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Exposing Marijuana Myths: A Review of the Scientific Evidence

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... Collaborating lobbying groups include the Cannabis Action Network (CAN), Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP), Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics 311d Marijuana -AIDS Research (ACT-MARS), Freedom Fighters of America (FFA), and Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH); and an information clearinghouse of hemp literature is the American Hemp Council (AHC). Supporters of hemp legalization cite its economic advantage compared to trees as a source of paper (although currently hemp is 10 times as expensive; Reviving Hemp [news], 1995), or its potential use as a substitute for petroleum, its nutritional value(of its seeds,especially for essential fatty and anuno acids), its use in the manufacture of durable textiles, 311d its medicinal uses as 311 anti-nauseant <U1d appetite enhancer (to aid adjustment to C311cer treatment); a muscle relaxant, Fall 1996 analgesic, and anticonvulsant; a bronchodilator and anti-asthmatic; and as a means to reduce intraocular pressure for the treatment ofglaucoma (Doblin and Kleiman 1995;Grinspoon 1995;Grinspoon and Bakalar 1995;Harris 1978;Jenks 1995;Jones 1983;Rossi 1993;Solomon 1966;Stafford 1977;Zimmer and Morgan 1995). Its recreational or spiritual value also has been referenced (e.g., Aldrich 1977). ...
... Delta-9-THC content in marijuana was 0.4 to 4% around 1967 and is now approximately 10% (The Harvard Medical School 1987). It is approximately twice as powerful as it was 20 to 30 years ago (Zimmer and Morgan 1995). Over 20 cannabinoids have been isolated from various plant materials (Harris 1978;Martin et aI. ...
... The most well-confirmed danger from marijuana use is lung damage (and probably lung cancer; Gil et al. 1995;CSAP 1995;Grinspoon and Bakalar 1995;The Harvard Medical School 1987;Jones 1983;Macdonald 1988;Sridhar et al. 1994;Swan 1994;Zimmer and Morgan 1995). Most of these sources suggest that 1 joint is approximately equivalent to 5 cigarettes in terms of amount of carbon monoxide intake, I joint equals 4 cigarettes in terms of amount of tar intake, I joints equals 10 cigarettes in terms of amount of microscopic damage to cells lining the airways, and I joint per day smoked for several years may yield a higher probability of lung damage than regular cigarette smoking. ...
Article
Due to recent evidence of the increasing frequency of marijuana use among adolescents and young adults, and due to the many remaining research issues regarding this drug, it is appropriate to summarize some of the important data about marijuana and to suggest some directions for research and service. This article first provides a review of the history, botany, active ingredients, effects, and negative consequences of marijuana use. Next, prevention and cessation of marijuana use are discussed. Finally, this paper provides a selective examination of current issues in marijuana research. Several salient issues are highlighted including its preference among certain subgroups (high risk youth and ethnic differences), its relations with illegal behavior (marijuana use and driving, current marijuana-related legislation, and marijuana use and violence), and its recent portrayal in the media.
... In this article we examine the processes of initiation into injection drug use. How social processes contribute to the initiation of drug use in general, and injection in particular, has been examined (Becker 1963;Dai 1964;Bauman and Ennett 1996;Crum et al. 1996;Zimmer and Morgan 1997;Pentz 1999;Atlani et al. 2000;Durrant and Thakker 2003). Durrant and Thakker (2003) developed a model that integrates a variety of processes relevant to the initiation of drug use: biological, psychosocial, cultural-historical and social structural. ...
... The mass media plays an important role in the transmission of cultural norms and practices. Zimmer and Morgan (1997) posit that marijuana's glorification in popular culture -in movies, music and fashion -may increase some teens' interest in drugs. ...
... Data from our sample indicate that books and television programmes may provide sufficient information regarding technique and defining drug use as desirable, and thus contribute to understanding media influences on drug use. Other research has also shown that the glamorization of drug use in the media may increase some teens' interests in drugs (Zimmer and Morgan 1997). In particular, a combination of positive beliefs about these images, and an environment where drug use is common, may lead to increased drug use. ...
Article
Previous literature has identified several factors associated with the initiation of injection drug use; we add to this literature by focussing on the biological, psychosocial, socio-cultural and socio-structural processes that play a role in injection initiation. We identified three necessary processes. Firstly, one must already have developed a conception of drugs as creating desired effects. Secondly, initiation is born out of a social context through interaction with injection drug users. Lastly, the medical mismanagement of pain was a necessary process for a small number of participants. This article also sheds some light on how and why such necessary processes develop. In general, the majority of the participants indicated backgrounds of intense psychosocial and socio-structural hardship. An unstable family life, childhood abuse and environments where drug use is prominent all helped to reinforce a sense of inevitability in some participants.
... Current models of risk factors research recognize the multi-factorial nature of drug use and, accordingly, emphasize what is termed a 'multiple risk factors' approach (Clayton, 1991; Hawkins et al., 1992)—often termed the 'risk factors' approach (De Wit et al., 1995). Additionally, many studies emphasize that the experimentation and use of illicit drugs need not indicate developmental or personality problems, and that patterns of drug use may occur quite independently of personality or psychological problems, and also often without adverse individual effects (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Barnard & McKeganey, 1994; Martín, 1993; Hartnoll, 1990; Perri et al., 1998; Tossmann & Heckmann, 1997; Merzagora et al., 1996; Navarro Botella & Gómez, 1998; Ingold, 1998). Despite consensus that the 'addictive personality' is a misnomer (Orlandini et al., 1996; Lavelle et al., 1993; Calafat et al., 1997; Charles-Nicolas, 1998), there is still a vast literature seeking to delineate whether, and how, multiple personality states are related to drug use. ...
... For personal use only. Similarly, the belief that alcohol, tobacco and cannabis inevitably operate as gateway drugs to later problem use may be something of a cultural myth (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Room, 1994; Peele & Brodsky, 1997). Studies show that the large majority of people who use cannabis, for example, do not progress to cocaine, heroin or problematic use, and that many problem drug users show an atypical or alternative sequencing with respect to drug use transitions (Peele & Brodsky, 1997; Mackesy-Amiti et al., 1997). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses research findings on non-biological risk factors associated with illicit drug use. There is an established body of North American research in this field, and a growing European literature. We find that there is an interplay of individual and environmental factors associated with drug use, with the permeation of their interactions potentially limitless. Within the behavioural science literature, we identify three main analytical dimensions for understanding 'risk factors'. These are: 'intrapersonal'; 'micro-environmental'; and 'macro-environmental'. We note that it is not new to emphasize drug use as a social activity, involving social interactions within particular social environments, but that, despite this, the balance of focus in research tends towards 'extra-environmental' or 'individualistic' interpretations. We emphasize that future research is best oriented towards generating data of practical value for the development of interventions rather than attempting to delineate causative factors. The failure of most risk factors research rests in its incapacity to capture the variety of social and environmental influences on drug use, and the relevance of these for developing socially appropriate interventions. In addition to recognizing the importance of targeting interventions towards 'high risk' populations and 'high risk' forms of drug use, we emphasize throughout the importance of the 'risk environment' in mediating patterns of drug use.
... Proponents of legalization often explicitly state (or imply) that a) there are no to minimal consequences of moderate marijuana use, b) the problems are no worse than those related to alcohol use, c) many of the consequences that do exist are artifacts of the current laws (e.g., possession), and d) marijuana is not a "hard drug" like cocaine or heroin because it is not associated with property crime, dependence, or health or emotional consequences. Proponents rarely offer more than anecdotal evidence and/or circular claims to support their positions; rather, they often try to argue against "Myths" or propaganda put out by the "opponents" and or the government (e.g., Zimmer & Morgan, 1997, http://www.visi.com/-gm/infocanv/myths.html). Opponents argue that there is an extensive litany of evils that result from marijuana use and that it is a gateway to heavier drug use. ...
... While proponents may still prefer to legalize marijuana, they need to recognize that it is an addictive substance and that legalization is likely to lead to increased use and to exacerbate a wide range of problems. This is important because many proponents (e.g., Zimmer & Morgan, 1997 ; http://www.visi.com/grp/infocanv/myths .html) ...
