It did not have to be this way. At the same time that the Shafer Commission issued its report, the Bain Commission in Holland issued a report that made similar findings and recommendations. In Holland, they followed the advice of their experts. Thirty years later Holland has half the per-capita marijuana use as the U.S., far fewer drug-related problems and spends much less on drug enforcement. With statistics like that, it's no wonder that most of Europe is going Dutch. Just last week a British Commission issued a Shafer-like report, indicating that the U.K. is moving in the Dutch direction.
It is not too late for the U.S. to move to a more sensible path. We are approaching three quarters of a million marijuana arrests annually. Every year that the U.S. fails to adopt a policy based on research, science and facts we destroy millions of lives and tear apart millions of families.