HELD DECEMBER 5, 1938
in the UNITED STATES Bureau of Internal Revenue Building (Room 3003)
Washington D. C.
CALLED BY THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS OF THE
UNITED STATES TREASURY DEPARTMENT
PRESIDED OVER BY MR. H. J. ANSLINGER, COMMISSIONER OF NARCOTICS,
AND MR. H. J. WOLLNER, CONSULTING CHEMIST,
MARIHUANA CONFERENCE INDEX
Conferees Present: 2 - 3
OPENING STATEMENT OF H.J. ANSLINGER,
COMMISSIONER OF NARCOTICS,
containing Review of Proceedings
of Sub-Committee on Cannabis of
Advisory Committee on Traffic in
Opium, League of Nations: 4-16
STATEMENT OF DR. A. H .WRIGHT,
PROFESSOR OF AGRONOMY, UNIVERSITY
OF WISCONSIN, relating to growth
of Hemp, where seeds are produced,
and Hemp is grown in United States: 16 - 27
STATEMENT OF MR. FRANKLIN,
CHIEF OF DRUG CONTROL, STATE OF
NEW YORK, as to growth of Marihuana
in that state. 27 - 29
STATEMENT OF DR. B. B. ROBINSON,
BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, relative
to experiments as to World Production
of Hemp, and quantity of Production in
United States and Growth and Production
of Cannabis, and Comparative Results
obtained from Seed obtained from various
Countries: 29 - 49
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN R. MATCHETT,
CHIEF CHEMIST, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS,
as to Tests made from Seeds of Hemp in
various Countries: 42- 43
STATEMENT OF MR. HENRY FULLER,
CONSULTING CHEMIST, as to his Experience
in Growth of Cannabis: 49 - 55
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES C. MUNCH,
PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY,
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, relating to
Effects of Marihuana on Organs
of Body: 55- 60
STATEMENT OF DR. S. LOEWE, PHARMACOLOGIST,
CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE,
as to Bio-Assay of Marihuana 60 - 65
STATEMENT OF DR. WALTER BROMBERG,
SENIOR PSYCHIATRIST, DEPARTMENT
OF HOSPITALS, NEW YORK CITY,
relating to varying Effects of
Marihuana in various Classes of
Individuals: 65 - 88
Discussion on Pharmacological Phases
of Marihuana Problem: 89 -133
STATEMENT OF H. J. WOLLNER,
CONSULTING CHEMIST, TREASURY
DEPARTMENT: 133 -137
STATEMENT OF DR. A. H. BLATT,
HOWARD UNIVERSITY, Relative to
Survey of Chemical Constituents of
Cannabis Sativa: 137-143
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN R. MATCHETT,
TREEASURY DEPARTMENT, containing
Report of Department of Attacks on
Marihuana Problems: 143 -151
STATEMENT OF DR. JOSEPH LEVINE,
CHEMIST, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS, as to
Tests for Identification of Marihuana 152 -160
STATEMENT OF MR. LOUIS BENJAMIN,
CHEMIST, TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
as to Tests: 160-164
..... INDEX -(Continued)
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES C. MUNCH,
as to Tests: 162-164
STATEMENT OF DR. H. M. LANCASTER,
CHIEF DOMINION ANALYST,
in relation to Tests: 165 -l70
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES COUCH,
BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: 170 -173
General Discussion: 173-178
BY COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I want to express to you the
appreciation of the Treasury Department for giving your valuable time in
an effort to assist the Government in this important work.
I will now introduce the conferees in attendance:
DR. JOHN R. MATCHETT, Chief Chemist, Bureau of Narcotics
DR. JOSEPH LEVINE, Chemist, Bureau of Narcotics
LOUIS BENJAMIN, Chemist, Treasury Department
DR. B. B. ROBINSON, Bureau of Plant Industry,
Department of Agriculture
DR. HERBERT O. CALVERY, Chief, Division of Pharmacology,
Food & Drug Administrs.tion, Department of Agriculture
DR. ROBERT P. HERWICK, Food & Drug Administration,
Department of Agriculture
DR. LAWRENCE KOLB, Division of Mental Hygiene,
Public Health Service
DR. JAMES COUCH, Pathological Division,
Bureau of Anlmal Industry,
Department of Agriculture
DR. A.H. BLATT, Professor of Chemistry, Howard
DR. S. LOEWE, Pharmacologist, Cornell University
DR. A.H. WRIGHT, Professor of Agronomy, University
DR. WALTER BROMBERG, Senior Psychiatrist, Department of
Hospitals, City of New York
DR. JAMES C. MUNCH, Professor of Pharmacology, Temple University
MR. H. M. LANCASTER, Chief Dominion Analyst, Canadian Government,
MR. HENRY FULLER, Consulting Chemist, Washington, D. C.
MR. FRANK SMITH, Chief of Drug Control, State of New York.
DR. JAMES HIBBEN, Geophysical Laboratory Carnegie Institute of
MR. FRED T. MERRILL, Foreign Policy Association Washington, D. C.
MR. PETER VALAER, Chemist, Alcohol Tax Unit Laboratory, U. S.
Treasury Department, Washington, D. C.
DR. W. V. LINDER, Chief, Alcohol Tax Unit Laboratory, U. S. Treasury
Department, Washington, D. C.
MR. PAUL W. SIMONDS, Assn. Chief, Alcohol Tax Unit Laboratory, U. S.
Treasury Department, Washington, D. C.
MR. MORRIS KAPLAN, Office of the Chief, Division of Laboratories, U.
S. Bureau of Customs
DR. S. T. SCHICKTANZ, Chemist, Alcohol Tax Unit Laboratory, U. S.
I assume the press will be after us. The Treasury Department has not
as yet publicly announced this meeting. The Department will do this
subsequently. I hope therefore, that none of you will be drawn into
discussions with reporters until the meeting is concluded. The Treasury
Department will issue a statement on the meeting.
I want all of you to freely express your opinions on every phase of
the subject under discussion; and if you differ on any point, we hope you
will not hesitate to present your side of the picture.
I want to give you a brief review of what took place at Geneva,
Switzerland, last spring at a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Cannabis, of
the Advisory Committee on traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs of
the League of Nations. I think this a fitting way to open the Conference. It
will illustrate the international significance of the Cannabis problem and
show the current status of some of the excellent work that is being done
by other nations on the question.
This work I think was very important, and I want to give you the
reports of the experts of the various countries which will give you an idea
as to the points on which the authorities still remain in doubt.
The Secretariat of the League referred to various points submitted
to the Experts in a questionnaire drawn up for their use in January, l936,
and used as a basis for the Sub-Committees work. He described the
research work being undertaken.
The Sub-Committee endeavored to indicate on what phases of the
Marihuana problem agreement exists, and on what points there is a
divergence of views which has formed the subject of exchange of
information between the Experts whether on chemical and agricultural
questions, or on the medical and pathological questions.
Since the Advisory Committee's last session, Mr. J. V. Collins,
Government Analyst, Ceylon, on January 12, l938, notified the Committee
of his acceptance of the Advisory Committee's invitation to act as an
Expert on Cannabis in place of the late Dr. Symons.
The Committee received important documents from two of its
Experts, Dr. Bouquet and Dr. de Myttenaere.
Dr. Bouquet has for many years done a vast amount of work on
Cannabis. He is the Inspector of Pharmacies in Tunis.
Dr. Bouquet submitted reports on the following points:
I Vegetable products wrongly designated as hemp.
II Microscopic examination of samples of Cannabis.
III Physiologically active resin in the staminate Cannabis
IV New variety of Cannabis.
V Influence of drought on the growth of Cannabis.
VI Medical uses of Cannabis and drugs with a Cannabis base.
VII Use of animal charcoal.
VIII Dr. James C. Munch's Reaction.
IX Is light petroleum the only solvent of the active element
of Cannabis and its preparations?
X Addiction by certain solanaceae.
Then the report is supplemented by Dr. Bouquet regarding the following
I Are the light petroleum extracts of Cannabis the only
ones that are physiologically active?
II Observations on document O.C.1542 (z) (Report on the
research conducted by the Treasury Department of the United
States of America, in cooperation with the Department of
Agriculture, in connection with studies on the chemical
identification of Cannabis Indica (Cannabis Sativa).
III Identification test for Cannabis resin, proposed by Dr. de
IV Method of identifying resin, proposed by Dr. H. J. Wollner.
V Procedure for experiments.
VI Observations on the causes of Cannabis addiction in
Dr. de Myttenaere submitted to the Secretariat a supplement to the
third note on Indian hemp, and a fourth note on Indian hemp, including a
study of the published work which has appeared since May, 1937, giving
observations of Mr. Wollner's experiments in the United States.
Apart from these contributions from Experts of the Sub-Committee
on Cannabis, the Secretariat received a “Study of the Chemical
Identification of Marihuana (Cannabis Indica)" by Dr. Rafael Plasencia,
Government Chemist of Cuba, and a reply concerning the same subject
from the United Kingdon Representative. It also received information
regarding experiments on the chemical identification of Cannabis indica
communicated by the United States Government. This is the report
covering the investigation conducted by the Treasury Department in
cooperation with the Department's Agriculture.
The United Kingdom also submitted to the Secretariat a
communication concerning the question as to whether Cannabis stalks
used commercially for the production of fibre still contained resin. That
point was also discussed.
As to the American documents, we usually summarize all work that
has been done on Cannabis, incorporate it into one document and submit it
to the League of Nations.
As to Dr. Plasencia's experiment; he has followed up Beam's
experiments and elaborated a new method which he
states is absolutely and specifically suitable for Cannabis and constant
for all the varieties tested, even Merck's extract of Cannabis indica with
which Beam's reaction gave no result.
Our Government has submitted observations on this paper.
The United Kingdom Representative also transmitted an opinion by
the Government Chemist who suggests certain modifications in this
method. These modifications consist of an attempt to separate the
substances responsible for the characteristic color in Beam's test on the
assumption that it is a phenol.
All of these documents are available in the United States Treasury
Department for anyone who would like to study them.
It would seem that Dr. de Myttenaere and Mr. Wollner have different
opinions on the point as to whether light petroleum is the best solvent for
Cannabis. Dr. de Myttenaere considers that so far as is known at present,
light petroleum is the best solvent for the extraction of the active
principles of Cannabis, and hence the only one suitable for Beam's test;
and he has carried out experiments as to whether ethyl acetate should be
substituted, or is preferable as a solvent for petroleum ether.
In the report there is also given the list of vegetable products
wrongfully designated as hemp,
We have a little trouble with that in this country, as it is frequently
designated as Cannabis, New Zealand hemp, hemp of the Americas, Bombay
hemp, African hemp, etc.
It has been found that these were all wrong designators used by
various persons interested in the problem.
NOTE.--Until very recently. the definition of Cannabis sativa
(marihuana) was based upon the traditional conception that the active
principle of the drug, technically known as cannabinol or cannabinone, is
present only in the female or pistillate plant and present there only in the
flowering tops. Since the development of more refined chemical tests, it
has been discovered that the active principle is contained in the leaves of
the pistillate plant as well as the leaves of the staminate plant. This
brought about the advisability of makihg the definition all inclusive in
laws for control of the drug found in the male as well as the female plant.
It will therefore be necessary to change the definition in the League of
Nations Treaty of 1925.
Dr. Bouquet, while investigating this question, found that it always
has been acknowledged that intoxicating resin could be obtained from
male Cannabis plants but in
such small quantities that for practical purposes this source of
production is not utilized at present. He realized, however, that it might
become worthwhile for traffickers to turn their attention to it, and
recommended that the free handling of the vegetative parts of both male
and female Cannabis plants should be prohibited.
That work was started in America by the laboratory of Parke-Davis
some years ago.
Then the question of the production of the fibre, the condition of
development, depending on the meterological factors of the crop area was
discussed. In this respect differences have been noted between the height
of the plant, and the length, consistency and toughness of the textile
The growing conditions of the plant also affect the output of its
resin, which depends directly on the degree of temperature; on the dryness
of the soil; and probably on the amount of sunshine encountered.
In the annual report for Turkey for 1937, there is brought to the
attention of the Committee data concerning a variety of Cannabis sativa
having long stalks. It is grown for industrial purposes in various parts of
Anatolia; the fibre is used for manufacturing ropes and sacks; and its
resin content is so slight it could not be used for
the extraction of a narcotic drug.
That seems to be the answer to our prayers, if true. As to the
psychical and psychopathic effects of Cannabis, the literature on this
phase of the subject tends to confirm the analysis as to the psychic
effects of hashish made as long ago as 1845 by Dr. Moreau de Tours in his
book, which incidentally is still the standard work on the subject.
Also, Dr. Brottaux in his book on Hashish published in 1934, which I
think is considered a veritable "bible" on the subject today, has followed
up and in the main confirmed Dr. Moreau's analysis.
Then there was discussed the relation between Cannabis and
insanity. There was reference to the work of Dhunsiboy, the Director of
one of the Hospitals for Insane in India—in which he points out that the
prolonged use of Indian hemp leads to insanity.
The work of Dr. Bouquet was discussed; and also the work of the
British Indian hemp Commission which carried out an inquiry in 1893 and
1894 into the relationship of Indian hemp and lunacy.
Colonel Chopra did some work in India which was discussed. He found that
in India a special form of mental disease classed as toxic insanity had
direct relation to the excessive use of hemp drugs.
All of these experts laid stress on "excessive use."
Then there was a proposal discussed to authorize the sale of ganja
to the Indian population in Burma.
As you probably know, in India. the Government maintains a
Monopoly, and various narcotic products are sold across the counter tax-
The League of Nations wanted to point out to the Committee the
various points that were raised in connection with the proposal to sell
To meet the allegation concerning the increase in insanity due to the
use of ganja, a table prepared by the Inspector General of Civil Hospitals
in Burma has been added showing that as far as the mental hospital at
Tagadale was concerned, the percentage of mental cases attributable to
the use of ganja and its derivatives varied during the years between 1928
and 1937 from 0.87 to 4.35; and that in 1936, out of a total of 296
admissions there were ten such cases, the corresponding figures for 1937
being 356 and ten respectively.
The Sub-Committee was urged to examine the still-controversial
question of the relationship between addiction to hemp drugs and the
spread of insanity.
The work of Dr. Stringaris on Hashish was discussed. He is an
authority on insanity due to the use of Hashish
in Russia. He maintains that a further increase can be expected in the
ravages caused by Hashish in Asiatic Russia.
Then the question of the relationship between the abuse of narcotic
drugs and alcoholism arose. It is still a mixed question, and considerable
recommendations were furnished.
In Algeria, Dr. Bouquet has noted that Heroin addicts were recruited
from the Hashish addicts, and Dr. Stringaris in Asiatic Russia has found
that to be the case there also.
In conclusion the Secretariat pointed out that, as a result of
concurrent investigations, progress has been made on chemical studies
and research, while fresh information has been gathered in other spheres;
at the same time, certain points still require clarification, especially in
connection with the physiological, psychological, and psychopathic effects
of Cannabis and with the relationships between Hashish-addiction and
insanity, and between Cannabis-addiction and crime.
After considering all of the recommendations furnished by the
League of Nations, the Sub-Committee then made the following report,
which is very pertinent in the light of the points we want to discuss here.
"In discussion of the matter before it, the Sub-Committee divided
consideration of the subject as follows:
(l) Commercial uses of Cannabis
(2) Medical uses of Cannabis
(3) Effects of the abuse of Cannabis
(4) Methods of detecting the presence of Cannabis
(5) Legal definition of the term "Cannabis.”
The discussions developed the fact that the Committee still lacks
complete information concerning the commercial uses of Cannabis. The
Sub-Committee would welcome further information concerning the
physiological, psychological and psychopathic effects of abusive use of
Cannabis and the relation between Cannabis-addiction and crime.
Dr. Bouquet pointed out that percentages of resin content in the
hemp plant raised in different countries should be ascertained with a view
to deciding whether it is necessary to prohibit or merely to control the
cultivation of Cannabis for industrial purposes.
The value of the Beam test for detecting the presence of Cannabis
appears to have been confirmed by a further series of experiments, the
results of which are before the Committee, including those attained by the
employment of several different modifications of that text.
Dr. de Myttenaere said that his experience enabled him to state that
the Beam alkaline reaction and its modifications indicated the chief
element in the various
components of Cannabis resin which was the cause of Hashish addiction,
i.e.the alcoholic group.
Dr. Bouquet informed the Sub-Committee that a test based upon new
principles had recently been devised which will form the subject of a
thesis to be presented by Messrs. Duquenois and Hassan Negm Mustapha at
the University of Strasbourg in July, 1938, a brief description of which
will be circulated to the Opium Advisory Committee.
The question of modifying the incomplete definition of Indian hemp
in the Geneva Convention of 1925 was discussed, but no definite
conclusion was arrived at. It appeared upon examination that such
modification would affect not only Article 1 of the Convention, but also
Articles 4 and 11 and would necessarily involve complicated adjustments
in the Convention itself. It was therefore decided to postpone further
consideration of this matter until the next session of this Sub-Committee
when it is hoped that more time will be available for the work.
Up to the present time, the work of the Sub-Committee has
consisted almost entirely of collecting information in regard to the
various phases of the Cannabis problem, and, until the Sub-Committee has
before it more data than it has at present, it would scarcely be considered
advisable to undertake definite recommendations."
We would like to take inventory of our research and see what is
The Federal Government did not get into this picture until after all
48 states had adopted legislation controlling Marihuana in greater or less
degree. The Marihuana Tax Act went into effect a little over a year ago,
and since that time we have destroyed some 16,000 acres of the plant
throughout the various States; most of it in the Middle West. About l,000
violators have been arrested by the Federal Government.
I am not trying to sell this book, but I want to call your attention to
the work on "Marihuana'a written by Dr. Robert P. Walton, Professor of
Chemistry, University of Mississippi, with a foreword by Dr. Geller who is
a distinguished pharmacologist connected with the University of Chicago.
I would like to start with the agricultural phases of this problem,
which will also include the industrial and economic phases.
I am therefore going to call on Dr. Wright of the University of
Wisconsin and ask him to discuss some of the questions that seem to be
STATEMENT OF DR. A. H. WRIGHT
Professor of Agronomy University of Wisconsin
DR. WRIGHT: Gentlemen, let me say to you in the first place that
while I am connected with the University of Wisconsin, so far as the hemp
work is concerned, the hemp being Marihuana, I am working as an agent and
in cooperation with the Bureau of Plant Industry here in Washington.
