Since it was launched last year in a meeting at Stanford's Hoover Institution, the Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy (popularly known as the "Hoover" Resolution) has enjoyed stunning success, Signed by luminaries as former secretary of state George P. Shultz,, Novel laureate Milton Friedman, and Mayor Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore, the Resolution has done more perhaps than any other project to demonstrate the political vitality of the reform movement. Spearheaded by Clifford Schaffer, Judge James P. Gray, and Clark and Catherine Smith, the Resolution has been signed by judges, police chiefs, doctors, big-city mayors, ABC newscaster Hugh Downs, the entire District Attorney's office of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and thousands of others. In this article Clifford Schaffer explains the strategy behind the Resolution and how others can use it to win support for reform:
The Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy was the result of the efforts of a small group of people who came together with the goal to develop a strategy for drug policy reform which would really win. The Resolution is the key point of that strategy.
The purpose of the Resolution is simple. We propose that the President and Congress should jointly form an objective Federal Commission to openly and honestly review all of the evidence on drug policy, and to make recommendations for changes to our laws based on the evidence. Let's show all of the evidence to the American people -- on CSPAN -- and then decide what a good drug policy might be. What could be more honest and forthright?
The trick is that I have read the evidence. The evidence shows very clearly that the drug war is the worst possible approach to the drug problem. That fact is undeniable. We are asking for an open and honest discussion because we want the American people to see the facts.
The Resolution has gained support from around the world. The list of signers and supporters is nothing less than awesome, particularly considering that there was no organization and no funding behind it. Every one of the thousands of signers came from word-of-mouth. Every single success story behind the Resolution has come from someone who heard about it, recognized that it was a good idea, and sent it to someone they knew.
The list of signers with titles behind their name is about forty pages (single spaced) at this writing so I cannot include it here. However, it includes mayors, chiefs of police, medical experts on drugs, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, probation officers, social workers, and many, many others from around the world.
For anyone who would oppose us, we have a simple question:
What's wrong with the truth?
For anyone who is interested in doing more with this, there is a complete package available. It includes the current list of signers of the Resolution and my formal written strategies which were the basis for the Resolution. These strategies explain how to persuade other people to support drug policy reform -- and they really work. Judge James P. Gray uses these strategies in his TV and radio appearances and the host usually has to go on the air and beg people to call in and disagree. Nearly everyone will agree with drug policy reform if you use these strategies. If you would like a copy of the packet (about one hundred pages total) send a five to ten dollar donation and a large manila self-addressed envelope with $2.90 in postage to:
C. A. Schaffer
P.O. Box 1430
Canyon Country, CA 91386-1430
(For the list of signers only, you need only send Cliff a self-addressed, stamped envelope with two dollars in postage. The text of the resolution and the list of original signers is included at the end of this issue.)
Activist Mark Drake has a packet which explains how he obtained an endorsement of the Resolution from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. If you are interested in pursuing similar endorsements from governmental bodies in your area and would like to see how Mr. Drake did it, send a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope ($0.52 postage) to:
P.O. Box 400
Leggett, CA 95585-0400