Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy Sign the Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy


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How to Help Build the Library

Building the library involves:

  1. Locating documents of interest
  2. Scanning or handtyping documents into computer format (including proofreading)
  3. Formatting the documents for publication on the web
  4. Making cash contributions so others can do the above.

It is a lot of labor (typically three to five minutes per page, just for the scanning process) but the result is that lots of documents which were very rare even in the United States, are now being read - and redistributed -- by people around the world. For much of the information in the library, we have already distributed more copies worldwide than were originally published when the documents were first printed. The transcripts of the Congressional hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 are a good example.

Here is how you can help:

1. Locating documents of interest.

A review of the titles in this library should give you a good idea of what I am after. I want good, major works of research, historical items which help us understand how we got to this point, medical research, policy analyses, etc. The list of potential documents is too long to adequately list here.

I do not want any information on how to grow pot, how to manufacture drugs, how to use drugs, the joys of using drugs, or any other items which might be construed to condone, approve, or promote the non-medical use of drugs in any way. If you have information of this type, I suggest you contact They are the biggest repository of such information and their interests are different than mine.

Once you locate documents of interest, you can photocopy them and send them to me:

Clifford A. Schaffer

P.O. Box 1430

Canyon Country, CA 91386-1430

Please remember that poor photocopies have to be hand-typed so it slows down the process of posting them considerably.

2. Scanning and hand-typing documents

I currently have about 50,000 pages of documents which have been sent to me by people from around the world, ranging from pain patients to professors. Therefore, photocopies sent to me are likely to take a little while to make it to the top of the priority list for posting to the web.

You can help by scanning the documents into computer format (OCR - Optical Character Recognition) or by hand typing documents which are in too poor a condition to OCR.

Scanning requires a computer (of course) and an optical scanner. Color scanners are commonly available now for something in the range of $300 to $400 and I purchased a cheap black and white scanner about a year ago for $129. A color scanner is not necessary for the vast majority of the work.

I do not recommend that you attempt to use a hand-held scanner unless you are a glutton for punishment. The reason is that they are too prone to screw up the scan and are simply more work than it is worth. Get a flatbed or a sheet-fed scanner.

OCR software (which looks at the scanned image and figures out what the text is) usually comes with most flatbed scanners and will do an acceptable job for reasonable documents. However, if you are going to do any serious amount of OCR I strongly recommend that you spend the $149 or so that it costs to upgrade to the Pro version of the software. It will make your life a whole lot easier.

Once you have scanned or hand-typed the document into computer format, send it to: Documents received in computer format usually make it to the web in a matter of a week or so (but don't hang me if I am late, OK?).

3. Formatting documents for publication on the web.

If you will look around the library, you will notice that there are some documents in plain text format which could be converted to HTML, and there are some HTML documents which deserve a little more formatting, such as in the layout of tables. Please feel free to wander around and find these documents, pretty them up and send them to me. Please do not change the contents of any file without specifically notifying me what changes you have made.

If you work hard and show me you can and will do it on a regular basis, we can work out an arrangement to maintain major parts of the library pretty much on your own - as currently happens with the LSD and the Psychedelics section. That section is maintained almost entirely by a volunteer in another country.

4. Making a Cash Contribution

Money will help this effort go faster. If I had the money I could hire people to do some of this work on a full-time basis and the library would grow to many times its current size. We have lots and lots of interesting documents to post, as soon as I can get someone to help with the work. More money would make a BIG difference.

You can make cash contributions to support the library in general, or you can designate your donation to be used toward a particular area of interest.

Donations - Introduction and Explanation

Donations for Specific Projects

Donations by Snail-Mail

Donations by snail mail should be sent to:

Clifford A. Schaffer
P.O. Box 1430
Canyon Country, CA 91386-1430


Donations by Credit Card (coming soon)

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