Oh, Puhleeze Dr. Cordain. Aren’t There Better Things To Do Than Advance Shiite Paleo?

As if there isn’t already enough Devil’s Spawn out there that you can’t touch lest you face judgment and damnation, add marijuana to the list, courtesy of the most notable Shiite Paleo Doctrinal Authority.


I participated on various athletic teams that required regular aerobic workouts, almost year round. Consequently, smoking anything (tobacco or dope) was completely out of the question for me. very summer from my early 20s until I was 42, I worked as the Head Lifeguard on a major beach at Lake Tahoe, so my former aerobic workout ethic continued with me throughout my later life.


In my blog and scientific writings, I can honestly say that I have never deliberately ventured into political or social commentary – and sorry – you won’t get that perspective here either.

Yea, and that’s why you’re writing an alarmist post about it on the heals of now 21 states having approved it for medical use, and two now, for recreational use as well.

So let’s just go ahead, keep the stuff illegal, keep the War on Drugs going that destroys thousands of family and has resulted in the “Land of the Free” having more people in prison in absolute terms than any other nation in earth history, and currently the highest per capita prison population.

You go, girl.

Fortunately, cat’s out of the bag and old ninnies like Cordain are going the way of the dinosaur.

Some reading:

How Barack Obama Becomes The Greatest President In US History Without Killing 750,000 Americans

  • As of 2013, 99,426 were serving time for drug offenses, about 10% associated with violence. Call it 90K non violent. Interestingly, for all 50 states, “only” 55k are in for possession, while 167K are associated with violence. Since state law typically deals with the adjudication of violent acts, this makes sense. On the other hand, how much of the violence is associated with the presence of laws that make no rational sense to people? “Where there are laws, there will be crime.” – Solzhenitsyn
  • As of 2013, 985,000 people were on probation for federal drug offenses.
  • As of 2013, 280,000 people were on parole for federal drug offenses.
  • As of 2013, approximately 500,000 people are in federal and state prison over drug offenses, violent and non-violent combined.

How Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison

Growing up in blue collar Circle Pines, Minnesota, in the 1950s, raised by parents from the “Greatest Generation,” I dreamed only of becoming a civil rights lawyer. My passion for justice was hard-wired into my DNA. Never could I have imagined that by the end of my 50s, after nineteen years as one of 678 federal district court judges in the nation, I would have sent 1,092 of my fellow citizens to federal prison for mandatory minimum sentences ranging from sixty months to life without the possibility of release. The majority of these women, men and young adults are nonviolent drug addicts. Methamphetamine is their drug of choice. Crack cocaine is a distant second. Drug kingpins? Oh yes, I’ve sentenced them, too. But I can count them on one hand. While I’m extremely proud of my father’s service in World War II, I am greatly conflicted about my role in the “war on drugs.” […]

Crack defendants are almost always poor African-Americans. Meth defendants are generally lower-income whites. More than 80 percent of the 4,546 meth defendants sentenced in federal courts in 2010 received a mandatory minimum sentence. These small-time addicts are apprehended not through high-tech wiretaps or sophisticated undercover stings but by common traffic stops for things like nonfunctioning taillights. Or they’re caught in a search of the logs at a local Walmart to see who is buying unusually large amounts of nonprescription cold medicine. They are the low-hanging fruit of the drug war. Other than their crippling meth addiction, they are very much like the folks I grew up with. Virtually all are charged with federal drug trafficking conspiracies—which sounds ominous but is based on something as simple as two people agreeing to purchase pseudoephedrine and cook it into meth. They don’t even have to succeed.

So just in case you’re wondering, no, this is not about me. Here’s my history of dope smoking.

