meds to narrower ranges of receptors as well. If that truly is the case, then it stands to reason (well, if you're not worrying about getting re-elected, that is) that all substances with powerful psychoactive properties should be examined to see if they, too, can be cleaned up or at least be useful in creating cleaner meds along the same lines of action.
my two cents,
poster:bob (not boB, but on his side anyway)