Outside View: Nixon Tapes Pot Shocker 

Outside View: Nixon Tapes Pot Shocker 
Posted by FoM on April 30, 2002 at 11:45:28 PT
By Mike Gray
Source: United Press International
The Watergate tapes from the Nixon White House are indeed the gift that keeps on giving. The latest release of these secret recordings covers that period in 1971 when President Richard M. Nixon was preparing to crank up the war on marijuana. In his conversations with Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman and others, Nixon reveals, in his down-home, earthy style, that the whole thing was a fraud.The president was in a box at this particular moment because a special drug commission that he had appointed was spinning out of control. "The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse" was a creation of Congress, but Nixon had put his stamp on it by appointing a host of hard-liners. 
The headman was a former prosecutor, Gov. Ray Shafer of Pennsylvania, whose tough law-and-order reputation meshed with Nixon's vision.Now there was word on the street that the so-called "Shafer Commission" was considering the legalization of marijuana.The president had clearly expected Gov. Shafer to return with a damning indictment of the evil weed because he had already made up his mind to use the drug issue as a political ax in the upcoming election. Unfortunately several of the commissioners were not in on the plan and they took the assignment seriously. They commissioned more than 50 scientific studies, surveyed judges, probation officers, clinicians, and health experts, and they personally went all over the globe for a first-hand look at the situation. It was one of the most comprehensive examinations of marijuana in history.One can imagine Nixon's surprise when rumors began circulating in early '71 that the "L-word" was on the table. He responded curtly at his next press conference: "Even if the Commission does recommend that it be legalized, I will not follow that recommendation."This bold admission created a firestorm among the commissioners and several of them threatened to quit -- or worse, to produce a dissenting minority report. Shafer, who was also angling for an appointment to the federal bench, was caught in the middle. He promised the insurrectionists he would meet with the President and try to straighten things out.He was finally able to get an appointment in early September but it is clear that he knew this meeting was window dressing. Shafer told staffer Egil Krogh, Jr., "I know what the game is." All Shafer wanted was a picture of himself with the President that he could take back to the Commission. "I'll tell them that we met, the President listened, was appreciative..."Nixon let him have the picture but he was otherwise unrelenting. While admitting that there were significant differences between marijuana and other drugs, he wanted Shafer to cover up that fact. "I think there's a need to come out with a report that is totally oblivious to some obvious differences between marijuana and other drugs."Throughout 1971 Nixon kept up the drumbeat. "I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana," he told his high-level White House lieutenant Bob Haldeman, "I mean one that just tears the ass out of them." Somehow, it's not surprising to hear the President say, "You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish."On March 21, 1972, the president told Haldeman, "We need -- and I use the word -- 'all out war.'" The next day the Shafer Commission returned its report on marijuana and to the President's chagrin, not only did they refuse to declare war on marijuana, they recommended decriminalization.Nixon declared his war on drugs anyway. Needless to say, Gov. Shafer did not get his judicial appointment and his voluminous report was swept under the rug.For those who are curious about what this country might be like today if Richard Nixon had simply followed the advice of his own experts, we happen to have a comparative yardstick. At the same moment that the Shafer Commission was hearing evidence in the United States, a Dutch commission was doing the same thing in The Netherlands and they came to the same conclusion. Unlike the Americans, they paid attention to their experts and decriminalized marijuana.Today, per captia use of marijuana among teenagers in The Netherlands is half that of those in the United States. Meanwhile the people of this country were treated to a 30-year jihad that so far has resulted in the arrest of nearly 15 million citizens.Mike Gray is chairman of Common Sense for Drug Policy -- -- and is the author "Drug Crazy."Note: UPI Outside View commentary -- From the Washington Politics & Policy DeskSource: United Press InternationalAuthor: Mike GrayPublished: April 30, 2002Copyright: 2002 United Press InternationalWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Drug Crazy Tricky Dick's Guide to Drinking and Toking Nixon Tapes Show Why US Outlawed Pot Just What Was He Smoking?
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Comment #19 posted by RavingDave on May 02, 2002 at 13:54:11 PT
Not to mention...
I might add that there are only 16 million citizens in the Netherlands today. What might their reaction have been in 1971 if they were told that the U.S. intended to start a crusade which would result in the arrests of more people than lived in their country at that time?Amazing.