  • Had my first experience in 1982 at OSU. Some frat house. Months later, my roommate got loads of Thai stick and local Oregon grown (wish I had the pic of all the sticks and buds laid out on the table). Spent spring term, junior year, stoned 24/7. Literally. Went to class stoned, studied stoned, and took tests stoned. We didn’t do coffee in the morning, unless it was being used as bong water. 3.8 GPS (1 ‘B’, all the rest ‘A’). Best GPA of my college experience.
  • Spent the summer working, no dope. Came back for fall term, senior year, smoked a few times and decided I didn’t much like being stoned. It became a very intermittent, recreational/social thing from then on.
  • Once I graduated and was commissioned a Navy officer, it was simply out of the question, as random piss tests were all the rage, zero tolerance, etc. Accordingly, I didn’t smoke a whiff from ’84-’89. Then I went on exchange to the French Navy.
  • Not being subject to piss tests, and having a French GF, I indulged often with hashish, which was pretty much all that was available in France, always purchased from north Africans.
  • Separated from the navy in ’92, came back home, dived into entrepreneurial endeavors, and never even thought about it.
  • At one point, after my business was established, I got a client that became a friend, he used it, so I had some months of pretty substantial use. He moved away, that ended.
  • Took up hang gliding in ’96 and the place I’ve flow for 15 years every August was presided over by my late friend Page (Part II: The Memorial) who grew his own. For many years, I got stoned a few evenings per year after the landing.
  • In 2006 I decided to set up a 50 gallon marine reef aquarium. Years earlier, I’d had a 180-gal salt water tank with large tropical marine fish. The bioload is way too high to have invertebrates, so you only have to keep track of ammonia and nitrites. A reef tank requires that those be cool, but also nitrates (don’t bother fish much), which require anaerobic bacteria to process into nitrogen gas that just bubbles out of the tank. Anyway, I found it very stimulating to get high and dive into all of the water chemistry, every night, for a while. Here’s the result, in video. Watch as little or long as you like.
  • Since then, it has become very intermittent for me. Perhaps once per month, always in social situations with particular friends, and most typically, when playing cards (Spades). Otherwise, I kinda hate it. Unless I smoke it frequently enough to build up some sort of acclamation, tolerance, or resistance, it makes me rather unmotivated to do anything. Since I don’t want to smoke it frequently for any number of reasons, I reserve it for happy times now & then. Make sense?

Most of all, I hate that when I do indulge, others are sitting in prison for what I’m doing, and that person’s family has been laid to ruin because of your senselessness fear and alarm…an alarm that Dr. Loren Cordain seems oh so willing to promote, because he did aerobic exercise and was a life guard.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Eric R on May 14, 2014 at 11:53

    To be fair, it doesn’t sound like he supports any particular legal status:

    “So, you be the judge, and let the data speak for itself. In the final analysis, you (the learned reader) must decide the ultimate route that you will take for your health and well being and that of your family.”

  2. LeonRover on May 14, 2014 at 13:20

    Cordain’s argument on weed is the same one he uses against potatoes and legumes:

    There is NO safe amount of XXY one may ingest as LARGE amounts have been damaging to some people.

    Take it with a tasty amount of salt – or 200 ml of Cab Sauv.


  3. Michael on May 14, 2014 at 14:00

    So, what is his point?

    All drugs have side effects, but I am much more concerned about my kids having access to alcohol and prescription drugs, both of which are potentially much more harmful.

  4. McSack on May 14, 2014 at 14:01

    The more I read Cordain, the more I can see why so many people that started out on Paleo have passionately rejected it later. He seems to evoke a very santized view of anthropology (our ancestors were physically perfect benevolent beings that never got high!!), and he has a knack for taking something that doesn’t fit into his quaint little view and magnifying any potential negative effect it may have.

    He spent 90% of that article regurgitating every nonsensical claim and statistic shoved down our throats by the holy crusading drug warriors only to claim he doesn’t evoke any political/social commentary, and then ends the article with “you be the judge”. Seriously, what a douche.

    • Bret on May 15, 2014 at 12:31

      This issue also gives me some perspective as to one potential reason Sally Fallon cast some decidedly anti-paleo rhetoric into cyberspace last year. When she appeared on the LLVLC show to discuss the matter, she mentioned several times disagreements with Cordain’s talking points, specifically the tenet of a “high-protein diet” and the encouragement of “lean meats.”

      Jimmy Moore resolutely defended paleo throughout the entire interview. Being that both paleo & WAPF advocate mostly principles agreeable to Jimmy, I found it odd he took a side in that dispute. That only left me to speculate that perhaps there were sponsor pressures in the background nudging him to help protect their sales which they feared for in the context of such a controversy.

      Which brings me back to Cordain on the topic of weed. What do people have to gain from saying ridiculous things that are based on patently flawed science, other than to preserve an economic livelihood that is dependent on the common acceptance of those beliefs? Whether that means wanting to appear politically correct to potential consumers, kissing regulators’ asses, or anything else or all of the above I don’t know. I am not saying making money is a bad thing, but on the flip side, I as a consumer have a choice in where to spend my money, and my money is not likely going to go in support of people who promulgate nonsense.

