50 Years Ago Today, A Federal Panel Said Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized—But A President Who Ran On Reform Still Hasn’t Done It

50 Years Ago Today, A Federal Panel Said Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized—But A President Who Ran On Reform Still Hasn’t Done It
MJ moment

Marijuana reform advocates on Tuesday are marking the 50-year anniversary of a federal report recommending cannabis decriminalization that was compiled by a commission appointed by the drug warrior President Richard Nixon—calling attention to the fact that, half a century later, even the current Democratic president who campaigned on ending cannabis criminalization has yet to take action. When Nixon appointed the so-called Shafer Commission in the early 1970s to research and issue a report on federal marijuana laws, most people expected it to bolster the administration’s position that cannabis was a dangerous drug that ought to be criminalized. But that’s not what members concluded in their report. The panel, which was formally titled the “National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse,” found that while marijuana use might pose some health risks, the policy of criminalization is excessive and unnecessary. The report from the 14-member commission, which had been appointed by Nixon himself and congressional leaders, recommended decriminalization—a policy that has yet to be enacted federally despite the fact that the current President Joe Biden endorsed it on the campaign trail. “A coherent social policy requires a fundamental alteration of social attitudes toward drug use, and a willingness to embark on new courses when previous actions have failed,” the commission wrote five decades years ago—but federal marijuana criminalization laws still remain fundamentally unchanged. Now, advocates at national advocacy groups like NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) are marking the 50th anniversary of what has come to be know as the Shafer report—named after the body’s chairman, former Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer (R)—by reminding people that even a half a century later, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to be arrested over cannabis each and every year. Of course, the Nixon administration ignored his own commission’s report and the drug war has…

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Source : 50 Years Ago Today, A Federal Panel Said Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized—But A President Who Ran On Reform Still Hasn’t Done It

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