Against punishment based on genetics
Power and Control has an excellent piece up today about genetic discrimination and the drug war.
Let us look at the mutation of another gene the FAAH 385. This gene helps produce an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). This enzyme is responsible for neutralizing cannabinoids that naturally occur in the body. These naturally occurring body chemicals are the same as the psychoactive component of marijuana. So the body can produce it's own marijuana and destroy it. All without the intervention of drug dealers and the police. Roger Pertwee, professor of neuropharmacology at Aberdeen University says that if you have a mutated copy of the gene you may need more cannibinoids than the body produces to feel normal. He says that this may be one of the reasons that cannabis use is so popular among ten to twenty percent of the population. He also says that genetics accounts for about one half of the nature of addiction.
An addition to the interesting insights, I like this because it sort of bridges a gap between those who say addiction is a concrete reality that people can't overcome without help, versus those who say addiction is just another myth used to justify the drug war. I think the approach above, to look at what we're really talking about when describing what is generically referred to as addiction, helps to challenge dangerous assumptions that go along with the standard addiction model.
Check out this at Power and Control too.
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