Article
The legalization debate today is very different from when it began with the hearings for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that effectively made it illegal through high taxation. In the 17 years prior to the act, only seven articles were listed in the Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature and the main concerns expressed at the time were that a) farmers would be inconvenienced by having to kill a plant that grew wild in many parts of the country, b) domestic hemp industries would be damaged, c) paint and varnish companies would have to find a new source of oil (then obtained from hemp seeds) and d) impact of having to remove hemp from bird seed on "singing birds" (Bonnie & Whitebread, 1970). Most of the information presented against marijuana was hearsay about how it turned people into murderers and would be used by the underworld to enslave youth, or it was tinged with anti-Hispanic tones about migrant workers (Sloman, 1979). In the ensuing years there has been a near continuous and highly polarized debate concerning marijuana. Policy arguments have and often continue to be framed at the extremes of draconian prohibition/criminalization on the one side and unfettered legalization/miracle cure plant promotion on the other. Today, marijuana is both the most commonly-used illicit drug (suggesting many people do not agree with or care about the risks) and the illegal drug most likely to be mentioned in arrests, emergency room admissions and autopsy reports (suggesting that it is not the harmless substance proclaimed by its proponents). In this chapter we will attempt to contrast the major arguments being made by both sides and explore whether there is any middle ground in the continuing debate over the legal status of marijuana in the United States. Themes Around Which the Debate and this Article are Organized. Even a cursory review of marijuana policy discussions leads to the conclusion that this is a debate of extremes: soft versus hard drugs, good versus bad drugs, supply reduction versus demand reduction, miracle drug versus carcinogenic, prohibition versus legalization. It is also apparent that the debate is often conducted with code words that say as much about issues of social class, race, gender, generation, and institutional self-interest than about drugs and drug policies. Complicating matters further, both sides of the debate consider the status quo unacceptable and seem to use some of the same data to reach radically different conclusions. Table 1 provides a summary of some of the main themes in the debate and highlights some of the arguments being made on both sides. The chapter is organized according to these themes, and in each section we attempt to summarize the argument on each side and then present our understanding of the middle ground. Taking all of the information together, the final section summarizes the implications for policy makers and presents our recommendations.
... Current models of risk factors research recognize the multi-factorial nature of drug use and, accordingly, emphasize what is termed a 'multiple risk factors' approach (Clayton, 1991; Hawkins et al., 1992)—often termed the 'risk factors' approach (De Wit et al., 1995). Additionally, many studies emphasize that the experimentation and use of illicit drugs need not indicate developmental or personality problems, and that patterns of drug use may occur quite independently of personality or psychological problems, and also often without adverse individual effects (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Barnard & McKeganey, 1994; Martín, 1993; Hartnoll, 1990; Perri et al., 1998; Tossmann & Heckmann, 1997; Merzagora et al., 1996; Navarro Botella & Gómez, 1998; Ingold, 1998). Despite consensus that the 'addictive personality' is a misnomer (Orlandini et al., 1996; Lavelle et al., 1993; Calafat et al., 1997; Charles-Nicolas, 1998), there is still a vast literature seeking to delineate whether, and how, multiple personality states are related to drug use. ...
... For personal use only. Similarly, the belief that alcohol, tobacco and cannabis inevitably operate as gateway drugs to later problem use may be something of a cultural myth (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Room, 1994; Peele & Brodsky, 1997). Studies show that the large majority of people who use cannabis, for example, do not progress to cocaine, heroin or problematic use, and that many problem drug users show an atypical or alternative sequencing with respect to drug use transitions (Peele & Brodsky, 1997; Mackesy-Amiti et al., 1997). ...
... Malgré la controverse actuelle, les vertus médicinales du cannabis deviennent de plus en plus documentées. Les auteurs de publications, divers professionnels de la santé et les regroupements de patients nous rapportent continuellement la preuve du potentiel thérapeutique de cette plante (Baker et Pryce, 2003 ; British Medical Association, 1997 ; Croxford, 2003 ; Grinspoon, 1999 ; Grinspoon et Bakalar, 1997a ; Zimmer et Morgan, 1997 ). À travers le Canada, de nombreuses personnes souffrant de douleurs diverses, du cancer, du sida, de la sclérose en plaques, de lésions de la moelle épinière, d'épilepsie et d'autres maladies ont témoigné de l'importance du soulagement que leur procurait l'inhalation de marijuana (Zimmer et Morgan, 1997). ...
... Les auteurs de publications, divers professionnels de la santé et les regroupements de patients nous rapportent continuellement la preuve du potentiel thérapeutique de cette plante (Baker et Pryce, 2003 ; British Medical Association, 1997 ; Croxford, 2003 ; Grinspoon, 1999 ; Grinspoon et Bakalar, 1997a ; Zimmer et Morgan, 1997 ). À travers le Canada, de nombreuses personnes souffrant de douleurs diverses, du cancer, du sida, de la sclérose en plaques, de lésions de la moelle épinière, d'épilepsie et d'autres maladies ont témoigné de l'importance du soulagement que leur procurait l'inhalation de marijuana (Zimmer et Morgan, 1997). Sur le plan judiciaire, toutefois, le maintien de mesures répressives freine toute recherche sérieuse portant sur l'ensemble du potentiel médical de cette plante. ...
Article
Résumé L’attitude à adopter à l’égard des drogues a toujours été un problème pour les gouvernements. Malgré la controverse actuelle, les vertus médicinales du cannabis deviennent de plus en plus documentées. Toutefois, nous constatons toujours une absence de consensus dans la communauté scientifique et médicale sur l'efficacité réelle des applications thérapeutiques du cannabis. Les publications, divers professionnels de la santé et les regroupements de patients nous rapportent continuellement la preuve du potentiel thérapeutique de cette plante. En juillet 2001, suite à une décision de la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario, le gouvernement canadien, à travers Santé Canada, met en place un règlement qui permet à certains patients souffrant de maladies graves l’accès au cannabis à des fins médicales. Dans la réalité, la situation est plus complexe. Cette réglementation rend l'exemption en question difficilement accessible et l'admissibilité par ses nombreuses conditions et procédures, est fort contingentée. Cet article traitera de la problématique qui entoure l’accessibilité, licite et illicite, à ce psychotrope et examinera les enjeux sociaux et légaux des lois ainsi que leur conséquence sur l’individu et la société. Le rôle des professionnels de la santé sera abordé sous un angle critique dans le contexte d’une nouvelle approche de santé publique. Les bienfaits de l’usage du cannabis sont-ils plus importants que les risques associés à sa consommation ? Ces bienfaits se comparent-ils avantageusement aux traitements déjà existants ? Il nous apparaît important que le gouvernement canadien règle les problèmes associés à l’admissibilité et à l’approvisionnement en cannabis thérapeutique. Le climat social d’aujourd’hui offre-t-il un environnement plus favorable au changement ? Le discours des activistes pro-légalisation a t-il un impact sur la population quant à la crédibilité du débat ?
... Current models of risk factors research recognize the multi-factorial nature of drug use and, accordingly, emphasize what is termed a 'multiple risk factors' approach (Clayton, 1991; Hawkins et al., 1992)—often termed the 'risk factors' approach (De Wit et al., 1995). Additionally, many studies emphasize that the experimentation and use of illicit drugs need not indicate developmental or personality problems, and that patterns of drug use may occur quite independently of personality or psychological problems, and also often without adverse individual effects (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Barnard & McKeganey, 1994; Martín, 1993; Hartnoll, 1990; Perri et al., 1998; Tossmann & Heckmann, 1997; Merzagora et al., 1996; Navarro Botella & Gómez, 1998; Ingold, 1998). Despite consensus that the 'addictive personality' is a misnomer (Orlandini et al., 1996; Lavelle et al., 1993; Calafat et al., 1997; Charles-Nicolas, 1998), there is still a vast literature seeking to delineate whether, and how, multiple personality states are related to drug use. ...
