Schaffer, Clifford 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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21 Canada: PUB LTE: Corruption By The TrainloadThu, 13 May 2004
Source:NOW Magazine (Canada) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Canada Lines:23 Added:05/13/2004

You correctly note that police corruption is tied to prohibition (NOW, May 6-12) but don't quite describe the potential scope of corruption. During alcohol prohibition in the U.S., for example, they were literally hauling convicted cops off to prison by the trainload. No one should be surprised at the current problems.

Clifford Schaffer Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, CA


22 US WV: PUB LTE: Drug War Is Only Causing More HarmThu, 01 Apr 2004
Source:Herald-Dispatch, The (WV) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:West Virginia Lines:30 Added:04/01/2004

I have a suggestion for a recent letter writer here: Before he comes up with too many plans to fight illegal drugs, he should read the major studies on the subject.

He can find the full text of nearly every major government commission report on the drug laws in the last 100 years at The collection includes the largest studies ever done by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, just to mention a few.

The first thing he will find is that all the major commissions concluded that drug prohibition is a lost cause -- just like alcohol prohibition -- and should have been repealed long ago because it does more harm than good.

Clifford Schaffer,

Agua Dulce, Calif.


23 Canada: PUB LTE: 2 of 2 - Efficient CrooksTue, 13 Jan 2004
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Canada Lines:20 Added:01/13/2004

Agua Dulce, Calif. -- Nice article. The only thing missing was the proud proclamation from the police that this was a major victory in the war on marijuana and they finally are getting things under control. Just give them a lot more money and any day now they will have this problem eliminated.

Clifford Schaffer


24 CN ON: PUB LTE: Marijuana Laws Were Founded On IgnoranceMon, 29 Dec 2003
Source:Toronto Sun (CN ON) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Ontario Lines:31 Added:01/03/2004

RE YOUR editorial "A visit from the Supremes (Dec. 24): After at least a dozen major government commission studies over the last 100 years, including two recent ones by your own Parliament, your editors think that marijuana decriminalization was not "thought through." There is only one real explanation - your editors have never read any of the most basic research on the subject. The marijuana laws were founded on ignorance and require ignorance to survive. Your editors have proven it again.

Clifford Schaffer

Director, DRCNet

Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, Calif.

(We know our government, you don't. It wasn't thought through)


25 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalization the KeyThu, 11 Dec 2003
Source:Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal, The (CN BC) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:British Columbia Lines:35 Added:12/14/2003

Editor, The Journal

I hate to rain on anyone's parade, or interfere with the good things that Mike Harcourt said but the final comment in that piece was rather interesting: Where is Elliot Ness when we need him?

I regret to inform Hubert Beyer that Elliot Ness was a failure. Yeah, he busted a lot of people and poured a lot of illegal brew down the gutter. But he didn't really change anything. Al Capone and his friends still made millions - so much so that decades later the Guiness Book of World Records still listed Al Capone as the private citizen with the highest income ever. All of the people Elliot Ness busted were quickly replaced by more people after those illegal millions.

The situation didn't really change until alcohol was legalized again. There is a message in that.

Clifford Schaffer

Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, California


26 CN BC: PUB LTE: 1 of 3: Marijuana Column Brings Response From AfarFri, 14 Nov 2003
Source:Kelowna Capital News (CN BC) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:British Columbia Lines:30 Added:11/15/2003

To the editor:

Dr. Paul Latimer made a number of statements that were questionable. (Marijuana Use and Psychiatric Illness Associated, Nov. 7 Capital News)

Among them was "The reality is that for most individuals, regular drug use is incompatible with a life of meaningful relationships, productivity and satisfaction."

I suggest that he discusses that with his friends over a glass of wine or beer.

Clifford Schaffer director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, CA


27 CN BC: PUB LTE: Just PR GesturesMon, 06 Oct 2003
Source:Burnaby Now, The (CN BC) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:British Columbia Lines:32 Added:10/07/2003


Re: Drugs as weapons

Correct me if I am wrong, but if someone slips something harmful into another person's drink and then rapes them when they are incapacitated, wouldn't that be a crime, or multiple crimes, whether the substance itself was classed as a weapon or not?

