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The New York Times January 12, 1945
Experts Discount Marijuana as Big Factor In Crime but Drive on It Will Be Pressed

Studies by the Committee on the Marijuana Problem in the City of New York, appointed by Mayor La Guardia in January 1939, have led the committee to the conclusion that "the practice of smoking marijuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word," that the drug is "not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes" and "is not widespread among school children," as some alarmist had reported, and that "juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marijuana."

Other conclusions in the 220 page report, published by the Jaques Cattell Press, Lancaster Pa., and made public yesterday by the Mayor, follow:

Marijuana is used extensively in the Borough of Manhattan but the "problem is not as acute as it is reported to be in other sections of the United States."

The introduction of marijuana into this area is recent as compared to other localities.

The cost of marijuana is low and therefore within the purchasing power of most persons; the distribution and use of marijuana is centered in Harlem; the majority of marijuana smokers are Negroes and Latin Americans; the consensus among marijuana smokers is that "the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy."

Further findings are that "the sale and distribution of marijuana is not under the control of any single organized group"; that its use "does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction" and that "the publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marijuana smoking in New York City is unfounded.'

In the introduction to the report, the mayor says that "the findings are to be interpreted only as a reassuring report of progress and not as encouragement to indulgence, for I shall continue to enforce the laws prohibiting the use of marijuana until and if complete findings may justify an amendment to existing laws. The scientific part of the research will be continued in the hope that the drug may prove to possess therapeutic value for the control of drug addiction."

The studies were carried out through a committee of physicians, psychologists, sociologists and pharmacologists appointed by the Public Health Relations Committee of the New York Academy of Medicine and supported financially with grants of $7,500 each provided by the Commonwealth Fund, The Friedman Foundation and the New York Foundation. Members of the Narcotic Squad of the New York Police Department helped materially in the studies.

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