... For personal use only. Similarly, the belief that alcohol, tobacco and cannabis inevitably operate as gateway drugs to later problem use may be something of a cultural myth (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997; Room, 1994; Peele & Brodsky, 1997). Studies show that the large majority of people who use cannabis, for example, do not progress to cocaine, heroin or problematic use, and that many problem drug users show an atypical or alternative sequencing with respect to drug use transitions (Peele & Brodsky, 1997; Mackesy-Amiti et al., 1997). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses research findings on non-biological risk factors associated with illicit drug use. There is an established body of North American research in this field, and a growing European literature. We find that there is an interplay of individual and environmental factors associated with drug use, with the permeation of their interactions potentially limitless. Within the behavioural science literature, we identify three main analytical dimensions for understanding ‘risk factors’. These are: ‘intrapersonal’; ‘micro-environmental’; and ‘macro-environmental’. We note that it is not new to emphasize drug use as a social activity, involving social interactions within particular social environments, but that, despite this, the balance of focus in research tends towards ‘extra-environmental’ or ‘individualistic’ interpretations. We emphasize that future research is best oriented towards generating data of practical value for the development of interventions rather than attempting to delineate causative factors. The failure of most risk factors research rests in its incapacity to capture the variety of social and environmental influences on drug use, and the relevance of these for developing socially appropriate interventions. In addition to recognizing the importance of targeting interventions towards ‘high risk’ populations and ‘high risk’ forms of drug use, we emphasize throughout the importance of the ‘risk environment’ in mediating patterns of drug use.
... Listed at the top of this most wanted list, as Schedule 1 drugs, were marijuana, heroin, LSD and peyote. In spite of the National Commission Report, the growing size of the population of users during the preceding twenty years, and the lack of individual and societal harm of long term or heavy use (cited in the 1972 National Report), marijuana was still labeled and publicly perceived as an inherently dangerous societal problem (Morgan & Zimmer 1997). ...
... Previous literature usually has a focus on drug policy and addiction/usage (Leuw, 1991;Abraham, 1999;Manja D. Abraham, Cohen, Til and de Winter, 1999;Zimmer and Morgan 1995;Leuw and Haen Marshall, 1994;de Kort and Korf, 1992). Other studies focus on the drug trafficking aspect of the drug industry which is usually upper-level drug distribution and goes across borders (Desroches, 2007;Doorn, 1993). ...
... Previous literature usually has a focus on drug policy and addiction/usage (Leuw, 1991;Abraham, 1999;Manja D. Abraham, Cohen, Til and de Winter, 1999;Zimmer and Morgan 1995;Leuw and Haen Marshall, 1994;de Kort and Korf, 1992). Other studies focus on the drug trafficking aspect of the drug industry which is usually upper-level drug distribution and goes across borders (Desroches, 2007;Doorn, 1993). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the social dimensions of low-level drug distribution among Dutch youth. Its purpose is to examine the network and structure of low-level drug distribution while looking at how morality and socio-political norms can influence distribution. This is done by conducting ten semi-structured interviews with low-level drug distributors who have distributed drugs within the last five years. The data was then analyzed and coded using NVivo 12. The results revealed that, in general, the hierarchy of low-level drug distribution is not overly apparent. In the cases that it is apparent, little is known about individuals outside of their immediate compartment. Additionally, most individuals get involved in such activity through a friend and the main motive tends to be profit. Moreover, it reveals legal enforcement regarding drugs is weak within the Netherlands and the general societal norms regarding narcotics are accepted. Lastly, this paper shows the moral disconnect that is present within low-level drug distributors in the Netherlands.
... Despite what tends to be labelled as 'anecdotal' claims for cannabis' medical efficacy, as well as clinical evidence (Dansak, 1997;Hollister, 2001;Kickman and King, 2014;Leung, 2011;Musty and Rossi, 2001;Zimmer and Morgan, 1995), cannabis remains a controlled class B substance under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act in the United Kingdom. Many medicinal users argue that cannabis is the only substance that provides them with symptomatic relief and a reasonable quality of life (Coomber et al., 2003), but in using it they live with the possibility of criminal prosecution. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I examine how four medicinal cannabis users used impression management during in-depth, qualitative interviews to attend to self-presentational concerns. I examine the rhetorical strategies and narratives articulated by the participants while also attending to the role that I played in co-construction as the interviewer. Later I discuss how, although the participants’ accounts are occasioned by the interviews, they can still provide significant insights into the social worlds of the participants beyond the interviews. While discussions about whether to treat interviews as topic, resource or both are not new, I argue that we can treat interviews as both topic and resource because impression management is a product of the individual’s habitus and it and the accounts it produces are part of their social world.
... Issues of cannabis use in human pregnancy remain a great concern. The topic is reviewed in (Fried 2002;Murphy 2001;Zimmer and Morgan 1997). A variety of studies have demonstrated transient effects of cannabis on endocrine hormone levels, but no consistent effects seem to occur in chronic settings (Russo et al. 2002). ...
... B. Maugh, 1974;Täschner, 1994). Allerdings fehlt nach wie vor der empirische Beleg, dass derartige Symptome ursächlich auf Cannabiskonsum zurückzuführen sind und dementsprechend auch bei gelegentlichem Konsum auftreten können (Hall, 1999;Lynskey & Hall, 2000;Zimmer & Morgan, 1997). Experten gehen heute sogar davon aus, dass die Existenz eines amotivationalen Syndroms zurückgewiesen werden muss (WHO 1997;Hanak, Tecco, Verbanck & Pelc, 2002;Grotenhermen & Karus 2002;Hall, & Solowij, 1998). ...
Article
Aims: Is there a cannabis-user stereotype that influences teachers' expectations about pupils' performance in school? Method: In a cross-national study, 285 respondents evaluated a 16-year-old boy on a list of attributes depicting a cannabis-user stereotype and on several statements about the boy's school-related behaviour. He was described either as an occasional cannabis user or as a fare dodger. Results: When described as a cannabis user, the pupil was rated as less ready to perform, less able to perform, and less ready to cooperate. Conclusions: Despite the lack of evidence for an amotivational syndrome, the stereotype of the listless pothead seems to persist and to influence teachers' expectations about their pupils.
... Despite these impressions, regular marijuana use has broad and serious implications. Previous research suggests that particularly chronic marijuana use has been associated with health and cognitive issues, including lung damage (Gil et al., 1995;Jones, 1983;Zimmer & Morgan, 1995), suppressed immune functioning (Jones, 1983), memory and learning problems (Pope & Yurgelun-Todd, 1996), and problemsolving deficits (Harder & Rietbrock, 1997). Given the enduring and negative impact of problematic alcohol and marijuana use, it is vital to examine motivating factors (e.g., passion), to help identify and explain why some young adults are more susceptible than others to developing substance use disorders. ...
Article
Objective: Although the concepts of harmonious and obsessive passion have been productive in explaining why people eagerly engage in such activities as sports, Internet use, and gambling, previous research has not yet extended these models to explain alcohol and marijuana use among college students. The current research was conducted to clarify the relationships among harmonious and obsessive passion, alcohol and marijuana use, and negative consequences. Method: Two studies were conducted using online assessments. In Study 1, 748 heavy drinking college students (58% female) were recruited and completed measures of passion for drinking alcohol, alcohol use, and alcohol-related negative consequences. In Study 2, 352 regular marijuana-using students (54% female) were recruited and completed assessments of marijuana passion, marijuana use, and marijuana-related consequences. Results: Study 1 found that among heavy drinking college students, harmonious passion was a stronger predictor of increased consumption than was obsessive passion, whereas obsessive passion was a stronger predictor of alcohol-related problems than was harmonious passion. Study 2 revealed similar findings with regard to harmonious passion predicting marijuana consumption; however, unlike Study 1, no significant difference between the passions was found in predicting marijuana-related problems. Conclusions: This research provides a novel perspective on motivation for alcohol and marijuana use. Findings suggest that understanding the locus of young adults' passion for substance use may be helpful in identifying those who are likely to develop a substance use disorder and therefore may be the most in need of assistance and intervention.
... The macro-context is comprised of the cultural beliefs and values that underlie the use of a particular substance. For example, a common experience of illicit marijuana users is one of paranoia (inaBa & cohEn 2004), an experience which is at least partially due to a cultural context where marijuana use is viewed as deviant, and where the consequences of its use might lead to arrest and incarceration (ErickSon et al. 2013; hamiLton et al. 2013; zimmEr & morgan 1997). In the context of the Native American Church, however, peyote is a religious sacrament. ...
