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Essays and Commentary on Drug Prohibition
"Grow marijuana for medical use in California,
and you can get off. Do it in Oklahoma, and you can get
93 years." An article from Reason Magazine,
May 1997, by Adam J. Smith, assistant director of the
Drug Reform Coordination Network in Washington.
"Until the public understands the nature of
prohibition and how the prohibition lobby perpetrates its
monstrous fraud, Clinton and our other political leaders
will not be held accountable for leading America down
this long road of folly." By Tom O'Connell, MD.
"People often don't think clearly. So much is
well known to everyone, including drug policy reform
advocates who frequently confront the muddled thinking so
often characteristic of prohibition advocates. What is
less well known is that an entire body of scientific
literature has accumulated concerning the cognitive
errors that lead to the development and maintenance
of erroneous judgments and beliefs. Knowledge of this
literature is vital to an understanding of how otherwise
(seemingly) rational people can so persistently resist
the force of evidence." By David Hadorn, M.D.
"Challenging the war on drugs is the most
important issue facing civil liberties and the
preservation of the Bill of Rights." By Eric E.
Sterling, President, The Criminal Justice Policy
"From drug detection, undercover infiltration and
electronic tracking, to incarcerating those captured and
convicted, private companies are cashing in on the War on
Some Drugs and profiting from the police state. This new
breed of "copitalist" is a powerful force with
a strong self-interest in keeping certain drugs illegal
and their users vilified." By Richard Glen Boire,
from the pages of The Entheogen Law Reporter.
"Drug Prohibition is today too important a tool
for U.S. political institutions, and too critical an
issue for certain economic interests, to expect that
significant drug-law reform will be initiated in the
United States." By Peter Webster.
"Legalization and decontrol is the correct
solution because it will eliminate most of the evil
surrounding the drug trade; it will have many desirable
consequences and very few bad side effects, all of which
can be overcome; and, finally, it is the ethical and
prudent thing to do in a nation of free people who will
not tolerate being told how to live their lives,
particularly by people whose actions are not even based
on decent motives or good will." By Thomas L.
"What will it take to put science back into drug
policy? Nothing less than courageous leadership, both
from the scientific community and from politicians. At
present such leadership is conspicuously lacking. Thus,
for the foreseeable future, the public must pay the price
of anti-scientific policies, in terms of dollars,
destruction of civil liberties, and ruined lives, while
the scientific community looks onpassive,
vanquished, impotent." By Daid Hadorn, M.D.
"Ensconced deep within the conviction of most
people, [the] idea of the innate evil of specified
"drugs" lies within the realm of religious
dogma, safely beyond the reach of reason. It justifies
not only asinine policy decisions, but also Draconian
punishments for drug users and precludes any rational
discussion of policy which does not expressly condemn or
attempt to eliminate drug use." By Tom O'Connell,
"In 1951, Harry Anslinger was testifying about
why we needed tougher drug laws. Just before he
testified, the head of the Federal addiction research
program testified that they knew for certain that all of
the reasons that had been given for outlawing marijuana
in 1937 were entirely bogus. They knew for certain that
marijuana did not cause insanity, criminality and death.
Anslinger was left with no reason for tougher laws so he
made upon the spot, with not a shred of
evidencethe assertion that marijuana is the certain
stepping stone to heroin addiction." By Clifford A.
"Several recent and well-written books have each,
from a different perspective, attempted to reveal to the
general public and policy-makers the utter futility and
tragedy of that great 20th Century fiasco, Substance
Prohibition. But David Wagner's new book, The New
Temperance, is much more than just another exposť of
Drug War folly. Instead, we are given a cogent historical
and sociological analysis of "The American Obsession
with Sin and Vice" to the valuable end that we may
understand the present Prohibition in the much larger
context of the nature and character of American
tradition, religion, politics, and mores in
general." By Peter Webster.
Further Opinion Pieces from The Schaffer Library.
Essays by Judge James P. Gray, Thomas L. Wayburn, Ph.D.,
Kirby Cundiff, Ph.D., Tod Mikuriya, M.D., Paul Hager,
Frederick H. Meyers, M.D., and others.