Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, January 31, 2003

Government Reports on Marijuana

Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894:
"The commission has come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all." Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, Simla, India: Government Central Printing Office (1894).

U.S. Panama Canal Zone Report, 1925:
"The influence of [marihuana] ... has apparently been greatly exaggerated.... There is no evidence ... that it has any appreciably deleterious influence on the individual using it." Canal Zone Committee, The Panama Canal Zone Military Investigations (1925).

U.S. LaGuardia Commission Report, 1944:
"There [is] no direct relationship between the commission of crimes of violence and marihuana ... and marihuana itself has no specific stimulant effect in regard to sexual desires. The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or cocaine or heroin addiction." Mayor’s Committee on Marijuana, The Marijuana Problem in the City of New York: Sociological, Medical, Psychological, and Pharmacological Studies, Lancaster, PA: Jacques Cattel Press (1944).

The British Wootten Report, 1969:
"[We] intended to present both sides of the controversy.... But once the myths were cleared, it became obvious that the case for and against was not evenly balanced. By any ordinary standards of objectivity, it is clear that cannabis is not a very harmful drug..... Possession of a small amount of cannabis ... should not be punished by imprisonment...." Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence, Cannabis, London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (1969).

The Canadian LeDain Commission Report, 1970:
"Physical dependence to cannabis has not been demonstrated and it would appear that there are normally no adverse physiological effects ... occurring with abstinence from the drug, even in regular users.... Since cannabis is clearly not a narcotic we recommend that the control of cannabis be removed from the Narcotic Control Act.... The Commission is of the opinion that no one should be liable to imprisonment for simple possession." Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry, The Non-Medical Use of Drugs, Ottawa, Canada: Information Canada (1970).

U.S. National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972:
"There is little proven danger of physical or psychological harm from the experimental or intermittent use of natural preparations of cannabis.... Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.... Existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the drug." National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, Marihuana: A Signal of
Misunderstanding, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office (1972).

The Dutch Baan Commission, 1972:
"Cannabis does not produce tolerance or physical dependence. The physiological effects of the use of cannabis are of a relatively harmless nature.... The current law does not respect the fact that the risks of the use of cannabis cannot be equaled to the risks of the use of substances that are pharmacologically much more potent.... This hurts the credibility of the drug law, and the prevention efforts based on the law are made untrustworthy." Werkgroep Verdovende Middelen, Background and Risks of Drug Use, The Haque: Staatsuitgeverij (1972).

Commission of the Australian Government, 1977:
"One of the most striking facts concerning cannabis is that its acute toxicity is low compared with that of any other drugs.... No major health effects have manifested themselves in the community.... Legal controls [should] not [be] of such a nature as to ... cause more social damage than use of the drug.... Cannabis legislation should be enacted that recognises the significant differences between ... narcotics and cannabis in their health effects.... Possession of marijuana for personal use should no longer be a criminal offence." Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, Drug Problems in Australia –An Intoxicated Society?, Canberra: Australian Commonwealth Government Printing Office (1977).

U.S. National Academy of Sciences Report, 1982:
"Over the past 40 years, marijuana has been accused of causing an array of antisocial effects including ... provoking crime and violence, ... leading to heroin addiction, ... and destroying the American work ethic in young people. [These] beliefs ... have not been substantiated by scientific evidence.... The advantages of a policy of regulation include ... the savings to economic and social costs of law enforcement ... , better controls over the quality and safety of the product, and, possibly, increased credibility of warnings about risks." National Research Council, An Analysis of Marijuana Policy, Washington, DC: National Academy Press (1982).

Australian National Drug Strategy Committee, 1994:
"Australia experiences more harm ... from maintaining cannabis prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug.... We conclude that cannabis law reform is required in this country." McDonald, D. et al., Legislative Options for Cannabis in Australia, Report on the National Task Force on Cannabis, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service (1994)

Report by the Dutch Government, 1995:
"Cannabis is not very physically toxic.... Everything that we now know ... leads to the conclusion that the risks of cannabis use cannot ... be described as "unacceptable" .... It has been demonstrated that the more or less free sale of ... [marijuana] for personal use in the Netherlands has not given rise to levels of use significantly higher than in countries which pursue a highly repressive policy.... Dutch policy on drugs over the last twenty years ... can be considered to have been successful." Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport,
Drug Policy in the Netherlands: Continuity and Change, The Netherlands (1995).

source: CCLE Legislative Analysis Service
Prepared for Members and Committees of the Connecticut Legislature
Blair Anderson

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