Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Marihuana Use and Its Effects - General Body Function

US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Table of Contents
I. Marihuana and the Problem of Marihuana
Origins of the Marihuana Problem
The Need for Perspective
Formulating Marihuana Policy
The Report
II. Marihuana Use and Its Effects
The Marihuana User
Profiles of Users
Becoming a Marihuana User
Becoming a Multidrug User
Effects of Marihuana on the User
Effects Related to Pattern Use
Immediate Drug Effects
ShortTerm Effects
Long Term Effects
Very Long Term Effects
III. Social Impact of Marihuana Use
IV. Social Response to Marihuana Use
V. Marihuana and Social Policy
Drugs in a Free Society
A Social Control Policy for Marihuana
Implementing the Discouragement Policy
A Final Comment
Ancillary Recommendations
Legal and Law Enforcement Recommendations
Medical Recommendations
Other Recommendations
Letter of Transmittal
Members and Staff
History of Marihuana Use: Medical and Intoxicant
II. Biological Effects of Marihuana
Botanical and Chemical Considerations
Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect
Acute Effects of Marihuana (Delta 9 THC)
Effects of Short-Term or Subacute Use
Effects of Long-Term Cannabis Use
Investigations of Very Heavy Very Long-Term Cannabis Users
III. Marihuana and Public Safety
Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
Marihuana - Public Health and Welfare
Assessment of Perceived Risks
Preventive Public Health Concerns
Marihuana and the Dominant Social Order
The World of Youth
Why Society Feels Threatened
The Changing Social Scene
Problems in Assessing the Effects of Marihuana
Marihuana and Violence
Marihuana and (Non-Violent) Crime
Summary and Conclusions: Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
History of Marihuana Legislation
History of Alcohol Prohibition
History of Tobacco Regulation
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The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Marihuana - A Signal of Misunderstanding.

Chapter II

marihuana use and its effects

General Body Function

In the Jamaican study, no significant physical or mental abnormalities could be attributed to marihuana use, according to an evaluation of medical history, complete physical examination, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, blood cell and chemistry tests, lung, liver or kidney function tests, selected hormone evaluation, brain waves, psychiatric evaluation, and psychological testing. There was no evidence to indicate that the drug as commonly used was responsible for producing birth defects in offspring of users. This aspect is also being studied further.

Heavy smoking, no matter if the substance was tobacco or ganja, was shown to contribute to pulmonary functions lower than those found among persons who smoked neither substance. All the ganja smokers studied also smoked tobacco. In Jamaica, ganja is always smoked in a mixture with tobacco; and many of the subjects were heavy cigarette smokers, as well.

In a study of a Greek hashish-using population preliminary findings revealed poor dentition, enlarged livers, and chronic bronchitis. Further study is required to clarify the relationship of these to hashish use, alcohol or tobacco use, or general life style of this user population.


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