Article
Full-text available
For thousands of years indigenous communities throughout the globe have recognized the therapeutic value of particular hallucinogenic plants. Peyote, a psychoactive cactus, is considered a medicine by many Native Americans, and has been hailed as a cure for alcoholism despite having no “scientifically” accepted medical use. The notion that hallucinogenic compounds may have therapeutic applications, however, is increasingly supported by scientific research. Despite the heavy focus of allopathic medicine on pharmacology, the therapeutic value of peyote must be understood in holistic terms. By uniting Gordon CLARIDGE’s work on the Total Drug Effect with the work of MOERMAN and JONAS on the Meaning Response, and with Toksoz KARASU’s Agents of Therapeutic Change, a therapeutic model emerges that can explain how the symbolic, ritual, and community components of the peyote ceremony combine with peyote’s distinctive pharmacological properties to produce a unique and efficacious healing experience.
... botanical analysis (for example Hillig and Mahlberg 2004;Hillig 2005). Another subset has been concerned primarily with the physiological and psychological impacts of its use (Kaplan and others 1986;Bachman and others 1988;Grinspoon and Bakalar 1993;Zablocki and others 1991;Zimmer and Morgan 1997;Iverson 2000). Issues of spatiality are often marginalized in this body of work. ...
Article
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Cannabis, including hemp and its psychoactive counterpart, has a long but largely overlooked historical geography. Situating the topic within varied perspectives such as world-systems theory, Foucauldian biopolitics, and the moral economy of drugs, this paper charts its diffusion over several millennia, noting the contingent and uneven ways in which it was enveloped within varying social and political circumstances. Following a brief theorization, it explores the plant's early uses in East and South Asia, its shift to the Middle East, and resultant popularity in the Arab world and Africa. Next, it turns to its expansion under colonialism, including deliberate cultivation by Portuguese and British authorities in the New World as part of the construction of a pacified labor force. The fifth section offers an overview of cannabis's contested history in the United States, in which a series of early 20th-century moral panics led to its demonization; later, the drug enjoyed gradual liberalization.
... Factors were extracted using the unweighted least squares estimator, and results were rotated using Promin rotation. After conducting a preliminary factor analysis with all items, items were excluded if they had a communality lower than 0.5 (MacCallum et al., 2001; Zimmer & Morgan, 1997), or if they had loadings 40.3 on more than one factor. The factor structure was then replicated using the remaining 772 respondents who completed all items, and the coefficient of congruence was used to compare the factor solutions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research into drug use initiation has focussed on drug use as risky behaviour. Qualitative research suggests that a culturally derived set of beliefs about the positive effects of cannabis play an important role in the production and maintenance of cannabis use.Methods: An online survey questionnaire was designed to measure both perceived positive and negative effects of cannabis. The questionnaire was submitted to a factor analysis, and two factors were extracted: a positive and a negative effect scale. Using regression analyses, associations with cannabis use, perception of general use and perception of general acceptance of use were assessed.Results: After removing respondents based on age and responses to questions, 1416 valid survey questionnaires were collected. In bivariate analyses, both positive effects and negative effects were associated with use (p p p p Conclusions: Positive beliefs about the effects of cannabis use are important and form part of a cannabis culture, which are essential for understanding initiation and maintenance of cannabis use. These findings have important ramifications for cannabis preventive work and also call on further investigation into the relation between cannabis culture and individual use.
... Dass sich nicht alle von der Prohibition erfassten Drogen letztlich als stärker erweisen als diejenigen, die sie konsumieren, lässt sich ganz einfach am Beispiel des Cannabiskonsums zeigen [7]. Die herkömmliche Vorstellung eines pharmakologisch determinierten Suchtgeschehens scheitert aber auch an der Frage, wie es denn kommen kann, dass manche Intensiv-Konsumenten von Heroin [8,9] [13±16]. ...
Article
Die Suchtmedizin erforscht die Sucht und deshalb eben gerade nicht diejenigen, die trotz Drogengebrauchs von der Sucht verschont bleiben. Eine intensivere Erforschung des kontrollierten Konsums von bekannten Suchtdrogen wie z. B. Heroin und Kokain stößt vor allem deshalb auf Widerstände, weil davon ein falsches Signal - eine Verharmlosung der Drogen und die Botschaft, dass man sie ruhig und ohne Angst vor dem Süchtigwerden konsumieren könne - befürchtet wird. Dieser Sichtweise ist jedoch nachdrücklich zu widersprechen. Zwar ehrt es die Suchtmedizin, dass es ihr um die Hilfsbedürftigen geht: um die schwangeren Konsumentinnen, die HIV-Infizierten, die schwerstkranken und völlig verelendeten Süchtigen. Gerade die Erforschung der Bedingungen, die Menschen dazu verhelfen, Suchtdrogen kontrolliert zu sich zu nehmen, kann jedoch mehr zur Neuorientierung und Effizienzsteigerung von Vorbeugung und Heilung beitragen als die Fortschreibung konventioneller Forschungsprogramme. Addiction therapy and the controlled consumption of opiates/heroin and cocaine/crack Quite naturally addiction sciences are more interested in the causes and treatments of addiction than in the conditions and extent of a possible controlled use of addictive substances. This article argues that a closer look at extent and quality of controlled consumption can produce useful insights for therapeutic and more general (deontic) responses to the drug problem, e. g. drug legislation.
... For example, the relationship between public perceptions of crime as a social problem and media projections of crime is a central issue in the study of the social construction of crime. Conflict analysts accuse the media of disseminating irrational fear (e.g., Barak, 1995; Cohen, 1980; Potter & Kappeler, 1998; Zimmer & Morgan, 1997), while media agents typically understand their role as informing the public about existing dangers. The seriousness of these fears and dangers can be operationalized in the form of weighted rates and arguments on both sides can be tested. ...
Article
Perceptions of crime seriousness have been studied since the 1960s. Based predominantly on data from surveys, researchers have identified characteristics of acts affecting seriousness perceptions and have examined the degree of consensus in perceived seriousness for a variety of deviant and criminal behaviors. Methodological issues (methods of measurement, questionnaire structure and content, level or measurement, etc.) have been discussed at length. This review presents the most important substantive and methodological accomplishments and challenges of this body of research. It also discusses possible future directions, including the establishment of connections to sociological theory and normative philosophy.
... The primary reason is that there are no current plans to make natural cannabis available to them in the form they prefer (see research below), and inadequate alternatives will likely result in continued use of the illegal product. For many years, particularly in the United States, cannabis was – and it remains the case for a hard-core minority – a drug vilified as having no medical use and as potentially causing social harms of equal magnitude as those associated with drugs such as heroin and cocaine (Anslinger & Tompkins, 1953; Woodiwiss, 1998; Zimmer & Morgan, 1995). Although cannabis's reputation has improved in recent years, the vilification that it endured and the many fallacious stories that surrounded it mean that it continues to be feared, often as a gateway to other, harder drug use. ...
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Thirty-three therapeutic cannabis users in England were interviewed about their experiences using an illegal drug for therapeutic purposes. Interviews were semi-structured, and responses highly qualitative. Particular issues included how and why cannabis was used therapeutically; what problems its illegality posed in terms of access, cost, reliability of supply, and quality of the product; the perceived beneficial effects of its use; and unwanted effects (problems in relation to family, friends, partners, the criminal justice system, and the health care system). The study did not seek to prove or disprove the efficacy of cannabis used as a therapeutic agent merely to report the experiences of those who use it in that way. It was found that users perceived cannabis to be highly effective in treating their symptoms, to complement existing medication, and to produce fewer unwanted effects. Smoking was the preferred method of administration, permitting greater control over dose and administration. Problems related to prescribed medication motivated many to use cannabis therapeutically. Few problems were experienced with friends, family, partners, and the criminal justice or health care systems, although other concerns about cannabis's illegality were reported. Although most were relatively unconcerned about the risk involved and were determined to continue use, many resented that they felt they were being forced to break the law. Problems relating to access to the drug (in an illegal context) and managing its administration were reported. A brief discussion of the continued prohibition of cannabis for this group is undertaken, and a harm reduction approach is suggested.
... due to improvements in drug evidence handling protocols and storage conditions), and changes in forensic laboratory analysis methods and equipment. [8][9][10] This study uses data from the federally sponsored Potency Monitoring Program to assess the extent to which the observed increase in cannabis potency in the USA between 1970 and 2010 is a function of genuine shifts in illicit marijuana markets or testing artifacts related to changes in the quality of laboratory tested marijuana. If more recently analyzed marijuana is relatively fresher because of shorter testing delays or better drug evidence storage conditions rather than the faster time-to-market of domestic versus foreign-sourced product, then the apparent increase in potency may be less than reported. ...