I had better assume that you are about the agricultural side like I am
about chemistry, that you do not know very much about it. Therefore,
suppose I sketch briefly the practical every day procedure by which hemp
is handled in the United States and Canada, not mentioning anything about
the European situation, and as Dr. Robinson is going to review something
about the history of hemp, I will leave that out entirely.
In the United States hemp is an annual crop produced from seed
planted each year, planted in the Spring the same as small grains are
planted, the same as corn is planted.
It has been grown during recent years almost exclusively in very few
sections; Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
It is planted en masse thickly as small grain, in other words, it is
It is planted on very good soil in order to be a profitable production.
It is a crop limited to good soil
for profitable production most every where in the world, and it is seeded
about a bushel to the acre on soil, prepared as for small grain.
After it is planted, there is nothing left to be done except to wait
for it to be harvested, and it is harvested in the latter part of August,
throughout September, and sometimes extending into October depending on
the section of the United States or Canada.
The seed is usually produced in Kentucky, and in the North American
Continent, very rarely any other place. In the sections where it is grown
for fibre or industrial uses, seed is not produced.
The usual, or arbitrary way of determining when to harvest a crop is
when it is well in blossom, we will say rather late blossom when the
pollen is being fairly cleared, depending from that time on how
circumstances work out, but that is when it is begun.
It is generally harvested now by special machinery which has been
developed during the last few years. It is cut and spread in swaths of even
length. It is left in the stuble, spread out for retting.
Now, the exact procedure varies in different sections of the country.
This retting period, that is the period when the so-called fibre portion of
the stem is released
from the woody portion, varies from two weeks to, in certain cases, two
After it has reached that stage where the fibre can be removed from
the straw by being dressed, it is gathered and bound in bundles and
shocked. Then it is put in stacks, usually in hemp mills or processing
From these stacks it is sent to the dryer, and dried to what is
commonly called in the trade bone-dry condition and which would mean 8
or 9 or 10% moisture.
Then it is crushed by the breaking process, that is the fiber is
separated by the usual process called scutching, and it is divided into two
kinds of fibre, one the long stretch, and the other tangled, and then it is
inserted in bales.
That, I believe, is the agricultural procedure of the handling of the
There is a little variation in Kentucky because of the weather
conditions. It is not retted immediately, but shocked until later in the
season when the retting conditioning can be done.
In the northern part of the country, it is spread on the ground and the
retting is done immediately.
Now, I want to avoid going into the acreage and that phase of the
work for Dr. Robinson is going to cover that.
I would like to inject this thought here for I am sure it will do no
harm, and that is that hemp has been an American industry ever since
Colonial times It is not a large industry. It has had its ups and downs, but
it has been an American industry since Colonial times, and it is one of the
oldest crops that we have in the United States.
It is used, as you know, from an industrial stand-point for textile
purposes, and to a minor extent for other purposes and Dr. Robinson will
Now, there might be perhaps some questions right now. One or two
other items I want to take up before I am through.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Go right ahead.
DR. WRIGHT: You know I might not have another chance to say
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: You will be given a chance. Go right
ahead, Dr. Wright.
DR. WRIGHT: I was just wanted to throw this into the pot, and that
is, of course, that we who work with the commercial producers, and the
industry naturally collectively, and I suppose we are justifiable in that,
our prejudices are on that side. I do not think we would be human if we
were not, and I do not claim to be other than human. We have a small
industry in the United States that
has had its ups and downs over a long period of time. We still produce
commercial hemp and fibre. Those in the industry are naturally concerned.
They have a stake in that they have what little they have invested in the
They are not concerned about this last law because I believe they
were given a very square deal in the national legislation on the matter.
What they are concerned about is the public position, that indefinite
intangible thing, public feeling about growing hemp at all.
They have already been subjected to some rather embarrassing
Now, just suppose that as a result of the agitation, warranted or
not, and there are probably two views on that, and I am open to both
views, the extensive publicity that has been given in the hemp states,
particularly Wisconsin where there is much agitation, that some kind of a
legislation will come up to put out or eradicate the production of hemp
under the Weed Control Department or the Legislature appropriating money
to do it.
I will not bother you long on that, but I just want to mention that
and show what problem we will be called on to face. Those men have
managed to keep their mouths
shut and have expressed no views concerning Marihuana in public, for we
feel we are not in a position to do so, and we would like to be sure of our
ground before doing it.
Of course, having worked with eradication procedures and
eradication programs, unless you would convince us otherwise we would
oppose the eradication program in Wisconsin as we see it now with the
immense cost and the things of that sort.
Now comes the other phase of it. We have been trying, in cooperation
with the Bureau of Plant Industry, and Dr. Robinson and the Division of
Pharmacy of the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Link who is head of the
Bio-Chemistry Department of the University of Wisconsin to begin a study
of Cannabis in relation to hemp as a crop.
Without going into details, I think I have told you my story for the
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We thank you very much, Doctor. Before
we go on to Dr. Robinson, I think there were various points brought up that
our conferees would like to discuss.
There is one point about commercial hemp. We did not make a survey
in your State, but we did make a survey in the State of Minnesota, and
some of the hemp that was harvested in 1934 is still on the ground.
DR. WRIGHT: That is right.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: It is giving us a great deal of difficulty.
The farmers up in Minnesota in some of the sections have been subjected
to various promotion schemes. Due to the existence of stacks of the old
1934 and 1935 crop of harvested hemp in Southern Minnesota, which is a
menace to society in that it has been used by traffickers, we have
arrested a gang who took a truck load of this Marihuana into New York.
I will say that the farmers up there have been cooperating with us
100%. If they see anybody around that section who looks like a trafficker,
they bring out their old shot guns, and he is soon disposed of. We have very
little trouble from the farmers up there.
It is said that every stack contains a plentiful supply for smoking
Allegations have been made that if it was on the ground three years
there would not be any resin left. Mr. Wollner can tell you how much resin
some of the experts reported after Marihuana had been lying on the ground
three years. It seems that the traffickers can find it. Our own chemists
have found it.
We feel that the farmer is entitled to a reasonable return for these
old crops. He planted the crop in goodfaith; he has no desire to violate the
law, and we have
been assured that the removal of the harvested crops is very desirable. It
is a very difficult situation.
Have you any observations to make, or any discussion on the
DR. ROBINSON: As to thw commercial procedure, tha plant is spread
out on the land, and left there until the stalks are retted, and some of the
leaves are gone. It is shocked and taken into the hemp mill. The grower is
uncertain as to where he stands, and whether the leaves that are
associated with the straw are in the legal sense Marihuana, referring, of
course, to that particular clause in the law which refers to dry stalks.
Now this is done as follows: the straw is left on the land in the
stubble for varying times, as I say, from two weeks or longer during this
retting process. It is subject to the action of rains and bleaching and
decomposition with the various effects of bacteria and fungi, but when it
is taken in, it still retains a trace of the leaves. That is what affects the
folks up there in Minnesota.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I notice the term "hurds" referred to.
DR. WRIGHT: That is the non-fibrous material crushed and taken away
from the fibrous. It is the residue. It
would be the same as shives in flax.
MR. WOLLNER: I am afraid to say that the experiment with Minnesota
hemp is rather inconclusive. As I understand it the hemp was bundled
before it had been permitted to ret for an extended period of time.
It may be we will find that if the hemp is permitted to ret before it
is stacked, a further decomposition of the drug will ensue. However, we do
know that the Minnesota hemp of 1934 is active.
DR. WRIGHT: It would be active.
MR. WOLLNER. It is active but whether the activity was retained by
improper handling of the hemp, I don't know. As I understand it they were
advised to bunch their hemp before it was retted.
DR. WRIGHT: It was never rotted or retted. The plan of handling in
Minnesota was unauthorized. In other words, it was contrary to the usual
procedure. They put the green hemp or the semi-green hemp in a bundle,
and at a later stage it would be known in the trade as green hemp. That
was never used for textile purposes. It was not suitable for textile
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Then, Dr. Wright, your opinion is that if
harvested properly most of the leaves avould remain on the ground and not
adhere to the stalks?
DR. WRIGHT: I will be perfectly frank in telling you that will vary in
seasonal conditions, and so we are much concerned about that. There are
leaves left. As to the condition of those leaves, we don't know. They are
left, and there is no use in denying that. There are considerable left on the
straw. There are not a great deal, but there are leaves left.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Then prompt harvesting would reduce this
danger we are now confronted with?
DR. WRIGHT: It would.
DR. MATCHETT: What about the hemp stacked green in Kentucky;
doesn't that mold more than that left on the ground?
DR. WRIGHT: Hemp is left in the shock in Kentucky. You will correct
me Dr. Robinson, if I'm wrong, because it has been fifteen years since I
was down there, but it is my impression that it is shocked. It is first
spread and allowed to wilt on the ground.
DR. MATCHETT: Then there is no molding?
DR. WRIGHT: If properly handled there will be no molding.
MR. WOLLNER: From our point of view that would be improper
handling; there would be no decomposition of the resin.
DR. WRIGHT: The general weathering we would get would be during
the curing stage.
MR. WOLLNER: How long, about, does that take?
DR. WRIGHT: Now, after it is shocked, cured and stacked, later it is
spread on the land again and retted.
DR. MATCHETT: But, during this period, of course, it would be in
excellent condition for smoking, - that is, relatively dry in the stack.
DR. WRIGHT: From the time it is cut until it is rotted, whatever
leaves there are should be suitable for Marihuana.
MR. SMITH: While we have not found in New York State a large
agricultural growth, we do find that the largest part of our growth,
instead of being on good soil, is on poor soil.
For the past two years when I have been looking for wild growth, I
have found it in dumps or soil that has a high content of ashes or cinders,
and I have found it trying to grow it in my own garden but the growth does
not begin to compare with that of the cinder growth, and as a matter of
fact we have found that most recently the wild growth seeks that kind of
That does not prove anything, of course, except we have probably
most of our wild growth coming from ashes
and cinders and public dumps. This did strike me very forcibly, and what
struck me more forcibly was that we had some of the biggest growths in
Brooklyn where it was almost a clear cinder dump.
Our experience in New York State so far has not produced anyone who
desired to be licensed as a cultivator.
I think some of that might be offset if the public was assured that
the cultivator would have to be licensed, after proper investigation, and
that definite qualifications exist to establish control.
DR. WRIGHT: As to your first statement about hemp growing on
cinder beds, wild hemp, - it is not a fibrous hemp. As all of you who are
familMWith the middle west know, you will find blocks that were
formerly even cinder beds, but fibrous hemp will not grow there.
MR. SMITH: The point I was chiefly interested in was the public
interest, where it was grown, whether being produced by chance or design.
DR. WRIGHT: We are hopeful we can clarify this situation. Since
legislation may be introduced to eradicate or to bring pressure upon the
legitimate producer, I appreciate your suggestion. I think it is a good one.
MR. SMITH: We have also in New York State given some consideration
to definite measures for removal, but so far we have operated under
difficulties acting under nuisance laws. Under the Public Health laws in
New York, we can fix a penalty for maintaining a public nuisance. We have
in a few instances removed Marihuana from private property where the
owner wouldn't undertake it himself, and then assessed a lien against the
property within the Public Health law on the ground that we have removed
a public nuisance.
DR. WRIGHT: It might be construed to apply to Marihuana under our
Public Health regulations in Wisconsin. I do not know whether it has been
discussed or not.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Dr. Robinson, we would like to hear from
STATEMENT OF DR. B. B. ROBINSON
BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
DR. ROBINSON: If fibres produced from plants were ranked in
accordance with their world production in tonnage, hemp would occupy a
position of probably third or fourth. It would be surpassed by cotton and
jute produced in India, and in some years by flax. That gives you some idea
of where it stands in relative importance.
Dr. Wright mentioned a mattor that many of you are familMWith, the
fact of the importance that hemp played in our earlier Colonial days
before the introduction of
the cotton gin.
The culture of hemp in the United States, I might ay has decreased
because of the cheap competitive fibres which are produced by cheap labor
in foreign countries, and it is because of this cheapness that they are
substituted for hemp in many cases, and not because of the fact that they
have characteristics that are better than hemp for cordage or textile
The average world production between the years 1930 and 1954 for
hemp was about 750,000 tons. And now, during that same period in the
United States in this small industry we have produced about 500 tons. The
world production was produced mainly by Russia where I think 56% of the
fibre is produced, followed by Italy, Yugoslavia, Rumania as other
producing countries, During the past year or two we imported for domestic
consumption about 700 to 800 tons a year, so our total consumption,
including domestically produced fibre, and imported fibre runs about from
1500 to 2000 tons.
Now, many of you here may wonder why such a small industry as that
should be favored to continue on, particularly in the light of the
detrimental character of certain parts of the plant used illegally.
In the first place the United States is dependent
upon the foreign production of fibres other than cotton. The United States
imports annually about 300,000 tons of fibre used for cordage and textile
purposes. The estimated value last year was about $35,000,000. That does
not include some importations of India twine.
I do not mean to infer that if hemp were grown in this country, it
could substitute for all of this 300,000 tons imported, but it is the
principal fibre which we can get in the United atates, which could be
substituted in many cases if conditions arose to make it necessary.
The United States, is very thoroughly taken care of at present in
reference to supplying our own needs on this cordage fibre.
Another argument for the hemp industry is the adaptability of the
hemp plant to various regions of the country and because of suitability for
mechanical handling, and these are some of the reasons why the office
with which I am connected in the Department of Agriculture is interested
in seeing this small nucleus of hemp industry continued each year until it
is capable of supporting itself under economic conditions. I am speaking
more of the industry in Wisconsin rather than the promotional attempts to
grow hemp in Minnesota which one might speak of an unorthodox
processing. But this industry we have is capable at the
present time of supporting itself if public opinion does not force it to be
shut doan, or additional restrictions hamper it.
So, this industry could be benefited we naturally think, if this
Marihuana stigma could be removed. However, the Wisconsin operators are
not opposed to adjust themselves to the conditions and are very much
interested in trying to overcome this drug problem.
A couple of years ago when this problem was brought to the front
more vividly than in the past, the Department of Agriculture was naturally
interested in it, and the main way we could see to combat it was as to
how to get around it [sic]. Naturally there might be less restriction on the
production of hemp in this country if we could prove that in certain
sections of the country, because of climatic conditions, the drug was not
active, or if we could possibly get plants of varieties that lack the drug,
which is probably an Utopian view, or that had it in low concentration.
As a result we cooperated with the Bureau of Narcotics, in setting
up some experiments. The Bureau of Narcotics has conducted all of the
chemical work, and Dr. Marchett later on will speak of these tests. I do not
want to go too much into his field. But, we have attempted under
this cooperative work to remove or reduce the resinous substance from
You gentlemen who are chemists and pharmacologists can assist the
Agricultural program by furnishing the Agriculture Department some
working tools or some tests by which we can tell the presence or absence
of this drug, or its activity. It may be said that I am throwing it all on the
chemists. I am not trying to do that, but we do need something to work
So far we naturally have resorted to the Beam tests, the
significance of which we do not know with certainty, but in the work we
undertook last year, it was the only simple tool which we could work
Now last summer out at Arlington farm close by, we planted a field
in which there were 98 small plots of hemp that were set up in
conformity with the statistical method of analysis of variances by a man
We obtained statistically significant differences between the
varieties using the alkaline but did not obtain it using the acid test. The
question may arise, then, as to which is the most accurate of the tests in
measuring the presence or absence of the drug.
In reference to that, the question of the region of the hemp may play
some importance. The native home of
hemp is supposedly in central Asia, —and the hemp of Chinese origin which
has been distributed throughout the world has practically always been
used for fibre purposes.
The hemp that has come from India has been of the narcotic type and
has not been cultivated generally for fibre. It has been cultivated for the
drug. I wish I knew the history of this a little better, but from what I have
been able to learn from others, hemp does not appear to constitute a
narcotic problem in China. That is of a fibrous variety, and there is a great
difference between that hemp and the hemp that came from India.
With reference to our test at Arlington, the narcotic chemists
selected samples at three different periods for the acid and alkaline test.
We got a difference, mathematically significant between those tests. That
is, the first sampling which I think was in the early part of June, was
different from the later two samplings in that it was lower in that
characteristic of activity, the numbers they gave on the Beam test.
Actually, the last test was a little lower than the middle test, but it
was not significantly lower.
We arranged 8 different fertilizer treatments for the various plots
and found that the fertilizer used had no effect on the strength or
incidence either the
acid or alkaline test.
Because of the fertilizer result it would appear that soil vs. variations
that occurred probably did not produce any differences or that the soil does
not play a part.
With reference to climate, so far we have not made a test for we have
only had the work at Arlington. But we plan next summer, if things go well at
Arlington, to conduct a test in Wisconsin. We have some cooperative agents in
Mississippi and we thought we could get a test farm there. It has been
suggested that we try to get one other region, Arizona or New Mexico, or out
in that section. So far, we have not made arrangements, but, if we could get
these various locations in the United States, then we could have a set-up
whereby we could evolute [sic] climatic conditions in reference to certain
tests, the Beam test or some other one if you can furnish it. These are the
results which we have obtained so far in the agricultural program to get away
from this drug.
There have been several reasons I have not brought out as to why we
thought we could get somewhere. We know by handling the plants that some
of them are very resinous, and some are not.
So, we are receptive to the work you men will do to give us some means
of testing our plants so as to allow
us to produce agriculturally some results which we hope will help the
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Thank you very muck, Dr. Robinson. You
recall what I said about the Turkish annual report for the year 1937 in
which it is said that Cannabis sativa with long stalks is grown for
industrial purposes in various parts of Anatolia; that the fibre is used for
the manufacture of ropes and sacks, and its resin content is so slight that
it could not be used for the extraction of a narcotic drug. It might be
interesting to get some Turkish seed.
MR. WOLLNER: We have not had a great deal of success as regards
those statements. We obtained some seed submitted by Dr. Bouquet and I
believe Dr. Robinson planted some of them, without any success.
DR. ROBINSON: We planted them under favorable conditions last
spring. Roughly we may have gotten in the field 200 or 300 plants, and
after our first Beam test it was estimated we had about 100 left. About
the first of August, I came back from a trip to the west, and we el-
iminated about two-thirds of the remainder leaving only about 40. I have
harvested about 20 of these one-half were males, and we sent 10 from
that collection over to Dr. Matchett to run an alkaline Beam test on. I was
able to obtain out of that .about one-third negative and the rest positive.
MR. WOLLNER: Was the amount of resin in these plants comparable to
that in other plants?
