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CHAPTER VII What Was the Marihuana Menace? PDF Print E-mail
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Books - The Marihuana Conviction
Written by Richard J Bonnie   

MARIHUANA was condemned without a trial. The decision makers did not insist on accurate information, and the policy-making process reflects only the trappings of science. The assumptions that mari-huana caused addiction, insanity, and crime were not without serious attack even then; yet the federal narcotics bureaucracy made no serious effort before the decision to seek federal legis-lation to find out what the drug's effects really were.

The proponents of H.R. 6385 expressed no uncertainty in their public characterisations of marihuana's effects. Yet a collection of world authorities on the cannabis drugs observed in June 1937 that "as to the effects of abuse of cannabis, [available information] still leaves much to be desired."' And immediately after the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, the bureau convened a conference for the purpose of determining the effects of the drug.2 Even now, thirty years later, alteration of the legal status of marihuana is being resisted on the ground that "we don't know enough" about the effects of the drug. It is, then, reasonable to inquire what the policy makers thought they knew about marihuana during the criminalisation period.

Although the British and the French had sponsored a number of investigations and a fair amount of research regarding the psycho-logical, social, and moral effects of cannabis use in India and Africa in the late nineteenth century, it does not appear that these studies were consulted prior to the formulation of T.D. 35719 in 1915. Nor does it appear that any review of the world literature (or even of the English-language literature) preceded the drafting of Surgeon General Cummings' report in 1929.

The Surgeon General's Cursory Report

The Preliminary Report on Indian Hemp and Peyote, issued by Surgeon General Cummings in 1929, was the first official statement by the scientific establishment of the United States government on the effects of marihuana. However, by almost any standard more rigorous than that applicable to popular journals, the report is woefully inadequate.

First, an account of the three-phase theory of acute intoxication (exhilaration, delirium, and depression) was drawn from pharma-cology texts:

It produces first, an exaltation with a more or less feeling of well being; a happy jovial mood, usually an increased feeling of physical strength and power; and a general euphoria and variable aphrodisiac is experienced. Accompanying this exaltation is a stimulation of the imagination followed by a more or less deliri-ous state characterized by vivid kaleidoscopic visions, sometimes of a pleasing sensual kind, but occasionally of a gruesome nature. Accompanying this delirious state is a remarkable loss in spatial and time relations. . . . While the delirium is one of degree it gradually merges, if the dose is sufficient, into a state of general motor weakness, fatigue, drowsiness and sleep.

Regarding the effects of habitual use, the report is well hedged; by drawing on popular myth, however, it implicitly implicate's the drug. With respect to crime, Cummings noted that "those who are habitually accustomed to the use of the drug are said to develop a delirious rage after its administration during which they are tempo-rarily, at least, irresponsible and liable to commit violent crimes." This proposition is supported only by: "It is sometimes alleged that the murderous frensy of the Malay, characterized as running 'amok; is the result of the habitual use of hashish. It is also said that the Mohammedan leaders, opposing the Crusades, utilised the services of individuals addicted to the use of hashish for secret murders. The frensy produced by the drug led to these persons being called haschischin,"hashshash' or `hashish' from which the modern word 'assassin' is derived."

Regarding the drug's dependence liability, the report reflected the ambiguity which then surrounded the notion of addiction, finding essentially that the drug was habituating although not ad-dicting (or, in current terminology, that it causes psychological but not physiological dependence):

Effects of Habitual Use.

While the effects of the drug are definitely narcotic in nature it is habitually taken for the stimulating effects obtained and the individual satisfaction experienced through the temporary in-flation of the personality. No evidence exists that the drug is accumulative in its effect or that a tolerance may be developed through its continued use.. . . The sudden discontinuance of its use . .. does not give rise to any "withdrawal" symptoms such as is seen in opium addiction.

Finally, the report stated that "the prolonged use of this narcotic is said to produce mental deterioration." In short, the surgeon general found that marihuana is a narcotic and its use is addictive, although the physiological attributes of addiction are absent. It may, he felt, cause violent crime and it may cause mental deterioration

It appears that the Public Health Service had conducted only minimal inquiry in the preparation of this report. The surgeon general had contacted the Federal Department of Health of the Republic of Mexico requesting information regarding, among other things, the number of persons "addicted to marihuana, especially in those regions adjacent to the United States." On-site visits were made to New Orleans and to other southern cities.

In outlook and effect, the Cummings Report is not startling. Since Western medical literature had analysed the acute effects of the drug for purposes of therapeutic application, this presentation is straightforward. But Western public health investigations had generally not had any reason to study the individual and social impact of repeated use; so this presentation is hedged and heavily laced with unverified representations of the Eastern experience. The approach is not unlike that of contemporary pharmacology texts. The Solis-Cohen and Githens Pharmaco-Therapeutics had, for example, commented in 1928:

In certain eastern people .. . perhaps because of continued use, the somnolent action is replaced by complete loss of judgment and restraint such as is seen more often from alcohol. An Arab leader, fighting against the crusaders, had a bodyguard who par-took of haschisch, and used to rush madly on their enemies, slaying everyone they met. The name of "haschischin" applied to them has survived as "assassin." The habitual use of cannabis does not lead to much tolerance, nor do abstinence symptoms follow its withdrawal. It causes, however, a loss of mentality, resembling dementia, which can be recognised even in dogs.4

What is surprising about the Preliminary Report is that it made no reference at all to either of the English-language, government-sponsored studies of cannabis "abuse" then in existence: the multi-volume report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, which studied cannabis use among the native population in India in 1893-94; and the Panama Canal Zone Report of 1925, which studied marihuana use among American soldiers stationed in the Zone. Both of these investigations are inadequate by today's methodological standards; but since they represented the only first-hand research relating to the hypotheses so blandly supported in the Preliminary Report, their omission is startling.

The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report

The Public Health Service investigators participating in the drafting of the Cummings Report were probably aware of the Indian report since it had been cited in the Canal Zone study and in numerous English-language medical journals. Yet the surgeon general failed to distinguish between moderate use of the drug on the one hand and its excessive use on the other. That the consequences of canna-bis' use to the individual as well as to the society differ significantly according to frequency and intensity of use has been a common thread of all recent government reports and was pivotal to the con-clusion of the Indian Hemp Commission report as well. The commission summarized its conclusions as follows:

In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncrasies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of ex-ceptional intolerance. . . . Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind. The excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, ex-cessive use tends to weaken the constitution and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. . . .

In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of specially marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moderate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability. It tends to weaken the mind. It may even lead to insanity. It has been said by Dr. Blanford that "two factors only are necessary for the causation of in-sanity, which are complementary, heredity, and stress. Both enter into every case: the stronger the influence of one factor, the less of the other factor is requisite to produce a certain instability of nerve tissue and the incidence of a certain dis-turbance." It appears that the excessive use of hemp drugs may, especially in cases where there is any weakness or hereditary predisposition, induce insanity. It has been shown that the effect of hemp drugs in this respect has hitherto been greatly exagger-ated, but that they do sometimes produce insanity seems beyond question.

