[Paleopsych] death penalty?

Werbos, Dr. Paul J. paul.werbos at verizon.net
Sat Aug 21 19:53:18 UTC 2004

At 08:46 AM 8/21/2004 -0700, Steve wrote:
>Perhaps if we legalized coca leaf?
>Steve Hovland

In the past, people have even legalized slavery.

I once had a friend who had some deep insights and sensitivity to
native cultures of south America, where he spent several years
in research. He felt that coca leaf in the right context
could be very safe and beneficial, if controlled by the most intelligent
people in very careful ways. He is dead now. The details of how he died were
relayed to me by a closer friend, who was also closer to Joe. But there
are times when reasonable mainstream beliefs are a good way to end up being 
either for individuals or societies.

The fact is that there are naive cultures (as described by Mary Wilcox's 
work, for example)
from which some positive things can be extracted. But there are certain lines
we need to be realistic about. In considering US culture and rules... the 
experience of well-meaning
disempowered parents living in the ghetto... seeing their children's 
potential ripped away by
criminals they are helpless to fight, right in front of their front door... 
demands attention here and now
more than the experience of the anthropologist in the rain forest. At least 
so far as cocaine is concerned.

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