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The Shafer Report


In 1970, the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Act rewrote the guidelines on drugs, sorting them into five groups, Schedule 1-5.  Additionally, it engendered the Commission on Marijuana and Substance Abuse which targeted to review the results of Marijuana on People in america.  The outcomes of the study were launched in 1972 and therefore are better termed as “The Shafer Report.”  This research was presented before Congress on March 22 1972, titled “Marijuana, An Indication of Misunderstanding.”  It was a landmark presentation because its goal ended up being to locate an honest knowledge of the results of Cannabis on people, without depending around the testimonies from the previous half a century of propaganda that were recognized as truth.  The report is divided into five parts: The Issue of Marijuana, It’s Use and Effects, Its Social Impact, The Social Response, and Social Policy.

During the period of the 2 years the Commission had carried out clinical studies across the nation, in metropolitan areas for example Boston, Philadelphia, Bay Area and much more in it’s efforts to obtain the truth behind Marijuana.  They carried out numerous interviews, had 1000’s of surveys as well as examined many different types of Marijuana to attain their goal.  One conclusion attracted, “The emotions and condition of awareness referred to through the intoxicated appear to become much more interesting compared to objective condition noted by an observer.”  In plain words, the researchers carrying out the experiments had much less fun performing them compared to people taking part in stated experiments.  I believe we are able to all agree with that time.

Much more entered the research than asking people about use and watching intoxication.  They have to know why people switched to Marijuana to begin with.  What social factors brought people into Mary Jane’s hands?  For individuals individuals who did not know, after Cannabis was criminalized and banned in 1937 its use dropped considerably.  It wasn’t before the 1960’s it all of a sudden reemerged like a cultural pressure and it is use was common.  It had been then broadly adopted by America’s youth included in the counterculture.  As the Baby Seniors were busy protesting and becoming high, the relaxation of the nation was very scared of pot’s rebirth and just what it intended for society.  The thing is, “the drug was assumed to become a “narcotic,” to render the consumer psychologically dependent, to impress violent crime, and also to cause madness.”  You will find lots who still believe that it is a gateway drug which permitting its ongoing use would undermine the nation.  Therefore the males behind the report requested important questions like, “Who uses marijuana?” and “When does use start?” “How lengthy do people still smoke marijuana?” “So why do they begin,Inch and “So why do they stop?”  They recognized it needed to be divided for an individual level.  For too lengthy Marijuana had only been talked about in simplification. Which kind of discussion goes nowhere.

Certain conclusions were arrived at, one being that almost all cannabis customers are functional, upstanding people of society.  Many customers can start smoking in an effort to defy authority (ex: teens rebelling against their parents, university students protesting against illegal laws and regulations).  But, they aren’t anarchic delinquents trying to bring lower things as they are.  They’re only crooks since the laws and regulations in position make sure they are so.  To be able to rank the possibility of marijuana, they needed to compare it with other legal and illegal drugs. Apart from not leading to physical dependency, they observed, “A careful search from the literature and testimony from the nation’s health authorities hasn’t revealed just one human fatality within the u . s . states shown to have resulted exclusively in the ingestion of marijuana. Experiments using the drug in apes shown the dose needed for overdose dying was enormous as well as for all logical reasons impossible by humans smoking marijuana. This really is in marked contrast with other substances in keeping use, most particularly alcohol and barbiturate sleep aids.Inch  So, it will not kill you, it will not cause you to kill others.  It does not produce the physical dependency that’s observed in cocaine and alcohol which in turn causes individuals to commit crimes to ensure that they might obtain more drugs.

After causeing this to be report, the Nixon administration quickly overlooked it.  Nixon told Shafer, “What we are likely to do will make your commission just look bad as hell.” And consequently, today we’re still facing exactly the same problems that impeded progress within the Seventies.  Today we’ve a lot more studies to attract upon that demonstrate the numerous benefits of legalizing medicinal marijuana but we’re in an impasse.  This report is going to be 40 years old in a couple of several weeks.  The Fight against Drugs turns forty this season.  Yet a vocal most of people still think that Cannabis is much more destructive than alcohol and tobacco, which it warrants to stay illegal.  Take the time to check out the data for alcohol-related and tobacco-related deaths and you choose which is much more harmful to society.

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