Alcohol would be the best example, because that accounts for far more sexual assaults than all the other drugs combined. It seems to me that you don't need a new law to address this situation - just adequate enforcement of the existing laws.

You got it right when you said that these laws are just PR gestures that will make no real difference.

Clifford Schaffer, Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy, Agua Dulce, California


28 US HI: PUB LTE: Lying Has Been An Official Policy For 70 YearsMon, 11 Aug 2003
Source:Maui News, The (HI) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Hawaii Lines:31 Added:08/11/2003

The Maui News editorial "Drug war needs honesty" (Aug. 6) noted a law enforcement official blatantly lied to promote his own agenda and, when confronted, claimed the lies were correct even when the original source for the figures said they weren't even close to correct.

So what else is new? If your readers care to read the history of the drug war, they will find that it has been official U.S. government policy to lie about these issues for at least the last 70 years. Read all about it yourself at under Historical Research. I suggest you start with "The Drug Hang-Up" by Rufus King.

The drug war was built on lies and requires lies to survive. That's why they lie, and they do it deliberately.

Clifford Schaffer

Agua Dulce, Calif.


29 UK: PUB LTE: Medicinal BenefitsMon, 28 Jul 2003
Source:Press and Journal, The (UK) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:United Kingdom Lines:48 Added:07/28/2003

SIR, - If Ian Oliver wants science to settle the cannabis controversy (the Press and Journal, July 23), then he should read some of it. On the medical-use issue, he ignores the obvious. Cannabis is already a legal medicine in the US, where the government sends it to a number of patients each month because those patients went to court and proved to a legal certainty that cannabis was the only medicine suitable for their needs.

The plant obviously has medicinal properties because a prescription drug (Marinol) is made from the primary active ingredient. It might have other effects, but it obviously has medicinal effects.

[continues 152 words]

30 CN AB: PUB LTE: Marijuana Not A Major Threat To Public HealthTue, 17 Jun 2003
Source:Fort Saskatchewan Record, The (CN AB) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Alberta Lines:74 Added:06/19/2003

Fort Saskatchewan Record--If Jane Buryn really wants to read the research on long-term marijuana use, she can find a big chunk of it at under the Cannabis Research Library. The largest study to date was done by the Kaiser Permanente health plan and reviewed the medical records of 65,000 patients over a period of six years. They found no significant differences between the health of marijuana smokers and those who did not smoke marijuana. The sum of the research

[continues 520 words]

31 CN ON: PUB LTE: Major Studies of Drugs and Drug PolicySun, 01 Jun 2003
Source:Mississauga News (CN ON) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Ontario Lines:33 Added:06/01/2003

Dear Editor:

If Mississauga politicians really want to know about marijuana, they can find the full text of nearly every major study of the marijuana laws over the last 100 years at under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.

I would recommend they simply read the accumulated evidence of the last hundred years. For anyone who actually does read it, the conclusions become pretty obvious.

Is actually reading the major research far too radical an idea for them? Apparently, it is not just marijuana that causes damage -- just reading accurate research on it is also dangerous.

Clifford Schaffer

DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, California


32 US WV: PUB LTE: DARE Program Simply Doesn't Cut Drug Use InFri, 30 May 2003
Source:Charleston Daily Mail (WV) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:West Virginia Lines:50 Added:05/30/2003

Monica Spriggs is to be congratulated for her devotion to kids. It is obvious that she cares deeply about them and sincerely wants to help. Her attitude and efforts deserve a round of applause.

Having said that, it is also important to note that good intentions are not an acceptable substitute for programs that actually work.

The evidence is quite clear that DARE simply does not work to reduce drug abuse in kids. That's why the federal government has stopped funding for DARE.

[continues 174 words]

33 CN BC: PUB LTE: Treatment The Best Bet To Stop Drug AddictionFri, 09 May 2003
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:British Columbia Lines:35 Added:05/10/2003

Katherine Boylen's belief that trying to cut drugs off at the source would be an effective response to the drug problem is a common one (Thwart drug trade before it hits the streets, Letters, May 7). Unfortunately, it is also wrong.

The Rand Corporation recently reviewed all the methods of dealing with the drug problem. Trying to cut drugs off at the source and stopping them at the border were the least cost-effective methods of control.