DR. ROBINSON: In harvesting these plants, we merely stripped the
seed in the field to keep the birds from getting it and I would say that the
African plant was more resinous than the Manchurian plant. It may be that
the African plant was later in maturing, but still, by comparison with the
Manchurian plant, it had more resin. My hand was simply caked with resin
in stripping the plant for the seed.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: The Indian Government report for 1934
shows that where they did not have this type of hemp all of the resin was
imported from Central Asia.
It is stated that the hemp cultivated in Europe does not carry the
intoxicating properties of Indian hemp. While it is believed that the
European hemp does not contain as much resin as is to be found in hemp
usually produced in Asia, the production of the active resin is particularly
variable, and there are some times great differences in quantity depending
on the altitude of the place of cultivation.
Are there any questions that you care to ask, Dr.
DR. HIBBEN: I would like to ask if you made any experiments
artificially in the new varieties by radiation?
DR. ROBINSON: We had a program for a number of years on hemp, and
my predecessor, Mr. Dewey, who unfortunately could not be here this
morning, reached retirement age three years ago, and our hemp program
So far we have not gone into that, but to some extent we have
considered it. These other methods we have approached seemed to have
possibilities of results if the tests mean anything.
I think this next spring, we should be able to plant these negative
seeds we have, and those which have tested negative three different times
and have been pollinated by plants in three different tests, and we should
be able to give the chemists something definite to test.
DR. MUNCH: It is my recollection, when Mr. Dewey made a test of the
original plants growing in Arlington back in 1922, we found different
physiological portents in the male and the female but, at that time, Mr.
Dewey had seed he had obtained from various parts of the world, and it is
my impression that after about three years of cultivation at Arlington, the
growth characteristics of all of these plants tended to the same type. In
words, they all tended to hemp of a certain height, —as I say that occurred
after three years of cultivation.
DR. ROBINSON: I think that more or less that result is obtained.
Professor Wright who may have had a little closer touch with the problem
could answer you better. Wouldn't that be your opinion, Professor Wright?
DR. WRIGHT: Yes, under the method used of applying open pollinating,
that was the tendency as far as our observation went,—that they were
more or less alike.
DR. ROBINSON: In reference to that, these stalks of hemp we obtained
last year from these various sources, have all been isolated, so they have
not been cross pollinated.
DR. MUNCH I do not know where Mr. Young of Florence, South Carolina,
got his idea for the raising of Cannabis for a medicinal purpose -
DR. ROBINSON: He got it from Mr. Dewey.
DR. MUNCH: There was a material decrease in the material before he
finally abandoned that project.
DR. ROBINSON: I do not know how he obtained it all, or that he
obtained it all from Mr. Dewey, but as I recall, he did.
DR. MUNCH: There is one other question, and that is as to the method
by which the seeds themselves were ob-
tained,-is that of any interest to you?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Yes, Dr. Wright, can you give us something
on the that?
DR. WRIGHT: Commercial seed used for commercial planting?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Yes.
DR. WRIGHT: I do not have any notes on that. The seed are grown from
plants cultivated principally for seed; I mean the ordinary hemp which has
been planted for seed similar to corn. It is planted in rows, all harvested
by hand, and put in large shocks like those in Kentucky. It is harvested in
the latter part of September or the first of October in the section in
which it is grown. Then the shocks are dumped over on large canvasses,
smoothed out on the ground, and the stubble removed and beat out with
sticks in the old fashioned method. This is the only place in the United
States producing this commercially.
DR. MATCHETT: Isn't most of the seed planted here produced in
DR. WRIGHT: I do not get the question.
DR. MATCHETT: Aren't most of the seeds produced in foreign
DR. WRIGHT: Most of the seed produced for Commercial purposes
originated in China, central China or towards
the south part of China and was carried here for cultivation.
MR. WOLLNER: I believe what Dr. Matchett means is the commercial
crop that is grown for instance in Wisconsin, does that originate from
seed grown in Kentucky, or the Far East?
DR. WRIGHT: All of the hemp planted in the United States for
commercial purposes comes from Kentucky. That is, all of the legitimate
hemp comes from seed grown in Kentucky. Does that answer the question?
DR. MATCHETT: Yes.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Dr. Matchett, you have been collaborating
with Dr. Robinson in these experiments at Arlington. Can you tell us what
results you obtained? Dr. Robinson has told us quite a lot about the
results, but I think you can probably elaborate upon them.
DR. MATCHETT: First of all I might state we made these tests in the
manner that was published by us last year, and in the treatment we
divided the tests into six categories, according to the depth of color that
we obtained, beginning with zero for negative plants. These plants which,
gave us only traces of color, which we felt should not be overlooked, but
which we also felt would not constitute wholly satisfactory
identification of the
plant, were designated number one.
Those plants characterized as 2, gave strong responses, definitely
positive, and those as 3, 4, and 5 responded with increasing intensity in
Briefly we found on variety No. 1, a Rumanian variety 97.5% of the
plants tested would have been satisfactorily identified by the Beam test.
That is assuming for the moment the single test would be sufficient,
which I believe is generally understood not to be so.
Variety No. 2, another Rumanian variety, gave us 100%.
Variety No. 3, the third Rumanian variety, 87% of satisfactory
Variety No. 5, Manchuria, 22.9% satisfactory response.
Variety No. 6, Chinese, 13.8% satisfactory.
Variety No. 9, Italian, 98.1%
There is a very decided difference between the Chinese, and
Manchurian varieties on the one hand and the Rumanian and Italian
varieties on the other.
Now there were some very interesting things in reference to the
differences between the three test periods.
It is true that there was one rather decided change, particularly in
the second test, but there was not as significant difference between the
number of negative plants, nor was the difference worked with reference
category No. l.
The interesting thing was where we had many in category 2 in the
first testing, in the next testing a considerable increase appeared in
category 4, with a corresponding decrease in category 2.
The actual number of negative plants was not significantly
different. I believe the first test gave us 36, the second test 32, and the
third test 40.
During the course of our activities we found that molding had no
apparent effect on one alkaline test response of either negative or
positive plants. We permitted them to mold in a. very moist place for a
period of five weeks. There was no change in the Beam test.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I want to ask Dr. Wright a question. In
harvesting the plant, Doctor, we understand that the farmer usually
harvests it before the resin reaches its highest stage. Is that true?
DR. WRIGHT: I will say yes, not knowing when the highest stage of
the resin is reached myself, but from what I could gather from talking to
Mr. Wollner and Dr. Link and those most familiar with the subject. It is cut
in the mid-blossom stage, and from what I understand the plants are
usually expected to have a high content of resin at that time.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: In our eradication program, 16,000 acres
have been gone over, and as I understand it we will also have to go over
that same acreage during the coming year, and probably the third year. Do
you know how long that seed will remain dormant in the soil?
DR. WRIGHT: I can only give you some guess on that. It is quite
variable, and how long the seed will remain in the soil is simply my guess.
If it is harvested the first year, before pollination occurs I would expect
that to handle the situation under most circumstances. I am basing that on
practical observation and experience, but if there is a repetition and the
plant does become a volunteer plant, if the same process as followed for
two years we could expect almost complete eradication.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: What seed could replace the hemp seed as
bird food? There is a lot of growth throughout the country due to the
casting about of bird seed. Now, however we require sterilization of hemp
seed. We have not reached the 100% point in sterilization but the seed
people tell us they should sell the seed in 5% mixtures; but even 5%,
mixtures if the seed is not properly sterilized, might produce some wild
growth. Have you any suggestions on that?
DR. WRIGHT: I believe that these gentlemen here from the animal
biology department might be better able to judge of that than I am.
DR., COUCH: As a matter of fact, I do not know anything on that point,
and we have not gone into it at all. I am extremely interested however.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I think there should be some discussion
as to the relative activities between the male and the female plants.
DR. BLATT: May I ask a question of Dr. Robinson? As I understand it,
the average production is about 500 tons a year. Is that 500 tons of fibre?
DR. ROBINSON: Yes. This past summer, we had 1300 acres of hemp
produced commercially in this country, and it has been running about that
acreage with the exception that in 1934 and 1935 this acreage appeared in
Minnesota, and in 1936 and 1937 we had a big acreages in Illinois, but
those were acreages planted, you might say, for other purposes than the
ordinary use, for there was an idea of producing fibre as a substitute for a
wool and various things of that nature. Those industries that attempted to
do that, for one reason or another, have dropped by the wayside, and 1000
to 1500 acres is the normal hemp production each year in the United
MR. WOLLNER: Professor Wright, you heard Commissioner Anslinger's
question for information on the relationship between male and female
plants. You are undoubtedly aware of most of the discussions in the past
years on the subject of Marihuana, and that it has centered around the
female plant. As a matter of fact, I believe the United States
Pharmacopoeia refers to the flowering type of the female plant, and it is
stated that Marihuana comes mostly from the female plant. I wonder
whether historically that might not have arisen from the fact that
possibly the male plant flowered at an earlier period than the female
plant in the growth of the plant itself, and at the time of harvesting by
force of circumstance they were limited to harvesting female tops.
DR. WRIGHT: Not actually knowing it, I could not say, of course, but I
am sure that is the answer. In the male plant the leaves drop off long
before, the female plant, and when the traffickers have reached the plant
the leaves have practically all gone from the male, but the females are
MR. LEVINE: Is there any distinction between the fiber of males and
DR. WRIGHT: You see, in fibre, they are cut at an early stage when the
female plants are just forming the
bud, and the male plants just shedding the pollen.
MR. WOLLNER: Then the male plant would grow as tall as the female
DR. WRIGHT: Yes, they do usually reach the same height.
MR. WOLLNER. When produced for fibre, the plant does not reach the
height we experienced in Arlington.
DR. WRIGHT: It has reached its full height when cut for fibre. You
planted it in rows, too, which would add to the height.
MR. HERWICK: I should like to ask Professor Wright a question as to
whether or not there was any quantity of Cannabis raised in this country
for commercial drug purposes.
DR. WRIGHT: I cannot answer that question.
DR. ROBINSON: Undoubtedly there are others here who could furnish
that information. I do not know of a single case where any of it has been
furnished companies for that purpose, but I think there are companies that
get it for that purpose.
MR. SMITH: There was a concern that grew it in Indianapolis several
years ago for their own purposes.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Most of the pharmaceutical houses before
enactment of Federal Marihuana Legislation
obtained their Cannabis supply from the Middle West. There was relatively
little importation of Cannabis for medical purposes.
DR. COUCH: In the Food and Drug Administration, we occasionally see
a questionnaire sent to the importers more or less of the patent medicine
type, and also some well known pharmaceutical houses where cannabis is
still found in the formula for certain products. Under the Pure Food and
Drug Act, we have some requirements on that, and we are informed what
the source of it is, whether gotten in this country or through importation.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I think the stocks of some of the larger
houses who are still putting this out are sufficient to carry them over for
a considerable period of time. Some of the firms transferred or sold their
product to other houses, but I know of a number of occasions where raw
material was obtained in this country for the local trade.
DR. WRIGHT: I have been informed by Doctors that they did get a
considerable amount of their prepared processed material from Mexico. I
was wondering if there was any processing plant in Mexico.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I did not know they imported it for
medical uses from Mexico.
DR. MUNCH: Many of the commercial manufacturers have grown it, but
because of the extreme variability of the potency of the material they
were growing themselves, they attempted to import it from Madras or
Bombay. But the material imported was often weaker than that grown in
this country. So the next step was to purchase from Mr. Young at
Charleston, South Carolina, or the general neighborhood of Lexington,
Kentucky, or Nantou, Illinois. But, those sources folded up within the last
ten years and there has not been any substantial production of material in
the United States since then. I tested most of the material grown in this
country that has been offered.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I suppose that seed came from Kentucky,
which in turn came from China.
DR. MUNCH: That is true, but I have tested material grown in the
United States commercially that was more potent in its physiological
aspects than that imported from India.
MR. FULLER: I think that came about as a result of the interest that
developed in the production of it during the war, or just before we got into
the war, because at that time I was in the field myself and grew it com-
mercially for four or five years in Virginia from that same stock of seed
that Young used in South Carolina, and
which was obtained from the Bureau of Plant Industry. I do not know
whether he got it from Dewey or not.
The plan we adopted was to cull out as much as possible the tall
plants for purely commercial reasons. We could not get so much material
from the tall plants. In other words, bushy plants grew up six and seven
feet high, giving much more drug than those that grew up taller but not so
bushy, When we considered it the proper time, you would grab hold of it. It
felt like a sponge. We collected enough material then to produce a drug
very much more potent than any imported material that came into the
It was our experience that it really did not make much difference
where the hemp came from, after it had been grown here and become
acclimated to our conditions you could select bushy plants from it, and it
was just as potent. It did not make any difference where it came from. We
used to cull our plants, particularly the male plants. I used to think it did
not have much effect, but be that as it may, that was what we did. I do not
think we could have ever used the male plants anyway for, in stripping,
the amount of material obtained was so small.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: How did you strip the plant?
MR. FULLER: It was a very easy process. It was done by women, and
they used gloves. In all of the years we
were producing that material as far as we knew, there never was a case of
where anybody used it for illegitimate purposes. In fact at that time, I do
not think there was any Marihuana used. But, it did not pay us to go on.
I think a great deal of the Cannabis sold in the drug trade came from
the wild materials that grew in the Middle West and one of the largest
dealers in drugs handled that crop. I knew him very well, and he told me at
DR. BROMBERG: What further preparation was there after stripping
for medicinal purposes?
MR. FULLER: We just baled it and sold it.
DR. BROMBERG: Any other processing necessary?
MR. FULLER: In the manufacturing of medicinals, it has to be
extracted usually with alcohol end concentrated down to a solid extract.
There was no attempt, and I do not think there has been any attempt made,
to separate for commercial purposes the active principle, for even with
all of the work done, we do not know what it is.
MR. WOLLNER: Did you find, Mr. Fuller, in your growth of the plant
commercially, that arid seasons or drier seasons would increase, or
produce an increased quantity of resin?
MR. FULLER: I do not think we noticed any difference. Now, I was in
that portion of Virginia very near to Washington on the first plateau, six
or eight miles out, and some of those summers were very dry. We would
get sometimes six weeks without rain, and it did not seem to affect the
yield at all. One season, I recall particularly, there was a great deal of
rain, and the crop was just about the same.
MR. WOLLNER: I would like to offer this thought to the Department of
Agriculture. The statement is invariably made by people in Europe and the
Far East and Near East that the amount of resin produced by a plant is in a
measure proportionate to the rainfall, and the less rainfall the more resin.
I wonder whether we are actually dealing with the question of the
variation in the amount of resin produced as against the amount of resin
exuded. That is to say, isn't it possible as a result of a condition, all that
happens is the plant structure, so to speak, shrinks to evaporation and
greater amount of resin appears on the surface, but the absolute quantity
contained by the flowering tops and the leaves is the same ?
DR. ROBINSON: I think your point is well taken, and it was my
intention to go into some of those points
in those tests throughout the United States. We collected material
over at Arlington Farm last summer at various stages for the purpose of
making a microtome test of these little pockets. So far we have not had
time to do very much on that, and there are gentlemen here who have done
more. We actually found those pockets present in pants two weeks old and
on varying specimens which we have in our office. We want back to plants
that were less [than] three weeks old and we found there hashish material.
Now in older plants in some of the specimens we have of Indian hemp, it
seemed to be exuded from the cells all over the surface, and I imagine in
such plants as that, if it exuded if you touched it, much more would come
off than if it had not exuded. Is that what you mean, certain climatic
conditions would cause cells to erupt, and the viscosity of the exudate
would be such that it would spread.
MR. WOLLNER: I am thinking in terms of opium or the poppy. You can
get opium from the pod without scarifying, and the thought struck me, in
the case of Cannabis, since the leaf is always extracted in this country,
and since in the past the process has been of rubbing it from the outside,
in the East, they get more resin than we do, due to the fact that more has
exuded but not
DR. HIBBEN: There is another factor involved in the question about
rainfall, and the formation of resin, and that is perhaps the production of
resin would depend upon the amount of sunshine, and the more rainfall, the
less sunshine. In tomato plants for example, the Department of
Agriculture has done a great deal of experimentation as to foliage, and [it]
has been shown that the quantity of foliage depends greatly upon the
duration of sunshine the plant has received.
MR. WOLLNER: I had not thought of that.
DR. HIBBEN: Some plants require a great deal of sunshine.
DR. WRIGHT: May I ask you this question, - I was interested in the
fact that you selected the bushy plant believing it more profitable to do
MR. FULLER: Yes.
DR. WRIGHT: Did you have any observations at all to indicate they
were more potent or more satisfactory to the purchaser than the more
slender plants; have you any reason to believe there is a difference
between the two?
MR. FULLER: No, I do not think there is any difference, for the green
leaf from the male plant yields resin, and as far as we could determine,
the resin was just as
potent as the female. You do not get so much per plant. That was
what we were interested in, but, as far as quality is concerned, I do not
think there was any difference.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: And now, Gentlemen, if we have no more
questions on the agricultural phase of the problem we will proceed to a
little more controversial subject. The pharmacological phase. I would like
to have Dr. Munch give us a little history of the pharmacology of
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES C. MUNCH
PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY
DR. MUNCH: So far as the external effects are concerned of the fluid
extract of Cannabis, the effects are hyperesthesia, fomication, and cold
extremities. These cause increase in intensity. It is not local.
So far as the gastro-intestinal tract is concerned, there is no effect upon
the taste. There is a tendency towards an increase in thirst and appetite,
and large doses will cause nausea, emesis, vomiting, and the drugs
produced diarrhea or constipation.
So far as the effect on the brain, I am only going into that to this
extent, to say that in connection with USPVIII which was thirty years ago
we were interested
in knowing whether the American grown plant could be used as well as
that which had been imported from India. The study made by the American
Drug Manufacturers Association and by others at that time led the USP
official Committee to the stand that either the Indian or the American
grown material would be comparable for medicinal purposes so long as it
was tested and found to have a certain physiological effect, and from a
number of bio-tests that were made in which the material was
administered to dogs, there were three different effects produced, one
effect being to cause the dog to sway from side to side, and back and
forth, and finally not to be able to stand erect at all. It was then that
satisfactory material was produced which would produce such a response.
When it became necessary to prepare revised standards for world
use of the Cannabis, we standardized the standards. First, we obtained
material from various manufacturers in this country representing the
ordinary strength or potency of the product and then many of these
manufacturers told me of the material of ten or twenty or thirty years
before, and they gave me the products or materials which were of the
same commercial strength as they have always been marketing.
