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"A One Way Ticket to Destruction" By Edith Johnson,

Nov. 8, 1938 pg10

H.J. ANSLINGER, federal narcotics commissioner, gave the people of this state something to think about last week when he told them Oklahoma leads the nation in narcotic addiction with three users in every 10,000 persons while Utah with 27 addicts in a population of 507,847 has the lowest rate. Not that the morale of our people in lower-there is another reason for this condition. One oil field boom after another has attracted drug users from all parts of the country who came in the hope of making a little quick and easy money. Many of them stayed, and some of them persuaded others to come. One of the most dangerous of narcotics and one, the use of which has become increasingly common within the last 10 years is marijuana which is sold chiefly to young people in the form of the cigaret. This new peril is one of the worst that we face. For the cigaret is peddled and sold to children near school buildings especially those attending junior and senior high-school. Although the effect of marijuana is unpredictable, it usually produces a sensation of happiness and exhilaration. That commonly is followed by a feeling of profound depression. Then the boy or girl looks out for a peddler and buys another cigaret to pep him or her up.

In its bag of tricks marijuana carries around all manner of strange affects. It may produce a first affect of melancholy instead of elation. It distorts vision and hearing and kills the sense of time and space. Frequently it incites its user to violence. And a marijuana addict is a terror to human life every moment he is driving a car. A young man arrested for a series of automobile smash-ups was so violent it took several policemen to subdue him. After the effect of the drug had partially worn off he confessed he was an addict of marijuana cigarets. Some months ago a boy living in Florida murdered his parents, two brothers and a sister. He explained to the police that he had believed they were going to cut off his arms and his legs. The press is still publishing stories and pictures of Robert Irwin of New York City who last Easter strangled a young model and her mother and then killed a boarder in the house with an ice-pick. He had set out to kill the model's sister and not finding her had attacked her family. When he was arrested the police found a box filled with cigaret butts under his bed. Marijuana is very great danger to children and young people because it may be had more easily than other narcotics, because it is comparatively cheap and because it produces a thrill. As it is characteristic of youth to crave new thrills and new experiences in order to escape from unpleasant realities and dull situations and young are more likely to succumb or be tempted. Youthful users seldom know in advance that marijuana destroys mental fabric, that it makes potential murderers and often sets their feet on the road to insanity.

If the users of marijuana, opium and heroin were the sole sufferers from their unfortunate habits, that would be bad enough. They cause no end of grief. As for the drug peddlers, 64 percent who are arrested have criminal records. They add no little to the tax burden. As long as it is possible for them to operate Mr. and Mrs. Average Citizen must pay the bill. How shall we deal with them? There should be more thorough education in the public schools. Just as children of earlier generations were warned against the use of alcohol by their teachers of physiology, so the children and young people of this age should be intelligently instructed concerning the dangers lurking in marijuana and other drugs. Uniform laws, federal, state and municipal should be passed so that the peddlers, driven out of one locality dare not flee to another in the hope of mopping up there. The General Federation of Women's clubs has been carrying on a campaign of education for several years, working through state federations, focusing its efforts upon marijuana. As far as it goes that is splendid. But it does not go far enough. There must be uniform legislation, and in order to obtain that the soul of the whole nation must be stirred. - THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN: By Edith Johnson, Nov. 8, 1938 pg10

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