Home Page Notes
Charles R. Schuster was the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Presidents Reagan and Bush.
Dr. Schuster, later the Director of the Clinical Research Division on Substance Abuse at Wayne State University School of Medicine, also said: "It's time to start passing laws and running programs based on what research has shown us about the problems, not on what public opinion polls say. There is excellent evidence that appropriate treatment reduces drug abuse. There is no evidence that stiffer prison terms for dealers reduce drug abuse. At some point our policies ought to start to reflect that."
Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and George Shultz, former US Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989, were only two of hundreds of world leaders who signed a Public Letter which appeared New York Times June 6, 1998. A portion of the letter:
"What is the result ? U.N. agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $400 billion, or the equivalent of roughly eight per cent of total international trade. This industry has empowered organized criminals, corrupted governments at all levels, eroded internal security, stimulated violence, and distorted both economic markets and moral values. These are the consequences not of drug use per se, but of decades of failed and futile drug war policies."
The Lancet has generally been regarded as the world's foremost medical journal for over a century. The quote is from its lead editorial on March 31, 2001.
The Lancet also wrote:
"The desire to take mood-altering substances is an enduring feature of human societies worldwide and even the most draconian legislation has failed to extinguish this desire -- for every substance banned another will be discovered, and all are likely to have some ill-effect on health. This should be borne in mind by social legislators who, disapproving of other people's indulgences, seek to make them illegal. Such legislation does not get rid of the problem; it merely shifts it elsewhere."