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Comment #18 posted by Ethan Russo MD on May 01, 2002 at 10:41:10 PT:
Thanks DCP
but, I've got mine. Anyone having these books should try to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of them, and what they say. It is the only way to counter the propaganda of the Drug Warriors.
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Comment #17 posted by DCP on May 01, 2002 at 10:28:30 PT:
Lost Books
I have a old copy of "Ganja in Jamaica" and if this book is truely hard to find, I will be glad to send it to anyone who needs it for research purposes. Perhaps, Dr. Russo, you would like it. DCP
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Comment #16 posted by Lehder on May 01, 2002 at 07:53:57 PT
Endless War
Nixon won the presidential election of 1968 against Hubert Humphrey on the strength of a claimed "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam. As with Bush's secret evidence against the Taliban, shared only with Tony Blair, a majority Americans bought Nixon's "plan" without the offer of a single word of its nature. Under pressure from the popularity of candidates Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy who both offered not-so-secret plans of ending the war by stopping the fighting and returning the army to the US, Hubert Humphrey made a reluctant committment to ending the war in some way that seemed unclear and unpromising at least to me. But total secrecy proved the more attractive policy and we wound up with Nixon, an endless war and a drug war too.Nixon's secret plan to end the war was revealed in March of 1970 as the surprise bombing of Cambodia. Nearly every campus in the country was closed by angry protesters. This year's Million Marijuana March coincides with the 32nd anniversary of the killing of four of those protesters on May 4 by National Guardsmen on the Kent State campus.The war in Vietnam went on for more than six years after Nixon's election; the National Guard killers were exonerated; and this article tells the story of Nixon's 1971 secret and ill-advised "war on drugs" to "tear the ass out of," so far, fifteen million cannabis users.With a rotating system of names, locations and enemies, the war in Vietnam goes on and on to this day as do the ever expanding drug wars. Here's this year's schedule for the war protest planned at Kent State:
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Comment #15 posted by fixjuxa on May 01, 2002 at 07:20:56 PT:
Rage Against the Machine
"Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
Line up to tha mind cemetary now
What we don't know keeps tha contracts alive an movin'
They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em
While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells
Rally round tha family, pockets full of s
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Comment #14 posted by qqqq on May 01, 2002 at 01:40:56 PT
..I like Bhang,,and I'm proud to admit it!....I've tried planting all those white seeds,,you know ,,the ones you get in bottles from the DRUG store....I've had no luck planting Tylenol or Advil seeds,,they just dont grow. ,neither does motrin,, but the Bhang seeds seem to grow as if they were meant to.?
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Comment #13 posted by DdC on May 01, 2002 at 01:16:50 PT
What happened between 52 & 58? anti-spasmotic?
Ooops, I guess ole Joe McCarthy forgot to add it to the 58 version...
Ford wasn't the first or last to hide research...
Same Bushit different scapegoats...Too many coincidences... 
Its TREASON!Webster's Dictionary 1952Bhang-(bang). n [Hind.from Sans.. bhanga,hemp]
An Indian variety of the common hemp, the resin of which is highly narcotic and intoxicant, and a popular Oriental stimulant, otherwise called hashish. Also employed in medicine, for its anodyne,hyponotic, and anti-spasmodic qualities; also spelled bang, beng.Hashish- Hasheesh,n [Ar. hashish,hay,herbage,a kind of intoxicating drink.]1. A narcotic and intoxicating preparation of the plant called Indian hemp, Cannabis sativa; it is either smoked and drunk as an infusion, and has been used in Oriental countries for many centuries. [See Bhang.]2. The tender parts of the Indian hemp with their resinous exudations.Webster's Dictionary 1958Hashish-Hasheesh, n.A narcotic plant of Asia, similar to marijuana, the dried leaves of which are smoked in cigarettes.How to speak 19th century Medica with Repertory
Audubon Society: Legalize It! 