Then through various means, we obtained drugs and
standardized those products, that is thirteen different products of this
series of drugs. Those products were then mixed, and constituted the USP
fluid extract of Cannabis, which was officially recognized in USP X.
Then as to the method of bio-assay. Contrary to much of the
published literature we find that dogs vary as greatly in their response as
do humans. On. some 500 dogs I have used, fully one-half were very
insensitive, and were discarded immediately. The nervous type or short-
haired dog is usually a satisfactory animal but not necessarily the best.
Going back to the pharmacological action, so far as the causes, and
effect on circulation, a small dose causes rapid beating of the heart which
may be followed by less than normal. The blood pressure is usually
unchanged, or there is a slight fall.
So far as the blood is concerned, there is a definite increase in the
hypoglycemiacal content. At the same time, there is a definite increase in
the blood sugar. Enormous doses have produced death by cardiac failure,
but the doses were 100 to 200 times doses, which produced a tremendous
If smoked, there is a tendency to choking or coughing, and all doses
tend to decrease the respiratory needs.
So far as the muscles are concerned, the muscles show a definite
confusion, and with very large doses there are shown flexor spasms. But
not with a therapeutic dose.
So far as the pupils of the eyes themselves, there is a very definite
contraction of the conjunctiva, and usually but not always a dilation of
So far as the effect on the glands, there is probably a double
diuretical effect. There is a question, and the production of the diuretic
effect is unsettled.
It has been reported there is a sexually stimulating effect. Some say
it does and some say it does not exist.
So far as antidotes are concerned the thought is, if it has been
swallowed, the administration of an emetic, caffeine or acid drinks in
So far as the habituation is concerned, it has been claimed and
denied, and so far as elimination is concerned, I have not been able to
detect it in the urine. So, I do not believe the active principle is
eliminated by urine.
In the general pharmacopoeia developed by O'Shaunessy in 1843,
which reached its peak ten or fifteen years later, it was clinically
recommended for all sorts of diseases and later found worthless.
There is a definite decrease in the central Indian
drug which stimulated further work done by Casparis and others, after
which it appears to have gone into innocuous desuetude until it began to be
criminally exploited, which led to the present burst of study.
Pharmacology is right I think, when it is said it does not have the
same effect, or one effect on the brain, and I may be sticking my head out
when I make a suggested answer that the cause of the awful intoxication
is largely due to the difference in the rate of absorption, whether the
material is smoked or given by solution or in capsules and taken into the
stomach, or given rectally, and also the susceptibility on the brain,
because in many instances we have given the same material to humans or
dogs. Some of the animals it has shown no effect upon, others it has
shown an enormous effect with the same dose. So far as animals are
concerned, we have made a comparative study and find that dogs and
rabbits have proven most suitable for quantitative assays but none can be
relied on for qualitative accuracy, that is 10 to 12%. That is a complete
change from what I said in my book,1 but it is possible, by running from 14
to 20 bio-assay, to obtain results accurate within plus or minus 11 to
20%. But, it never has been done commercially and can only be done in
connection with research.
Through what channels does the active principle find its way into
the nerve centers? I should say through the blood.
So far as the effect on the blood pressure, I have attempted to cover
those reflex changes. It has been stated and denied that there are
significant lesions in the brain of humans. Dogs I have used for some
years, in some instances showed certain types of brain changes. Whether
those are connected with Cannabis, I do not know. I am trying to complete
that now and perhaps within the next five years I can answer the question.
Regarding the other questions, I would rather refer those to Dr.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Before we enter into a general discussion, I
would like to call on Dr. Loewe of Cornell University to give us a
statement on the bio-assay method.
STATEMENT OF DR. S. LOEWE
CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE
DR. LOEWE: The bio-assay, in my opinion, is the point where the
pharmacologist has to enter this manifold picture at which we arrive in
this conference for a very significant reason.
The reason is that all the manifold aspects of Marihuana are focused
around and makes the existence of an active principle in this drug, active
principles which are chemically not known, and as long as an active
principle is not chemically known, it can only be determined from its
action, that is, biologically, which can only be by bio-assay.
Dr. Munch has thoroughly depicted the many aspects of the
pharmacological action of Marihuana. That is what we can call the
pharmacological spectrum of this drug, But it must be emphasized, that
the spectrum of the drug as such and not on one certain active principle
necessarily, for nobody knows the active principle, and nobody ever knows
whether there is only one active principle or more than one active
It can be assumed from the beginning that there is more than one
active principle but this must not necessarily concern the Marihuana
interests, because the problem is narrowed to that active principle among
possibly many active principles which produces the narcotic or "dope"
action in humans.
Even with respect to this point, of course, we are not one hundred
percent sure that this is the action of one principle or more than one.
Quantitative bio-assay of the active principle of Marihuana, of
course, tends or aims to determine that one active principle or a complex
of active principles, which is interesting from the human point of view,
the narcotic principle. May I mention right here that as long as we do not
know how many active principles there are, we have to assume primarily
that every action is carried by a separate active principle, and with this
assumption, may I speak for the definite ataxia principle, which is the
principle which can be bio-assayed in the drug which produces the main
action stored in the dog. There is another action in the drug, which I may
call the depressant action, the cataleptic action, and then there is the
anesthetic principle which can be studied in the rabbit, using the
depression of the corneal reflex. The depressant action in the mouse,
manifested by prolonging the hypnotic action, is an action which I have
observed and used to bio-assay this one active principle.
Now, bio-assay has to start, therefore, with this, which one of these
actions is preferable for the Marihuana problem for studying the narcotic
principle, important for humans?
We have much evidence that the ataxia action is fairly well related
to the narcotic action.
In detail, there is not much to say. Walton has elaborated the
previous effects and experiences of the bio-assay of the drug in a fairly
good manner. There are details, and certainly it is necessary to bio-assay
a large number of animals due to the individual natures and non-
susceptibility which complicates the actions, and action can only be
compared in one and the same animal, and only for comparison in a single
animal, and the consequence is that a large group of animals has to be
The mode of administration has been emphasized by Dr. Munch. I
would prefer and do prefer, for bio-assay, intravenous administration
because the Marihuana action has a very long period of latency without the
means of elimination from the system, so that the results seem to be
fairly well comparable.
Now, I am of the opinion, just like Dr. Munch has emphasized, that
the bio-assay method of the drug is not definitely eliminated. I have the
impression that the method will result in fairly good accuracy, but it is an
accuracy of plus or minus 15 or 20%, and which will suffice, I suppose, for
the period in which bio-assay is necessary.
It is the unfortunate situation of the pharmacologist that in certain
periods of development of active princi-
ples he is available for the purpose, and in a certain sense he is the man
charged with the entire problem. But, his unfortunate situation is that
just when he has developed this method and applied it, it is always finally
inherent that he is out of the picture for, as soon as the chemist comes
into the picture, and the bio-assay is not any more necessary, the
pharmacologist can be dropped. If I may mention this at random, all of
these points of view are true also as to the chemical test. Before the
chemist has developed the active principle, the chemical method of
identification of much or great importance to the country, and they may be
of much or less importance for identifying the active principles than are
the bio-assay methods, but only after the discovery of the active principle
and its chemical properties, the problem of the chemical test, the
importance of the Beam test can become clear.
I know of another example where a greater activity of a certain drug
was found, and the drug was not white but yellow, and this, of course,
introduced many beliefs that yellow colors and opticals would be an easy
expedient for getting a quantitative activity. So, there was developed a
number of tests for this drug, going into this problem, but finally it turned
out what general color
of the narcotic or commodity was and the reason for the high activity of
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Well, Doctor, we are going to have the
chemists confer among themselves, and they will then give us some of
their views. I think we can reserve the general discussion for the
We will now hear from Dr. Walter Bromberg, Senior Psychiatrist of
the Department of Hospitals, City of New York.
STATEMENT OF DR. WALTER BROMBERG
DEPARTMENT OF HOSPITALS, CITY OF NEW YORK.
DR. BROMBERG: To start with, my interest in this Marihuana problem
began in 1933 when I reported at Bellevue Hospital a group of 11 cases of
mental reactions induced by smoking Marihuana and I reviewed the
literature and medical knowledge at that time. Also, the experience which
I obtained was at the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court of General Sessions
over a period of six years. Persons showing overt mental symptoms were
brought to the hospital by interested relatives and occasionally on a
magistrate's order. For that reason, the vast majority of Marihuana
smokers did not reach the hospital. Cases which came before the Clinic
had passed through the Court of General Sessions and had been arraigned,
convicted of a felony.
There has been considerable literature on the intoxication and
insanity-producing effect of Cannabis, in papers from Asia, Europe, and
the United States. To sum up this material concisely, it can be said that
the several types of syndromes recognized fall into three groups: (a)
intoxication, (b) toxic psychosis with or without admixture of other types
of mental reactions (schizophrenia, manic-depressive) and (c) according
to Eastern European and Asiatic observers, chronic dementia and
deterioration following prolonged use of the drug. Apparently this latter
type of deteriorating process has not been observed in American clinics.
Our experience with mental conditions following Marihuana indicate
to us that there are two categories of mental reaction. The following
classification is suggested:
Acute intoxication (Marihuana Psychosis) Containing sensory, motor
and subjective elements, lasting hours to several days, often with anxiety
or hysterical reactions, and panic states and depressions of transient
Toxic Psychoses (a) in which there are many admixtures of disturbed
sensorlum, delusional and emotional reactions amounting to psychosis, but
with the common characteristic
toxic signs and (b) functional psychoses of a typical variety, initiated by
Marihuana or colored by Marihuana in their symptomatology, but which
continue in the form of the underlying psychosis. In these cases Marihuana
represents an incipient stage in the psychosis, apparently.
There were 14 cases of Acute Intoxication and 17 of Toxic
The point at which the line is drawn between acute intoxicating due
to Marihuana and psychosis due to Marihuana depends on the degree and
severity of the symptoms. Acute intoxications, induced by smoking one to
four cigarettes, bring about after an interval varying from one-half to five
hours in the individual one or all of the following symptoms: an increase
in motor activity, a feeling of excitement, mental confusion,
disorientation, crowding of perception, elementary visual illusions and
hallucinations, euphoria and talkativeness. In addition to these symptoms,
numerous subjective experiences occur, such as increased speed of
thought processes, a feeling of intellectual brilliance, change in time
perception, various somatic feelings, dizziness, hunger, a feeling of
swelling of the head, lightness of the extremities, a sensation of walking
on air, lengthening of the limbs and sexual illusions. More often sex
in the fact that the possible sexual objects in his environment
become extraordinarily desirable. There is abundant evidence in our
clinical and experimental material to show that the stimulus for sexual
interest and activity derives from the aesthetic enhancement of objects
in the environment. It is not so much a matter of increased potency on the
part of the user as increased reaction to sexual fantasies and illusions.
One of our patients said: "I saw black and white women lying in bed with
legs separated, as if expecting men . . . some women in the park with
nothing on, doing nasty dances, moving their hips. I chased after them."
Others state women appear amazingly beautiful. Another patient said: "In
the subway I felt very sexy. I wanted to touch every woman that passed."
The speeded-up physical motility has its counterpart in rapid
speech. There is a feeling on the part of the individual that he is witty,
even brilliant; his ideas flow quickly and words come readily to the
tongue. Conclusions and answers seem to come to mind ready-formed and
surprisingly clear, without the effort of thinking. This feelings of clarity
is, of course, spurious. Actually the productions of the intoxicant are hard
to follow, for when he wishes to explain what he has thought there is
only confusion. The rapid flow of ideas gives a subjective
impression of brilliance of thought and observation. The sense of
increased speed of thinking apparently has an effect on memory - hence
the confusion that appears on trying to recall what was thought during the
The smoker finds it pleasant to be with others and to impart his
experiences to them. This is reflected in the fact that Marihuana is
ordinarily smoked at parties or in groups. It is felt that this need for a
social setting is a reaction to an inner anxiety arising from the threat of
bodily destruction implied in somatic illusions induced by Marihuana In
the ordinary case of smoking Marihuana, especially with one who is used
to the drug, this threat becomes converted to euphoria which develops to
uncontrollable fits of laughter. Nevertheless inquiry shows that almost
every smoker is aware of definite uneasiness at the outset of the
intoxication. The description from smokers in Harlem and from
experimental subjects agrees on this point. In the words of a user of two
years' standing, initiates "shrink together, feel tight inside and get
frightened." After they smoke it more than once, the reality of these
frightening somatic illusions becomes less. In occasional instances, and
these are the cases
which are apt to come to medical attention, the fear of death, of insanity,
of bodily deformity and of bodily dissolution are startling. These patients
are tense, nervous, frightened, they may develop a state of panic. Often
suicide or assaultive acts are the result of these emotional states. The
anxiety state is so common in patients admitted to the hospital for
uncomplicated Marihuana psychosis, that it can be considered part of the
Notes taken on experimental subjects who were psychologically
trained illustrate these points:
Subject l. Two cigarettes were smoked within 40 minutes.
Immediately after the second a feeling of lightness in vertex of head was
felt. Head was expanding; there was a feeling of mild excitement. Now the
head felt heavy and there was a definite feeling of lengthening in the legs
and a tension in the back muscles of the thigh. Head felt alternately light
and heavy. There was a sensation as though the top of the head were lifted
with about four inch increase in height, accompanied by optic images of
skulls and skeletons. Feeling of the arms rising up in the air.
Subject was aware of a feeling of confusion. Suddenly he saw
images of legs and arms in a dissecting
room which were terrifying.
Subject 2. "I felt a little euphoric at first, but with the first draw
my heart feels faster, my eyes a little heavier. I feel myself perspiring all
over, and shaking. I can feel a slight dizziness. I feel weak; the dizziness
has left and I am perspiring (Asked to walk around the room. Refuses to do
so and becomes negativistic).
On looking back I remembered that I had sexual thoughts during the
time of the experiment. Time seems to pass in a peculiar way, there being
a combination of fastness and slowness. I took my first inhalation a few
minutes after 9 and when I looked at the clock and saw it was 10 after 9. I
was very much surprised because it seemed like hours. The whole
experiment seems now as if it lasted much longer than it did. Walking
home I walked slowly in front of oncoming cars and felt a sense of
recklessness connected with not being able to walk faster and not caring."
It is remarkable how much anxiety is developed when one looks for
experimental subjects among laymen. The drug is popularly supposed to
release aggressive and sexual impulses beyond the point of control; it is
also regarded as being habit-forming. The legendary history and social
connotation of hashish smoking may help to de-
velop in those who have had no experience with the drug, a series of
anxieties masking sexual fantasies and aggressive impulses. This has
come almost to the point of mass hysteria. Some public officials are
unwilling to allow the use of Marihuana cigarettes for experimentation
purposes, on the ground that it may be "immoral," tending to foster the
development of drug addiction among the public. This frequent anxiety
concerning Cannabis may have as its source the feeling of dissolution and
other somatic changes induced in smokers which is communicated
somehow to the non-smoking public.
In clinical material as indicated, Marihuana effects may range from
mild intoxications to transitory psychoses which require psychiatric aid.
The effects vary and not all the symptoms occur in every case. Illustrative
of the Marihuana psychosis with anxiety reactions, and somatic sensory
A 31 year old white man, admitted March 27, 1934, with a history of
having smoked just one cigarette. On admission the patient was depressed,
retarded, apprehensive. He admitted smoking Marihuana. Was oriented and
memory showed no defects. Physical examination was negative. The
patient states, "My hand began to feel blue all of a sudden. I felt like
laughing and I felt
funny in my head. it was the queerest feeling I ever had. I felt like I was
kind of fainting away like. I sweat and then I’d get kind of chilly. I got the
scare of my life. I thought I was going to die and everything else. I knew
what was happening all the time. I thought my hands were beginning to get
blue. My throat began to get kind of dry. It was a little better than getting
drunk. I did not want to step down from the curb—it seemed to be so high. I
was sitting down and was afraid to get up." Patient improved and on the
second day was less apprehensive, was pleasant and cheerful. He was
discharged as recovered, after two days.
This case demonstrates visual illusions, which recall the
megalopsia (perceiving objects larger than they are), and more common
micropsia, which has been reported experimentally and clinically. It is
this type of illusion, induced by hashish, that may have been the basis for
the story of Aladdin who saw the tremendous genie emerge from his lamp
spout in the Arabian Nights' tale.
A 32 year old Irish-American, admitted September 17, 1937, with a
history of smoking Marihuana cigarettes two hours prior to admission. He
felt dizzy, wanted to commit suicide by jumping out of windows, bumping
head on the wall, floor, etc. On admission was uneasy, ap-
prehensive, impulsive. Said, "I feel sick. I'm going through hell. I saw
trucks coming at me getting larger and I wanted to open the door of the
cab and jump out." He was discharged as improved in his own custody
about 12 hours after admission.
A common type of intoxication is indicated in the following case:
A 38 year old Negro, admitted April 13, 1934, with history that he
had run out of the house poorly clad and that he had smoked "artificial"
cigarettes. He was confused on admission, was dazed in appearance and
disoriented. He described a lightness of the head, dizziness and seeing
star-shaped figures before his eyes after smoking a "doped" cigarette. He
was apprehensive on examination. On the second or third day after
admission, apprehension had disappeared and he was discharged as
recovered, being clear, composed, but unable to account for his earlier
It is not uncommon to find the history of admixture of other drugs or
alcohol in Cannabis intoxication. Frequently alcohol intensifies the
A 27 year old man of old American stock, admitted on June 18, 1933,
at his own request. He had been a chronic alcoholic and displayed definite
evidences of psycho-
pathic makeup; had marked inferiority because of his eyes and body
structure. On admission he appeared to be apprehensive, a little excited,
spoke coherently and relevantly. His experiences were rather clearly set
forth--"I was down on the water-front. A fellow gave me an Egyptian
cigarette to smoke . . . it was hashish. About an hour afterwards I began to
see things. I'd see things flying in the air. This made me laugh and I'd laugh
at things not worth laughing at. Then I began to see green and other colors
flowing before my eyes. Then things got black. I imagined people were
following me and I screamed in my hotel and got kicked out. I still see red
lines in front of my eyes and other different colors all stuck together.
Then I began to hear bells that would get fainter and fainter and then start
again. Imagined someone was after me all evening. I thought I heard
footsteps and saw people ducking in and out of doorways behind. me. At
the time I said to myself maybe it all affect my eyes. I seen a big splotch
in front of me — it was scarlet— very bright, exceptionally bright. It
contracted, then faded away. I knew all the time it was due to hashish."
