Today is the 40th anniversary of the Shafer Report, the extensive study commissioned by Richard Nixon to advise him on drug policy. Surprisingly, both to Nixon and to most readers today, the report suggested making marijuana legal all the way back in 1973!
Nixon did not approve and ignored the findings of the report, having already decided to embark on a disastrous “War On Drugs” that continues to this day, with increasingly devastating effects on society.
Eric Sterling covers the report extensively at the Huffington Post, but just think: we could have stopped all this nonsense 40 years ago if our politicians had listened to the evidence instead of reactionary political pressure.
“Former public servants, from DEA chiefs to cops, are using their clout to lobby for drug policies that enrich themselves.”
That’s the sub-headline on today’s exceptional feature story on TheFix.com highlighting the revolving door of moneyed interests in perpetuating the war on cannabis.
Author Kevin Gray, whose work has appeared in numerous outlets including The Washington Post, articulately summarizes the role of former drug czars, cops, federal bureaucrats, and others who lobby the keep the drug war machine moving forward — and, as a result, line their own pockets.
“The time-honored revolving door between government and business swings fast and often. It can be straightforward, like the appointment of banking behemoth Goldman Sachs’ alumni as economic policymakers by recent presidential administrations. But when it comes to the drug war, the family tree is more like a thicket of interests among law enforcement, federal and state prisons, pharmaceutical giants, drug testers and drug treatment programs—all with an economic stake in keeping pot illegal.”
The whole story is really a must read. Here is the link to the full text.