Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse - Letter

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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National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

801 19th Street N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20006

March 22, 1972

To The President and Congress of the United States:

As Chairman of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, I am pleased to submit to you our first year Report in conformance with the mandate contained in Section 601 of Public Law 91-513, The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.

This Report "Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding" is an all-inclusive effort to present the facts as they are known today, to demythologize the controversy surrounding marihuana, and to place in proper perspective one of the most emotional and explosive issues of our time. We on the Commission sincerely hope it will play a significant role in bringing uniformity and rationality to our marihuana laws, both Federal and State, and that it will create a healthy climate for further discussion, for further research and for a continuing advance in the development of a public social policy beneficial to all our citizens.

Whatever the facts are we have reported them. Wherever the facts have logically led us, we have followed and used them in reaching our recommendations. We hope this Report will be a foundation upon which credibility in this area can be restored and upon which a rational policy can be predicated.

By Direction of the Commission

Raymond P. Shafer

The President

The President of the Senate

The Speaker of the House

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