  5. Beans Mcgrady on May 14, 2014 at 14:18

    Jeebus. That guy is NO FUN WHATSOEVER.
    I thought life was for living.
    Not a big fan of the weed anymore either, but Christ, I try to eat well so I can do other fun harmful shit.
    This isn’t the Hindu Purity Olympics.
    Guess he should get off of the computer to avoid the harmful space rays too.

  6. Cate on May 14, 2014 at 14:19

    There is no doubt it is estrogenic, gives you the munchies and promotes man boobs.
    Men that smoke weed tend to stay home all day in their skivvies, so
    لا شكرا!

    • other on May 15, 2014 at 20:08

      It galls me that people judge corn, wheat, beef and fish by the environments they’re grown in, but judge weed as just weed.

      I have no doubt that brain changes, psychosis etc. that are LINKED to marijuana may, in fact be side effects of the banned pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and not-for-food growth stimulators large-scale growers use.

      And when those fungicides don’t work as well as they should, some of the toxic effects may be from mold and mycotoxins created by improper storage.

      Is correlation causation? I always forget.

  7. Jim on May 14, 2014 at 15:56


    Do a Google search on cannabis induced psychosis. This is a real thing and hurt someone near and dear to me.

    Pot is not a harmless drug. Makes me sick when it is portrayed as such.

    • Harriet on May 14, 2014 at 17:00

      Pot may not be harmless to some people. But some underarm deodorants and some perfumes give off fumes that make some people suicidal. Do we ban them? Milk used to make my daughter suicidal. Do we ban milk? Gluten makes my granddaughter deeply depressed – face to the wall, not talk to anyone depressed. Do we ban that?

      Actually the person who became suicidal to fumes was ridiculed. The others were made to feel somehow it was all their fault.

      And also google medical marijuana – it has its good points too. So don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    • Harriet on May 14, 2014 at 17:19

      I forgot – deep red dried beans sent me psychotic on one occasion. I didn’t eat them again when I recovered.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 14, 2014 at 17:58

      The dose makes the poison, Jim. Even so, I know many people who have smoked pot just about every day of their lives since the 60s, many of whom still regularly fly hang gliders in their 60s and even 70s.

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 19:03

      You all have not a clue what I am talking about.

      Fuck all you pot heads!

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 19:09

      I know many people that have smoked cigarettes for years and do not have lung cancer.

      Does this mean smoking is OK?

      You need to move out of California man.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 14, 2014 at 19:32



    • Peewee on May 14, 2014 at 21:04


    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 22:00

      Double yawn back….you shit for brains, pencil dicked, puss nutted, ass hole!

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 22:17

      In fact you should stay in California.

      You are right where you belong.

    • Bret on May 15, 2014 at 07:01

      Good grief, Jim. So because you know someone who had an uncommon allergic reaction to cannabis and/or consumed much more of it than is reasonable (like an alcoholic having five or six shots of liquor every night), that justifies locking people up in prison (for even a day, let alone the outrageously excessive sentences that are commonly issued), wasting $41 billion a year of tax payer money, militarizing the police who kick down doors and storm houses with itchy trigger fingers (good luck to anyone in the house that may run for their lives out of fear), giving law enforcement the opportunity to disregard the Bill of Rights and seize people’s property based on suspicion of ownership, and creating an extremely violent black market that absolutely thrives in spite of all the government’s best efforts?

      You need to get your head examined, dude.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 07:17

      Laf Jim

      I think you need to get stoned or drunk. Maybe both.

    • Michael on May 15, 2014 at 08:34


      You need to chill out and I know just the thing that will help you.

    • Michael on May 15, 2014 at 08:36

      Think I am being clever, then read down and find that someone has beat me to it.

    • Jim on May 15, 2014 at 11:49

      I got the drunk part well covered.

    • Jim on May 15, 2014 at 11:49

      Kiss my white ass Michael.

    • Jim on May 15, 2014 at 11:50


      I believe pot use should be a capital crime.

    • Bret on May 15, 2014 at 12:04

      Good call. We can’t go letting our cultural inferiors think they can make their own personal decisions.

      Let’s make refined carb consumption a capital crime as well.

    • gabkad on May 15, 2014 at 16:10

      Jim, are you sure the ‘someone’ who went psychotic wasn’t you?

      At least you keep your insults gender appropriate. But your reaction is way over the top.