The most cost-effective method of controlling the drug problem was treatment. It is certainly not perfect or a guarantee of success, but it is more cost-effective than law enforcement approaches by several orders of magnitude.

Clifford Schaffer


DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy

Agua Dulce, Calif.


34 US NV: Edu: PUB LTE: Marriot's SSDP Attacks Off-BaseMon, 28 Apr 2003
Source:Rebel Yell (Las Vegas, NV Edu) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Nevada Lines:65 Added:04/30/2003

I am one of the founders of the Drug Reform Coordination Network, the organization that spawned Students for a Sensible Drug Policy. I also established the DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy, the world's largest online collection of research on drug policy at . I cannot comment on any issues with SSDP and its chapters but I have taught more people how to debate this subject than anyone else, so I can comment on Alexander Marriott's arguments.

[continues 374 words]

35 US AZ: Edu: PUB LTE: Chronic MisinformationThu, 17 Apr 2003
Source:Lumberjack, The (AZ Edu) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Arizona Lines:70 Added:04/21/2003

Dear Editor,

It is always disappointing to see this kind of misinformation in any publication. It is most disappointing when it comes from a university setting where, presumably, the students should have access to better information and be encouraged to seek it out. Yes, marijuana is illegal for a reason, but Tristan Meyer obviously doesn't know what the reason is. Actually, there were two major reasons for the marijuana laws. Marijuana was originally outlawed because "All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy" and because of the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana. Note that the second reason is just exactly the opposite of the "gateway myth" that Tristan parrots.

[continues 307 words]

36 US NJ: PUB LTE: Check The Web For Data On Medical MarijuanaMon, 24 Mar 2003
Source:Ocean County Observer (NJ) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:New Jersey Lines:67 Added:03/24/2003

Terence P. Farley is correct that misinformation abounds on medical marijuana. If you want some misinformation, just go ask any DEA agent about the issue. Lying about marijuana has been official U.S. government policy since 1937 when Harry Anslinger, then head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, realized that cannabis was already so widespread then that he would never be able to control it with his limited budget and manpower. As a result, he decided to use The Big Lie. And the lies were stupendous, to say the least. The U.S. official expert on marijuana testified in court, under oath, that marijuana would make your incisors grow six inches long and drip with blood. Farley apparently forgot that evil effect.

[continues 423 words]

37 US AL: PUB LTE: Marijuana - Medicine Under The LawThu, 13 Feb 2003
Source:Crimson White, The (Edu, Univ of Alabama) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Alabama Lines:20 Added:02/13/2003

The larger, and more important, point is that it doesn't make any sense to punish sick people for trying to relieve their own suffering, even if you disagree with their choice of medicine.

Agua Dulce, Calif.


38 CN BC: PUB LTE: No Evidence to Support 'Gateway' TheoryThu, 06 Feb 2003
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:British Columbia Lines:78 Added:02/08/2003

Editor, The News:

If Eric Myrholm means to suggest that there are studies on both sides of the issue of whether the marijuana laws should be changed, he is mistaken (`Two sides to pot story: Here's mine,' Opinion, Jan. 23).

I spent several years collecting the major government studies of drug policy from around the world, and I put the full text of nearly all of them on the Internet at, under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.

[continues 452 words]

39 US OH: PUB LTE: Flawed Anti-Drug Campaign Is Worse ThanWed, 22 Jan 2003
Source:Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Ohio Lines:38 Added:01/22/2003

Nancy Phillis is simply wrong when she says that doing anything to prevent drug use by children is never a bad idea.

If she will read some of the history of our drug laws in this country, she will find a very surprising fact. Historically speaking, the single biggest cause of drug epidemics among children is hysterical, ill-thought anti-drug campaigns. The first was the huge teen drinking epidemic during alcohol Prohibition. Other drug epidemics triggered by anti-drug campaigns included LSD, speed and glue sniffing.

[continues 114 words]

40 US HI: PUB LTE: Statistical SourceWed, 23 Oct 2002
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Hawaii Lines:33 Added:10/23/2002


If anyone cares to read the history of the drug war, it should be abundantly clear how such "statistics" as the "ice" statistic arise. They are made up by someone in political office to suit their own agenda. This is nothing new. It has been official U.S. government policy for the last 60 years, at least.

Clifford Schaffer

Agua Dulce


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