Legalizing marijuana

Dear Editor,

CARLINVILLE (Oct. 5, 2017) – Since PBS just spent two weeks showing Ken Burns’ film about the Vietnam War, and since the General Assembly is contemplating legalizing marijuana, now seems like a good time to point out the connection.

When the Controlled Substances Act was passed, President Nixon appointed the Shafer Commission to recommend which drugs should be included. The Shafer Commission recommended that marijuana should be decriminalized for personal possession and private use. Nixon overruled the Shafer Commission because he wanted to use marijuana as an excuse to send the police after anti-war protesters.

The Shafer Report “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding” (1972) is posted on


Richard DeBiase,