  8. Peewee on May 14, 2014 at 18:09

    The dude it worried about the psychotropic effects of wheat,and health effects in general of many other plants that are completely legal and consumed at much higher volumes by more people than any drug.

    Though his responses on alcohol seem hypocritically less alarmist and more “Have that in moderation”

    When asked about alcohol he’s confident with a short “in moderation” when asked about marijuana he responds with a wall of text , a vow of purity from the devil weed and a complete absence of the accepted medical benefits.

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 19:07

      Roll another joint Peewee and please expand on your comments!

      I clearly don’t have the degree of enlightenment
      which you have attained and, thus I am not able to comprehend what the fuck you are saying!

    • Peewee on May 14, 2014 at 21:01

      Shut your fucking mouth or Keep your fucking fingers still.

      That’s unfortunate someone you care about is ill.

      Whilst the evidence is “good enough” to continue promoting the public health message that cannabis is harmful, and that it may increase risk of schizophrenia, it is important not to overstate the evidence: the majority of people who use cannabis will not develop schizophrenia, and it appears that a considerable number of heavy cannabis users would need to be prevented in order to prevent one case of schizophrenia. From a scientific perspective, however, the extent to which use of cannabis leads to an increased incidence of schizophrenia, independently of confounding characteristics and separate from effects of chronic intoxication, remains uncertain. Whether preventing cannabis use will have any substantial impact on preventing psychotic disorders in the population, or within specific subgroups at risk, is yet to be adequately determined.

      The important bit again :

      “the majority of people who use cannabis will not develop schizophrenia, and it appears that a considerable number of heavy cannabis users would need to be prevented in order to prevent one case of schizophrenia.”

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 22:14


      Common wisdom is that cannabis is harmless. You and Richard are so retro!

      How can it be harmless if a “minority” of users develop psychosis?

      Fire up another joint Peewee.

    • LeonRover on May 15, 2014 at 04:27


      “considerable number (needed to treat)” abbr. CNNT.

      For statins it is 500, for Blood Pressure Meds it s circa 1,500 ; so what is CNNT for heavy cannabis use and prevention of schizophrenia ?


    • Harriet on May 15, 2014 at 17:02

      If red kidney beans can trigger psychosis can we call them safe or harmless? But are we going to stop people consuming them because a minority have a psychotic episode? What proportion, what minority, in numbers have a psychotic episode? And what additional factors turn an episode into a “psychosis” which seems to suggest its ongoing after the initialising event?

  9. Stuart on May 14, 2014 at 19:26

    Cordain has resistant change problems.

    “This study suggests that even light to moderate recreational marijuana use can cause changes in brain anatomy,” said Carl Lupica, PhD, who studies drug addiction at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and was not involved with this study. “These observations are particularly interesting because previous studies have focused primarily on the brains of heavy marijuana smokers, and have largely ignored the brains of casual users.”
    one article had pix of the changes.

  10. Peewee on May 14, 2014 at 20:48

    Know what else changes the structure and function of the brain … meditation.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 14, 2014 at 20:54

      Ban it.

      We need everyone to think alike, so that it’s easier for everyone to vie for living at everyone else’s expense in the big cannibal pot hysteria that is America, now.

    • Cate on May 14, 2014 at 21:44

      The state loves it when the serfs eat cheap carbs and sedate themselves with drugs, whether it be reefer, khat, betel nut, or opium. Doing recreational drugs presents problems with owning and carrying weapons. I just don’t see how it brings anything to my table.

    • Jim on May 14, 2014 at 22:58


      Masturbation also changes the function and structure of the brain.

      You and Richard would be shit out of luck if that was outlawed.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 07:28

      That’s enough out of you, Jim.

      Go home, come back again someday when you can manage to play nice with others.

    • Jim on May 15, 2014 at 11:47

      Sure thing!


  11. Gina on May 15, 2014 at 00:56

    I’m for legalizing all drugs except antibiotics (because the misuse of them effects others). Everyone’s body and minds are their own. Mood-altering drugs act on our minds, so when government intervenes, they are effectively intervening on what we can do with our own minds.

    My meth-head cousin had a job, an apartment and a life free of crime – despite her habit – but she was busted for possession. She was jailed and lost her job and apartment. She still has her habit. If she wasn’t staying with me, she’d probably be victimizing people or doing doG knows what to herself. System worked great. Law-abiding citizen ripped from gainful employment and home and forced into a life of crime, degradation or parasitism.