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... A major concern for public health is the rate at which our study sample engaged in high-risk behaviours related to their cannabis and alcohol use. For example, the majority used cannabis by way of breathholding or deep inhalation techniques and were active tobacco users – both recognized as behaviours of which are likely to be associated with bronchial or pulmonary problems, as well as possible cancer risks, related to smoking of either substance (Grotenhermen, 2001; Hashibe et al., 2005; Zimmer & Morgan, 1997). Risky behaviours associated with alcohol use (e.g. ...
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Aims: Assess key cannabis use, risk and outcome characteristics among high-frequency cannabis users within a university student sample in Toronto, Canada. Methods: N = 134 active universities students (ages of 18–28) using cannabis at least three times per week were recruited by mass advertisement, telephone-screened and anonymously assessed by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Relevant descriptive statistics are presented; subsequent univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses (MLRA) identified independent predictors of experiencing physical or mental health problems. Findings: The majority of respondents used cannabis >5 years, almost daily and >1 times/day, socially and medically on occasion. In past 30 days, 79% used cannabis by deep inhalation, 38% drove a car after use, 45% had difficulty controlling or limiting use and 52% experienced negative mental/physical health effects, with few respondents reporting any past treatment. The MLRA identified ‘difficulty controlling or limiting use’ (OR = 3.40, 95% CI = 1.58–7.30), ‘non-white ethnicity’ (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.13–6.83), and ‘living with others’ (OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.02–5.55) as independent predictors (p < 0.01) of negative health problems. Conclusions: Our sample was characterized by several use-related risks and problems, which may result in long-term burden of disease. University environment may offer suitable settings for targeted interventions. Determinants of future cannabis use and problems should be assessed in this population.
... Safety issues with respect to cannabis have been discussed briefly in a prior publication (Russo 1998). Reviews may be found in the following (Ashton 1999; Hall, Solowij, and Lemon 1995; Zimmer and Morgan 1997 ). Extensive bibliographies on cannabis have been published by the United Nations (1965), Gamage and Zerkin (1969), Waller et al. (1976), and Abel (1979). ...
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I believe that the original aims of (almost full) prohibition of substance use, as it is applied according to the NY Single Convention of 1961, are unattainable. Instead, I want to present some arguments and ways of looking at drug use that support a far reaching revision of the current aims of drug control. Drug policy goals should shift, from suppression of use to regulation of use.1 In this article I will present drug use data collected in Amsterdam that in my view support such a shift. Ten years of drug use data in the population of Amsterdam show a remarkable level of control and stability in drug use patterns in a policy environment that allows relatively easy access to drugs. Internal controls on drug use can be expected to play a much larger part in structuring these patterns than classic drug policy theory allows for.
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Taxes on tobacco provide a significant income for the Australian government - $5.1 billion in 2001. At the same time, health officials are making strenuous efforts to reduce smoking, particularly among teenagers. Some economists suggest that raising taxes on tobacco will produce more revenue while at the same time lowering smoking rates, particularly among youths who have less discretionary spending power than adults. But a by-product of excise tax in Australia has been the emerging market in "chop-chop," tobacco diverted from legal channels by growers who receive considerably higher prices for a part of their yield than they can obtain from legal manufacturers. The article details this situation and suggests that only bold solutions may be able to reduce tensions in tax policies, smoking rates and the "chop-chop" black market.
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THE INFLUENCE OF PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS ON CANNABIS CONSUMPTION The debate concerning consumption and psychosocial harm iscontroversial. New findings on cannabis consumption by youthare nurturing the debate. Epidemiological studies show thatconsumption in the 1990s was increasing and there are no signsof change. But epidemiological data for the last 40 years teach usthat there are ups and downs in rates of cannabis consumption.Interestingly, patterns of cannabis consumption show that mostyouth use cannabis occasionally starting at 16-17 years old, andstop using at the age of 20. This means that the pattern of con-sumption is not the same as with other drugs such as cigarettesand alcohol. Nearly no one who has not been a cannabis consumerin adolescence begins using cannabis after the age of 25.A second argument to the debate is the gate way hypothesis. Can-nabis is typically the first illicit drug that is used by those whosubsequently develop problems with other drugs. But doescannabis use play a causal role? Adolescents who start using can-nabis early and become heavy users are found to be independentlyat higher risk of using other drugs. Recently published studiessupport the idea that social and psychological factors play a lessimportant role than genetics. To the contrary, in this paper weargue against these ideas. We are able to show that only by takinginto account these psychosocial variables can we understand non-recreational and long-lasting harmful cannabis consumption.In a national Swiss study (supra-f = Suchtpräventionsforschung)on adolescence at risk for disintegration at school or in their pro-fessions we describe the relationship among these variables. In aregression model which predicts cannabis consumption we foundthat variables assessing well-being (depression, anxiety), peer con-tact and social variables such as parental separation and problemsin school predict cannabis consumption. A structural equationmodel shows the interplay of protective and risk variables, whichlead to cannabis use. Finally, a comparison of extreme groups (≤9 vs. > 9 times of cannabis use/month) show that nearly allpsychological variables differ between these groups.
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L'étude consacrée par Howard S. Becker à la " carrière " des fumeurs de marijuana est devenue une référence pour les enquêtes ethnographiques ultérieures, mais n'a guère inspiré les travaux statistiques menés par les épidémiologistes. Cet article vise d'abord à mieux comprendre cette apparente incompatibilité, en soulignant les travers auxquels s'expose l'analyse épidémiologique des usages de drogues. Ensuite, un réexamen des données disponibles permet d'associer aux thèses développées par Becker une série d'hypothèses qui peuvent faire l'objet d'une validation statistique. Cette validation est enfin réalisée à partir d'une enquête auto-administrée en milieu scolaire, réalisée en 1999 auprès de 12 113 adolescents de France métropolitaine. Les résultats obtenus confirment la pertinence d'une approche séquentielle de l'usage de cannabis. D'une part, selon le niveau de consommation considéré, les facteurs associés à cet usage varient (notamment les lieux d'approvisionnement et l'usage parmi les pairs). D'autre part, les techniques de neutralisation évoquées par Becker trouvent un écho convaincant dans les opinions déclarées par les enquêtés. Plus généralement, cet article illustre la possible complémentarité entre les démarches statistique et ethnographique.
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A random-sample, anonymous survey of the members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was conducted in spring 1990 measuring the attitudes and experiences of American oncologists concerning the antiemetic use of marijuana in cancer chemotherapy patients. The survey was mailed to about one third (N = 2,430) of all United States-based ASCO members and yielded a response rate of 43% (1,035). More than 44% of the respondents report recommending the (illegal) use of marijuana for the control of emesis to at least one cancer chemotherapy patient. Almost one half (48%) would prescribe marijuana to some of their patients if it were legal. As a group, respondents considered smoked marijuana to be somewhat more effective than the legally available oral synthetic dronabinol ([THC] Marinol; Unimed, Somerville, NJ) and roughly as safe. Of the respondents who expressed an opinion, a majority (54%) thought marijuana should be available by prescription. These results bear on the question of whether marijuana has a "currently accepted medical use," at issue in an ongoing administrative and legal dispute concerning whether marijuana in smoked form should be available by prescription along with synthetic THC in oral form. This survey demonstrates that oncologists' experience with the medical use of marijuana is more extensive, and their opinions of it are more favorable, than the regulatory authorities appear to have believed.
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An Associated Press dispatch, headlined “Pot the Health Food,” reported that a young man charged with possession of ten pounds of marihuana claimed that he was a vegetarian and protested the seizure of his food supply. This was described in the news item as “a novel defense” (New York Post, August 13, 1975).
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This article explains how the link between drug testing and drug treatment was forged, how it has been implemented in the workplace, and speculates on its organizational implications. Part I argues that widespread drug testing in the core institutions of American society would not have been politically possible without forging an explicit link to drug treatment. The authors identify the key variables which account for the link between testing and treatment, including public opinion, employer self interest, collective bargaining agreements, the precedent and influence of Employee Assistance Programs, and developments in the law of the workplace. Part II describes how the link between drug testing and drug treatment has been implemented in the workplace, including the emergence of new organizational units, roles, and inter-organizational relationships. Part III examines the organizational dilemmas created by the testing/treatment linkage.
