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  • Greetings:

    My question is simply this: Why do we not read the following reports in our daily newspapers and magazines? They tell the real story of cannabis …….

    British India[edit]
    Main article: Indian Hemp Drugs Commission
    In 1894, the British Indian government completed a wide-ranging study of cannabis in India. The report’s findings stated:

    Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have
    obtruded themselves on observation.

    — Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894-1895[10]

    ==================================================

    Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding
    The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
    Chapter V
    marihuana and social policy
    A Final Comment
    In this Chapter, we have carefully considered the spectrum of social and legal policy alternatives. On the basis of our findings, discussed in previous Chapters, we have concluded that society should seek to discourage use, while concentrating its attention on the prevention and treatment of heavy and very heavy use. The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective. We have attempted to balance individual freedom on one hand and the obligation of the state to consider the wider social good on the other. We believe our recommended scheme will permit society to exercise its control and influence in ways most useful and efficient, meanwhile reserving to the individual American his sense of privacy, his sense of individuality, and, within the context of ail interacting and interdependent society, his options to select his own life style, values, goals and opportunities.
    The Commission sincerely hopes that the tone of cautious restraint sounded in this Report will be perpetuated in the debate which will follow it. For those who feel we have not proceeded far enough, we are reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s advice to George Washington that “Delay is preferable to error.” For those who argue we have gone too far, we note Roscoe Pound’s statement, “The law must be stable, but it must not stand still.”
    We have carefully analyzed the interrelationship between marihuana the drug, marihuana use as a behavior, and marihuana as a social problem. Recognizing the extensive degree of misinformation about marihuana as a drug, we have tried to demythologize it. Viewing the use of marihuana in its wider social context, we have tried to desymbolize it.
    Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem.
    The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.

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    From the LaGuardia Report, NYC, 1930:
    In this sampling the records of 1,500 offenders, or 25 per cent of the 6,000, were examined. Of these, 135 were charged in connection with marihuana. From this fact it was estimated that about 540 offenders, or 9 per cent of all drug offenders coming to the Court of Special Sessions in six years, were users of marihuana. In analyzing this sample of 135 cases, it was found that 93 offenders had no previous record, the previous charges or charges of 8 concerned only drugs, 5 had records including drug charges and 29 had records not including drug charges. Among those with longer records, that is, from four to seven previous arrests, none showed progression from the use of drugs to other crimes.
    As measured by the succession of arrests and convictions in the Court of General Sessions (the only method of estimation) it can be said that drugs generally do not initiate criminal careers. Similarly, in the Court of Special Sessions, only 8 per cent of the offenders had previous charges of using drugs and 3.7 per cent had previous charges of drugs and other petty crimes. In the vast majority of cases in this group of 135, then, the earlier use of marihuana apparently did not predispose to crime, even that of using other drugs. Whether the first offenders charged with the use of marihuana go on to major crime is a matter of speculation. The expectancy of major crimes following the use of cannabis in New York County is small, according to these experiences.(4)

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