Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse -- Staff

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

Members and Staff



The Honorable Raymond Philip Shafer, Chairman

Dana L. Farnsworth , M.D., Vice Chairman

Henry Brill, M.D.

The Honorable Tim Lee Carter, U.S. Representative, Kentucky

Mrs. Joan Ganz Cooney

Charles 0. Galvin, S.J.D.

John A. Howard , Ph. D.

The Honorable Harold E. Hughes, U.S. Senator, Iowa

The Honorable Jacob K. Javits, U.S. Senator, New York

The Honorable Paul G. Rogers, U.S. Representative, Florida

Maurice H. Seevers, M.D., Ph. D.

J. Thomas Ungerleider, M.D.

Mitchell Ware, J.D.


Executive Director Michael R. Sonnenreich

Deputy Director Louis P. Bozzetti, M.D.

Suzanne Baumgartner

Glenn Gilman

John Helm

Paulette Hodges

Roberta Hollander
Anthony J. Roccograndi
Ralph M. Susman

Michel D. Silva

Richard J. Bonnie

Emery F. Bacon

Lenore R. Kupperstein

Jack D. Blaine, M.D.

Delores E. Mack, Ph. D.

Maryann L. Urban

Sol J. Silverman

Andrea Maharam Corcoran

Peter J. Jessen

Evelyn Miller

Cynthia Rose

Carol Simons

Sally M. Boyd

Mary K. Ryan

Ethel McIntosh

Basil M. Johnson

Support Staff

Cynthia Freeman

Judith Herbert

Christine Jones

Maryann M. Kowalczyk

Theresa Lewis

Youth Consultants

Kathryn E. Aasen

John D. Arterberry

Bren L. Buckley

Robert Donfeld

Ann Frame

Eric A. Goldstein

Terry J. Houle

Milton J. Nichols

Student Researchers

Samuel H. Bayless

Theodore M. Becker

Karen Bonnie

Richard D'Amico

Linda Dubuclet

John T. Golden

James Kimble

William King

Sharon Payne

Mary Povich

Cornelia Reister

Carlton Thompson

Deloris West

Michael S. Pauley

Andrew D. Pike

Ellen B. Rouse

Terri J. Siegel

Richard L. Taylor

Sarah C. Tefft

Patricia A. Wallace

Dianne L. Williams

Daniel Lipman

Gerald F. Murray

Joel S. Ostrow

Stephen H. Pugh

Michael W. Russell

William Sharek

Kenneth S. Starkey

Michael Stein

Michael J. Valentine

Notice: Former staff members: Maureen E. Biner, Valerie Boyle, Hugh E.

Flaherty, Roy E. Kinsey, Sherrill gasser and John Williams.

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