Article

The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893‐1894

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Abstract

Background and Aims The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission report (1894) is often highly lauded by those who approve of its recommendation in favour of the regulation and taxation of cannabis. This paper discusses the report in the light of current evidence. Results and Conclusions The Commission found that excessive ganja use could cause psychosis but such use was rare. It recommended that cannabis should be regulated and taxed rather than prohibited because most cannabis use did not cause harm, regulation and taxation would limit excessive use, and prohibition would prevent its medical use and generate an illicit cannabis market. The report in on the role of cannabis in psychosis is consistent with recent epidemiological evidence. Historical scholarship, however, raises serious doubts about the extent to which the Commission's findings were affected by a major conflict of interest on the part of the majority of its British members.

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