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John Kaplan's
Criminal Justice

During the time that I was still a law student at Stanford
I edited the first edition of a legal textbook entitled Criminal Justice,
written by the late Professor John Kaplan of Stanford Law School.

As John's student assistant in those days,
I also helped to select materials for inclusion as substantive content
and helped to formulate questions for students,
which were then appended to the ends of cases or to close out chapters.

Working as a team and having a great deal of intellectual fun in the process,
we thus came up with a clear, lively and easily understandable volume
which became one of the best-selling college textbooks ever,
being ultimately used in over 300 universities.

The book has gone into multiple authorship since John's passage.
It has also experienced many changes since then and is now in its 5th edition.

See: Criminal Justice: Introductory Cases and Materials
by John Kaplan, Jerome H. Skolnick, Malcolm M. Feeley
Publisher: Foundation Press; 5th edition (December 1991)



John Kaplan's
Marijuana -- The New Prohibition

John's book on the drug laws resulted from his membership on a professorial advisory committee to the California state legislature. John was quite conservative in his views and had in fact served as a public prosecutor of crimes, but his committee recommended a liberal stance toward marijuana - regarding its criminalization to be a legislative mistake.

John's view was that the legislature should concentrate more on workable laws regarding hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine, which were the major dangers. Too much emphasis was going toward marijuana - where young people were easily being caught in the act of smoking - and too little effort was being placed on going after hard drug makers and dealers, where arrests were much harder for the authorities to obtain.

As the result of the objective committee report, however, the committee was fired by the California legislature and a new committee was formed, ostensibly with members whose views were more in line with what the legislature subjectively wanted to hear, whether it fit the facts or not.

In his book, John predicted that the criminalization of marijuana would not work - it did not work - and that, on the contrary, the marijuana laws would strengthen the hard drug dealers as suppliers - which in fact happened, leading many people to take stronger drugs. The drug abuse mess that exists today throughout much of America is partially the result of this very erroneous drug law policy, having concentrated on marijuana and not enough on the truly dangerous substances.

See: Marijuana -- The New Prohibition
by John Kaplan
Publisher: Ty Crowell Co; 1st Edition (June 1970)




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