Popular Mechanics 1938
Fibre Plants-Hemp Childrens Encyclopedia 1909;pp.321-324 
Life Magazine "Marijuana" 1969 of grass
Dr. Heath/Tulane Study, 1974
The Hype: Brain Damage and Dead Monkeys's and dealer's guide
Stone Mountain Pot Art
Black Panthers Sit and Let Fascist
If You're Not Part of the Solution You're Part of the Problem Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74
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Comment #12 posted by qqqq on April 30, 2002 at 17:22:29 PT
...Uncle Sam..
"(Imagine a picture of the creature from Alien wearing a hammer and sickle bursting from the gut of a clueless Uncle Sam)"
.....that's good EJ.....but I have a hard time seeing Uncle Sam as clueless.....I see the Uncle Sam of today,,as a haggard old guy with bags under his bloodshot eyes,,,riding around in a limo at 3:30 in the morning, picking up cash for services rendered,,,like a red white and blue crack whore of cash...... I think he's a bad Uncle Sam..I think he's strung out on power,,and has the Jones for the money monkey on his back..... yup,,poor ol' Sam has been led astray by "demons"...he is in denial.... he will say anything to anyone to maintain his habit,,and convince the Sheeple that all is well......Uncle Sham!
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Comment #11 posted by goneposthole on April 30, 2002 at 17:15:53 PT
Where is America?
It is in Canada. The feeling that you get was once here.Canada is far out.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on April 30, 2002 at 16:51:36 PT
Sounds more Soviet every day
Books on hemp and marijuana missing from libraries?Alien 2002 -- IT'S STILL ALIVE(Imagine a picture of the creature from Alien wearing a hammer and sickle bursting from the gut of a clueless Uncle Sam)
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Comment #9 posted by dddd on April 30, 2002 at 16:46:32 PT
Well Said..
Thank You Ddc....that was an outstanding and excellent commentary....dddd
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Comment #8 posted by DdC on April 30, 2002 at 15:29:21 PT
You're Injecting Too Much Reality!
Maintaining DysfunctionHave you ever considered that the war on some drugs is actually a product. A commodity that raises the Economic value of the country. Every year $billions are spent "fighting" it, and we seem to forget each dollar spent by the government is also taxable earned income to many. Returning approx. 30% tax that would not be returned in peace. Doctors dispensing is surely safer than the streets. And at a price without the risk removing the profits, violence and associated crime. Each new AIDs or HepC "product" also helps keep us economically strong as a nation. Is it a wonder why condems are condemned? Is it really a surprise needle exchanges are forbotten when both potentially prevent these profits? Each new case or arrest, trial, plea bargain, probation or incarceration creates wealth that would not be created without prohibition, 700,000 times a year on cannabis possessors alone. Each environmental disease created by chemicalization, clearcutting, deforestation and strip mining also creates jobs and taxes in treatment. When a Bush runs up a $5 trillion debt to banks collecting $200 billion a year in interest, while he and friends have vested interest in the banks, and it isn't news, Ya just gotta wonder.The media is concerned once again with another politico's sexcapades and mainstream drama is churned out while reality affecting all of our lives methodically escapes the viewers. Other than Free Speech TV or Community Television audience that is. The "coincidence" of fossil fuel and synthetic fiber being in competition with hemp. 270 million tons of chemicals used on cotton or using trees with less cellulose and requiring more chemicals, sold and taxed and also not included in herbal and organic farming. That should be questioned. While the fascist* gain seats in the Government Houses, individual and community representation loses to corporate media blitzes of white noise. While we the people make a living the only way we were taught, maintaining the addictions to limited, nonrenewable resources, selling and buying images that create illness to treat and maintain our gluttonous glory.50 years the FDA refused to test Fluoridation while the aluminum and pesticide industries reaped fortunes converting a hazardous waste into a dentrafice, aided by very friendly Dentist to once again save the poor kids. At the expense of seniors brittle bones and numerous Neurological ailments linked, yet avoided in law, broadcast or editorials. Simoultaniously while $billion concerns over dying patients using marijuana make the headlines. To "save" the ill or especially the healthy users and suppliers with mandatory sentencing them as a deterrent.Tobacco has 650 factories pumping out chemicals to go into non Native American cigarettes and never whispered by Congress, Liberals or General Surgeons. After 30 years   450,000 deaths a year there is still no warning of these chemical additions or their possible contribution to tobacco related deaths. Not included in cannabis, yet readily compared at every chance by vested interest propagandist like the DEA, ONDCP, DARE the Partnership and Family Research coincidentally sponsored by the very same Chemical corporations.