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The chemical analysis of 2169 Cannabis preparations confiscated in the United States over a ten-year period is discussed. Samples are categorized according to physical appearance and potency trends are noted. The appearance of sinsemilla and buds, more potent forms of marijuana, and their effects on overall potency are emphasized along with discussion on domestically grown marijuana.
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Examined the relationship of prenatal alcohol exposure to the IQ of children at age 4 in a longitudinal prospective, population-based study. Multiple-regression analyses on data from 421 children indicated that use of more than 1.5 oz (44 ml, or approximately 3 drinks) of alcohol per day during pregnancy was significantly related to an average IQ decrement of almost 5 IQ points (1/3 of a standard deviation; p = .008), even after adjustment for maternal and paternal education, race, prenatal nutrition, aspirin and antibiotics, child's sex and birth order, mother-child interaction, and preschool attendance. We caution against using these data to describe "safe" drinking levels, because other outcomes, more sensitive than IQ tests, show significant alcohol effects at lower drinking levels.
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The use of mind altering drugs has become a major characteristic of American social behavior, and in our complex technological society is is unlikely that man will ever be able to eliminate his desire or need for "artificial paradises" as a means of coping with the stresses of daily existence. Unfortunately, when individuals use drugs, many also tend to abuse them with subsequent disruption of their health, economic or social functioning, thus posing a danger to themselves and to the society in which they live. When a particular drug has a dramatic acute toxicity, or produces physical dependence with subsequent withdrawal, etc., the definition of the abuse potential of that drug is fairly simple. Marijuana, however, does not have dramatic acute toxicity nor does it produce physical dependence. As a result the determination of the abuse potential of marijuana is difficult and, because of certain social biases, quite controversial. The objective of this chapter is to define the acute and chronic toxicity of marijuana as the drug is used in the United States and hopefully then to provide an accurate analysis of its potential dangers to be weighed against any benefits to be derived from its use The basis of this analysis will be (1) extensive experience with large numbers of marijuana users, (2) research into the drug practices of a marijuana using subculture located in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco ans surrounding Bay Area (3) discussion and observation of marijuana experiments conducted by qualified investigators in the field, (4) review of the current literature on marijuana, (5) personal experience with the drug in question. I consider the last two factors the least important factors in my analysis for the following reasons.
Article
1 In deze voordracht wil ik iets vertellen over gebruikers van cannabis, dat wil zeggen hashish en marihuana, voornamelijk in Amsterdam. De nadruk valt op Amsterdam, niet omdat ik gebruikers daar belangrijker zou vinden dan elders, maar omdat er alleen over hen in Nederland relatief veel gegevens beschikbaar zijn. In 1987, in 1990 en in 1994 hebben we grote steekproeven — ruim 4.000 mensen — uit de bevolking van 12 jaar en ouder ondervraagd over leefstijlen en gebruik van legale en illegale drugs. Daarom kunnen we met enige betrouwbaarheid iets zeggen over de ontwikkeling van het gebruik van cannabis en over de eigenschappen van gebruikers. Die betrouwbaarheid ontstaat, omdat we in al die jaren niet alleen dezelfde wijze van steekproef trekken hebben gekozen, maar ook omdat we steeds met hetzelfde meetinstrument hebben gewerkt. Ik zou mij hier in hoofdzaak willen richten op de vraag welke gevolgen het gedoogbeleid uit de afgelopen jaren heeft gehad voor de verspreiding en intensiteit van het cannabisgebruik. Kunnen we zeggen dat er steeds meer mensen ervaring hebben opgedaan met cannabis? Of leidt de aanbod situatie in Amsterdam juist tot langzame vermindering van de belangstelling? Of kunnen we spreken van een zekere stabiliteit inzake cannabis in Amsterdam.
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This book gives an account of the national Dutch drug control strategy. Many researches in this field are described. Most of the chapters touch, in one way or another, on one of three key questions: (1) how is Dutch drug policy different from that of other countries; (2) how is the increasing internationalization of the world going to have an impact on Dutch drug policy, and (3) is there anything in Dutch drug policy that may be transferred to other nations.
Article
Two recent articles1,2 report that marijuana interferes with the recall of narrative material learned in either a drug or no drug state and recalled in the drug state, but the evaluation of the results is hampered by (1) the lack of specification of the Δ9-THC content of the marijuana cigarettes and (2) an absence of placebo controls. We have set out to test the effects of marijuana on narrative recall and Stroop colour-word performance and to remedy these defects of experimental design. The Stroop test was selected because performance has been shown to be impaired by depressants Such as amobarbital3 and because marijuana has barbiturate-like effects4.
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In a study of the effects of cannabis on cognitive functioning, several cognitive and psychomotor tests were administered to 4 groups of male college Ss (84 Ss): (a) a high-dose group [equivalent to 6 mg of Δ–9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)], (b) a low-dose group (equivalent to 3 mg of THC), (c) a placebo group, and (d) a control group. Cannabis was smoked in the form of marihuana. Even Ss who received the low dose showed impairment on the WAIS Block Design test and the Memory-for-Designs Test. High-dose Ss gave an impaired performance on several other cognitive tests; however, on some cognitive tests, mainly those measuring divergent production and oral fluency, low-dose Ss performed the best and high-dose Ss performed the worst. Consequently, there is a possibility, requiring further exploration, that cannabis at low dose levels can act as a stimulant and can improve performance on certain tests. (69 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Performance of 23 male subjects was tested under smoked marihuana treatments on 4 occasions in a complex driving simulator. Doses were 0, 50, 100 and 200 micrograms delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol per kilogram bodyweight.The simulator uses a car mounted on a chassis dynamometer facing a filmed scene subtending 160 degrees. Twenty-five performance measures are derived based on steering wheel, brake and accelerator pad usage as well as speed and tracking. The simulator also incorporates a visual search-and-recognition task based on random appearance of lights in the periphery.There is little evidence for a significant effect of marihuana upon car control and tracking. None of the 25 car control-tracking scores was significantly changed in either mean or variance by the treatments. However, there was a clear, statistically significant decrement in performance of the search-and-recognition task. Marihuana produced increased errors in recognition of the lights and delayed response times to their appearance.The results suggest the prime locus of marihuana impairment of driving performance as being in the interference with perceptual processes involved in data acquisition necessary for safe control of the vehicle.
Article
This prospective study investigated the effects of prenatal substance use on the behavior of full-term infants. Women were interviewed at the end of each trimester of pregnancy about their alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use. Infants were assessed with the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that there were few effects of moderate prenatal alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco consumption on neonatal behavior, after controlling for important confounding variables.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Saybrook Institute, 1984. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 96-103). Photocopy.
Article
The ability of 16 college-educated male subjects to recall from long-term memory a series of common facts was tested during intoxication with marijuana extract calibrated to 0.3 mg/kg delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and during placebo conditions. The subjects' ability to assess their memory capabilities was then determined by measuring how certain they were about the accuracy of their recall performance and by having them predict their performance on a subsequent recognition test involving the same recall items. Marijuana had no effect on recall or recognition performance. These results do not support the view that marijuana provides access to facts in long-term storage which are inaccessible during non-intoxication. During both marijuana and placebo conditions, subjects could accurately predict their recognition memory performance. Hence, marijuana did not alter the subjects' ability to accurately assess what information resides in long-term memory even though they did not have complete access to that information.
Article
Research investigating the relation between marihuana use and achievement is characaterized by conflicting findings and a relative lack of multivariate designs. since the conflicting findings may be due, in part, to differing conceptualizations of achievement, this study utilizes a number of variables to measure various facets of achievement orientation and performance. Furthermore, these relationships are tested in a multivariate design while other relevant factors are held constant. The data of this study strongly support the contention that there is no significant relation between marihuana use and achievement orientations, or performance. But what is of greater importance, the results question the findings of studies that have not taken into consideration relevant control variables in their analyses.