In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer. Excessive con-sumption, on the other hand, both indicates and intensifies moral weakness or depravity. Manifest excess leads directly to loss of self-respect, and thus to moral degradation. In respect to his relations with society, however, even the excessive consumer of hemp drugs is ordinarily inoffensive. His excesses may indeed bring him to degraded poverty which may lead him to dishonest practices; and occasionally, but apparently very rarely indeed, excessive indulgence in hemp drugs may lead to violent crime. But for all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime.

Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The ex-cessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs.5

The Canal Zone Study

Beginning about 1916 and becoming noticeable by 1922, cannabis-smoking became a relatively common diversion among the lower enlisted ranks of the United States Army stationed at various locations in the Panama Canal Zone. Although it is not clear whether the practice was common among native Panamanians, the chief of police of the Canal Zone observed in 1925 that "the plant, by its local names, is well known on the Isthmus and in the various West Indian Islands."6 This view is supported by the fact that the Republic of Panama prohibited the "cultivation, use and con-sumption of the herb Kan-jac" as part of its act prohibiting the distribution and use of opiates and cocaine without a prescription on 3 April 1923.7

In any event, use of the drug by army personnel was viewed with some alarm as a threat to military discipline, and in 1923 the commanding general of the Panama Canal Zone Department issued the following order: "Except in the proper discharge of military duty, no Army member of this command will have in his possession or under his control marihuana. . . ." Violation of this regulation was punishable by dishonorable discharge, total forfeitures, and confinement at hard labor for one year.8

It appears that the army did not succeed in eliminating a practice that was adopted by succeeding troop arrivals. Difficulties in gather-ing sufficient proof to convict known marihuana "addicts" resulted in only twenty-seven general courts martial during the period between issuance of the order and 11 December 1925. Administrative discharges, based only on suspicion, were apparently more common. In any event, the army sought to improve the situation by request-ing Governor M. L. Walker of the Canal Zone to prohibit the cultivation, sale, and use of marihuana throughout the entire Canal Zone.

In response to this request, the governor, on 1 April 1925, appointed a committee to investigate use of the drug and make appropriate recommendations. Sitting on the committee were its chairman, Colonel W. P. Chamberlain, chief health officer of the Canal Zone, F. E. Mitchell, the district attorney, C. H. Calhoun, chief of the Civil Affairs Division, and Guy Johannes, chief of police. Sitting in an advisory capacity were representatives from the army and navy, and playing active investigatory roles were Dr. A. E. Hesner, the superintendent of the Corozal Hospital for the Insane, and Dr. Lewis Bates, chief of the Board of Health Laboratory.

In marked contrast to the cavalier, uninquiring attitude of the Public Health Service manifested in Cummings' 1929 report, the Canal Zone committee took its job seriously. From the beginning, each of the four members was skeptical that the drug produced the dire consequences that had been attributed to it and insisted that the deleterious effects—violence, insanity, and addiction—be demonstrated affirmatively before prohibitory action would be taken. The day after the committee was appointed, Chief Johannes observed that "there is in various texts and reference books very little information as to the drug effect of the plant. It would appear that there has been very little research. . . ."9 And Colonel Chamberlain advised the governor that "there is very little infor-mation on the subject."1°

For its prohibitory approach, the military relied primarily on anecdotal testimony of various officers regarding the effects of marihuana use on their enlisted men. For medical support, it appears that the military authorities were relying on Dr. Hesner whose clinical responsibilities, both on the Isthmus and in the United States, placed him in the best position to observe adverse effects on the personality. As has been true whenever marihuana's effects are discussed, persons with the clinical perspective have tended to be more suspicious of the drug than their colleagues. In Dr. Hesner's case this was true; yet he was unable to corroborate the military view from his experience in dealing with the very patients to whom they referred.

To aid the committee's deliberations, Dr. Hesner solicited information from the American consulate general in India, who summarised the Indian Hemp Commission's report; from Dr. M. V. Ball of Warren, Pennsylvania, who was probably one of the country's foremost experts on the subject and to whom we will return in this chapter; and from The H. K. Mulford Company, biological chemists from Philadelphia, the AMA, Parke-Davis, and the attorney general of California.

To supplement the first-hand testimony- and the literature review, the committee also sponsored a controlled laboratory experiment on the acute effects of the drug. Dr. Bates conducted three sepa-rate "physiological tests of locally grown marihuana" with six, four, and five subjects.11 By today's standards, the experiment may be regarded as primitive; but this should not cloud the fact that the research was undertaken at all. (Original investigations were not conducted by the surgeon general in 1929, by the Congress in 1937, or by any state in the years between.) Dr. Bates, it should be noted, was aware of the limitations of his experiment: "One question which has been raised and which the Board [of Health] has not investigated and does not find itself in a position to investigate is as to whether the use of marihuana by a considerable proportion of a command over a prolonged period of time has a tendency to lower the moral tone of that command or the efficiency of the soldiers individually."12

Having gathered these data, the committee, on 18 December 1925, issued its report (in which the military advisors concurred) to the governor, recommending "that no steps be taken by the Canal Zone authorities to prevent the sale or use of marihuana."13 The committee determined further that "there is no evidence that marihuana, as grown and used [in the Canal Zone] is a 'habit-forming' drug in the sense in which the term is applied to alcohol, opium, cocaine, etc., or that it has any appreciably deleterious influence on the individuals using it."14 The committee cited the following findings to support its conclusion:

The influence of the drug when used for smoking is uncertain and has apparently been greatly exaggerated. Most of the reports appear to have little basis in fact. There is no medical evidence that it causes insanity.

The British commission which investigated the effects of Cannabis indica in India came to the conclusion that it was not a habit forming drug, particularly among Anglo-Saxons, and that most of the effects attributed to it were due to other substances (opium, datura, stramonium, hyocyamus, cantharides, etc.) added to the preparations which were used.

The plants vary in potency, some being almost devoid of the active principle. Certain individuals appear much more suscepti-ble to the drug than others.

Tests with locally grown plants have been carried out by your Committee and have shown no effects which would appear to indicate that a habit was likely to be formed. These experiments have not produced any of the symptoms popularly attributed to the drug. Neither pleasurable sensations nor any acts of vio-lence were observed.

The Health Department of the Panama Canal and the Police Department of the Panama Canal have no knowledge of any ill effects from the use of the drug in the Canal Zone.

The Navy officials on the Isthmus have no records of the use of the drug by its personnel or of any ill effects attributable to it.

The Medical Department of the Army on the Isthmus has no records of any sickness attributable to the use of marihuana.

Two soldiers were treated in Corozal Hospital for mental symptoms which were considered by the Superintendent to be due to marihuana, but the evidence is by no means conclusive that the symptoms in question were due to that drug.