The second group comprises cases of toxic psychosis due to or
initiated by Cannabis. There may be other
toxic agents present, as alcohol, other drugs, infective or other
endogenous elements. Disordered sensorium, excitement and agitation,
retardation, blocking with emotional rigidity, hallucinations, sensations
of somatic change, delusional experiences may appear in the toxic
psychosis. The psychosis lasts from weeks to months. Often the mental
picture crystallizes out into a schizophrenic or manic depressive
psychosis after several weeks or months (see paradigm). At the onset .of
the illness what can be considered characteristic Cannabis symptom-
atology is discernible. As the underlying functional psychosis develops,
the toxic elements recede.
A boy of 16, admitted February 27, 1934, with statement from the
family that for two months he had been depressed, apprehensive, worried,
scratching his hands in a nervous manner, prayed constantly. He
complained that somebody read his thoughts. On admission was well
developed and showed no physical signs. Patient was agitated, depressed,
talked constantly in a bizarre manner about the devil influencing him, etc.
Said: "I felt lightly when I was walking - as if I weighed only 10 pounds. I
felt like running my whole body was light. I felt like jumping. As if I was
walking on air. I felt happy. Then I saw yellow lights all around me. I saw
blue and green
too. The colors were more bright than usual. There are just masses of
colors - sometimes I see a black cross with everything red behind it. That
means there is a God. He is helping me. The devil knows the evil thoughts
in me." This agitated condition improved and patient was discharged about
3 weeks after admission as a psychosis due to drugs; acute hallucinatory
Patient was readmitted August 1st of that year with a picture of a
depression with schizoid features. On this admission there were no
evidences whatever of the sensory illusions and somatic feelings that he
had previously when he smoked Marihuana. He was transferred to the state
hospital, where he remained four years, being diagnosed as Paranoid
Schizophrenia with Catatonic Features. There he was restless and
overactive. He had a marked push of speech, expressed ideas of reference
and religious delusions and was manneristic. Said: "I figured the devil was
trying to pull me away from God so I cut a cross on my arm. Physically I
am the same, but mentally I am another person. ...I feel that people
influence me by touching me - like injecting dope." Later he was
manneristic, grimaced, was untidy, repeated practically all questions
asked, answered briefly and usually vaguely and would say, "I don' know
exactly," or "I don't
know." He remained dull, apathetic, indifferent and mute until the present
The personality factor is of undoubted importance in this group of
individuals. After the toxic state passed off in these patients in whom the
intoxication reaches deeply enough into the personality, a basic psy-chotic
state developed. At times, the toxic features are in the background, the
personality reactions being pre-dominant. What the inner relationship is
between Cannabis and the onset of a functional psychotic state is not
always clear. From our observation, the inner reaction to somatic
sensation seems to be vital. Such reactions consisted of panic states
which disappeared as soon as the stimulus (effects of the drug) faded. It
is generally known in psychopathology that when the perception of our
own bodily sensations is disturbed we are liable to be profoundly affected
psychologically. Disturbances in perception of the body-model
(Korperschema), which is built up of kinesthetic, tactile, visual and other
stimuli, and integrated into the core of the personality, elicit some type
of reaction. Such disturbances act as a blow to the ego, invoking defensive
reactions of anxiety, apprehension, projection, etc., which approach or are
schizophrenic in their clinical manifestations. The
following case illustrates these points:
A 20 year-old colored man admitted February 22, 1936. He is said by
his mother to have been "nervous" for some time, said he wanted to die,
wanted to kill himself. Prior to admission his mother caught him with a
bottle of lysol. He had been depressed and despondent. He was a boy of
superior intelligence as measured by the Army Alpha test. On admission he
stated that he used Marihuana for several months and during this time he
had heard people talking about him They said' "Oh, what an ugly boy. How
mean-looking he is." For four months, August to October, 1935, he smoked
three to four cigarettes a day until he began to feel ill. At first Marihuana
made him happy. Then he felt that he made a peculiar noise in his throat;
ate once a day; was unable to sleep; and experienced auditory
hallucinations. The hallucinations started four months ago and increased
gradually. He thought his face was changing. He looked thin, mean, and
ugly; he became self-conscious. He felt that every-one in the neighborhood
knew it. He stated at times he seemed speeded up, but his mind was keenly
alert with the development of the ideas of reference, he became self-
reproachful, apprehensive and fearful.
He was then transferred to a state hospital on March
13, 1936, where he stated his hallucinations had disappeared and his
emotional reaction improved. After three months he was discharged to his
home; within five months he was readmitted to Bellevue Hospital, where
he had gone in a state of panic, and from where he was re-committed to a
state hospital. He was tense, uneasy, still retained ideas of reference,
acted oddly at home apparently in response to his delusions. Diagnosis on
second admission to State Hospital was Dementia Praecox Paranoid Type,
which was made about two years after the onset of the original illness.
Some cases showed the manic-depressive reactions, but these were
in the minority. It is perhaps to be expected that schizophrenic-like
psychoses are more common because individuals who take to drugs have
some deep inadequacy to start with. The cyclothymic personality is less
prone to require the drug.
A man of 28 who was brought to the hospital by his mother on
February 13, 1938, with the history that he had been smoking reefers for
some time. A year ago he had an episode, was not hospitalized and
improved from it. On admission patient was confused, restless, apprehen-
sive. He engaged in violent daydreamings. At times he appeared to be
reacting to hallucinations. He said he
"had a big head." He became talkative, euphoric, elated and overactive
after a day or so. He said: "The best thing for me to do is. . . you look fine.
I've got to look like you . I know what it is . . . when a Buick and a Packard
get together." His speech was distinctly flighty, his behavior panicky; was
constantly restless. Would cry, sing, talk.
He was transferred to a state hospital on February 24, 1938. There
his condition persisted and he became somewhat depressed, but showed
promise of recovery a few months after admission. Diagnosis at State
Hospital was Manic Depressive Psychosis, Manic Type.
Mixed reactions merge with the toxic psychoses. These reactions
vary clinically, some occurring in chronic alcoholics, some in
schizophrenics and some in psychopathic personalities, and in all of them
Marihuana usage was a factor. It can be clearly seen that aside from the
direct toxic effect of the drug, the personality of the patient plays a
tremendous role in psychotic states following Marihuana usage.
A Cuban, age 34, who was admitted on March 6, 1938, to Bellevue
Hospital. He had been taking Marihuana for one and a half years. He had
jumped in front of a south-bound subway train without injury. He was very
depressed, dull, lackadaisical, despondent in attitude.
He was definitely under productive but still strongly suicidal. He
described taking one cigarette every day of Marihuana for a year and a half
because it took his worries away. For some time he had been conscious
that people were looking at him He feels that his body is heavy all the
time. Sometimes he hears deceased persons talking to him. He sees lights
at times. At times he sees a photograph of a strange person.
His friend corroborated the history, stating that he had been in this
depressed condition for 3-4 years. He had a work-house sentence for 2-3
months for Marihuana. He was transferred to a state hospital March 18,
1938. At that time he was dull, preoccupied, but lost his hallucinatory and
delusional trends. The State Hospital diagnosed him as Schizophrenia,
Hebephrenic Type (?) and he was released after two months.
In some cases the drug makes relatively little difference in the
content of the psychosis. It is for the clinician to determine how much
Marihuana influences the clinical picture. In South Africa, where dagga
(equivalent of Marihuana) smoking is very widespread, a diagnosis of
Marihuana psychosis is made in any "toxic psychosis where there are very
good grounds for assuming addiction to dagga smoking." It is felt that
be more exact criteria, as we outlined above, for a diagnosis of
Marihuana psychosis, by which we mean the presence of disordered
sensorium, characteristic colored visual hallucinations, time changes,
subjective and somatic feelings. One is apt to over-estimate the place of
Marihuana in the causation of a psychotic picture.
A white man of 28, admitted January 23, 1938, to Bellevue Hospital
with a history that he was in a state hospital in Arizona for 3 months
about two years ago and one in Indiana for 9 months four years ago. "I was
smoking this Marihuana weed (at time of admission to State Hospital in
Arizona). I ran around the desert for a time, ran out nights and one day
knocked on a door and told a woman I was Dillinger. I tried to see how
much water I could walk in. I was just like hypnotized and walking in my
sleep. Sometimes I feel like something's controlling me. Sometimes I feel
just like I'm talking to somebody with my mouth closed. I just ask them a
question with my brain and they answer. Sometimes it's a man, sometimes
it's a woman's voice; it just works in my temple. I think it's imagination.
It's just like a dream. People stare at me. Sometimes I see different
colors. I had that years ago - just like a light coming towards me; it's not
a light, it's an arc.
His effect was flat and he was dejected and slow-speaking. Showed
blocking and evasiveness on. sex experiences. Had ideas of reference and
He was transferred to a state hospital, where he was noted as being
preoccupied, under productive and somewhat dissociated. He stated that he
had some sort of seizures that were not really fits, but that when he had
them if he had a sword he would not mind cutting everybody's head off. He
also believed if anybody got killed near the place where he worked he
would be blamed for it. Said that when he looks in bright lights he sees
visions like all sorts of different colors, blues, whites, and these seem to
blind him. A diagnosis was made of Dementia Praecox, Paranoid Type, and
he was still in State Hospital after five months.
In psychopathic personalities, those with deep inferiorities, use of
drugs is a method of supporting the ego. In these cases Marihuana does not
always produce the desirable effect. Apparently it is not strong enough to
affect the problems which have involved deeper layers of the personality.
Such individuals adopt heroin or morphine very soon after a short
experience with Marihuana. The experience of drug addicts seen at the
Court of General Sessions confirms this. Persons addicted to
heroin, morphine, cocaine or opium never return to Cannabis. Such
individuals are admittedly psychopathic in that they need an increment of
drug to make their lives tolerable, In the next case, the use of Cannabis
represented the attempt of the patient to overcome his sexual inadequacy.
In this respect the social psychology of the drug is a factor, since
Marihuana is popularly supposed to free sexual inhibitions.
A white man, age 23, admitted to Bellevue Hospital on March 31,
1938, with a history that he felt unworthy and thought he had a venereal
disease. He held ideas of infidelity against his wife and was assaultive.
Threw a four month old baby across a room. He turned gas jets on. On
admission he was rambling, talkative, evasive, depressed, self-absorbed
and had somatic complaints.
He said: 'I was sentenced to the Workhouse for 4 months for smoking
Marihuana. I knew then I was not satisfying my wife and I thought it might
help. A year ago some friends gave me the weed, I smoked several. I felt
calm and liked to listen to music - very happy - exhilarating feeling -
In the hospital he was talkative, discussed his problem in detail and
showed some depression, which improved. The infidelity ideas and his
sexual inadequacies concerned him most. He was transferred to a state
hospital with a
diagnosis of Psychosis with Psychopathic Personality; Cannabis usage a
Often Cannabis intoxication represents a stage in the incipiency of a
psychosis. The patient who is developing a functional psychosis strives in
the incipient stage to overcome the unconsciously perceived difficulties.
In this sense Marihuana usage represents a healthy reaction tendency, even
though the mechanism may be unknown to the patient. The next case
illustrated this problem. A boy who had made a successful adjustment on a
moderate level of social attainment began to show schizoid behavior
shortly after the usage of Marihuana. The process continued to a psychotic
state. What role did the drug play? Could the psychosis have begun without
the drug? Was the use of Cannabis the patient's attempt to cure his
developing psychosis? These are problems needing careful judgment and
study and wide clinical experience.
A young Negro, 20, admitted October 2, 1936 to Bellevue Hospital
with a history of having been dull, indifferent for some time. Insisted
upon keeping the windows closed, would not leave the house, but denied he
heard voices. Would masturbate openly and made sign with fingers, and
actions were decidedly peculiar. Mother states she caught him. smoking a
cigarette with a white man and soon after got a history from his
playmates that he had been smoking Marihuana cigarettes for a long time.
Observation in the hospital confirmed his withdrawn, retarded
attitude. Psychometric gave an IQ. of 75 with rating of Borderline to Dull
Normal Intelligence. Was pre-occupied on ward; difficult to obtain his
attention; evasive; offered many excuses for closing window and putting
out lights. About 10 days after admission he appeared a little more alert
and cheerful. He was discharged in custody of mother as Incipient
Schizophrenia (?) or Psychoneurosis, Reactive State, on October 13, 1936.
He was readmitted a year later, October 15, 1937. At that time
mother gave a statement that for past year, since he left hospital, he had
been dull, staying in the house in a "deep study." He seems to listen; does
not say anything'. At one time he beat up an old man in the house who, he
said, called him names. Prior to admission he had attacked a woman for no
apparent reason. Sleeps day and night. Often looks as if he is in a dream,
Changed personality reactions for more than a year. For two weeks
On admission he was sluggish, dull and lethargic, spoke in a quiet,
low voice, showed empty affect, but was
intact in intellectual functions, memory, comprehension, orientation. He
was transferred to the State Hospital on October 20, 1937, where he was
evasive and dull. He showed no interest in the surroundings and did not
mingle with the other patients. He expressed mild ideas of persecution and
of electricity, was evasive and suspicious. He said some people called him
bad names across the street. Believes that an attempt was made to harm
him. "I sometimes have a funny feeling in my legs (electricity)." Their
diagnostic impression included the possibility of Dementias-Praecox,
Gradually he acquired an interest and socialized with other patients.
At all times he was neat and tidy in personal appearance and habits. He
improved after five months and was ready for parole.
Now, so much for the psychopathic. We now come to the criminology.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I thought we would cover that in another
We will now adjourn for lunch and come back at 1:30.
(Thereupon at 12:20 o’clock p.m., a recess was declared, the
conference to resume discussions at 1:30 p.m.)
The conference was resumed at 1:30 o'clock p.m., pursuant to the
taking of a recess at noon.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Gentlemen, the Conference will be in
order. We may very well start with the general discussion on the
pharmacological phases of the problem, and you can direct your questions
to Dr. Munch, Dr. Loewe, or Dr. Bromberg.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Munch, I would like to ask you, in respect to the
statement made by Dr. Walton that Cannabis has been used as a relief
during labor in the Far East, are you familiar with that general picture?
DR. MUNCH: Yes. I think that the product that is actually used there is
not Cannabis itself, but one of these peculiar mixtures of datura and
opium and hashish and other things.
Some of the reports refer to the women smoking the cigarettes for a
period in labor, but they are not in agreement with the information I have
gotten from the Mexicans or out in Nevada, for example, where they have
tried it and found it of no value.
On the isolated tissues the solutions of the drug have no effect, or
have a very mild, quieting action.
If I remove the alcohol, they have little effect,
which means that the active principle is not sufficiently soluble in water
to produce an action. So that I do not believe the action is very definitely
therapeutic. It is more psychological, I believe, than it is physiological.
MR. WOLLNER: Who is Willis? One of them refers to the fact that
Willis recommends its use in tedious labor where the patient is restless.
DR. MUNCH: Let me look at my copy of this book.
MR. WOLLNER: It is on page 156.
DR. MUNCH: Did you say "Willis", Mr. Wollner?
MR. WOLLNER: Yes. On page 156, "EFFECTS DURING LABOR". It starts
out, "Willis recommended".
DR. MUNCH: Willis has written a book on obstetrics and gynecology,
but I cannot give you the reference to it right now.
MR. WOLLNER: All right.
DR. MUNCH: But he is one of the authors in that field. However, the
work I was referring to more particularly was done by Watt (?) and
Breyer-Brandwijh, which [sic] I believe is the co-author of the publication
on poisonous plants in South Africa.
I have had correspondence with Watt along that line.
He refers to it in the last paragraph there after South Africa.
MR. WOLLNER: The reason I ask you that question is because of Dr.
Bromberg's remarks, which I interpreted as being indicative of the
production of a hypersensitivity. Am I wrong in that, Dr. Bromberg?
DR. BROMBERG: A hypersensitivity?
MR. WOLLNER: On the part of an individual who uses Marihuana; that
is, an increased agility.
DR. BROMBERG: The effects I refer to are on a motor activity. You
refer to those, I presume?
MR. WOLLNER: Yes.
DR. BROMBERG: By which we mean the promptness to move either
aimlessly or purposefully; that is, in acute intoxication the smoker is apt
to dance around and move or wave his arms, or go through movements that
are more rapid than he would move ordinarily; move his chair, knock it
across the room, talk to people, show a general output of activity.
Many of those prisoners whom I have contacted state that they
rather slow up or would rather be quiet during this period. There are two
effects, in other words.
The hyperactivity is not universal. The great, ex-
treme activity results in assault, throwing people around. This is similar
to what you see in certain types of alcohol intoxication, so-called
pathological intoxication, where a few drinks set a man off into a
rampage, breaking things, throwing things around, and fighting.
I think maybe men come in on that more than women because of the
basic physiological pattern. They are more active anyhow. This refers to
women, does it not?
MR. WOLLNER: Yes, sir.
DR. BROMBERG: Certainly the effects are not uniform and cannot be
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Doctor, regarding these 31 admissions
out of 100,000, I think it would be interesting to know just what period
they cover. Are they of recent origin, or are they scattered pretty well
throughout the years?
The reason that I bring that up is that the mental hospital at Burma
showed, with the increased illicit traffic in Marihuana, the total
admissions of insanity cases rose from .87 to 4.35%. I am wondering
whether we can expect an increase in such cases, and also whether these
31 cases are more or less of recent origin.
DR. BROMBERG: I can answer that by saying that the admissions
already in the past four years of this type of Marihuana insanity is almost
twice that which it was during the first four years of our observation,
that is, three years of our observation period.
Of course, you can realize that many other cases go to private
hospitals which pass off without regulatory medical treatment, and there
are other factors so great that I would not put much reliance on these
figures. I merely give them to you as true data so far as we have available.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We have been getting some reports from
various sections of the country showing cases of alleged insanity due to
Marihuana which have been brought to light.
For instance, there were interesting developments in a case in
Findlay, Ohio, concerning a fifteen-year-old boy who showed signs of
When asked about his condition he made statements that he had been
smoking cigarettes, and an investigation developed the information that
there were two defendants, who were brothers, who were in charge of a
playground, and they had been selling drugs that is, Marihuana cigarettes,
to boys around there; and we found about sixteen pounds concealed above a
garage owned by them. These fellows had
stopped selling the drug, because they noticed signs of the boys acting
queer, and they became frightened. They were particularly alarmed
because of what they thought was an unusual appetite for the drug.
We have a questionnaire whereby we ask Marihuana users involved in
our cases, all sorts of questions. As a matter of fact, I would like now to
revise that questionnaire, after what I have heard here.