    That said, I hate pot. It makes me paranoid and introverted and weird. Those of you who like it consider yourselves lucky. I’ll stick to booze. ;)

  12. Joseph Fetz on May 15, 2014 at 17:02

    “Most of all, I hate that when I do indulge, others are sitting in prison for what I’m doing, and that person’s family has been laid to ruin because of your senselessness fear and alarm…”

    It’s not your fault. ;)

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 17:06

      I know that, of course, and while I loath racism and entitlement as a business plan, I do sense that if my personal circumstances had been different and my skin a lot darker, that could be me.

      Or, put it this way. If there were truly equal justice in America, drug laws would have been dumped a long time ago.

  13. LaFrite on May 15, 2014 at 03:45

    During my 20’s I smoked pot every day, a few times / day. It made me a little sleepy, a little philosophical, and I had the best lafs. But at some point, it started to take too much time, money and diverted me from other very exciting activities that required a not-sleepy state of mind.

    So I stopped. My last joint was in Feb. 2009 but man did I love to go to Amsterdam!

    OK, did it harm me ? Maybe but I don’t know and after all these years, I think I recovered no matter what it potentially did. Today, I am not interested at all to acquire some pot but if the opportunity to share a joint comes about, I would probably share depending on the context.

  14. John on May 15, 2014 at 07:01


    Regarding the marine tank. I knew a guy that had a massive tank in his living room. He was super excited about it and told everyone who came over about it. I asked him “where are all the fish?” To which he replied “I only care about the anemones and stuff.” It seemed really strange until he explained all the details.

    This guy was in his 40’s and literally high all the time.

    He was telling me about how some of the creatures he had are considered nearly impossible to keep alive (I think he used some numerical scale of difficulty), and he was able to keep them thriving.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 08:28


      Everything changed when they figured a way to deal with the nitrates, which are deadly to most invertebrates above very low levels. Basically, poop degrades to ammonia. Bacteria eat ammonia giving off nitrites. More bacteria eat nitrites and give off nitrates. All these bacteria are aerobic and bloom naturally on every surface of the tank, especially the “live rock.” So, keeping ammonia levels and nitrites low is easy, but nitrates are tough.

      The fish can handle the nitrates, but not inverts. So, lots of people just did fish. Or, you could have a non-fish invert tank. There were all kinds of ways to try and deal with nitrates, including things like algae scrubbers, basically a bunch of algae in you sump underneath, in the cabinet, with lighting. And protein skimmers reduce the bioload at the very beginning by getting rid of proteins before they degrade.

      But guess what the solution was? Instead of the crushed coral at the bottom like most everyone used, or a thin layer of sand, you just go to 4-6 inches of sand and that gives the bacteria an oxygen free environment to bloom. Result is that you can now have a true reef, with the most tender flower inverts, plus a reasonable load of fish.

      It’s a very cool thing to get into. I’ll probably set up another tank one day.

  15. FrostyBeav on May 15, 2014 at 09:35

    “Had my first experience in 1982 at OSU. Some frat house. Months later, my roommate got loads of Thai stick and local Oregon grown (wish I had the pic of all the sticks and buds laid out on the table). ”

    Wait – you’re a Beaver?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 10:48

      Yep, FrostyBeav

      1984. Finley Hall, then an apartment on 14th st I think, right across from the PKEs.

      Back then, OSU won the PAC-10 in BB almost every year and our saying was, “you can’t lick our beavers.”

    • FrostyBeav on May 15, 2014 at 12:37

      I graduated in ’94 but was married and lived off campus (in Salem). When I was there, both the BB and FB teams were beyond awful.

  16. snakes on a plane on May 15, 2014 at 09:49

    Pot heads are great. I charge them extra when I do business with them and they’re too stupid to notice. I keep them away from my family though.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 10:50

      Interesting, meathead.

    • snakes on a plane on May 15, 2014 at 13:51

      Price compensates for quality. If I don’t like doing business with someone but they’re willing to pay me more I grow to like them. There’s no need for hate.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2014 at 14:46

      You might start by not calling them potheads, meathead, unless they’re the equivalent of anyone else that abuses some substance, of which there are dozens.

    • snakes on a plane on May 16, 2014 at 03:34

      Whoa. Sorry bro. Chillax. Not up with the lingo and all that. I didn’t realise pot head was offensive in anyway.

  17. Jacob Edward on May 16, 2014 at 05:38

    Awesome article..Thanks Richard!!!

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