"The Judge Advocate of the Panama Canal Department states that twenty-seven soldiers have been tried by general courts martial during the last three years for having marihuana in their possession. In seven of these cases the Judge Advocate considers there is evidence in the trial record that there was insubordi-nation or violence, and it is his opinion that the insubordination or violence was due to the use of marihuana. These seven cases represent only one per cent of the total number of cases tried by general courts martial during the last three years.15

Why did the Cummings Report not take into account the findings of these reports? Why was it so inadequate measured even by the inadequate data then available? The truth of the matter is that Cummings was under no pressure to be thorough. The use of the drug was regionally and ethnically confined, and there was no constituency interested in a comprehensive medical evaluation. It was easier to conduct a cursory "investigation" and say that cor-roboration existed for prevalent assumptions without committing oneself one way or the other.

Cummings' sketchy Preliminary Report was never followed by a more comprehensive report. The surgeon general's staff, which had not been interested from the beginning, apparently dropped the whole subject when Anslinger decided in 1930 not to seek federal legislation. Although Dr. Lawrence Kolb of the Division of Mental Hygiene continued casual inquiry into the subject during the early thirties, the federal narcotics bureaucracy never made any serious attempt to determine the effects of the drug. As we have seen, one researcher was told in May 1930 that the govern-ment already knew all about the drug's physiological, toxic, and pharmacologic properties.

The FBN, on the other hand, continued to compile systematic reports from law enforcement personnel in anticipation of eventual federal legislation. These data came from two sources: first, case studies compiled by law enforcement officials allegedly linking marihuana use and violent crime; and second, information gathered by participants in the inquiries of the subcommittee on cannabis of the League of Nations Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, on which Anslinger sat.

The net effect of Cummings' report and the Public Health Service's disinterest in marihuana was that the field of official activity with respect to the drug was abandoned to the FBN—a law enforcement agency. In this way the FBN, which, unlike its medical counterpart had developed an interest in the subject, became the federal spokesman on its scientific aspects as well. In this respect, its path was eased by the failure of the Cummings Report to question the assumptions about the drug which then prevailed within the opinion-making institutions: that the drug was addictive, caused deterioration and insanity, and stimulated crime. In the remainder of this chapter we will try to describe the state of knowledge on these assumptions on the eve of the Hearings on H.R. 6385.


We have noted that medical expertise was not sought in connection with many of the initial legislative prohibitions of marihuana. However, whenever medical assistance was solicited in the course of the decision-making process during the twenties, the primary issue was generally whether or not marihuana was a "habit-forming drug." The nation's tardy discoveries of the dependence liability of morphine and later of heroin emphasized this factor in legislative determinations and induced a fear that every drug was habit-forming.

During the AMA's preparation of a Uniform Act in the early twenties and the drafting of the 1927 New York legislation, the decision to include cannabis hinged heavily on this factor. Rumor, 1905 vintage, had it that "the smoking of marihuana is a seductive habit. It grows upon a person more quickly and securely than the use of opium or cocaine."16 But Dr. M. V. Ball, who was engaged in the AMA drafting process, traveled to the Border area in 1922 to verify the tales of its effects and concluded that "there is no evidence worthy of belief that marihuana is a habit-forming weed or dpug."17 After further study in 1925 he objected strenuously to the tendency of policy makers to accept uncritically fanciful charac-terisations of the drug's effects and to minimize its utility as a therapeutic agent: "There is no proof that cannabis indica extract by itself taken internally or even smoked, causes a habit, and to continue to list it with such habit-forming drugs as morphine, chloral, alcohol, greatly detracts [from] whatever value it might have as a sedative."18

The 1929 Narcotic Farm Act had classified marihuana as a "habit-forming narcotic drug." Cummings' Preliminary Report denied the existence of the tolerance and withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction, finding instead that the habitual marihuana user became dependent on "the stimulating effects ob-tained and the individual satisfaction experienced. .. ." The nature of this dependence was not explored; Cummings was apparently postulating something more than habituation, as to tea or candy, for example, but something less than the craving associated with the opiates.

After issuance of the 1925 Canal Zone report, which disputed this thesis and agreed with Dr. Ball, the matter remained under "continuing study" within the Zone's Health Department. Ac-cordingly, Dr. J. F. Siler, Dr. Chamberlain's successor as chief health officer on the Isthmus, wrote the director of the National Institutes of Health in March 1931, asking once again whether marihuana was a "habit-forming drug." A Canal Zone committee to reinvestigate the issue was convened in 1932 and Siler directed its investigations. On the basis of a study of thirty-four soldier-users, he discovered that only 15 percent missed marihuana when deprived of it, and 71 percent stated that they preferred tobacco.l9 This report of the reinvestigation committee in October 1932 was forwarded by Siler to Assistant Surgeon General Treadway. Two months later the secretary of war officially forwarded the report to the secretary of the treasury, stating that the report would remain confidential and would not be made public unless mari-huana-smoking by soldiers in the Canal Zone became of interest to the press.

In 1934 Dr. Walter Bromberg, senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, distinguished between opiate addiction and "addiction" to marihuana in the same way as did Cummings' 1929 report. Having examined 2,276 felons, he found no tolerance, no physical compulsion, no withdrawal. Instead, the marihuana "user wants to recapture over and over again the ecstatic, elated state into which the drug lifts him. ...The addiction to cannabis is a sensual addiction: it is in the services of the hedonistic elements of the personality."2°

The notion of marihuana addiction, then, bottomed on the assumption that the drug experience was so pleasurable that the user would grow dependent on it. It is possible that the medical authorities formed this opinion on the basis of the many fantastic accounts describing acute cannabis intoxication appearing in the pharmacology texts as well as in romantic literature. The following, for example, appeared in the AMA Journal in 1925:

The imagination is more untrammeled than in any other form of intoxication, and the intoxicated person, even in the wildest flight of ideas and the most exuberant hallucinations, retains a remnant of reality; he has a dim idea that he is only in a pleasant dream state, and can give more or less sensible answers when addressed. The action generally begins with a feeling of warmth and heaviness in the head, sounds as of rushing water, and a motley of color hallucinations of incomparable beauty. Later on, the ground seems to disappear beneath the feet; there is a feeling of being snatched away from this world; the body, freed from all weight, floats through space in a condition of the greatest physical and psychic well-being, and in alluring dreams, which for a short time transport Orientals to a paradise endowed with Mohammedan ideals. Sometimes the dreams are of a rapidly changing nature in which tears alternate with laughter, occasion-ally only of a sad or terrifying character, thus engendering deep depression or giving rise to a desire for destruction and fits of mania. The feeling of pain is lessened, and the sense of touch blunted. The intoxication gradually deepens; there are periods of unconsciousness, and, in conclusion, a deep sleep ensues, from which the subject awakes feeling perfectly wel1.21

In the scientific community, then, the prevalent notion of marihuana "addiction" combined an exaggerated understanding of the acute intoxication with a moralistic opposition to pleasure-seeking. Of course, this ambiguous concept of psychological dependence was not the image claimed by the legislators and general public. Instead, the craving of the marihuana "fiend" was popularly considered either equal to or greater than that of any other "dope fiend."