Article
We have shown that 4 wk of high-dose marihuana use (8–20 cigarettes/d) in 16 healthy, chronic marihuana smokers was associated with a significant decline in sperm concentration and total sperm count during the fifth and sixth weeks after the first exposure. This was preceded by a decrease in sperm motility and accompanied by a reduction in the number of sperm with normal morphology. In 12 of 16 subjects, a highly significant decrease was noted, which was sustained until the end of the study in 11 subjects. No evidence was obtained suggesting a hormonal mechanism for observed effects. The most likely explanation is a direct cannabinoid effect on the germinal epithelium during spermiogenesis. Loss of motility response to cyclic AMP and a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, theophylline, in two subjects indicates that the sperm produced following cannabinoid exposure may also have structural or biochemical defects in sperm function. The improvement in sperm motility following cessation of chronic smoking raises some optimism concerning the reversibility of the abnormalities and, if confirmed in additional subjects, gives further credence to the causal relationship between acute marihuana exposure and the abnormalities subsequently observed. No conclusion can be reached regarding the possibility of adverse effects of acute or chronic marihuana use upon human reproduction. On the other hand, it is essential that further studies be undertaken that will examine this possibility.
Article
In this research were analyzed the effects of marijuana on human reaction time and on performance for motor responses involving both linear and rotary serial arm movements aimed at a target. A total of six experienced marijuana users served as subjects and three drug conditions (dose levels) were used, i.e., 0, 6.5, and 19.5-26.0 mg delta9-THC. The results showed that (a) (simple and complex) reaction time was not significantly affected by marijuana or by the interaction between drug conditions and the amount of information transmitted during the task, (b) linear movement time was significantly reduced after smoking marijuana, while rotary movement time was not significantly affected, (c) interaction between drug conditions and task complexity was insignificant in the case of both linear and rotary movements, and (d) error rates for the two types of motor movements increased significantly and especially for linear movements as the dose level increased.
Article
A survey of cannabinoid levels in post-mortem blood from 66 fatally injured drivers showed, by radioimmunoassay alone, cannabis use in 6 cases. Further examination of 3 of the specimens by a combined system of high pressure liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay showed typical patterns of separated cross-reacting cannabinoids and gave a specific measurement of THC levels. The total cross-reacting cannabinoid levels in the positive samples were low compared with the levels detected in earlier cases of intoxication or in volunteers smoking moderate doses of pure THC. An assessment of the effect on driving impairment is given.
Article
The results of the tracking study indicate that alcohol, cannabis, and the combination of these drugs can result in decreased psychomotor tracking performance. The clearer and more pronounced performance decrement in complex tracking that resulted from the combination of alcohol and cannabis (compared to the same low doses of each drug separately) suggests that the effects of the drugs combine on this measure. Effects of the two drugs also appear to be additive on some of the supplementary variables (for example, pulse rate and conjunctival injection) but appear to not interact on others (for example the RHI and Clyde's Mood Scale) and were possibly antagonistic on visual imagery. None of the drug conditions caused subjects to miss signals or respond at the wrong time in the choice reaction test, which suggests a lack of drug effect on the level of attention required to perform this simple task. The high alcohol dose did result in an increase in choice reaction time, in reaction time to tracking control polarity reversals, and in 'effective reaction delay time' during continuous tracking. No similar consistent changes in reaction time measures were found with the doses of cannabis employed. The mechanism for the interaction of alcohol and cannabis effects is not clear. It would appear that cannabis can enhance certain alcohol effects in the absence of discernible alteration of alcohol absorption, metabolism, or excretion. We were not, of course, able to assess the possible effects of alcohol on blood levels of THC and its metabolites. The differential pattern of effects of the alcohol, cannabis, and combination conditions suggests that these drugs do not interact solely by one simply enhancing the general effects of the other. Other doses and conditions of administration must be explored to elucidate the mechanism manifested here. The results of the driving study show a decremental effect of both the higher cannabis dose and the alcohol dose on car handling rated by the observer in the car, and suggest that the drug effects on performance, at the doses used here, are not dramatic. It would be premature to predict from these results whether cannabis does or will have serious effects on traffic safety. This initial study only measured car handling in rather artificial circumstances. For example, the difficulty and risk involved in traffic were not represented in the test situation, and there was no explicit penalty for making errors, unlike normal driving conditions. In addition, subjects were always aware that they were performing and under observation. These results do serve to point out the possibility that cannabis may adversely affect traffic safety and to underline the urgent need for extensive research into this question.
Article
Ten normal subjects who smoked marijuana daily for an average of 5 years and who denied other drug use were examined on a neuropsychological test battery. When compared with normal nonsmoking Ss, minimal differences were observed. It was concluded that long-term cannabis use does not cause a generalized decrement in adaptive abilities which might be related to cerebral impairments.
Article
Two experiments were performed to determine the effects of alcohol and marihuana on visual scanning patterns in a simulated driving situation. In the first experiment 27 male heavy drinkers were divided into three groups of nine, defined by three blood alcohol levels produced by alcohol treatment: 0.0%, 0.075%, and 0.15% BAC's. Significant changes in visual search behavior including increased dwell duration, decreased dwell frequency, and increased pursuit duration and frequency were found under alcohol. In the second experiment, 10 male social users of marihuana were tested under both 0 mcg and 200 mcg tetrahydrocannabinol per kilogram bodyweight. Marihuana was found to have no effect on visual search behavior. The results are related to previous studies of alcohol and marihuana effects on information processing.
Article
Poor relationships with family and alienation from the larger society are associated with academic motivation and dropping out of school, and with drug use. These findings suggest that relationships with parents may have important implications for efforts to find ways to minimize the destructive consequences of drug use. Perhaps the real question is how can parents, teachers, and other adults teach young people to cope realistically and responsibly with the realities of the society we live in. One of those realities is drug use.
Article
Interest in the amotivational syndrome appears to have been greatest in Canada from about 1968 to 1973. The most impressive work in Canada was an incomplete study by the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario. It attempted to examine the social and personal effects of cannabis use. Canadian research has not produced conclusive evidence to support the hypothesis of an amotivational syndrome associated with cannabis use, although there is some experimental evidence of a decline in productivity among heavy users in an experimental setting. The studies of university students suggest a loss of ability to synthesize and abstract, or to perceive appropriateness in some situations, after periods of frequent and heavy cannabis use.
Article
The present cross-cultural study investigated the effects of chronic marijuana usage on higher adaptive brain functions and personality in native Costa Ricans. After extensive standardization in Costa Rica, a battery of neuropsychologic, intelligence, and personality tests was administered to two carefully matched groups of marijuana users and controls (NU = NC = 41). Multivariate analyses of multiple combinations of variables, followed by separate univariate tests on each measure, revealed essentially no significant differences between users and nonusers on any of the neuropsychologic, intelligence, or personality tests. Furthermore, no relationship was found between level of daily use (high vs low) and test performance. These findings were discussed in terms of previous chronic and acute studies of changes in adaptive brain functions and personality as a function of marijuana intake.
Article
The UCLA cannabis project has provided several interesting observations that contribute to our knowledge about this plant and its constituents. Some of the findings (reduction in intraocular pressure, bronchodilation) may have therapeutic significance in the future. Certain results (testosterone lowering, airway narrowing after heavy use) indicate that side effects are also a possibility. Other data (unchanged immune response, lack of chromosomal alterations) seem to controvert the reports of other investigators. Still other information obtained (hemispheric lateralization, electroencephalographic changes) appears to represent new knowledge about the effects of cannabis on humans.
Article
In the study, the subjects smoked significantly more marijuana when the smoking period followed the withdrawal period. This finding might indicate that there is a need for greater amounts of marijuana after withdrawal. Assuming that there exists a reverse tolerance due to the accumulation of the active material, one may attribute this finding to the need of the organism to compensate for the material depleted during the abstinence period. The absence of the withdrawal phenomena, reflected by the parameters investigated, is consistent with the failure of other systematic studies to demonstrate withdrawal symptoms after repeated cannabis administration and abrupt cessation. Very longterm marijuana users do not develop withdrawal symptoms after cessation of 3 days of smoking when conditions of dosage self control occur prior to withdrawal.
Article
Blastogenic responses in vitro to phytohemagglutinin and pokeweed mitogen were examined in microcultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes from a group of 12 healthy, long-term marihuana smokers and a group of matched control subjects. With either mitogen, no significant difference in cellular incorporation of (3H)thymidine was noted between the groups. These results were interpreted to indicate that the functional status of blood lymphocytes was not altered by long-term smoking of marihuana.
