Surprisingly, Mike Wallace’s 1968 TV report on Marijuana is probably the most reasonable, well-balanced, and well-researched report available on the drug.
The general scientific consensus seemed to be that at least none of the government’s hysterical claims were well-supported, and that more research needed to be done. Well, the world’s scientists did that research and found pot reasonably safe, yet the drug remains ludicrously stuck in Federal law alongside heroin.
Anyway, Wallace’s report is full of interesting interviews from people of all walks of life. Near the end, psychiatrist Dr. Richard Brockman nails the common conservative position, and why crackdowns can be bad for dealing with what is mainly a social issue for teens:
[Leaders crack down on marijuana] as a means of maintaining their conventionality … It’s like being against sin.
In a sense, we’re all guilty of what the social psychologists call pluralistic ignorance. We sorta feel that the other fella feels this way, too. Persons who are making social policy have to understand that they cannot bring about social control by increasing, sweeping, and repressive measures, because many of these young people will be so repressed and so hurt that the real value they have to contribute will no longer be ours to grab.
Wallace concludes the report:
Our reaction to marijuana has been more emotional than reasoned. It is time to turn it the other way around.
Some things never change!