A letter to Henry Waxman regarding HR 5843

Monday, April 21, 2008


The Honorable Henry Waxman
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Waxman,

Last Thursday, Rep. Barney Frank introduced HR 5843.  As you are no doubt aware, this legislation would do away with all federal penalties for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana.  I am writing to strongly urge you to support this long-overdue, common sense policy change.  Your political science degree and years of civil service mean that you’ve likely forgotten more about the history and inner workings of this great nation than I’ve ever known.  However, I would like to remind you of two key moments in the history of our drug policy.

In 1944, the LaGuardia Committee concluded that:

The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word

The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking.

Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. 

Almost 30 years later, in 1972, President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse issued their report titled, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.  Their findings:

The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would de-emphasize marihuana as a problem.
The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.

And yet, here we are.  36 more years have passed and our elected officials have flatly refused to do what they are charged to do; craft legislation that is in the best interest of their constituents. I hope that you keep these points in mind when considering whether or not to support this legislation, and are not swayed by the campaign of willful ignorance, racism and corporate interference that has long been waged against both the plant and the citizens who choose to use it.  Right now, thousands of your constituents in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are partaking of marijuana in the comfort and safety of their own homes, harming no one.

Why continue to treat them like criminals?




Nick Adams


1 Response to “A letter to Henry Waxman regarding HR 5843”

  1. 1 A reply from Henry Waxman at NickAdamsWeb Pingback on May 15th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

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