|The FORCES International Honour Committee - Return to Index|
Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Schaler is Adjunct
Professor at American University's School of Public Affairs in
Washington, D.C. As a speaker, media commentator, teacher and consultant
on drug policy, he has been an outspoken critic of drug prohibition
policy and the "addiction" theory that would deny people's personal
freedom and responsibility in connection with their behaviour. His
professional involvements have included assisting the American Civil
Liberties Union in Maryland in a case involving coerced treatment for
alcoholism and First Amendment rights.
He has recently written a book on the topic of addiction, Addiction Is a Choice (2000), and has edited two others on related issues: Drugs: Should We Legalise, Decriminalise or Deregulate? (1998), and (with Magda E. Schaler, MPH) Smoking: Who Has the Right? (1998). "Most of us know people who smoked for years and then quit abruptly," he has noted on the subject of smoking and addiction. "Their bodies had adapted to nicotine and since they chose to quit, they did. Question: What do we attribute that behaviour to? Answer: Free will."
On the politically exploited concept of addiction, that puts personal will and responsibility outside the individual thus enabling and justifying institutional and government intervention, Schaler has written a book - Addiction Is A Choice - which was the core of the 2003 John Stossel's ABC News Television Special "Help Me, I Can't Help Myself".
Dr. Schaler was the 1999 recipient of the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties