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Introduction PDF Print E-mail
Written by P. H. Connell   
Saturday, 04 September 2010 00:00


P. H. Connell, Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals, London.

N. Dorn, Evaluation and Research Unit, ISDD, London.

This third symposium, organised by the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence, follows naturally from the first symposium (The Botany and Chemistry of Cannabis)* and the second symposium (Cannabis and its Derivatives: Pharmacology and Experimental Psychology)** in that the theme 'Cannabis and Man: Psychological and Clinical Aspects and Patterns of Use' extends discussion from the laboratory and the basic sciences into the, in many ways, much more difficult and less precise area of Man, his personality and behaviour and the community in which he lives.

As before, the Conference was by invitation only and comprised 28 experts. The invitations to participants from the Planning Committee note that 'It is recognised that the proposed field of discussion has been the subject of review in many quarters, including the Wootton Report (United Kingdom, 1968), the Le Dain Report (Canada 1970) and the Schafer Report (U.S.A. 1972). The aim of the Conference is, therefore, to attempt an overview of the present state of knowledge; to discuss conceptual and methodological problems; to bury dying issues and to point the way to future avenues of worthwhile research.'

The majority of those invited to give papers were given a brief to review the particular aspect concerned but a small number of papers dealing with specific researches were accepted later.

The format of the meeting was changed from that of previous symposia in that the Planning Committee, taking cognizance of the less precise nature of the field to be covered, arranged for summaries of papers to be presented in thirty minutes and for forty-five minutes of discussion after each paper. Thus free interchange with less pressure of time, could take place. There was, of course, some anxiety that with such a liberal period for discussion, the
proceedings might dry up. In the event, it was interesting and gratifying to observe that throughout the whole proceedings, stimulating and lively discussion took place and the Chairman often had to bring discussion to a close some fifty minutes or more after the presentation of the papers.

The Planning Committee deliberately refrained from arranging matters in such a way that participants were steered or forced into producing a formal blue-print summarizing the proceedings (as is perforce the case in many national and international meetings of experts). The Editors have attempted to draw together the lessons learned from the Conference in a final chapter and take full responsibility for this!

The discussions were all tape-recorded and the reports in the text are much summarized versions of the discussions. They are therefore condensed and the Editors are grateful to participants for allowing them the freedom to undertake this difficult task and for permission to go ahead with publication without further reference to contributors, in the interest of rapid publication of the proceedings. - -

The meeting was organized by a sub-committee consisting of Dr David Hawks, Mr Frank Logan, Professor W.D.M. Paton and ourselves. The Editors wish to express their gratitude on behalf of the Committee and all those participating, to the Ciba Foundation and in particular to Dr G.E.W. Wolstenholme and Dr Ruth Porter for their help and advice and for the use of the efficient, comfortable and excellent facilities, both in terms of the technical facilities and also in terms of the hospitality offered to participants.

Joyce, C.R.B., and Curry, S.H. (Eds.) "Botany and Chemistry of Cannabis" Churchill, London, 1972

** Paton, W.D.M., and Crown, J. (Eds.) "Cannabis and its Derivatives: Pharmacology and Experimental Psychology". Oxford University Press, 1972


P.H. Connell
It was my privilege to be Chairman of the Planning Committee of this Conference and to Chair the proceedings throughout. I would like, therefore, to thank all members of the Committee and all participants for their work and contributions. In particular I would like to express my gratitude to Nick Dorn (Secretary of the Planning Committee, Conference Secretary and Joint Editor for his energy, efficiency and expertise and also to Dr David Hawks who was invaluable in the planning stages in relation to a balanced selection of contributors.

Donations towards the cost of this conference were received from:
Beecham Group
Glaxo Group
Pfizer Ltd.
Smith, Kline & French
Sterling-Winthrop Group
Wellcome Trust
Department of Health and Social Security.
The Ciba Foundation generously allowed the conference to be held at its headquarters in Portland Place, and provided many valuable facilities.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 15:01

Our valuable member P. H. Connell has been with us since Wednesday, 29 December 2010.

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