One-fourth of those users when asked what effect the drug has on
them, say, "It gives me a good appetite." "The first cigarette makes me
feel hungry." They become hungry after they smoke, have a heavy and
exceptionally good appetite. That is their answer without prompting. Yet
that question does not appear in the questionnaire.
We ask them --- of course, we have to take their word for what they
say --- whether they notice any permanent physical or mental effects, and
they make statements which confirm the opinions of Dr. Munch and Dr.
Bromberg. The answers are:
"I believe it has affected my nerves."
"I can not keep my mind on one thing long enough to think clearly."
"Loss of memory"; "Very bad on nerves"; "Produces twisted thoughts";
"Affects my brain"; "Dulls my head."
"Causes me to become deaf".
"I think I‘m more intelligent."
"Makes me tired". "Hard to think" "Headache and weakness".
"Seemingly dulls senses"; and so on.
Then the question is asked: "What effects do you obtain from
smoking Marihuana?" I think most of the answers confirm what has been
said about the distortion of space, time, vision and hearing.
The auditory sensibilities are affected.
We are running into a great deal of cases which have to do with
illicit traffic among musicians.
The next question is, "Have you acquired tolerance?" Quite a number
of the users have developed a craving for Marihuana. Some of them stop
after smoking few cigarettes, and there is no sign here that they increase
the number that they smoke in a day.
Some of them vary between one cigarette and twenty cigarettes a
day. Others have smoked it once; some have smoked it for ten years.
MR. WOLLNER: I was wondering whether it would not be better,
unless there are other specific questions, to postpone this portion of the
Conference, which relates to bio-assay, which pertains to a chemist,
because all of those questions are related, and go on with the rest of
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: All right, unless there are questions.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Loewe, do you wish to say some thing?
DR. LOEWE: Among other things, I have tried Marihuana's action on a
monkey, and I went to it with great hopes because I thought really that the
psychic action would come out in this patient.
The observations were that the monkey reacts like the dog, and is
one more of the few laboratory species which really show the ataxia
The other observation was that the monkey required higher doses per
kilogram body weight than the dog, which was somewhat unexpected, and
that all of the lower doses to which I have climbed up through the ratio of
higher doses did not show anything which indicated a psychic action.
The monkeys do not show this type of abnormality which occurs in
Dr. Bromberg's material.
MR. WOLLNER: What is the relation in the dosage per kilogram of
weight of dog and human being?
DR. LOEWE: The dog dosage per kilogram of weight and the human
being per kilogram of weight, are fairly
close. The higher doses used in humans are capable of showing the
slightest ataxia symptoms, which would point to the fact that the dosage
is almost the same.
DR. MATCHETT: This ataxia is never apparent in humans at all?
DR. LOEWE: I have no experience; I never saw it.
DR. BROMBERG: I never saw it either.
MR. WOLLNER: Have you any observations about ataxia symptoms
comparable to those in dogs as to humans?
DR. BROMBERG: No; but I have never seen a large enough quantity,
certainly not the tincture or the fluid extract.
Dr. Munch can perhaps answer that.
DR. MUNCH: I have given doses up to twice that re-cognized, but I have
not noticed ataxia in students.
DR. LOEWE: There is one factor which, of course, is important, and it
is a fact which we notice from tobacco smoking, and that is that the
dosage in the form of the cigarette is probably high enough to produce
great ataxic symptoms in humans by way of the administration of inhala-
DR. HERWICK: I should like to ask Dr. Bromberg, clinically, whether
there is a direct physiological addiction to this; that is, are withdrawal
symptoms produced or do
you think it is purely a psychic addiction?
DR. BROMBERG: My idea of habituation on this matter is different, and
there happen to be several, and we should have the thing clarified.
Habituation must rest on three cases, two of them being habit
The first are the symptoms appearing of withdrawal of the habit
The second is that the patient develops tolerance.
The third is that because he needs more drug he gets the pleasure of
addiction, and all medicine agrees that there must be withdrawal.
A morphine addict becomes intolerant of withdrawal. He has
abdominal pains and various symptoms. When morphine is given he feels
better. And that is the basis of a well known treatment.
Secondly, there are the people who take increasing doses to feel
well. Those two are well acknowledged criteria.
In the New York County jail, the physician in charge thinks he sees
withdrawal symptoms, but the offenders are not allowed to discuss the
offense with anyone except counsel. They say they did smoke it, or they
did not. You do not know whether the symptoms are tied up with the
So, I dare say that there are no clear withdrawal symptoms. The
thing is not settled. Patients come in after being cut off without the drug.
The third is addiction of pleasure-loving, and in that category comes
smoking and colorful music and things of that nature. You can say that one
has to have pleasure after he becomes addicted to luxury, and that can be
looked upon as a valid psychiatric observation.
So I would stop there and say that we can say that in the absence of
other evidence, that it is essentially hedonistic addiction.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Loewe, you mentioned in your experiment on dogs
that you had injected some of these extracts, but, nevertheless, in most of
the experiments that had been previously done, I gather, the drug had been
taken orally. Of course, we know the stuff is smoked.
Your introduction of injection as a method of administration raises
the question in my mind as to whether we might, at some future date,
anticipate the use of that on humans, in this way? Is there any possibility
of this sort? Similar to that which obtains in heroin, for example?
DR. LOEWE: Only after the isolation in pure form
I would say, because, at the present time, by use. of the extracts it
will not be an element in the whole picture to introduce it by intravenous
injection. It has to be injected in alcohol solution, and a slight injection
introduces a bad local infection, pain, and so on.
MR. WOLLNER: Why were you impelled to use it as an injection as a
method of administration, rather than giving it to your dogs orally, Dr.
DR. LOEWE: It goes faster. In view of the long period of latency, it is
much more convenient to use it intravenously injected, because the peak
of the curve is reached sooner.
MR. WOLLNER: Would you conclude from that that on dogs, for
example, as a medium for standardization, that they are not as radically
different when the stuff is in-jected as compared to when it is
DR. LOEWE: Probably that is true, but only to an inconsiderable
extent. In a slighter extent the variations have been reported by various
examinators [sic] after oral administration.
MR. WOLLNER: Will you recommend it as the preferred procedure for
DR. LOEWE: I am not sure that I should give the preference to the
intravenous way. I have to collect more
DR. MATCHETT: Are the effects otherwise identical?
DR. LOEWE: Identical.
MR. WOLLNER: The curve is more rapid; I mean you achieve the peak of
the curve more rapidly.
DR. LOEWE: Comparatively more rapidly. Beginning after only twenty
minutes, and reaching the peak after half an hour or an hour.
MR. WOLLNER: Your experiments with mice were continued under the
DR. LOEWE: No. As to mice, they were injected orally only.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We can now go on to the sociological
In 88 users there were 86 males and only 2 females. I do not know if
that holds true generally. We might have got off the rails on the selection,
but that is what those figures show.
There were 47 white, 20 colored, 15 Latin Americans. The age, of
course, is much younger than among opium users. Most of the users were
between 17 and 35. The greatest number was between 21 and 25.
I believe that was true of a survey made in New York City of the
MR. SMITH: We had 100 arrests there between January 1st and
October 1st that ran: 99 Negro, 60 white, and 1 yellow; and the nativity,
(and this nativity includes New York City and up-state New York:) 5
Mexican, 1 Chinese, 32 Puerto Rican, 2 Greek:, some from South America,
Cuba, Panama, and other places with 130 native born.
Then, in addition, I have 12 other cases, which to me were more
interesting, because those persons who were held for crimes other than
possession, and they ran such as unlawful entry, 3 for grand larceny, in
addition to their possession; 1 for grand larceny, who admits he is a user.
Of course, the other possessor cases probably were users, but they
are charged with possession. One with felonious assault with a pistol and
possession; One, exposure of person; one felonious assault, both users; and
another, felonious assault with possession; and one a wayward minor who
admits, in addition to using Marihuana, that he is using heroin; one with
assault and robbery, and one who was a policy peddler. They were held on
other charges, rather than on mere possession charges.
MR. WOLLNER: What is the distribution in sexes, there, Mr. Smith?
MR. SMITH: I have not the age nor sex distribution on those.
In at least four cases up-state we can show a definite connection
with prostitution. In one we had a good report, not proven, but a good
report that the Negro who was in possession was also running a school,
teaching youngsters how to smoke Marihuana. Actually, we are not certain
about the facts as to that, but that is the report that has been current
with that individual.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Do you have anything on occupations
of the users?
MR. SMITH: We have four as musicians, two as farmers, and those
two farmers were actually growing Marihuana on their farms.
Many of them state "unemployed". But where most of those that
report unemployed are laborers, they usually are associated with
prostitution, policy, and some of the allied types of minor grade crimes.
Prostitution, to me, seemed the most evident connection.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: In our 88, the occupation runs anywhere
from bartender to unemployed. There are probably 50 different
occupations, musicians are second to laborers,-of the 88.
The rest were distributed throughout the various
MR. SMITH: I can give you a breakdown on that section. I have it here
in another portion of my data.
There were 5 women arrested as sellers, and 8 women arrested for
possession, and 147 males arrested for possession, and 7 for selling.
MR. WOLLNER: About 10 per cent.
MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: In our geographical distribution, we show
the larger number of these around New York; a few in the New England
areas; a few in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, several in the Middle
Atlantic States, about 5 in the South, Kentucky and Tennessee, four;
Michigan-Ohio, 13, Michigan-Ohio is second to New York.
And then they string out through the rest of the States, with
California probably third.
MR. SMITH: In States with equal population ratios, as to the
metropolitan district, as against up-state New York, our arrests for
Marihuana violations in the State, excluding New York City, are about 10
per cent; 15 cases, actually, against 160.
They probably will vary, though, as to the development of
prosecution and apprehension, as in the various up-state cities they are
just beginning to realize in the
last year that Marihuana is a problem, and the figures for 1938 will be
higher than 1937. I expect 1939 will again be higher in up-state New York,
so that that ratio of about 10 percent should rise.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Dr. Bromberg, you were about to start on
the sociological phases. Will you give us the benefit of your views on
DR. BROMBERG: The material that I have collected comes from the
Court of General Sessions. This is the criminal court of New York City.
Our material is limited to New York County, although it must be
remembered that the courts clientele comes from many sections of the
We must also note that there are many racial types in our material.
This is important, because the British investigators have noted in India
that Cannabis does not bring out the motor excitement or hysterical
symptoms among Anglo-Saxon users that occurs among natives. There are
several other difficulties in selecting reliable material, one being the
dependence on statements from prisoners without opportunity for
objective tests or other corroborative checks, as in the case of other
drugs, e.g., heroin or morphine.
During the routine interviews of some 17,000 offend-
ers during six and a half years, we have come across several hundred who
have had direct experience with Cannabis. Their testimony checks with
experimental results and clinical experiences in regard to
symptomatology of intoxication, the absence of true addiction, and the
negative connection with major crime. Especially is this noteworthy
among sexual offenders, and in cases of assault or murder.
The extravagant claims of defense attorneys and the press, that
crime is caused by Marihuana addiction, demand careful scrutiny.
The cases analyzed in this study cover a period of more than six
years, from 1932 to 1938. Out of over 16,000 prisoners in this six-year
period, 200 offenders were convicted of drug charges or found to be users
of drugs, although convicted of other charges, in the Court of General
Cases of possession for sale are handled in the Court of General
Sessions which has jurisdiction over felonies. There is no distinction
made in the indictment in the Court of General Sessions as to the nature
of the drug sold.
Of this group of 200 drug offenders, 67 were indicated to be users of
Marihuana in any degree and for any duration of time whether convicted of
the crime of selling Marihuana or another crime.
The remaining 133 offenders were morphine or heroin users.
It is important to note that the only measure of Marihuana usage is
the statement of the offender. Since statements of use are conceived by
them to be prejudicial to their interests in court, we meet evasion and
denial fairly consistently.
Our most reliable source of information is from those not arrested
for traffic in drugs and questioned in the routine course of psychiatric
Now, this leaves out thousands of smokers who were never arrested,
people who were never arrested, and people that we deal with who were
arrested for major crimes, including the one of selling drugs. Those people
were all questioned about Marihuana.
Those who were arrested for selling drugs, specifically Marihuana,
were questioned as to the use of it. Some of those admitted using it, and
some did not.
All the criminological material that we have has to be taken with a
very large dose of salt, and they are either convicted by the time we see
them, or about to be, and are still frightened, and want to keep their fair
The only useful record which we have in which we can
throw out and include material as it sounds reasonable to us, and it is
checked, so far as the use of the sociological aspects of it, and the effect
of it, and so forth, so that in the General Sessions of Criminal Court the
87 cases of Marihuana users consisted of 21 whites (native born and
European extraction), 23 Negroes, 20 Puerto Ricans (some of whom are
considered to be racial mixtures), 2 Mexicans, and one Negro and Indian
Of the 67 studied, 46 were convicted of possession and sale of
drugs, and 21 other charges. Among the 21 cases convicted of crimes other
than the possession of and sale of drugs, were eight charges of burglary,
five of grand larceny, three of robbery, two of assault, one each of petit
larceny, forgery, and first degree murder, and none of sexual offenses.
Burglary, grand larceny, and robbery, then, account for 16 of the 21 cases.
There were but two sex cases of any description in the history of the
Marihuana cases, in both of which sodomy occurred as previous offenses.
In three cases, the individuals were what might be called constant users
of Marihuana. One of these had commenced to use the Marihuana three
years previous to the current conviction; another, with a sixteen year
record, indicated Marihuana, had been used for fifteen years; the third
referred to his use of Marihuana as
"several years” duration. None of the offenders reported any lasting
effects from Marihuana. Interrogations as to the habit-forming nature of
Marihuana were all answered in the negative by the prisoners.
So that in the General Sessions of Criminal Court the 67 people who
were offenders were involved in selling Marihuana or gave some history of
using it. Most of those people had previous charges, not including drugs, as
to being criminals of other types. The largest proportion were not drug
The next largest number had no previous connection with the 67.
Fifty had never been arrested for taking any drugs. This was their first
contact with the court. These were all special cases in the Special
Sessions Court, which deals with misdemeanors and other cases.
Here, there were 202 cases. Thirteen were there on the first charge
of any kind, that being a Marihuana charge. Those things do not mean very
much to me, as they simply give a certain picture, a picture of people
being picked up and brought in for using Marihuana, and there is not a very
heavy weighted criminal record behind them. Drug users are not Marihuana
users in the main.
In the Court of Special Sessions in the same picture, in the same
six-year period, of approximately 75,000 in-
dictments for all crimes, there were 6,000 convictions for possession and
use of drugs. Since neither the law, the district attorney, nor the police
department make any distinction between the several kinds of narcotics,
their arraignments or indictments, in Special Sessions as well as General
Sessions, there were no figures from which to estimate the number of
Marihuana users as distinguished from the number of users of other drugs.
We therefore adopted a system of sampling the 6,000 cases in order to
arrive at an approximate estimation of the total number of Marihuana users
who came into conflict with the law. In this sampling, we examined the
records of l,500 cases, or 25 per cent of the total of 6,000. Of these, 135
were Marihuana charges. From this, it was estimated that about 540 cases,
or 9 per cent of all drug cases coming to Special Sessions over a period of
six years, were users of Marihuana.
Analyzing this sample of 135 cases, it was found that 93 had no
previous record; 8 had a previous drug charge or charges, only; 5 had
previous charges, including drugs; and 29 had records not including drug
charges. Among those with longer records, that is, from four to seven
previous arrests, none showed progression in crime from drugs to other
In considering all the Marihuana cases in both General Sessions
and Special Sessions Courts, a total of 202 convictions, it is an impressive
fact that only 30 offenders had been arrested before for drug charges. This
does not argue very strongly for Marihuana as a drug that initiates criminal
Where there is a series of crimes committed by one individual, our
records show that he passes from other forms of crime to the use of drugs.
Thus, in only three cases out of our series of 67, in which an arrest
associated with Marihuana was recorded, did the criminal career start with
the use of Marihuana, and in 7 cases out of 67 criminal activity started
with other drugs. Ninety per cent of the group is accounted for by those who
(1) have no criminal record except as drug users, and (2) have a previous
record from which they turned to drugs This leaves a small minority of
offenders whose criminal careers started with drugs and went on to other
crimes like larceny, assault, and so on. As measured by the succession of
arrests and convictions in the General Sessions cases (our only method of
estimation), it can be said that drugs generally do not initiate criminal
careers. Similarly, in Special Sessions, only 8 had previous charges of
drugs, and 3.7 per cent has previous charges of drugs and other
petty crimes. In the vast majority of cases in this group of 135, then,
earlier usage did not apparently predispose these offenders to crime, even
that of drug usage. Whether the first offender Marihuana cases go on to
major crime can only be ascertained by referring to the findings of the
General Sessions Courts. The expectancy of major crimes following the use
of Cannabis, then, is small, according to our experiences
The problem of habituation of Cannabis is one of grave importance
According to the statements of confirmed heroin or morphine addicts,
Marihuana is not a habit-forming drug. Naturally, where it is used in
conjunction with heroin, morphine or cocaine another problem presents
Occasionally, an astute drug peddler will adulterate Marihuana
cigarettes with morphine or heroin in order to retain his clientele. Care
must be exercised in evaluating the question of Marihuana habituation, so
that we are not dealing with this type of adulterated Cannabis.
The medical diagnosis of habituation depends on the accepted criteria
of acquired tolerance and after-effect upon withdrawal of the drug.
Regarding the subject of tolerance, users of Marihuana examined in the
clinic universally state that an increase in dosage is not neces-
sary to achieve the desired effect as time goes on.
The increase in cigarette consumption, sometimes noted, is simply
related to how often and how long the smoker wants to experience these
As to the question of withdrawal symptoms, cases have never, to the
knowledge of the writer, been observed systematically in an environment
where control of the drug can be exercised. Although of secondary value in
deciding the problem of habituation, it should be noticed that experience
with experimental subjects indicates that after usage of the drug and its
cessation no withdrawal symptoms are reported.
It has not been possible to observe satisfactorily Marihuana users
upon their entrance into custody to establish their behavior after cessation
of usage. For one thing, the law does not allow questioning of a defendant
prior to trial regarding his charge. The history of the offense cannot be
discussed except with counsel, but an offender can be questioned in the
course of medical treatment. The fact that Marihuana cases do not request
medical treatment upon their incarceration argues for the absence of
As is well known, morphine, opium, etc., users become violently ill
upon being taken in custody, away from the
source of their drug, and are vociferous in their demands for treatment.
