Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Social Response to Marihuana Use - The Family

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 Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Chapter IV

social response to marihuana use

The Family

The most important institution for instilling social norms is the family. Parental attitudes generally parallel public opinion, and specific responses in our National Survey suggest an inclination among parents and non-parents to deal with youthful marihuana users through discussion and persuasion rather than harsh or punitive measures. When asked what action they would take upon discovering that one of their teenage children was smoking marihuana with friends, 47% of the adults responded that they would use persuasion and reason. Twenty-three percent favored a punitive approach. Interestingly, 9% of the latter group felt so strongly about the matter that they were willing to report their own child to the police. A considerable number, 35% indicated that they were uncertain about what to do, or failed to respond to this multiple response question.

The non-punitive trend was also apparent when the adults were asked what they would do if their teenage child was arrested for a marihuana offense. A substantial number (58%) indicated they would attempt to extricate their child from the situation, many not wishing their child to have a police record, while 34% expressed the sentiment that the child's arrest would help him learn a lesson.

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