*** As we farm out our working class seniors to Rest Home Warehouses and arm guard our kids from other kids rights to bare Nuclear arms we can still DARE to wave that red white and blue Chinese sweatshop Iraqi crude plastic proudly to the world and teach another generation the lies agreed upon by a minority of wealth, trickled down to the naive digging in the dirt to search for the American Dream. In the land of the 2 million imprisoned, 2 million homeless minimum wage increase deterrents and 2 million millionaires. While 40,000 starve in the world each day we keep the planets most nutritionally complete food illegal**. While Pharmaceuticals like Thalidomide get FDA re-approved in weeks, Cannabis is left lost in Bureaucracies maze going on three years. It is illegal to grow hemp for fuel while the Noreast freezes and the left coast stays rolling dark. A Hemp fueled car will visit the Bay Area this week while most of the nations press and reps stand by without comment. While kids get sick in "Golf" Wars protecting poison replaced 70 years ago with biomass shelved and outlawed. The Arctic is now to be exploited for more fossil fuels that perpetuate this very dysfunctional society.The product of the war on some drugs help maintain our Fascist way of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness at an unfair price to the majority who can't afford it. Protections meant for every citizen lost with a penstroke as the thousands of jobs sent overseas to dollar a day wagers. While Bush tax refunds profit the banks or corporations its spent on, another school will go without books or another neighborhood without repairs to the infrastructure, causing future problems much more costly, and the worker willeventually pay for it once again. Unless you have interest in a bank that lends its money at 20% and pays 5% to you in savings. When corporate CEO's sit in office legislating to benefit their own profits over clean air and water, what is that if not Fascism?  This war on some people and certain plants has no spectators. We can only openly stand up and speak out against this Fascist war or stay idol and perpetuate it as the majority of nonparticipating citizens allowed it to scapegoat a culture 50 years ago. Profits on misery are not a measure of success. Or strength. Its just crazy. 
God Bless America, wherever you are.
Peace, Love and Liberty or the Merchants of!
DdCCannabis is Safe (Indian Hemp Commission, Costa Rica, Jamaica) Fudge Soma and the Whooton report, Quayle, Lilly Pharmaceutical Sell Out do potholes go?
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Comment #7 posted by Ethan Russo MD on April 30, 2002 at 14:11:03 PT:
I am passionate on this issue, because fabulous information is out there. Those cannabis books have been forgotten, overlooked, or suppressed. Some enterprising investigative journalist should tackle this one: the disappearance of academic books on cannabis. Besides the rare book sources, any of you with access should avail themselves of Interlibrary Loan. I am the largest user of the service at the University of Montana. I volunteer my teaching there, but they more than generously compensate me through this exchange. I would not have been able to publish anything useful without the help of these dedicated professionals.
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Comment #6 posted by goneposthole on April 30, 2002 at 13:59:31 PT
missing books
A book that illustrated all of the areas where oil, coal and strategic metals are in all 50 states was in my local library. When I returned for the book about a year later, it was gone. I became suspicious because the contents in the book were busting out with information concerning extractable natural resources. There is not a single book or pamphlet on hemp or marijuana. In those hallowed halls of the Library of Congress the words by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson are inscribed: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.Anyway, re-legalize hemp and marijuana.
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Comment #5 posted by Ethan Russo MD on April 30, 2002 at 13:47:40 PT:
Rare Books
This and other rare cannabis books are available through an excellent service: hunting.
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on April 30, 2002 at 13:45:55 PT:
mainstream, for how long?
 "I think there's a need to come out with a report that is totally oblivious to some obvious differences between marijuana and other drugs."Hooray for the First Amendment. I am glad to see this in UPI, I hope CNN follows suit. 