Nevertheless, the wide discrepancies between the reports of other
jurisdictions and ours in the question of addiction to Cannabis demands a
serious attempt to establish the facts in the case.
Up to March 26, 1938, Cannabis was classed as a habit-forming drug
in Section 1751 of the Penal Code, based on Public Health Law, Article 22,
Uniform Narcotic Drug Act. Due to difficulty in this Court in proving it to
be a habit-forming drug (case of People vs. Williams), the Law Revision
Commission, appointed by the New York State Legislature, was requested
to amend the Penal Code to read "narcotic" rather than "habit-forming"
From a legal point of view, therefore, the problem of whether it is
habit-forming or not is not vital in this and many other States, since its
use as a narcotic by un-authorized persons is an offense.
The writer believes it highly desirable and important that a
Commission be appointed to examine the matter scientifically as was
done in the case of narcosan and other reputed drug cures in 1921 at the
Bellevue Psychopathic Hospital under Commissioner Patterson of the
Department of Correction.
The most that one can say on the basis of ascertainable facts is that
prolonged Marihuana usage constitutes a "sensual" addiction, in that the
user wishes to experience again and again the ecstatic sensations and
feelings which the drug produces.
Unlike morphine addiction, which is biochemically as well as
psychologically determined, prolonged Marihuana usage is essentially in the
services of the hedonistic elements of the personality.
Those are the main conclusions I have developed from that.
Then we took the cases of the Marihuana users and tried to break
those down. It indicates that no murderers were found among this group of
67, not one murder committed in these six or seven years by a Marihuana
There were no sex cases among these 67. We have, however, seven
hundred odd sex cases, from first degree rape down to exhibitionism, and in
the course of the six or seven years not one of them was a Marihuana user,
according to history or physical examination.
At the time of our examination, two of them had sex cases in their
history some years before. One was sodomy, and the other some other type
Of all of these people, only three called themselves
constant users. One for three years and twelve months, and the others
There is one other point which I would like to mention and that is
the case of a man named Joseph Ogden who is reported among others in Mr.
Merrill's paper as having been an addict.
I saw him and spent some time with him. He was a psychopathic
individual. I think he had been in the State hospital at Lexington, and had
had several other arrests. But nothing in his history indicated Marihuana.
In other words, the newspaper accounts must be discounted. The fact of
the matter was that he had not even been a drug addict, but was a
homosexualist. The offender was murdered by him and shoved into a trunk.
I do not know whether he disarticulated his arms or not, but he sent the
trunk to the express station, and they saw blood oozing out of it, and
picked him up.
He told the story rather frankly. It was a horrible crime. I think
Marihuana was innocent of that. I am sure of that, because I have been able
to check that very carefully.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We have observed two cases of sex
crimes where we have been able to prove the connection with Marihuana.
A boy named Perez, in Baltimore raped a ten-year-old girl, and of
course he blamed it on Marihuana.
It so happened that, just a year before that, Perez had been picked up
by the Baltimore police for the sale of 2,500 grains of Cannabis, and got
three months in jail. This sex offense happened the following year.
And there is another case down in Corpus Christi that we have been
able to establish, where an oil worker with a good reputation, obtained and
smoked a cigarette, after which he raped his young daughter.
Those are two cases that I know of in which we have proof.
In the case of Perez, we do not know what else might have been wrong
with him, but he was definitely a user and a seller of Marihuana.
I believe that Mr. Smith has had a great deal of experience up through
New York State.
MR. SMITH: We have had one case in the last two or three months,
which has been of great interest to the Motor Vehicle Department. A
youngster in Mount Kisco, close to New York City, was involved in an
automobile accident in that village by hitting three parked cars during the
evening. When he was apprehended by the police, he literally tore the
officer's blouse from his shoulder,
and he had great difficulty in subduing him.
During the evening, they first thought it was alcohol, but later the
youngster admitted having used a "reefer". From the information we
obtained from him, we apprehended an individual who was growing it, and I
think we picked up about six pounds.
We had another case farther up-state, not as well established, but
apparently pretty well shown, of the inability of the automobile driver to
perceive distance and speed.
So that factor will be of considerable interest to those interested in
Because of that recent case in White Plains, we have had some inquiry
from the State Motor Vehicle Department, and they arc considering, I
believe, the advisability of revoking the licenses of operators who can be
shown to be users of Marihuana, in the same fashion that we are now able
to do after showing evidence of narcotism.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Is that in your State law now?
MR. SMITH: No, sir, it is not in our State law now.
In fact, I do not know if it was decided that we could get away with
it, but through the Motor Vehicle Department we could, as one of the
requirements in the matter of
ability on the questionnaire in New York up-state you have to state whether
or not you use narcotic drugs.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Marihuana users, when arrested, want to
Their motor impulses seem to be working It takes, sometimes, four or
five officers to subdue a man, and they sometimes wreck the living
quarters in doing so.
We do not have anything like that in arresting opium users.
The agents proceed very cautiously when arresting a Marihuana user.
MR. SMITH: It conflicts with alcohol which seem to be the worst cases
yet, and we have had a few cases who used both. Those are perhaps the few
that you have run across. Then, of course, we have those who have just been
on the reefer alone.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER, I have noticed a tendency towards more
gunplay among Marihuana users than among opium users.
MR. SMITH: Than among opium users?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Yes. And there has been some gun play.
The first case that we arrested under the Marihuana Act, (I happened
to have been present in the Denver court
when they brought this fellow up before the judge.) had been a user for a
number of years. He was only 23 years old, but many of his arrests were for
I have noticed that many of these violators have a record of assault.
In Wilmington, Delaware, there was the case of John Rhodes, who
attacked an officer with a knife and was shot and killed resisting arrest.
MR. SMITH: I have four out of twelve in one city where the charges, in
addition to possession, are assault.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: In many cases, particularly around Ohio,
the officers are called in cases of disturbance and they find a Marihuana
user with some stuff on him.
DR. MUNCH: A chap I talked to told me that the use of gin came in very
particularly with the use of a reefer. Is that true with opium? Do Marihuana
users tend to take gin along with smoking of the reefer?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I do not know about that. We have not run
DR. MUNCH: The point I am asking could be that the alcohol there would
tend to increase the solubility of any material that has been swallowed,
and, therefore, they would get greater effect under such conditions than if
they. had not taken the alcohol.
DR. MATCHETT One of the Internal Revenue officials, formerly in
Texas, has told us that down there persons use alcohol and Marihuana
together, and where they were very wild it took four or five officers to
bring a man in. He attributed that to the combined effect rather than the
effect of either one.
MR. SMITH: Still, there is a good deal of fancy on the part of some
officers, whose experience with Marihuana is new.
I have had some experience with one or two sheriffs. I know of one
who recently employed the services of two other sheriffs and four deputy
sheriffs to secure the arrest of a farmer on a farm where the material was
Any youngster, 18 or 19 years old, could have gone there and done it
alone. This was because of the first experience of those officers with it. I
think the men were anxious to capitalize on the possible publicity which
might attend the arrest. So that sometimes you run up against that problem,
where they report that it is necessary for a number of them to subdue an
individual. That may be an effort to make it appear a more serious type of
So that I think we have to put our tongues in our
cheeks as to this, also.
DR. MATCHETT: This story came from Deputy Commissioner Berkshire,
of the Alcohol Tax Unit.
MR. SMITH: We did have in White Plains this additional situation: The
fact appeared there that with children of high school age with good
financial and social background, that two of those individuals, who were in
difficulties there, stated that the smoking of reefers had become a part of
the initiation in certain clubs or school fraternities.
That probably is a little bit unusual, as an incident, but that has been
definitely reported in that vicinity.
DR. WRIGHT: Where was that?
MR. SMITH: That was in White Plains, New York.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Did you not arrest a youngster sixteen
years old for selling?
Mr.. SMITH: Yes, sir. There were two youngsters of excellent
background, and fine social connections. That was probably a larger factor,
as compared to anything else, I think, and that was that they probably had
too much financial and social backing. That may be more true in that
particular county than in other counties in that State.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: You mentioned a case of a
young man using Marihuana and heroin.
MR. WITH: Yes, sir. That was in New York City.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: What had he used first, do you know?
MR. SMITH: I do not know. That, I extracted from the Police
Department records last Tuesday, but I did .not have time to go back and get
the individual cards, and I doubt very much whether the information which
appears in the police cards will show that.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We have not run into many peddlers of
heroin who also handle Marihuana, and we have not run into many users of
Marihuana who are also heroin users. However, as Dr. Bouquet points out, in
Tunis there is a tendency to switch from Marihuana to heroin.
Have you run into any cases like that, Doctor?
DR. BROMBERG: I have seen many drug addicts, who have, once or
twice, they say, tried Marihuana, and have dropped it, because it was not
strong enough. Most true addicts start with heroin or opium.
MR. SMITH: Do you not think that that might be more the association
with individuals than the association with the drug?
DR. BROMBERG: Perhaps. And there is one other fact, and that is that
alcohol and Marihuana have a more potent
effect than alcohol alone.
I had a case where a man started smoking Marihuana. The seller
introduced heroin, he noticed the effect, and he became a user, but, of
course, that was not through any choice.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: As to this question of using alcohol with
Marihuana, I recall a case in Indiana where a man was arrested who had an
infusion of the drug in alcohol. How do they do that? Drink it and smoke a
DR. BROMBERG: No. I think it is a sociological matter. He uses the gin
with it, or otherwise, and it depends on the amount of money and the
locality, and they smoke, and it represents having some fun, the effect
which they look for.
MR. WOLLNER: I wonder how much can be deduced from the present
figures in the matter of crime, in view of the fact that these figures
represent a static picture whereas the entire Marihuana picture, so far as I
know, is on an up-curve.
Have you noticed any tendencies that are not static over a period of
years Dr. Bromberg?
DR. BROMBERG: That is a very good question, because the alcohol thing
depends on the relationship between the two.
But I have been in contact with the court for about five years, and the
number of Marihuana peddlers has not increased, but the number of
Marihuana users we do not know about.
MR. WOLLNER: In what order, would you say?
DR. BROMBERG: It is impossible to say. These are only approximations,
I admit. It all depends on the police activities.
They make a drive, and the figures go up. They forget about it, and
there are no figures.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Are there any questions as to this phase of
I must say that we are still sort of groping as to a lot of those
DR. MUNCH: May I intrude there, just as a matter of difference in mind,
as to any sort of figure representing the total number of users of
Marihuana? I mean, has anybody said anything as to the number of heroine
users being the same as the opium addicts, or less or more, or as to the
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: It is impossible to say. The eradication of
16,000 acres of Marihuana during the past year means nothing as to
numbers of users. We are sure it was never meant for the illicit traffic.
15,000 of the 16,000 acres was wild growth.
DR. BROMBERG: You mean additional acreage than that which had
humans on it?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We have arrested over 1,000. The Bureau of
Prisons is a little concerned about that, because it is causing a definite
increase in their jails.
Puerto Rico is starting to send a lot of these sellers and users to jail,
which they did not do before. There has been a tremendous up-grade in
I do not recall just what the arrests have been by states throughout
the country. These are Federal arrests. State arrests are probably over that
I should say that the 16,000 acres represent only a drop in the bucket,
because I know in one State there are 300,000 acres of the wild growth. We
have a job here on eradication that is just stupendous.
Fortunately, a lot of this acreage that is discovered we hear about
through people who do not tell anybody else about it.
The illicit trafficker is looking for growth. I cannot understand why
the New York trafficker had to go out to Minnesota and strip some of those
MR. SMITH: We had two instances where the material was either
reported to be, or actually was, of western
growth, and they were getting a higher price than was paid apparently for
New York grown. Whether that was bona fide, as to the material from New
York State, or as to the material from Minnesota, I do not know, or whether
it was a question of price boosting as to the New York sales prices, we still
do not know.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I think within a couple of blocks from
where Dr. Munch lives you can walk into as much [as] fifty acres that has
not been destroyed.
DR. MUNCH: They went over about 300 acres of that this year and ran
out of C.C.C. men and then stopped.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: That is a tremendous problem with us. We
have used many of the agencies of the Government, the W.P.A. has helped,
and other agencies. We have discouraged all of these well-meaning people
throughout the country who want to use Boy Scouts in the removal of'
DR. MUNCH: We have had considerable cooperation through Admiral
Foote, and the Automobile Vehicle Department of our State.
DR. WRIGHT: May I ask Dr. Bromberg whether or not his contacts with
these patients show whether or not there is any indication of whether
these cigarettes used were tobacco which had been adulterated with
DR. BROMBERG: My source of information is the Police Department, and
the cigarettes that they have gathered up are filled definitely with
Marihuana, and no other compound.
MR. SMITH: I would like to ask Dr. Bromberg, or anybody else who has
had experience as to the likelihood of development of perversion.
Has anybody had any experience on that?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Dr. Kolb, have you run into anything on
DR. KOLB: No, sir.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: How many of these users have you in
DR. KOLB: There are about one hundred patients who have used it
occasionally, but they are mostly opium and heroin users.
About twenty-five have used nothing but Marihuana alone.
But, just as Dr. Bromberg has stated they use it occasionally, just to
see if it is another drug that they need.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Are these Marihuana users, as such, a
younger group than your opium smokers?
DR. KOLB: Most of the time.
For instance, we had a man from Puerto Rico, about fifty years old,
who had been a judge, and who said it was a political plot that he should
get four years. I do not know how politics came into it.
He said, "Well, they are trying to get rid of me."
He never had any criminal record. That seemed to be a rather strong
sentence for users.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We have noticed the tendency in Puerto
Rico, even with heroin users, to give them five years for use only.
DR. KOLB: Yes, they give them a very severe sentence.
The district attorney wrote me and wanted to take it up with judge
Cooper. I told him that, from the stand-point of rehabilitation, it was a
rather harmful matter to put a man in prison for four years. He is liable to
learn a lot of things in prison and then go out and hate society and use them
It is my idea that users should get one year, and especially the fellow
who does not have a criminal record.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: I do not think the courts here are being too
DR. KOLB' No, they are not.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: They are giving the seller
a great deal more than the user, on the average.
DR. KOLB: Of course.
MR. WOLLNER: What does your investigation represent as to these
twenty-five users of Marihuana alone, as compared to those who use other
drugs other than Marihuana?
DR. KOLB: Of course, we get them after they have stopped using the
drug, and after they have escaped the acute effects of the drugs, There is
only one psychiatric case, which we are not quite sure of, that has been due
to using the Marihuana drug.
MR. WOLLNER: I am going to ask an awfully unfair question.
What percentage of these people would have been in jail if they had
not smoked Marihuana?
DR. KOLB: Well, very few of them.
MR. WOLLNER: They would hot have been in jail?
DR. KOLB: That applies to a great many users of drugs.
A great many of them have done other things, particularly thievery, or
other slippery types of work.
MR. WOLLNER: Are they slightly impaired?
DR. KOLB: They are slightly impaired, partly due to the psychiatric
condition, and to the distress of needing the drug.
There are very few violent types of crime with the opium addict.
Our experience with the Marihuana addicts is not enough to give an
answer. I rather think that with the alcoholic-Marihuana user, that he
would become a type of drug addict that would cause many crimes.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: There was a case in Canada, Mr. Lancaster,
there a Marihuana user had withdrawal symptoms similar to those of an
MR. LANCASTER: Yes, sir. That was the boy who was picked up and had
used Marihuana for a long time. He was out of work, had no continual
He tried to smoke Marihuana, rather liked it, and after several months
of usage, he was jailed, and kept there for about a week.
His case was remanded, and he reported feeling tingling pains and
needles in the hands and feet, and he was greatly upset and pleaded for a
narcotic again. He was suffering with an imparity of that order. I do not
think it was tried to see whether giving him Marihuana should relieve that
case or not.
The general impression is that there is no great suffering, and if they
are relieved from it after the first five days, naturally they want it again,
but they do
not break down if they do not get it.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Bromberg, have you come across any occasion of
drinking Marihuana in the form of tea extract, or something of that sort?
DR. BROMBERG: No.
MR. SMITH: Is there any evidence of it being used in Canada? On any
convictions, have you had any evidence of it ?
MR. LANCASTER: Not there, no. No, sir, so far there have been no
samples submitted to us as yet.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: None that I know of.
But I understand they do mix them, mix it with sweets, in northern
MR. SMITH: There have been one or two reports that they do mix it in
MR. WOLLNER: For your ears, I can tell you, Mr. Smith, that all of the
chemists are sitting on the edge of their seats, worrying about that
MR. SMITH: And there is a question as to the toxic effects which could
MR. WOLLNER: And there may not be any way in which we can examine
it. We are hoping that they do not guess that gasoline will extract it.
DR. MATCHETT: Is it true that that is a common form
in the Far East?
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: No, not in The Far East, but in the Near
DR. MATCHETT: In the Near East, yes.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: We seem to have covered the sociological
phases, so far as we are able to and I am going to turn the choir over, at
this point, to Dr. Wollner, who will proceed with the chemical phases.
This is where most of the spade work has got to be done, anyway.
STATEMENT OF MR.. H. J. WOLLNER,
CONSULTING CHEMIST, TREASURY DEPARTMENT
MR. WOLLNER: The problem is not yet resolved. We are not yet in a
position to know exactly what it is we are looking for, and, within four
walls, I am perfectly frank to admit that al]. the chemists I have met, who
are interested in this field, are at a complete loss when asked to prophesy
the character of the narcotic principle, which we are going to eventually
The situation is as bad in the chemical literature as it is in all of the
I should certainly be within the reasonable bounds of correctness
when I say that ninety percent of the stuff that has been written on the
chemical end of Can-
nabis is absolutely wrong, and, of the other ten percent, at least two-thirds
of it is of no consequence.
That ninety per cent has had, however, to be dealt with, and chemists
all over the world have been interested in Cannabis, and in the past few
years have spent a goodly portion of their time upsetting a lot of this
shibboleth and tradition which has been set up, probably a thousand years,
so as to clear the ground and to be able to proceed in a more orderly
In this work the evidence, by force of circumstance, compels us to
turn to the pharmacologist for guidance.
As Dr. Loewe ably expressed before, since we have no test in the
chemical laboratories for indicating the presence or absence of the
narcotic principle, every bit of the exploratory work of consequence that
has been engaged upon had to be paralleled with work in the field of bio-
The chemical problem is so obvious that it does not require much
Chemists, enforcement administrative chemists, are interested in
two things. First, and immediately, they want to know how to find and
detect the presence of Cannabis sativa, or any of its products that are
narcotic in character.
