The Nation: Out of Commissions

Back in January, President Nixon an nounced the appointment of nine new members to a commission on marijuana and drug abuse. Last month he flatly told a press conference that if that commission turns out to favor legalizing pot, "I will not follow that recommendation." That was only the latest example of how a President can ignore his commissions unless they agree with what he wants to do. Often their main function is only to convey the impression that the President is actively responding to a national crisis. By the time the commission completes its report, passions over the triggering...

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