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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - 1972


The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - 1972

Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, published by Information Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 1972, Crown Copyrights Reserved

See also:  The Interim Report

Figures and Tables page xi

Note to Reader page xiii

1.    Introduction     

  • The Commission's Public Hearings
  • The Commission Research Program   
  • Consultation, Advice and Information

2.    Cannabis and Its Effects     

  • Introduction   
    • The Identity and History of Cannabis   
    • The Cannabis Literature   
    • The Pharmacological Classification of Cannabis   
  • Chemical and Botanical Aspects
    • The General Chemistry and Botany of Cannabis   
    • Illicit 'Street' Cannabis
  • Medical Use
  • Administration, Absorption, Distribution and Physiological Fate
    • Administration and Absorption   
    • Distribution, Biotransformation and Excretion   
    • The Detection of Cannabinoids in the Body   
  • The Review of Cannabis Effects: Some General Considerations   
    • The Scope of the Review   
    • The Question of Dose   
    • The Importance of Time   
    • Commission Experiments on Cannabis Effects   
    • Pharmacologically Active Constituents of Cannabis   
    • Quantitative Comparisons Among Cannabis Studies   
  • Phenomenological, Perceptual and Sensory Effects  
    • Some Subjective Characteristics of the Cannabis 'High'   
    • Experimental Evidence of Sensory-Perceptual Effects   
  • Intellectual and Cognitive Effects   
    • Psychomotor Performance and Driving   
    • Psychomotor Performance   
    • Automobile Driving   
    • Attitudes of Users Towards Driving   
    • Experimental Studies of Driving Skills   
    • Driving Records   
    • Accident Investigations   
    • Conclusions Regarding Traffic Hazards   
  • Adverse Psychological Reactions   
    • Adverse Reactions   
    • Adverse Psychological Reactions to Cannabis in the East and in Non-Industrial Countries      
    • Adverse Reactions in North America   
      • Clinical Reports From North America   
      • The Incidence of Adverse Reactions in Patient Samples   
      • The Incidence of Adverse Reactions in Non-Patient Samples   
    • American Experience in Vietnam   
    • Laboratory Reports of Adverse Reactions   
    • Summary and Discussion of Adverse Psychological Reactions to Cannabis   
  • Aggression, Violence and Crime   
  • Physiological Effects   
    • Acute Effects   
    • Chronic Physical Effects   
  • Tolerance and Dependence   
    • Tolerance   
    • Physical Dependence   
    • Psychological Dependence   
  • Cannabis and Other Drugs   
    • Pharmacological Interaction   
    • Patterns of Multiple-Drug Use   
      • Cannabis and alcohol   
      • Cannabis and tobacco   
      • Progression to heroin and other drugs   
  • Annex A: Preliminary Summary of Commission Cannabis and Alcohol Experiments    
    • Experiment 1: A Comparison of Delta 9 THC and Marijuana Effects in Humans
      • Procedure   
      • Results   
      • Discussion   
    • Experiment 2: Effects of Marijuana and Alcohol on Some Automobile Driving Tasks    
      • Procedure   
      • Results
      • Discussion
    • Experiment 3: Effects of Marijuana and Alcohol on Psychomotor Tracking Performance    
      • Procedure   
      • Results   
      • Discussion   
    • Experiment 4: Effects of Marijuana on Visual Signal Detection and Glare Recovery    
      • Procedure   
      • Results   
      • Discussion 
  • Annex B: The Addiction Research Foundation Experimental Studies of the Chronic Effects of Marijuana-A Discussion of the Preliminary Summary
    • Procedure
    • Pilot Experiment
    • Main Experiment-Phase 
    • Main Experiment-Phase 2
    • Summary of Preliminary Findings and Progress to Date
    • Discussion 
  • Annex C: Some Directions for Future Research on the Pharmacological and Chemical Aspects of the Non-Medical Use of Cannabis
  • Notes 

3.    Legal and Illegal Sources and Distribution of Cannabis

  • Legal Sources and Legal Distribution
  • Legal Sources and Illegal Distribution
  • Illegal Sources and Illegal Distribution
  • Sources
  • Importation 
  • Domestic Distribution
  • Notes 

4.    Patterns and Extent of Cannabis Use 

  • Social History of Cannabis Use in North America
  • The Social Career of the Cannabis User
  • Levels of Cannabis Use
  • Cannabis-Using Populations
  • Commission Survey Data 
  • Notes 

5.    The Law 

  • Introduction
  • The International Framework
  • The Constitutional Framework
  • The Criminal Law Basis of Federal Legislation
  • Other Possible Bases of Federal Jurisdiction in Relation to Non-Medical Drug Use
  • Jurisdiction with Respect to Health
  • Provincial Power to Create Penal Offences
  • Jurisdiction with Respect to Education
  • Legislation and Law Enforcement
  • History
  • Authorized Distribution and Possession of Cannabis
  • Prohibitions and Penalties
  • Applicable Provisions of the Criminal Code
  • Juvenile Delinquency Legislation
  • Special Methods of Enforcement
  • Discretion Exercised by Police and Prosecutors
  • Sentencing Policy 
  • References 

6. Conclusions and Recommendations 

Conclusions and Recommendations of Gerald Le Dain, Heinz Lehmann, J. Peter Stein

  • The Issues
  • What Constitutes Legitimate Grounds for Social Concern
  • The Bases for Social Concern About Cannabis
  • General
  • Effect on adolescent maturation
  • Effect on driving
  • Effect on mental health
  • Effect on multiple-drug use
  • Cannabis and other crime
  • The Objective of Social Policy
  • The Available Instruments of Social Policy
  • Whether, in Principle, the Criminal Law Should Be Used in the Field of Non-Medical Drug Use
  • Control of Availability
  • Control of Quality and Potency
  • The Control of Demand
  • The Effect of a Change in the Law on the Perception of Harm
  • The Costs of Applying the Criminal Law to the Distribution and Use of Cannabis
  • The Balance of Benefit and Costs
  • Summary Statement of Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions and Recommendations of Marie-Andree Bertrand

  • Prohibition: Expensive and Inneffective
  • The Non-Educative Character of the Law
  • Absence of Controls on Price, Quality and Potency
  • The Harm of Cannabis
  • Effects on the Sensory, Cognitive and Psychomotor Functions
  • Physical Effects
  • Amotivational Syndrome
  • Mental Health
  • Possible Effects on Maturation
  • Cannabis and Criminality
  • Progression and Multi-Drug Use
  • Arguments Against Legalization
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations

Conclusions and Recommendations of Ian L. Campbell


Appendix A: Convictions and Sentences Involving Cannabis in 1970 and 1971

Appendix B: Commissioners and Staff

References and Selected Bibliographies 


Figures and Tables

The Structures of Dominant Cannabinoids    18

Figure 2
Numbering Systems for the Tetrahydrocannabinols    19

Figure 3
Cannabis Sativa L    20

Table I
Qualitative Analyses of Illicit Cannabis Samples In Canada    26-27

Table 2
Quantitative Analyses of Some Illicit Cannabis Samples    28-29

Table 3
Cannabis Seizures, In Pounds, Between 1968 and 1971 As Reported by
the R.C.M. Police    170

Table 4
Approximate Wholesale Value of R.C.M. Police-Reported Cannabis
Seizures Between 1968 and 1971    170

Figure 4
Major International Cannabis Routes Terminating In Canada    174

Table 5
Cannabis Use: Estimates of Proportions Who Began Use, Were Using, Had Ever Used, and Had Apparently Terminated Use, by Year and Survey   
Table 6
Range of Dispositions in Fifteen Hypothetical Cases    251

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