Pubdate: Mon, 08 May 2000
Source: Evening Courier (UK)
Copyright: 2000 The Halifax Courier Ltd.
Contact:  Mailbag, PO Box 19, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 2SF, England
Fax: +44-(0)1422-260341
Author: Clifford Schaffer
Note:  Letters for Mailbag, including those sent by e-mail, must contain
the writer's name and full postal address, although the complete address is
not normally published.


In 1973 the U.S. Government conducted the largest and most
comprehensive study of the drug laws which has ever been undertaken.

The real drug problem, they concluded, was not marijuana, or heroin,
or cocaine.  The real drug problem, they said, was the ignorance of
the people who had never bothered to read the most basic research on
the issue. Twenty-seven years later, your editors prove it is still
true ("Should we let drug users off the hook?", "Courier Comment").

There is no real question about what should be done about cannabis. 
In the last 100 years many government commissions around the world
have studied the subject in depth and they all came to fundamentally
the same conclusions. The cannabis laws were based on ignorance and
nonsense and they do more harm than good.  They should have been
repealed long ago.

If your editors know of any significant study of drug policy which
reached a different conclusion I would like to hear about it.  I have
been asking people around the world for the last 10 years - including
all of the major U.S. government officials - and no one has come up
with one yet.

I respectfully suggest that your editors get some education before
they write any more editorials on the subject.  They can read the
collected text of the largest studies ever done by the government of
the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia at
under "Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy".

Clifford Schaffer, 
Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy
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