In some respects the medical experts were playing a semantic game. The use of the term "addiction" was essential for those who, for policy reasons, felt compelled to generalise about the threat posed by the drug itself. This was particularly true in the United States, which had no social history of cannabis use from which to develop) a perspective. For public policy reasons, there was a strong need to indict the drug and refer to all users as marihuana "addicts." For some the presence of psychological dependence was enough. Others supplemented this with notions of physical dependence which had very little scientific basis, except perhaps for the heaviest of chronic users. To this approach should be compared the calmer, but no less hard-line, attitude of Dr. J. Bouquet, inspector of pharmacies of Tunis. Judging from the FBN files during this period, a report submitted by Dr. Bouquet to the Cannabis Subcommittee of the League of Nations Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs on 17 February 1937 played a major supporting role in crystallising Commissioner Anslinger's thinking and in providing expert information otherwise lacking in the United States.

Dr. Bouquet did not hesitate to admit that "the addiction engendered by hemp in its various forms is undoubtedly less serious than that produced by chemical narcotics." But he recognised "a form of addiction" with identifiable social causes and adverse social consequences. The essence of the matter is that one becomes ad-dicted if one wants to become addicted, and this depends on the person:

Only part of the Moslem population of North Africa is given to the regular consumption of hemp to an extent which can be regarded as amounting to drug addiction.
Hashaishiya (singular: Hashaish) or Tkarriya (singular: Tkarri or Tkarli) are, with rare exceptions, found neither among the nomadic Arabs (tent-dwellers) of the steppes and sub-Saharan region, nor among middle-class dwellers in towns. They are found rather among the sedentary inhabitants of the Southern Oases and among the poorer classes in urban communities: arti-sans, small traders, workmen, etc. The petty criminal classes, moreover, are ardent devotees of hashish, a fact which has doubtless contributed in great measure to their removal from the ranks of the law-abiding community.

The countryside is far less affected by cannabis addiction than towns and villages: tea addiction is there the most wide-spread evil....

The basis of the Moslem character is indolence; these people love idleness and day-dreaming, and to the majority of them work is the most unpleasant of all necessities. Inordinately vain-glorious, thirsting for every pleasure, they are manifestly unable to realise more than a small fraction of their desires: their un-restrained imagination supplies the rest. Hemp, which enhances and stimulates the power of imagination, is the narcotic best adapted to their mentality. The hashish addict can dream the life he longs for: under the influence of the drug he becomes wealthy, the owner of a well-filled harem, of delightful cool gardens, of a board richly supplied with exquisite and copious viands; his every longing is satisfied, happiness is his! When the period of intoxication is over and he is again faced with drab realities of his normal shabby life, his one desire is to find a corner where he may sleep until a new orgy of hemp brings him back to the realm of illusions.22

Although Eastern studies suggested the possibility of slight withdrawal symptoms and the development of a tolerance for chronic users of heavy doses of hashish, the prevailing view within the Western scientific community in 1937 was that physical de-pendence was not characteristic of cannabis use, certainly not of the less potent mixture of the drug, marihuana. Nevertheless, a compelling, but perhaps unrecognised, public policy need to postulate a form of addiction generated an ambiguous notion of "mental fascination" which was thought to be "particularly compelling" for certain individuals or social classes.28 This notion was not well understood, but if one substitutes "Mexican" for "Moslem" in Bouquet's explanation of addiction, the basis for the American concept is probably revealed. It was stated quite forthrightly by some and implicitly by others. The key point, however, is that the subtleties of scientific understanding were not communicated to the public. While most hard-line scientists viewed "addiction" as the "least serious aspect of the problem,"24 the public, in fact, was told that marihuana was the "most alarming" of the "habit-form-ing drugs."


On the basis of reports from Egypt and India compiled in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was long a common-place assertion that chronic cannabis use ultimately resulted in organic deterioration, psychosis, and insanity. After 1870 it was generally reported that between 30 and 50 percent of the admissions to Indian asylums was due exclusively to the effects of hemp drugs.25 In 1930 Dhunjibhoy concluded that of the toxic psychoses, hemp was first and alcohol second in degree of incidence.26 It was stated in 1897 that "in a considerable number of cases in Egypt, hasheesh is the chief if not the only cause of mental disease, although it is doubtful whether hashish insanity can be diagnosed by its clinical characters alone."27 Testimony before the 1924-25 Geneva Conference subcommittee contained many reports attribu-ting insanity among Egyptians to hashish.

In the international discussions, the causal relation between cannabis use and psychosis was generally assumed on the basis of Egyptian and Indian data. As late as 1937 the chairman of the League of Nations Cannabis Subcommittee "reminded his col-leagues that there was little definite information on [cannabis' effects] apart from the fact that such abuse was known to lead to homicidal mania and insanity."28

As Western scientists began to consider the phenomenon in the 1930s, however, doubt was cast on these assumptions. A representative of the secretariat of the League of Nations submitted a report to the Cannabis Subcommittee in 1937:

The state of acute intoxication normally induced by Indian Hemp may, as the result of habitual abuse, particularly in the cases of persons predisposed, develop into a genuine and clearly-defined state of insanity of longer or shorter duration.
There are no means of estimating the number of such cases of insanity, since even in the most detailed statistics of disease, such cases are included in a large group of exogenous psychoses or psychoses due to intoxication. It is true that some directors of lunatic asylums in Egypt and British India have estimated the number of psychoses due to the abuse of hashish at 15% or even 30% of all the cases admitted in the course of a year, but it is generally held by the experts of Western countries that this per-centage must be exaggerated, and that many cases of schiso-phrenia are dissimulated under the erroneous diagnosis of toxic ins anit y.29

And Dr. Robert Walton, one of the leading antimarihuana crusaders within the scientific establishment, noted in 1938 that:

These reports from hospital officials in the Old World constitute a very serious indictment of the drug habit. Very probably, however, the significance of hemp drugs as a causative factor has been exaggerated in most of these interpretations. Other similarly placed observers do not attach as much signifi-cance to the effects of the habit. Reports from such observers are distinctly in the minority although the actual number of observers who would minimise the incidence of hemp drug insanity is much greater than would be indicated by the number of these reports. There is less incentive to publish lengthy disser-tations intended to establish a negative or to minimise the significance of a given factor. . . . [I] n the Old World there has been a numerical preponderance of published opinions to the effect that "hemp drug insanity" constitutes a clinical entity. On the other hand, some of those equally in contact with the conditions there are inclined to discredit any causal relationship of this drug vice and insanity. In the United States, a formulated conception of hemp drug insanity is generally lacking."

Information from the Eastern countries linking marihuana and insanity had not been corroborated in the West. The Western understanding during the twenties was probably best captured by Dr. Louis Bragman in a 1925 article entitled "The Weed of Insanity." Emphasising that the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission had shown that, "the habitual use of small quantities [is] not . . . harmful to Easterners," Dr. Bragman focused on "cannabism." The continued "abuse," "misuse," or "over-indulgence" of cannabis, he observed, "may finally lead to mania and dementia." Supporting the title of the article is the following statement: "There is no insanity from over-indulgence in hashish in this country, but it is comparatively frequent in India and Egypt."3I By the time of the Marihuana Tax Act, Western scientists were also becoming somewhat skeptical of the methodology of these Eastern studies as well.


The link between crime and marihuana use, on the other hand, was primarily a contribution of the American experience. To the policy makers, the general public, and the international scientific com-munity, the American "experts" delivered substantiation of the hypothesis that marihuana addiction and even acute intoxication caused violent crime and sexual excess.

No small role in this was played by the alleged etymology of the word "assassin." Professor Jerry Mandel has ferreted out the origins and successive perversions of the assassin myth, and the interested reader should consult his article "Hashish, Assassins, and the Love of God," which appeared in the 1966 volume of Issues in Crimi-nology.32 For our purposes, however, it is sufficient to recount the Marco Polo tale "Concerning the Old Man of the Mountain," which is generally considered the origin of the myth:

MULEHET is a country in which the Old Man of the Mountain dwelt in former days; and the name means "Place of the Aram." I will tell you his whole history as related by Messer Marco Polo, who heard it from several natives of the region.

The Old Man was called in their language ALOADIN . He had caused a certain valley between two mountains to be enclosed, and had turned it into a garden, the largest and most beautiful that ever was seen, filled with every variety of fruit. In it were... palaces the most elegant that can be imagined, all covered with gilding and exquisite painting. And there were runnels too, flow-ing freely with wine and milk and honey and water; and numbers of ladies and of the most beautiful damsels in the world, who could play on all manner of instruments, and sung most sweetly, and danced in a mariner that it was charming to behold. For the Old Man desired to make his people believe that this was actually Paradise. . . . And sure enough the Saracens of those parts be-lieved that it was Paradise!

Now no man was allowed to enter the Garden save those whom he intended to be his ASHISHIN . . He kept at his court a number of the youths of the country, from 12 to 20 years of age, such as had a taste for soldiering, and to these he used to tell tales about Paradise. . . . Then he would introduce them into his garden, some four, or six, or ten at a time, having first made them drink a certain potion which cast them into a deep sleep , and then causing them to be lifted and carried in. So when they awoke, they found themselves in the Garden. . . .

When therefore they awoke . . . they deemed that it was Paradise in very truth. And the ladies and damsels dallied -With them to their hearts' content, so that they had what young men would have; and with their own good will they never would have quitted this place.

Now this Prince whom we call the Old One . . . made those simple hill-folks about him believe firmly that he was a great Prophet. And when he wanted one of his Ashishin to send on any mission, he would cause that potion whereof I spoke to be given to one of the youths in the garden, and then had him carried into his Palace. So when the young man awoke, he found himself in the Castle, and no longer in that Paradise; whereas he was not over well pleased. He was then conducted to the Old Man's presence. . . . The Prince would then ask whence he came, and he would reply that he came from Paradise! and that it was exactly as Mahommet had described it in the Law. This of course gave the others who stood by, and who had not been admitted, the greatest desire to enter therein.

So when the Old Man would have any Prince slain, he would say to such a youth [as wished to enter Paradise] : "Go thou and slay So and So; and when thou returnest my Angels shall bear thee into Paradise. And shouldst thou die, natheless even so will I send my Angels to carry thee back into Paradise." So he caused them to believe; and thus there was no order of his that they would not affront any peril to execute, for the great desire they had to get . . . into that Paradise. . . . And in this manner the Old One got his people to murder any one whom he desired to get rid of.33

Even if we assume that the potion administered to the young men was hashish—Mandel suggests that it was probably opium—the point of the story is that the executioners had never had the drug. It was, in fact, with the promise of paradise that the Old Man induced the political crimes. Nevertheless, throughout the period of marihuana prohibition, medical journals, pharmacology texts, popular articles, official government statements, newspaper reports, and legislative testimony all recounted a version of this tale according to which the executioners were under the influence of hashish at the time the Old Man directed the murders and during the commission of the murders themselves.

The proposition that marihuana intoxication provoked violent conduct by removing restraint and building false courage, the per-verted form of the assassin myth, appeared in Cummings' 1929 report,34 in District Attorney Stanley's influential 1931 piece,35 and from then on in almost every publication which recounted the evils of marihuana. Typical of disappearance of the basic tale is Fossier's version in 1931. He refers to the followers of the Old Man as a "diabolical, fanatical, cruel and murderous tribe" who "under the influence of hashish . . . would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre everyone within their grasp."38

The crime thesis first received concerted attention around 1931, what law enforcement officials in New Orleans, Denver, and other cities with a significant incidence of marihuana-smoking began to attribute a rising crime rate to the effects of the killer weed. In the succeeding four years, however, the FBN did not employ the crime thesis in an active way. When it addressed the alleged relationship between marihuana and crime, the bureau was content simply to cite reports of local authorities. This is not to say, however, that the commissioner was skeptical of the connection. In fact, after the appearance of the Warnshuis Report for the Wickersham Com-mission, Anslinger seems to have been convinced.37 Soon thereafter he directed all local agents to forward to him information on local crimes allegedly caused by marihuana.38

This information was first used in the international arena. The League of Nations Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs reconvened the Cannabis Subcommittee in the mid-thirties, and in an early memorandum the committee at-tributed the renewed interest in expanding the limited coverage of the 1925 convention to "new facts," which had come to the committee's attention in the intervening years. Of overwhelming importance was the "fact" that: "drug addiction owing to the consumption of Indian Hemp and the spread of crime amongst young persons as a result have assumed proportions in the United States of America which have seriously alarmed public opinion and medical circles."39

In November 1934 the United States submitted a twelve-page document reviewing "The Abuse of Cannabis in the United States" in response to the committee's request that all governments submit reports outlining the "situation as regards Indian Hemp."4° Almost eight pages were devoted to a state-by-state review of existing legal controls. Only two of the remaining pages were devoted to the effects of the drug. The section "Toxic Effects" was drawn ver-batim from Cummings' 1929 report, except that the following was added: "In cases of prolonged addiction, the somnolent action, however, is replaced by psychomotor activity with a tendency to wilful violence accompanied by complete loss of judgment and restraint. It is significant that cannabis acts quickly and effectively to cut off inhibitions."

After reproducing the short section from the Cummings Report on "The Effects of Habitual Use" without the myths, Anslinger went on to report to Geneva on the:

Extent to which crimes of violence have been traced to the abuse of Cannabis.

Reports from narcotic officers who have consulted the police in various cities of those States in which the abuse of cannabis is most widespread, are to the effect that marihuana addicts are becoming one of the major police problems. While it is admitted by these officers that marihuana offenses do not show up directly in many cases, they state their estimate to be that fifty per cent of the violent crimes committed in districts occupied by Mexi-cans, Turks, Filipinos, Greeks, Spaniards, Latin-Americans and Negroes, may be traced to the abuse of marihuana.

A prosecuting attorney in Louisiana states that the underworld has been quick to realize the possibility of using this drug to subjugate the will of human derelicts. It can be used to sweep away all restraint and many present day crimes have been attri-buted to its influence.

Police officials in the South have found that, immediately before undertaking a crime, the criminal will indulge in a few marihuana cigarettes in order to remove any natural sense of restraint which might deter hiKri from committing the contem-plated acts and in order to give him the false courage necessary to his purpose.

Prosecuting attorneys in the South and Southwest have not infrequently been confronted with the defense that, at the time of committing a criminal act, the defendant was irresponsible because he was under the influence of marihuana to such a degree that he was unable to appreciate the difference between right and wrong and was legally insane.

While the recording by the Federal Government of specific cases of violence as the result of the abuse of cannabis is of com-paratively recent date, the records of the Bureau of Narcotics make reference to four cases of a particularly frightful nature:

(1) From California there came a report from the Chief of the Narcotic Enforcement Bureau of that State which is quoted in part: "Marihuana has a worse effect than heroin. It gives men the lust to kill, unreasonably, without motive—for the sheer sake of murder itself. In Eureka, California, a man under the influence of marihuana actually decapitated his best friend; and then coming [sic] out of the effects of the drug, was as horrified [sic] as anyone else over what he had done."

12) In Denver, Colorado, agents of the Federal Narcotic Bureau had made arrangements with one Halloway for a purchase from a "plant" of stolen cocaine. It was generally known that Hanoway was addicted to marihuana and that a short time before in a restaurant, he had made an unprovoked assault upon a policeman in full uniform who had entered to get a cup of coffee and who had to club Halloway into unconsciousness. Nevertheless, the night before a purchase of cocaine was to be completed, Halloway again resorted to marihuana, ran amok, attempted to shoot his wife, but mortally wounded her grand-mother, and after shooting it out with the police officers, finally killed himself.

(3) A short time ago the silence of the State prison at Marquette, Michigan, was shattered by the sound of a fusillade of pistol shots. An hour later, a kindly prison doctor lay dead and beside him lay the trusty who had given his life trying to save his friend the doctor. An investigation developed that arms and ammunition had been smuggled into the prison in the false bottoms of herring containers and that the marihuana from which Tylczak, the murderer of the doctor and trusty, had derived his demoniac courage, had also been smuggled into the prison.

(4) Within a month after the passage of the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act in the State of Florida, twenty-two arrests were made in the city of Tampa for the sale of cannabis in the form of marihuana cigarettes and in bulk. A short time later, a young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frensy, because, as he stated while still under the marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seised an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.

Anslinger's submission of this unscientific, impressionistic "data" reflects the bureau's adoption of the Stanley thesis and the fruits of its three-year effort to gather corroboration for this thesis. So far as we have been able to determine, this was the first time that the bureau had officially propounded this view. In doing so, Anslinger ignored the contrary findings of every scientific inquiry which had been conducted: the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report; the 1925 Canal Zone study; the 1932 Canal Zone study together with Siler's 1933 article ("Delinquencies due to marijuana smoking which result in trial by Military Court are negligible in number when compared with delinquencies resulting from use of alcoholic drinks which also may be classed as stimulants and intoxicants".) ;41 and the 1934 study of felons by Bromberg, from which he concluded that marihuana was far less responsible for Crime than alcohol, that marihuana users tend to be passive in comparison to users of alcohol, and that use of the drug would lead to crime only when consumed by already psychopathic individuals.42

The bureau would obviously compile a collectively larger number of such case histories than each local district attorney, and the bureau could also publicize the resulting information more broadly than the local newspapers. The bureau thus began to record all crimes that could be associated with marihuana, and Commissioner Anslinger kept abreast of the situation.° Apparently, however, there was some restraining influence in the Treasury Department, for a full-scale propagation of the crime thesis was postponed.

During the first half of 1935 the typical bureau response to requests for information included the commonplace ethnic associ-ation: "Police officials in cities of those states where [marihuana] is most widely used estimate that fifty percent of the violent crimes committed in districts occupied by Mexicans, Spaniards, Latin-Americans, Greeks or Negroes may be traced to this weed."" (We have been unable to discover the origin of this figure.) During this transition period in FBN policy, a number of key bureaucrats who had long been convinced of the violent tendencies of marihuana users were anxious to collect data from any source. Will S. Wood, acting commissioner while Anslinger was in Geneva, confided to a Virginia prosecuting attorney, for example, that marihuana "has been said to give the user the lust to kill for the sheer sake of murder."45

Others in the FBN hierarchy were highly skeptical of the crime thesis. When newspaper accounts began to color bureau responses, A. L. Tennyson, the legal adviser, exerted a restraining influence:

r think we might give [a police official in Waltham, Massachusetts' some information on the subject of cannabis, but please do not go into detail about those examples of murder, etc., allegedly under the stimulus of cannabis. We only have reports on these cases, and I doubt whether we should outline them without haying something more definite than we have. We might [say] instead that the drug is understood to have very evil effects if use is long continued or something along that line.46

Tennyson was fighting a losing battle. When Anslinger returned from Geneva, the detail and conviction with which the bureau stated the crime thesis for public consumption increased. In April
1936 Anslinger noted:

From time to time, instances are brought to light of acts committed by persons under the influence of or addicted to marihuana, which illustrate the viciousness of this drug. In Colo-rado, a man under the influence of marihuana attempted to shoot his wife, but killed his grandmother instead and then committed suicide. A Florida youth, while under the influence of the drug, murdered five members of his family with an ax. On November 23, 1935, in Baltimore, Maryland, a twenty-five-year-old Puerto Rican charged with criminally assaulting a ten-year-old girl, entered a plea on grounds of temporary insanity caused by smoking marihuana cigarettes, but was adjudged sane, found guilty, and sentenced to death by hanging. . . .47

Anslinger was not satisfied to record newspaper accounts. He began to seek corroborating information even more actively. Quite often his respondents went to unusual lengths to find some hint of a connection with marihuana:

With reference to our conversation . . . I promised you that I would . . . secure information about the two boys I mentioned to you as having murdered a policeman and stated they did it while under the influence of marijuana.
I looked over the record . . . but did not find any written state-ment . . . in which they admitted that they were under the influence of marijuana. However, some of the detectives, who worked on the case [stated] they had told them orally. . . . I am going to . . . the officer in charge of their investigation, and possibly there is something in his records pertaining to this case in which they admit they were smoking marijuana.
I am going to interview [various detectives] for the purpose of collecting some data about marijuana and the vicious crimes committed by persons under its influence."

