National coalition for drug policy change
Publication Date: Wednesday May 31, 1995

National coalition for drug policy change

On Feb. 26, 1993, a group of concerned citizens met at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and unanimously passed this resolution, which recommends that our country investigate the possibility of change in drug policy.

The resolution was originally signed by 21 people, known as the National Coalition for Drug Policy Change. Between the initial signing and August 1993, when the resolution was submitted to President Clinton's "drug czar," Lee Brown, more than 1,000 people from across the country and from all walks of life added their unsolicited support.

Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy

WHEREAS, the overall situation regarding the use of drugs in our society and the crime and misery that accompanies it has continued to deteriorate for several decades; and

WHEREAS, our society continues to attempt, at enormous financial cost, and loss of civil liberties, to resolve drug problems through the criminal justice system, with the accompanying increases of prisons and numbers of inmates; and

WHEREAS, the huge untaxed revenues generated by the illicit drug trade are undermining legitimate governments worldwide; and

WHEREAS, the present system has spawned a system of hostility by the incarceration of disproportionate numbers of African-Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups; and

WHEREAS, the number of people who have contracted AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases from contaminated hypodermic needles is epidemic under our present system; and

WHEREAS, in our society's zeal to pursue our criminal approach, legitimate medical uses for the relief of pain and suffering of patients have been suppressed.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that our society must recognize drug use and abuse as the medical and social problems that they are and that they must be treated with medical and social solutions; and

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED, that an objective commission be immediately empowered by the president and by Congress to recommend revision of the drug laws of these United States in order to reduce the harm our present policies are causing.

Some of the people who signed the resolution:

Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate; professor emeritus of economics, University of Chicago; research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

Joseph McNamara, former police chief of San Jose; research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

Judge James P. Gray, Orange County Superior Court

George Shultz, former secretary of state; distinguished fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford

Frank Jordan, mayor of San Francisco

Susan Hammer, mayor of San Jose

Elihu Harris, mayor of Oakland

John Vasconcellos, chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, California State Assembly

Rebecca Q. Morgan, former California state senators

Arlo Smith, district attorney, San Francisco

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