Drug War is Crime
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on April 30, 2002 at 12:50:32 PT:
I can attest to the 'disappearing books' bit, Doc
The only good thing about living close to a potential NBC (Nukes, Bio and Chemical) terr target like Washington DC is access to the Library of Congress.I've been going there, on and off, for the last 20 years. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I've spent, pouring over all kinds of things, from alternate energy systems to corporate law to how to write books for children. It's all there.Or, it used to be... I especially loved the old Jefferson Reading Room, with that fantastically vaulted ceiling and old statuary (I guess Ashcroft ran out of cloth after garbing Lady Justice to hide what past generations didn't seem to have any trouble enduring the sight of) and hearing the sounds echo of books being slapped closed, or moved about. To me, the silence you hear is reverential; you are in a place no less important than a church, for here, ignorance is slain with the turning of a page. It's a scholar's dream...except for one thing: many important books on the matter of illicit drugs and drug policy have 'gone missing'.And I don't mean they've been taken out and are being used by other bibliophiles; I mean they are friggin' gone! And that is not just my opinion; the clerks, God bless 'em, looked literally high and low, and were just as puzzled.Out of curiosity, I began to take note of which books seem to be more likely to be 'missing' than others...and whadayaknow? The vast majority of the books still listed as present in the catalog but not physically there...are books whose titles fairly scream for 'legalization'. Case in point: The Connoissuer's Handbook of Marijuana by Drake. Had at least 5 printings that I know of...and not one copy is available. Curious, no? So, who's made off with my taxpayer funded property?I am reminded of the story of how Jack Herer, blessings be upon his name, went to look for the last copy of the film "Hemp for Victory"...and the Library people swore up and down they didn't have it. He found it anyways. Likewise for the only copy of the infamous Anslinger testimony to Congress in which he spewed his vile racist bigotry for all to view had been allowed to fall down behind some cabinet, lost to time for almost 60 years.There's an old saying in intel circles: "Once is an accident; twice, a coincidence...three times, a conspiracy." I'd say that somebody has been playing an odd game in US research circles. And we all come out as losers because of it...
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Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo MD on April 30, 2002 at 12:19:46 PT:
Kudos to Mike Gray, a hero of the movement. It would have been easier for him to continue to write screenplays ("The China Syndrome") and not subject himself to the usual vilification by telling the truth about the War on Drugs.At NORML, there was a fascinating panel examining the Shafer Commission 30 years after the fact. They traveled the world o find the truth: there were no major health problems attributable to cannabis, and everywhere its prohibition fueled corruption. For example, in Iran, where trafficking in hashish merited the death penalty, 100% of those executed just happened to be Afghans. So much for truth in advertising.The Commission also funded the many international studies such as Hashish: Studies of Longterm Use (Greece), Cannabis in Costa Rica, and Ganja in Jamaica, that proved conclusively that chronic users and non-users are almost indistinguishable on the basis of any medical measures. Apparently NIDA could not accept the truth, because the studies stopped, and the books reporting them have disappeared from libraries around the country.The War on Cannabis is the longest running fraud in the history of this country.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on April 30, 2002 at 12:13:11 PT:
Paradise Lost
Mr. Gray asks very poignantly a question that's crossed my mind thousands of times: What if? As some one with a keen sense of history, I can't help but wonder myself what might have happened...According to the USG's own figures, courtesy of the OMB, the United States Government has spent an incredible 200 - 500 Billion dollars in only the last 20 years alone...long past Dick's day. If you add up the last 30 years, it approaches the Trillion mark.Take a look around. Do your roads have pot-holes the size of Plato Crater on the Moon? Lost a few idler arms and tires? Bridges falling down on top of motorists from disrepair? Roads choked with cars and no light rail? Thank the DrugWarriors. They took the money. Your kids' schools falling apart? School lunch programs being cut back? Teachers being let go? Johnny and Suzy can't get into a decent college because of a drug conviction? Thank the DrugWarriors. They got the lion's share of the budget.Your local hospital about to close its' doors...just when you really need it? Doctors moving out of the area? Can't get the treatment you need because it's not approved by the bureaucrats at the Department of (ha-ha) Justice? Suffering from chronic pain because you are chronically undermedicated? Thank the DrugWarriors. There is so much more that could be said, but I'd be preaching to the choir. You know best what your own communities need...and will never have because some guy who couldn't make it in the military wants to dress up like Darth Vader and attack defenseless plants...and kill the users of said plants. Is this America? Is this truly America? Or did the Sovs somehow win when I was sleeping?
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