Article
Cannabis resin (54% THC) caused dose-related decreases in the development of testis, prostate and seminal vesicles when administered in the diet to immature male rats. Bioassays and estrogen-receptor studies showed no estrogenic activity in cannabis resin. Demasculinazation and possible feminization by cannabis are not due to simple estrogen-like action on male tissues.
Article
Eight otherwise healthy male chronic marijuana smokers were hospitalized for a period of 30 days. Initially they received placebo, then a sustained dose of 210 milligrams of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) per day for 18 days, followed by placebo. Lymphocyte responses to phytohemagglutinin were examined during each of these periods. Neither the daily ingestion of marijuana extract containing 210 milligrams of delta9-THC for 18 days nor the history of chronic marijuana smoking had a depressive effect on the lymphocyte responses of these subjects to phytohemagglutinin.
Article
Attentional behavior was examined in one hundred twenty-six 72-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marihuana, cigarettes, and alcohol has previously been ascertained. Discriminant Function Analysis revealed a dose-response association between prenatal cigarette exposure and impulsive behavior as manifest on poorer performance on a response inhibition task and increased errors of commission on a sustained vigilance task. Performance on a series of memory tasks particularly those requiring verbal recall was also negatively associated with maternal cigarette use. Prenatal marihuana habits were associated with increased omission errors in the vigilance task, possibly reflecting a deficit in sustained attention. In addition, Discriminant Function Analysis revealed a dose-response relationship between prenatal marihuana use and a higher rating by the mothers on an impulsive/hyperactive scale. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption was related to decreased impulsive responding both in the response inhibition task and in terms of the mothers' perception of the child's behavior. The multifaceted approach of examining attentional behavior was essential to reveal the differential associations with the three prenatally used drugs. The implications of the observations and how the findings relate to and extend the existing literature is discussed.
Article
Cognitive and receptive language development were examined in 135 60-month-old and 137 72-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol had been ascertained. Discriminant Function analysis revealed an association between prenatal cigarette exposure and lower cognitive and receptive language scores at 60 and 72 months. This paralleled and extended observations made with this sample at annual assessments at 12 to 48 months of age. Unlike observations made at 48 months, prenatal exposure to marijuana was not associated with the cognitive and verbal outcomes. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption did not have significant relationships with the outcome variables. The importance of assessing subtle components rather than global cognitive and language skills to detect potential behavioral teratogenic effects of the drugs being examined is discussed.
Article
Dronabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in sesame oil, has been used for several years as an antiemetic for patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. In combination studies with prochlorperazine, enhancement of efficacy, as measured by duration of episodes of nausea and vomiting and by severity of nausea, has been found. The incidence of psychotropic effects from dronabinol appears to be decreased by concomitant administration of prochlorperazine. In open pilot studies, dronabinol caused weight gain in seven of ten patients with symptomatic HIV infection. In both HIV and cancer patients, dronabinol improved appetite at a dose which was well tolerated for chronic administration.
Article
Several laboratories have reported that chronic exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or marijuana extracts persistently altered the structure and function of the rat hippocampus, a paleocortical brain region involved with learning and memory processes in both rats and humans. Certain choices must be made in designing experiments to evaluate cannabis neurotoxicity, such as dose, route of administration, duration of exposure, age at onset of exposure, species of subjects, whether or how long to allow withdrawal, and which endpoints or biomarkers of neurotoxicity to measure. A review of the literature suggests that both age during exposure and duration of exposure may be critical determinants of neurotoxicity. Cannabinoid administration for at least three months (8-10% of a rat's lifespan) was required to produce neurotoxic effects in peripubertal rodents, which would be comparable to about three years exposure in rhesus monkeys and seven to ten years in humans. Studies of monkeys after up to 12 months of daily exposure have not consistently reported neurotoxicity, and the results of longer exposures have not yet been studied.
Article
The association between fetal marijuana and/or alcohol exposure and facial features resembling fetal alcohol syndrome was investigated in a sample of 80 children. Standardized lateral and frontal facial photographs were taken of 40 children, 5 to 7 years of age, whose mothers reported frequent use of marijuana during the first trimester of pregnancy and 40 children whose mothers reported no use of marijuana during pregnancy. The marijuana-exposed and unexposed children were group-matched on alcohol exposure prior to and during pregnancy, sex, race, and age at the time of assessment. The photographs were assessed clinically by a study staff dysmorphologist and morphometrically by computerized landmark analysis. Fetal alcohol syndrome-like facial features were not associated with prenatal marijuana exposure in this study sample. No consistent patterns of facial features were identified among the marijuana-exposed group. Maternal consumption of two or more ounces of alcohol per day, on average, in early gestation was found to be associated with fetal alcohol syndrome-like facial features identified both clinically and morphometrically. Cocaine use reported by 13 of the 80 women was independently associated with mild facial dysmorphic features of hypertelorism and midfacial flattening. The results demonstrate the usefulness of this diagnostic technique for quantifying anomalies apparently unique to fetal alcohol syndrome and for targeting clusters of anomalies in new conditions for future evaluation.
Article
Aspects of neurobehavioural development were examined in 28 school-age children born to regular cannabis users and 28 control children matched on prenatal drug history. Measures which discriminated between the study groups and on which the children of cannabis users scored more poorly included parental ratings of behaviour problems, visual-perceptual tasks, language comprehension, and distractibility. For a measure of visual memory and a measure of language comprehension, mother's age at the child's birth potentiated the effect of cannabis use to produce lowered scores for children of young, cannabis-using mothers relative to children of young, nonusing mothers. After controlling for the influence of mother's age at delivery, mother's personality and home environment, the relationship between prenatal cannabis exposure and the discriminating variables was no longer statistically significant. Path analysis demonstrated the way in which home environment conditions, particularly high levels of aggression, could magnify effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis on postnatal outcomes.
Article
In a longitudinal study of marijuana and other substance use during pregnancy, women were interviewed at each trimester of pregnancy. Growth parameters, morphological abnormalities and gestational age were assessed for the 519 liveborn singletons. There were few significant effects of marijuana use during pregnancy on birth weight, head or chest circumference, gestational age, or growth retardation after adjustment for covariates using a regression model for analysis. There was a small but significant negative effect of marijuana use during the first two months of pregnancy on birth length and a positive effect of marijuana use during the third trimester on birth weight.
Article
To investigate possible effects of chronic marijuana use on reproductive and stress hormones, we assayed testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and cortisol in 93 men and 56 women with a mean (+/- S.E.) age of 23.5 +/- 0.4 years. Hormone values were compared among groups of subjects stratified according to frequency of marijuana use (frequent, moderate and infrequent; N = 27, 18, and 30, respectively) and non-using controls (N = 74). Chronic marijuana use showed no significant effect on hormone concentrations in either men or women.
Article
Data from four consecutive surveys of Tucson longitudinal study of airways obstructive disease were used to examine the relation of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function to non-tobacco cigarette smoking. The surveys were conducted over a six-year period and provided data on 1802 subjects 15-60 years of age, with a total of 5659 individual questionnaires. Estimated odds ratio (OR) of current non-tobacco smoking for chronic cough was 1.73, for chronic phlegm: 1.53, and for wheeze: 2.01 (p less than 0.05). These estimates were adjusted for age, tobacco smoking and occurrence of the symptom in preceding survey. The increased risk of the symptoms was related to the habit continued for several years, and there was no immediate remission of the symptoms after quitting smoking. A significant (p less than 0.05) reduction in pulmonary function (FEV1, Vmax50 and their ratios with FVC) was found a year or more after current non-tobacco smoking was reported. Although the average consumption of non-tobacco cigarettes, believed to be marijuana smoking, was less than one per day, significant effects were still detectable in both pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms.
Article
Aspects of neurobehavioral development were examined in 133 36-month- and 130 48-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol had been previously ascertained and who have been assessed since birth. Parallelling earlier observations made with this sample at 12 and 24 months, prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking was significantly associated with poorer language development and lower cognitive scores at both 36 and 48 months after statistically controlling for confounding factors. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption, which had measurable effects at 24 and 36 months, no longer had significant relationships with outcome variables at 48 months of age. At 48 months, significantly lower scores in verbal and memory domains were associated with maternal marijuana use after adjusting for confounding variables. This negative relationship is the first reported association beyond the neonatal stage, and may represent a long-term effect of the drug upon complex behavior that, at a younger age, had not developed and/or could not be assessed.