Toward the end of 1936, after the final decision to seek federal legislation had been reached, any ambivalence in the attitude of the FBN toward these "atrocious marihuana crime" sketches dis-appeared. In the course of drafting a reply to Collier's Readers Research Bureau, which had requested information regarding "crime as connected with the drug marihuana," Anslinger wrote:

So far as I know, no student of crime has as yet made any direct study of the relative percentage of violent crime which is attri-butable to the use of marihuana. Recently, we have received quite a number of reports showing crimes of violence committed by persons while under the influence of marihuana; usually by dramatic methods. I enclose a short summary of some of these incidents which have recently been brought to my attention.

Apparently many of the users of marihuana are quickly reduced to insanity and to criminal acts; and it is my opinion that the incidents shown in the enclosed summary bear rather eloquent testimony as to the relation of crime with marihuana.
However, in many of the cases, we are unacquainted with the previous mental and moral characteristics and habits of the persons committing crimes while under the influence of mari-huana, so it can readily be seen that a final and conclusive statement in this regard is not yet in order. In most of the cases under observation, we do not know whether they were psycho-paths, neurotics, moral delinquents or normal individuals.

The marihuana problem is of comparatively recent origin in this country, and further investigations, both scientific and sta-tistical, must be made and carefully studied. In the meantime conclusions must be drawn from the facts at hand, which in themselves are enlightening, as witness the enclosed»

The enclosure specified thirteen "random" cases including the Baltimore insanity defense case, the Colorado grandmother-suicide, and the Alamoosa sexual assault case. When the draft response was submitted to Gaston, assistant to Secretary Morgenthau, he sug-gested only that the italicized portion be deleted. Probably he wished to avoid any implication that the administration had already made up its mind on the seriousness of the marihuana "problem" since the drafting of the Marihuana Tax Act had not been completed.5°

However, once the administration had decided to seek federal legislation, the FBN began to propagate the crime thesis in earnest. Anslinger's 1937 article in American Magazine, "Marihuana: As-sassin of Youth,"51was heavily supported by "marihuana atrocities. " Beginning in late 1936 case descriptions allegedly linking marihuana and violent crime, culled "at random from the files of the FBN," began to appear in popular magazines and in the publications of of Anslinger's army, the WCTU, the Federation of Women's Clubs, the American Foreign Policy Association, and the World Narcotic Defense Association.52 According to Becker and Dickson, the number of articles on marihuana appearing in popular magasines skyrocketed from seven between 1922 to 1936 to twenty-six in 1937. Two-thirds of them either acknowledged or reflected bureau assistance and one-third repeated the marihuana atrocities."

On the eve of the Marihuana Tax Act, there was no scientific support for a significant statistical association between marihuana use and major criminal behavior. There was little evidence of in-creased motor excitement attending acute intoxication, much less the release of violent tendencies. There was only anecdotal evidence generated by local law enforcement officials and a persuasive belief that the people who used marihuana, Mexicans and other ethnic minorities, represented the antisocial elements in society.

The Scientific Community Muzsles Itself

Many members of the scientific community who were skeptical of the veracity of the claims against marihuana were nevertheless willing to tolerate "a certain necessary degree of sensationalism"54 to propel enactment of criminal legislation. Treadway, Bromberg, Kolb, Walton, and others were very quiet during the agitation of the thirties. Clearly, they viewed the marihuana phenomenon from both the scientific and the sociological perspectives. But social, not scientific, thinking dictated their policy judgments. For Kolb and Treadway, silence may also have been a requisite of Treasury Department affiliation since the decision to seek federal legislation had been made at the highest levels of the department.
Assistant Surgeon General Treadway's report for the Cannabis Subcommittee of the League of Nations Advisory Committee in early 1937 indicates the scientific perspective:

Cannabis indica does not produce a dependence such as in opium addiction. In opium addiction there is a complete de-pendence and when it is withdrawn there is actual physical pain which is not the case with cannabis. Alcohol more nearly pro-duces the same effect as cannabis in that there is an excitement or a general feeling of lifting of personality, followed -by a delirious stage, and subsequent narcosis. There is no dependence or increased tolerance such as in opium addiction. As to the social or moral degradation associated with cannabis it probably belongs in the same category as alcohol. As with alcohol, it may be taken a relatively long time without social or emotional break-down. Marihuana is habit-forming, although not addicting,' in the same sense as alcohol might be with some people, or sugar or coffee. Marihuana produces a delirium with a frenzy which might result in violence; but this is also true of alcohol.5'

The sociological perspective in its most blatant form can be seen in Dr. Fossier's influential 1931 piece: "Tne debasing and baneful influence of hashish and opium is not restricted to individuals but has manifested itself in nations and races as well. The dominant race and most enlightened countries are alcoholic, whilst the races and nations addicted to hemp and opium, some of which once attained to heights of culture and civilization have deteriorated both mentally and physicaIly."56

Although this language may have been a little strong for Fossier's contemporaries, it is certain that the identification of the hemp drugs with alien cultures, and with the lower classes in those cultures, significantly affected the public policy attitude of those for whom adversity of effects was a relevant consideration. Bouquet had attributed "the readiness with which Moslem populations be-came addicted to use of Indian Hemp to the immemorially of the custom, the indolence endemic to the 'Moslem character,' and the absence of family life in the Western sense."57 Similarly, Walton noted that awareness and availability of the drug in the United States were not sufficient in themselves to establish "this sort of popular indulgence." Fixation of "this vice as a folk prac-tice" requires "a reasonably intimate social contact between an uninitiated population and a population which practices the vice"; and a temperament and social condition conducive to the practice. On the first point, Mexican and East Indian immigration posed the threat. With regard to the second, it was said that the vice easily took, root "among the idle and irresponsible classes of America." Conversely, the "environmental conditions and social outlook" of the "Kentucky pioneers who cultivated hundreds of tons of hemp with no recorded instances of a perversion of hemp narcotics" represented an "unfavorable medium."88

The excising of marihuana use from the social organism was seen quite clearly as a means of rooting out idleness and irresponsi-bility among deviant minorities. The assertion of the Protestant ethic required drastic measures for marihuana, but not for alcohol, because for sociological, if not pharmacological, reasons the use of marihuana inevitably tended to excess while "civilised" use of alcohol was characteristic of the American middle class. Especially during the depression era, public health experts were apprehensive that increased idleness would spawn increased marihuana use, which would in turn perpetuate further idleness. And since "the vice still flourishes in every country in which it has once been established,"58 early, decisive action was required.


1. League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, Subcommittee on Cannabis, Doc. no. 0.C.1707, Report, by Stuart Fuller on 3d Session of Subcommittee on Meetings of June 2, 7, and 9, June 9, 1937.
2. See Floyd E. Moore, Marihuana Conference (Washington, D.C., 5 Dec. 1938).
3. Hugh S. Cummings, Prelims-nary Report on Indian Hemp and Peyote (Waping-ton, D.C.: GPO, 1929).
4. S. Solis-Cohen and T. S. Githens, Pharmaco-Therapeutics (New York: Appleton, 1928), p. 1702.
5. Marijuana: Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893-1894 (Silver Spring, Md.: Thomas Jefferson Co., 1969),p. 263.
6. Memorandum for File written by Guy Johannes 2 Apr. 1925, "Canal Zone Report," 18 Dec. 1925, p. 1.
7. Letter and memorandum from Edgar A. Bocock to Major Meriwether Smith, judge advocate, 8 Apr. 1923, "Canal Zone Papers," pp. 24-25.
8. Canal Zone, Committee on Use of Marihuana, testimony of Lt. Col. William C. Rigby, judge advocate, 5 Dec. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 31; testimony of Capt. Otto Christian, medical corps, before general court-martial, included in letter from Lt. Col. Rigby to Col. W. P. Chamberlain, chief health officer, 16 Dec. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 112.
9. Memorandum for File written by Johannes 2 Apr. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 1.
10. Memorandum for the governor from Chamberlain, 4 Apr. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 3.
11. Preliminary Report on the Physiological Test of Locally Grown Marihuana (Cannabis sativa L.), letter from Bates to chief health officer, Balboa Heights, 15 July 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," pp. 18-21; Second Report on the Physiological Test of Locally Grown Marihuana (Cannabis sativa L.), letter from Bates to chief health officer, Balboa Heights, 1 Dec. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," pp. 59-60; Third Report on the
Physiological Test of Locally Grown Marihuana (Cannabis sativa L.), letter from Bates to
chief health officer, Balboa Heights, 17 Dec. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," pp. 117-22.
12. Third Report, letter from Bates to chief health officer, Balboa Heights, 17 Dec. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 120.
13.    "Canal Zone Report," 18 Dec. 1925, p. 3.
14.    Ibid., p. 2.
15.    Ibid., pp. 133-34.
16. Article from Alumni Report of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Nov. 1905, quoted in letter from R. F. Chutter, associate export manager, H. H. Mulford Company, Manufacturing and Biological Chemists, to G. E. Hesner, Health Department, Corozal Hospital, 27 Feb. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 62.
17. "Marihuana: Mexican Name for Cannabis, Also Called Loco Weed in Certain Parts of Texas," memorandum by Ball, May 1922, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 60.
18. "The Effects of Haschisch Not Due to Cannabis Indica," memorandum by Ball, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 54.
19. J. S. Siler et al., "Marihuana Smoking in Panama," Military Surgeon, 73 (1933), 269-80.
20. W. Bromberg, "Marihuana Intoxication: A Clinical Study of Cannabis Sativa Intoxication," American Journal of Psychiaby, 91 (1934), 303.
21. "Use of Cannabis Indica," proof of article to appear in Journal of the American Medical Association attached to letter from editor of the JAMA to Hesner, 12 Mar. 1925, "Canal Zone Papers," p. 64.
22. League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, Report prepared by Dr. J. Bouquet [0.C. 1542 (0)1,17 Feb. 1937, pp. 33-34.
23. R. Walton, ed., Marihuana: America's New Drug Problem (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1938), p. 130.
24.    Ibid., p. 139.
25. T. Ireland, "Insanity from the Abuse of Indian Hemp,"Alienist and Neurologist, 14 (1893), 622-30, citing Wise study in 1873; see also N. Cheevers, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence for India (Calcutta: Thacker, Spink, 1870).
26. J. E. Dhunjibhoy, "A Brief Resume of the Types of Insanity Commonly Met Within India With a Full Description of 'Indian Hemp Insanity' Peculiar to the Country," Journal of Medical Sciences, 76 (1930), 254-61.
27.    Walton, Marihuana, p. 144.
28. Minutes of Private Meeting of Special Subcommittee on Cannabis of League of Nations Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, 2 May 1937 (remarks of Chairman Fuller).
29.    Ibid., 7 June 1937.
30.    Walton, Marihuana, pp, 146, 149.
31.    Bragman, "The Weed of Insanity," Medical Journal and Record, 122 (1925), 416-18.
32. J. Mandel, "Hashish, Assassins, and the Love of God," Issues in Criminology, 2 (1966), 153.
33.    L. Grinspoon, Marijuana Reconsidered (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1971), p. 425, n. 2.
34. Cummings, Preliminary Report on Indian Hemp and Peyote.
35.    Stanley, "Marihuana as a Developer of Criminals," American Journal of Police Science, 2 (1931), 252.
36. A. E. Fossier, "The Marihuana Menace," New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, 84 (1931), 247.
37.    Christian Science Monitor, 3 Oct. 1931.
38.    Circular Letter no. 458 from Anslinger to all agents, 1938.
39 . League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, Position in Regard to Indian Hemp [0.C. 1542 (a)I, 4 July 1934.
40.    League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, The Abuse of Cannabis in the United States (Addendum) [0.C. 1542 (L)), 10 Nov. 1934. (Memorandum forwarded by the representative of the United States of America.)
41.    Siler, "Marihuana Smoking in Panama."
42. Bromberg, "Marihuana Intoxication."
43.    See Anslinger's confidential note dated 21 Dec. 1934, attached to a letter from the U.S. marshall in TWsa to the Bureau of Narcotics, 18 Dec. 1934: "The second paragraph in page 2 regarding the killing undoubtedly refers to the murder by the son of Federal Judge Kennamer. U.S. Attorney Eastus at Dallas, Texas also told me confidentially that the killing was attributed to the use of marihuana."
44.    E.g., Will S. Wood to Aaron Uris, 5 June 1935.
45.    E.g., Wood to Robert S. Smith, commonwealth's attorney, Roanoke, Va., 5 June 1935.
46. Memorandum from Tennyson to Wood, 18 June 1935.
47. Anslinger to Otto and R. Schlabach, 14 Apr. 1936.
48.    William Spillard to Anslinger, 30 Mar. 1936.
49.    Anslinger to F. J. Reynolds, director of the Readers Research Bureau, Collier's, 23 Dec. 1936.
50.    Note from H. E. Gaston to Anslinger, 23 Dec. 1936.
51.    Anslinger and Cooper, "Marihuana: Assassin of Youth," American Magazine, July 1937, pp. 19, 150.
52.    See, e.g., Union Signal, 30 Jan. 1937, p. 75.
53.    H. S. Becker, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance (London: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963), pp. 141-42.
54.    Walton, Marihuana, p. 2.
55.    League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and ,,Other Dangerous Drugs, Report prepared by Treadway, June 1937.
56.    Fossier, "The Marihuana Menace," 247.
57. League of Nations, Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, Report prepared by Dr. J. Bouquet [0.C. 1542 (o)] , 17 Feb. 1937, pp. 27-28.
58.    Walton, Marihuana, pp. 10-11.
59.    Ibid., p. 13.


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