Causal Essay – Ally Hodgson

So, How Did Marijuana Get Placed Into Schedule One in the First Place?

Marijuana is a schedule one drug. A schedule one drug is described under the Controlled Substances Act as:

 “hav[ing] a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision”

How did marijuana get in a schedule with drugs like heroin, LSD, PCP and ecstasy?

Roger Egeberg from the Department of Health Education and Welfare wrote a letter to Congress when asked where they should put marijuana. The letter said:

“Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained in schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve this issue. If those studies make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill.”

Marijuana got placed in schedule one simply because Congress didn’t know what to do with it since there was not substantial research. The problem with being in schedule one is, as the legislation states, “[schedule one] limits authorized activities.” Therefore that fact that marijuana is in schedule one makes it harder to research. If marijuana was taken out of schedule one, it could be researched, which would be beneficial.

Egeberg did state marijuana should be moved if the studies concluded so. The studies mentioned finished in 1972 and recommended marijuana be removed from any scheduling and personal use should be decriminalized. These studies were done by the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond  Shafer, a chairman, recommended:

“Possession of marihuana for personal use would no longer be an offense, but marihuana possessed in public would remain contraband subject to summary seizure and forfeiture. Casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration not involving profit would no longer be an offense.”

Would this even work? Drugs were decriminalized in Portugal. It was very beneficial to the country. 10 percent of Portuguese people over 15 have used marijuana in their lives. This is the lowest percent in Europe and staggeringly low compared to America’s 39 percent of people over twelve.

So why didn’t we try this? In 1971, Nixon stated even if the studies recommended he decriminalize marijuana, he would not. He explained he had “strong views” on this subject and would follow those views. It is possible this was largely because of the upcoming 1972 election against George McGovern.

Works Cited:

“Busted: America’s War on Marijuana,”

Controlled Substances Act TITLE 21 – FOOD AND DRUGS CHAPTER 13 – DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL SUBCHAPTER I – CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT FDA US Food and Drug Administration. 11 June, 2009. 12 April, 2012.

Historical Timeline- History of Marijuana as Medicine – 2900 BC to Present 3 June, 2012. 12 April, 2012.

Richard Nixon:“The President’s News Conference,” May 1, 1971.Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

United States National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. 1972. Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding. U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC

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8 Responses to Causal Essay – Ally Hodgson

  1. davidbdale says:

    Casual Essay, Ally, as in Casual Friday? Love your title. I’m very encouraged that you’ll follow that intriguing lead about what CAUSED the herb to end up sharing space with heroin in the first place. More soon! Glad we’re OK.

  2. allyhodgson93 says:

    Hey Professor, I think I’m gonna use this for my portfolio so feedback would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks!

  3. davidbdale says:

    “hav[ing] a high potential . . . . ”
    I’ve asked you about this quote before, Ally. It sounds as if it were written by an idiot. Where does it come from and why do you suffer with its insanely bad grammar? There has to be a native English speaker somewhere who has said this better. Does your paragraph mean the CSA defines a S1 drug this way? Why not quote from the CSA? You don’t identify your source with in-text citation, so I don’t know where it comes from.

    Roger Egeberg wrote this letter when? Important point.

    Clearly Egeberg’s advice was ignored, perhaps because there is no incentive to move the drug, perhaps because the “studies underway” were never completed, or demonstrated dependence. Do you know which? Your paper would benefit if you did.

    If findings that could have taken it from schedule 1 were ignored, that’s diabolical because as long as it’s in S1, research is restricted so (Catch 22!) nobody can prove it doesn’t belong there. Track down those “studies” if you can.

    You hint that you’re about to reveal the finding that marijuana does not produce dependency (which the studies were trying to prove or disprove), but you don’t deliver. The Shafer Commission isn’t a scientific study. Your punctuation claims that “the studies” and “the bipartisan Shafer Commission” are related, perhaps identical. Is it true? I doubt it. You don’t say who you’re quoting, so the source of the opinion that Nixon nixed decriminalization is unclear.

    The allegation is intriguing, but it’s not much more than an allegation. Is decriminalization a Presidential matter? No. Could the president exert pressure? Sure. Let’s be clear. Studies are conducted by scientists. The Commission looks at the study conclusion from a legislative point of view and makes recommendations to the president about what laws might be appropriate.

    Was Nixon facing re-election in 1971 for a term to begin in 1972? Did he need a tough-on-crime or an anti-drug campaign issue?

    Lots of important details missing here, Ally. You don’t have to worry about word count. Worry instead that your argument is incomplete for lack of evidence. You need to do more to connect the dots.

    Keep working on this, even after publishing if necessary. It’s too important to neglect.

  4. allyhodgson93 says:

    the quote is from the CSA.
    I’ll mention when he wrote the letter.
    i did write:
    The studies mentioned finished in 1972 and recommended marijuana be removed from any scheduling and be decriminalized
    I’ll track down the studies.
    I thought the commission and the study were the same. maybe i was mistaken. I’m not really understanding. help?
    i’ll make some further additions.

    • davidbdale says:

      Commissions are groups of bureaucrats who are assigned to examine the evidence produced and presented by others and decide, based on that evidence, what to recommend to legislators. They don’t conduct any research themselves or do any scientific studies. They waited for the results of such studies—regarding marijuana’s benefits, dangers, likelihood to produce dependence—to make their recommendations.

  5. davidbdale says:

    Quotes of more than 2 or 3 lines need to be block-quoted, Ally. Once I did that for you, it became more obvious that there’s very little of your own writing here. The quotes do tell a story of sorts, but you haven’t done much to interpret them or use them to draw conclusions.
    Grade Recorded.

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