In a recent editorial the N.Y Times says that its high time to legalize marijuana. While that in itself is not news to most Americans, the fact that the Times came out to support legalizing weed certainly is.
The Times, arguably the best news paper in the world is watched by many politicians and movers and shakers and its opinions carry a lot of clout.
There are currently two bills in congress to remove marijuana from its Schedule 1 rating under the controlled substances act. The most comprehensive is HR 1635.
Public opinion is changing fast in regards to legalizing marijuana and polls continue to show growing support to leave the matter up to individual states to decide. The Times editorial will hopefully wake up congress in time to smell the coffee.
“The 44-year refusal of Congress and eight administrations to alter marijuana’s place on Schedule I has made the law a laughingstock, one that states are openly flouting.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-let-states-decide-on-marijuana.html?_r=0
Ever Hear Of The Shafer Commission?
In 1970 as Nixon railroaded in his Controlled Substances Act as part of his war on crime. The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse was created to study marijuana. Until its results were available, marijuana was “temporarily” placed as a Schedule 1 drug along with heroin and LSD.
The study, called the Shafer Commission, released its results in 1972, stating that marijuana was relatively harmless and should be decriminalized. You can read the full Shafer Commission’s report, Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse – Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding here.
“The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only ‘with the greatest reluctance.”
It is not surprising that this report was not viewed favorably by Nixon and his administration, who believed smoking pot was for communists or Jews and decriminalization was not going to be an option according to Watergate tapes. and so it was swept aside.
The Times They Are A Changing
Public opinion has now shifted to letting states decide how to deal with marijuana. More than 50% of Americans think it should be legalized. Now it’s time for action. Obama, for whatever reason, will not change marijuana’s Schedule 1 rating. Surprising since he used it as a youth and has stated it is less harmful than alcohol. Perhaps he doesn’t want to go down in history as America’s first stoner president.
It is time for congress to act according to the wishes of the people that elected them. We threw Nixon out of office and now it is high time to throw his idiotic marijuana law out too.