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(28,784 posts)
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 07:04 AM Dec 2011

Controlled Substances Act (1970) and its Consequences

Last edited Wed Dec 21, 2011, 10:07 AM - Edit history (1)

The CSA is Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 that was created by Congress to serve as federal policy on drug enforcement.

The act created 5 schedules for drug classification. Although Congress created the drug schedules, they appointed the DEA and the FDA to decide which substances to add or remove from schedules.

Therefore, changing a substance from one schedule to another, or removing a substance altogether does not require the passage of a law by Congress.

Instead, such as in the case of the scheduling of cannabis, a rescheduling hearing may be called to correct mistakes made by politicians in their haste to declare themselves enemies of this or that.

Marijuana was provisionally placed as a Schedule I substance based upon the recommendation of Assistant Secretary of Health Roger O. Egeberg. This classification was pending the outcome of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, led by Republican Raymond P. Schafer.

Egeberg wrote:

...This communication is concerned with the proposed classification of marihuana.

It is presently classed in schedule I(C) along with its active constituents, the tetrahydrocannibinols and other psychotropic drugs.

Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces "severe psychological or physical dependence" as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill...

What did the Schafer Commission find?

You can read the full report here: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/ncmenu.htm

Schafer's commission funded 50 studies.

Through formal and informal hearings, recorded in thousands of pages of transcripts, we solicited all points of view, including those of public officials, community leaders, professional experts and students. We commissioned a nationwide survey of public beliefs, information and experience . . .

“In addition, we conducted separate surveys of opinion among district attorneys, judges, probation officers, clinicians, university health officials and free clinic personnel."

What did these DA's, judges, clinicians, and health officials lead Schafer to recommend?

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.

While the judiciary is the governmental institution most directly concerned with the protection of individual liberties, all policy-makers have a responsibility to consider our constitutional heritage when framing public policy. Regardless of whether or not the courts would overturn a prohibition of possession of marijuana for personal use in the home, we are necessarily influenced by the high place traditionally occupied by the value of privacy in our constitutional scheme.

We have carefully analyzed the interrelationship between marihuana the drug, marihuana use as a behavior, and marihuana as a social problem. Recognizing the extensive degree of misinformation about marihuana as a drug, we have tried to demythologize it. Viewing the use of marihuana in its wider social context, we have tried to desymbolize it.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem.

Additionally, Schafer noted: Marihuana’s relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.

Nixon did not bother to read Schafer's report because those clinicians, health care officials, DA's and judges did not come to the conclusion Nixon wanted to hear. In addition, Nixon punished Schafer for not coming back with the findings he wanted by not appointing Schafer to a pending federal judgeship.

What is the outcome of Nixon's refusal to acknowledge that marijuana should be decriminalized? (i.e. removed from the Drug Schedules?)

$1 TRILLION dollars wasted.
Hundreds of thousands of deaths
There are more people now in federal prison for marijuana offenses than for violent offenses.

In 2005, 800,000 people were arrested for marijuana charges.
The cost for incarceration, according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics for that same year was $1BILLION PER YEAR.

It's time to end the war on cannabis.

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Controlled Substances Act (1970) and its Consequences (Original Post) RainDog Dec 2011 OP
It's just stunning that the horrible decision has been allowed to stand for 40 years tridim Dec 2011 #1
Yes. Learning the history of this prohibition is a real education RainDog Dec 2011 #2
kick for relevance n/t RainDog Dec 2012 #3


(45,358 posts)
1. It's just stunning that the horrible decision has been allowed to stand for 40 years
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 12:42 PM
Dec 2011

It's not like people haven't been screaming about it either.

No more excuses, no more ignoring the facts, no more lies. Deschedule Cannabis NOW.


(28,784 posts)
2. Yes. Learning the history of this prohibition is a real education
Wed Dec 21, 2011, 06:27 PM
Dec 2011

in how worthless this nation really is when it comes to its treatment of anyone other than the powerful.

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