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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - Table of Contents

National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Chapter III

Social Impact of marihuana use

Marihuana, Public Health and Welfare

As the feared threat to public safety through violent crime has diminished in recent years, policy-makers and the public have begun increasingly to view marihuana and other illicit drug use as a public health concern. The National Survey indicates that American adults regard drug abuse as the third most pressing problem of the day, closely following the economy and Vietnam. However, public attitudes reflect considerable confusion about the facts concerning marihuana and drugs in general.

This confusion has resulted from too little understanding of the motives for drug use as well as inadequate knowledge of the classification of drugs according to their main effects. Legal penalties have frequently mirrored this confusion, and the resulting inconsistencies cause, many young people to lose confidence in adult authority. Even in the medical profession, much uncertainty is evident, and for most of the general public there is no clear authority to whom they can turn for guidance.


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