In other words, most enforcement officers will make
a seizure in some form, solid or liquid, and the question asked is, "Is this
Marihuana?" And no satisfactory technique for answering such a question
That does not say that in most of the cases that come before the
chemists they are not in a definite position to make a definite statement,
that before them the substance is definitely Cannabis sativa, but they can
not do it as definitely as in the case of morphine, opium, and heroin.
The second question they would like answered is,
"What is the narcotic principle, or what are the narcotic principles
That question is not one of enforcement so much as of general
The Commissioner of Narcotics has the problem of deciding, at times,
what regulations shall be invoked in respect to an industry or an
agricultural phase of this problem.
The question arises, how long shall we have to wait before the resin
is decomposed, during the rotting process, for example, and the only way I
would know how to answer that question is to know how long that principle
will exist during that rotting exhibition. Of course, we do not know. We can
not answer that question.
The question arises, can recommendations be made to
exempt the use of certain portions of the plant and certain industrial
directions, as far as governmental regulation is concerned, be given by
virtue of the fact that they are harmless. No statement can he made on that
So, it becomes important, from an administrative point of view, for
administrative chemists, associated with the carrying out of the Marihuana
Act, to have a more competent picture of the drug, as competent as obtains
at the present time in respect to the poppy and its secretion, opium, and its
products, morphine, heroin, codeine, and so on.
This drug, peculiarly enough, has withstood competent attack for an
extensive period of time.
Before the laws were passed controlling the opium picture, chemists
were able to supply a fairly excellent background, against which such
legislation and regulations might have been and were in fact predicated.
But, in the case of Marihuana, there is no such background. It is just a
fog; without question the psychiatrists and bioassayists and agricultural
people know far more about Cannabis than do the chemists.
So far as knowing anything about the plant, today, is concerned, all
they can tell you is that such and such
a product is not a narcotic, such and such a product is non-narcotic, and
they are trying to shrink the residue further and further, but they have not
Of great assistance in clarifying the issue has been the work
undertaken by Dr. Blatt, in reviewing the literature.
Dr. Blatt has prepared a paper consisting of a critical review of the
literature on narcotics, published in the journal of the Washington Academy
of Sciences on the 15th of November. I have a number of copies of the paper
here, and also a chart setting forth the general character of the critique, so
that a person who is a technical man can get a picture of the thing.
I am going to ask that only these people who have a working
knowledge of chemical symbology receive them, and we will try to get
enough copies to mail them out to you later.
I am going to ask Dr. Blatt if he will be so kind as to offer a picture of
his survey as to the chemical constituents of Cannabis Sativa.
STATEMENT OF DR. A. H. BLATT,
DR. BLATT: That will not take very long, because as Mr. Wollner has
said, we are only dealing with two-
thirds of ten percent of the material.
Very briefly, the story is, you can take Cannabis and extract it with
one of several solvents, or combinations of solvents and obtain a
physiologically active extract. The only successful technique that has been
applied to that so far has been a distillation process, and through the
distillation you can get out of it three substances, which I will simply
name and pass on.
One of them is a paraffin hydrocarbon known as nonacosane, that is,
If you do a distillation, you get a definite distillate, and all chemists
who have worked with Cannabis know it as red oil. Unfortunately, it also
was known as Cannabinol, and that has been the cause of much trouble.
This red oil looks a good bit like a lubricating oil of a rather poor
quality, a semi-solid material at room temperature.
That material we will simply call narcotic-active by a physiological
test. The real nasty principle about the situation is that that material
behaves as if it were a chemical substance, and there have been three
different formulas proposed for it.
One of the formulas has Cot so far as two individuals having agreed
upon it. Then the hitch comes. In about
forty years, three English workers succeeded in preparing and isolating one
pure chemical substance from this red oil.
They called that Cannabinol, and the one individual substance derived
from it is also called Cannabinol. For thirty years, nobody following them
was ever able to get this pure Cannabinol.
So, we went ahead and worked with Cannabinol, and assumed that we
were working with the pure substance
Then, roughly about eight years ago, the pure chemical individual, pure
Cannabinol, again was secured for the second time, and apparently it can be
Pure Cannabinol is the fourth chemical substance to be gotten out of
Cannabis, and it is the fourth one to be lacking in narcotic activity. It is
toxic, however, and it is quite possible that some of the .activity of Canna-
binol, some of this complex activity that has been referred to during the
morning, is due to pure Cannabinol as a chemical individual.
The chemical structure of pure Cannabinol has been fairly well
worked out. It is not definitely settled. We do not need to go into that
There is one more thing that should be pointed out, and that is the
fact that for thirty years perfectly com-
petent chemists have taken this red oil, distilled, and worked with it as if
a pure chemical. It not only gives analytical values of resin, but they are
even more complex. You can carry out the chemical reactions with this.
So, let us refer to red oil as the crude Cannabinol; and the chemical
individual as pure Cannabinol. You can run chemical reactions. You can
reduce an acetylate and the products you get out are still analyzable for the
proper derivatives of crude Cannabinol. That is, where everybody has gone
There is one ray of hope, and a pretty definite one, as to the confusion
of a mixture which was taken to be a definite chemical substance, and that
is why progress has been so slow, and that is the fact that we have no way
quantitatively of following the definite reaction of the chemical principle..
The one ray of hope I mention is the fact that you can take red oil,
crude Cannabinol, remove one-fourth, which is inactive as pure Cannabinol,
and the residual three-fourths still retains chemical activity. There is
where the work begins. That is as far as has been gotten chemically.
There is just one more point here. As far as I have been able to find,
and I received corroboration at noon, there not only is no correlation, or no
been made, so far as I can find. out, between the various color reactions for
Cannabis and the narcotic activity, and I was told at noon that, not only had
there been none made, but it was because there definitely is none. So we
can not fail to follow the activity as to this color test.
I may be getting off in deep water, but that is the apparent final
analysis. There is one more thing, and that will finish it up.
I hope not many people will be misled by the principle that the active
principle of Cannabis is Cannabinol. You will find it even there. The active
fraction which you will find, which is more or less of a mixture, is called
You can find a chemical substance which is not active. I think that
MR. WOLLNER: I think that adds oils to the fire.
DR. MUNCH: Is there an active substance there?
MR. WOLLNER: I will take your word for it, and Bromberg's on the basis
of his research in New York
It leads us pretty much to where we started.
I think if all the research work done so far were dumped together by a
group of chemists, or if they started out today on this investigation, that
they would be exactly the same as they are now inside of six months;
that is, all of the information which we have, which is very
little, could be accumulated in six months.
Recognizing that situation, the Treasury two years ago undertook to
lay the basis for a competent attack on the problem.
We did not know what that would consist of, but we knew sound,
fundamental, reproducible information and data had to be obtained.
The first thing we did was to contact the Department of Agriculture,
and with their cooperation, there was planted a plot at Arlington Farms
over here, last summer, and the summer before, where the plant was
observed in its various stages of growth, and which furnished us all of the
criteria the literature offered us in the past.
As I mentioned earlier, about ninety percent of all of it was thrown
out. The report of the first year's investigation was published in the journal
of the American Pharmaceutical Association. I have a number of copies
here, if there are any technical men who have not soon that report.
An equivalent report is being prepared at the present time on the
basis of this summer’s work.
We have obtained several tons of Marihuana. We have extracted or are
extracting huge quantities of that mater-
ial, in an effort to provide a satisfactory amount on the basis of which a
broad attack on the problem may be predicated.
Dr. Matchett is in charge of the Treasury's own immediate attack on
the problem, and I believe he has some information which he can lay before
you this afternoon.
Is that correct, Dr. Matchett?
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN R. MATCHETT,
DR. MATCHETT: The problem is clarified a little bit by recognizing
that there are two distinct phases involved, the first of which must be
pretty well finished before the second can begin.
First of all, there is the separation of the active principle from other
material, and second, the characterization of it.
Before a competent separation can be undertaken, we must be in
possession of suitable assay methods.
We, of course, are interested in those manifestations of Marihuana
that lead to the effects, which have led in turn, to the passage of the Act
We are not sure, I take it, whether the substance produces ataxia in
the dog, or sleep in the mouse, or corneal(?) anesthesia in the rabbit is the
same as the one in which we are interested.
Nevertheless, something must be adopted, and by common consent, a
dog assay, with all its faults, has been the method of choice.
It seems obvious that these various principles, if more than one
exists, will be each characterized on its own merits.
In considering this phase of it, also, it must not be forgotten that any
one of the effects may be combinations, and any of the effects that we are
able to measure may possibly be combined effects, of which the bad effect
of the drug itself may be only one.
With that so disposed of, it is possible to recognize that certain
characteristics of the so-called resin are fairly well defined already,
although I think we must recognize that the resin itself is variable, and to
what extent, we are not yet able to say very definitely.
As Dr. Blatt said, there have been certain individuals isolated in pure
form, of which the most important are Cannabinol and the hydrocarbon
There is also present definitely in the resin a substance that responds
to the alkaline Beam test.
There are still other substances among all those responsible for the
psychological and physiological activity; of such there may be one or more.
And finally, there are those volatile oils, in which there is no
tremendous interest other than to dispose of them before being able to
isolate the drug.
Now, little or nothing is known of the nature of the active substance.
All attacks on the problem have, thus far, broadly speaking, produced
negative results. The thing, in any event, is not an alkaloid, because we are
not able to extract it into acid solutions from solvents, nor does it contain
any nitrogen. It is not an acid, since it does not extract into alkaline
solution. And it has not been shown to contain any carbonyl groups because
it does not form any derivatives with the common reagents for such.
There is evidence on the other hand that it forms esters and that it is
an aromatic substance, the latter from the refractive index of the most
active fraction. From that it would appear to be a phenolic compound. The
substance is thermostable under rather rigorous conditions, but it is
quickly destroyed in the presence of oxygen.
It is also quite likely that it is unsaturated since reduction by
hydrogen is possible.
But all those, unfortunately, are properties of the active mixtures
that Dr. Blatt referred to, rather than of any chemical individual. They are
all of some assis-
tance though, in considering methods by which the problem may be
Now, only distillation in a rather high vacuum has been of any
assistance thus far in fractionating the mixture, known as Cannabis resin.
The volatile oils are so separated with relative ease. The substance
responsible for the acid Beam test, whatever it may be, is removed, the
acid test no longer appearing in the distillate.
The hydrocarbon which does appear in the distillate can be removed by
crystallization from alcohol or some other solvent, and pure Cannabinol can
be removed as a crystalline acetate or paranitry benzoate.
As Dr. Blatt pointed out, this point is where the trail ends at present,
with the exception of a brief note indicating that it is definitely possible
to find physiological effects in the material remaining after Cannabinol has
It is at that point that we purpose ultimately to actually begin.
The former distillation has been carried out at pressures anywhere
from atmospheric down to a reported pressure of about five-one
thousandths of a millimeter.
From the character of the work in which this was reported it would
appear that the reported pressures must
be taken with a grain of salt. No essential difference however has appeared
in the products of fractionation. The material, as you may be aware, is an
exceedingly difficult material to work with, a heavy tar-like oil, and it
does not lend itself readily to distillation by any means.
We have considered that at this point it might be preferable to resort
to molecular distillation in an effort to obtain a more competent
separation. If this hope be realized, a number of avenues of attack are
opened or re-opened. That is, among other things the action of solvents may
be reinvestigated, and of particular interest will be the action of solvents
at low temperatures.
Then there are possibilities of preferential adsorption, and also it
may be possible to prepare crystalline derivatives. They fail to appear from
treatment of the present mixtures.
Now, the molecular distillation outfit that we have chosen for this
work is of the static type, rather than the cyclic still with which you are
probably more familiar, because the higher boiling fractions of this
material are so viscous that they probably would not cycle with in that
still without special precautions to maintain a high temperature.
The original material has been distilled before passing it into the
molecular still in a flash apparatus that operates under a good vacuum. This
is necessary since the crude oil is particularly prone to spit in the
molecular still and ruin the distillation.
More specifically, the process that we are following is extraction
from the plant material with cold alcohol, alcohol being chosen as a solvent
rather than petroleum ether, on account of fire hazard. This process is
followed by a liquid extraction from the alcohol by pentane, which does
away with a lot of water soluble material, and tarry material of a
We have not yet thoroughly satisfied ourselves that all of the active
material is extracted by pentane, but we believe we have every reason to
think it is.
Then the pentane, which incidentally, extracts quite a little alcohol,
is removed, and the alcohol is also removed.
The material is then passed through the flash process that I referred
to a moment ago, and the distillate from here is placed in the molecular
still. That is the point which the investigation has reached at this parti-
Now, it is expected to divide the oil into about ten
fractions in the stills, then to remove Cannabinol as the acetate and the
hydrocarbon by precipitation from a suitable solvent, and then to
refractions, to the remaining material.
The work from that point, of course, all depend upon the results of the
fractionations, and can not be very definitely foreseen, other than that
those processes, to which I referred a moment ago, will be applied.
Now, it would have been possible to have attacked certain phases of
the problem along a number of other lines, a few of which I will suggest in
conclusion. The first would be a characterization of those volatile oils,
which have been referred to, and which would be of interest from a purely
chemical point of view.
They are separated with relative ease, by steam distillation, for
example. No one, of course, has been very much interested in them, and that
line of attack has not been followed.
Again, someone might become interested in the substance which
responds to the acid Beam test. It can be removed from a solution in
petroleum either by means of alkali, and presumably would be isolated with
relatively little difficulty, but experience shows that resins so prepared
are not physiologically active, hence little in-
terest is attached to that substance.
A third possible line of attack would have been in connection with the
Beam test itself. The development of the color is due to a product resulting
from oxidation of some substance which is present In the resin. This
substance is soluble in aqueous alkali, and is precipitated by acid. It can be
readily extracted from acid solution. It, of course, is not actually the
substance which responds to the alkaline Beam test, but it would be of
great interest from the purely scientific point of view.
MR. WOLLNER: I would like to make a couple of announcements.
Those of you who are not particularly interested in the chemical
attack here may find this part of the program a little arduous, and I want
you to understand that you are at liberty to leave and interrupt if you want
to, as I think this part of the program might be a little obtuse at certain
Dr. Blatt has just indicated that there are some errors in the material
which he distributed on the critical review.
Do you want to indicate those?
DR. BLATT: There is one error in the literature, for example on page
469 in the middle of the page are three
formulas, just one the paragraph beginning in the middle of those formulas.
There is a carbon atom, a "C", a single line to an oxygen "0", and that should
be a double line to make it conform to the other two.
Then, on that flow sheet, on the left-hand half of the page, the second
of those errors reads "dihydrogenation with sulphur," and that should be
“dehydrogenation", and not "dihydrogenation".
MR. WOLLNER: As you gathered, Dr. Matchett's attack there is directed
at the heart of the problem; that is to say, the isolation and
characterization of the extreme number of active principles.
I indicated at the beginning that there is another phase of the
problem, and that was identification. We at this time do not know whether
the chemical attack is destined to determine the active principle in one
year or sixty years.
The Treasury has issued a little manual of identification, consisting
largely of photographs, and it is being distributed. In this country we are
mostly dealing with the drug in its plant form, and in this manual they are
showing the separate parts of plants, and so on, and it is helpful in that
I am going to ask Mr. Levine to give us a picture
of the Beam test.
STATEMENT OF MR. LEVINE,
CHEMIST, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS.
MR. LEVINE: The Beam test seems to be the most widely used chemical
test for the identification of Marihuana, and was first introduced by Dr. W.
Beam, of the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratory, of Khartoum.
The alkaline test in 1911 and the acid Beam test in 1915 have come
to be accepted as specific for Marihuana, although a lot of samples have
failed to respond.
Workers in Europe and north Africa have used it and tried it on a large
number of plant materials.
In general it is agreed that no other material responds
characteristically to the test.
It has been attacked by some chemists, notably Trolle and Rende, who
said they obtained the Beam test on a mixture of drugs consisting of ginger,
coriander, licorice, nutmeg, and several other things.
Other workers, notably Fahamy and Keiy in Egypt, and Papavassiliou
and Liberato, in Greece, applied the test to these materials, both
individually and in the mixture, and failed to get a positive response to any
As I stated before, a large number of authentic samples of Marihuana
failed to respond to the Beam test, or
gave a very slightly dirty purple color, which might be mistaken for just a
dirty color. So a number of modifications of the Beam test have been
introduced to try to improve the results obtained in the test.
One of the steps taken to improve the test was the use of adsorbent
charcoal to remove chlorophyll from the solution of the resin.
This was reported independently by Fahamy and Keiy, Bouquet, and by
the Bureau of Narcotics Laboratory.
One of the tests developed in the Bureau of Narcotics Laboratory is
the ethyl acetate test. Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent, because it is a
good solvent for the resin, it has a low boiling point, hence is easily
evaporated and it can be treated with activated charcoal, which removes
most of the chlorophyll, and other substances, which would interfere with
color development, but takes out very little of the material responsible for
the Beam test.
In carrying out the test, a sample of Marihuana is extracted with a
portion of ethyl acetate. The solvent is treated for a few seconds with
darco or norite and filtered.
The filtrate is divided between two porcelain dishes and evaporated
on a steam bath before a fan. To one of
the dishes is added several drops of the alkaline Beam reagent, and to the
other, several drops of the acid Beam reagent.
In a large number of tests, no samples which were negative to this
modification were found to be positive by the original Beam test, or any of
a number of other modifications.
It seems, therefore, that this is the most satisfactory modification
of the Beam test.
Dr. Bouquet, in Tunis, has developed two amyl alcohol tests, one of
which uses charcoal, and the other does not.
His test consists of grinding a sample of Marihuana with potassium
Hydroxide, and then adding a portion of alcohol, mixing thoroughly, and
filtering, whereupon a purple color appears in the filtrate.
Then, to a portion of this filtrate he adds about a ten-fold volume of
water, and extracts with one cc. of amyl alcohol. The purple color is
extracted into the amyl alcohol.
In his test involving the use of charcoal, he adds a small amount of
animal charcoal to the mixture of the alcohol, KOH, and Marihuana,
presumably to remove chlorophyll, and then lets it stand for two hours
The resultant filtrate is free of chlorophyll, and the tests obtained
We have found that his test, involving the use of charcoal, works
better with activated charcoal, such as norit or Darco than with the animal
Also, we find that we get results by filtering immediately after the
addition of charcoal, instead of letting the mixture stand for two hours. We
have not found any case of failure to respond upon immediate filtration,
which would respond after standing.
Another modification which we have developed in our laboratory, and
which may be considered a modification of the Bouquet test, is probably
most convenient of the modifications to run, because it involves the least
manipulation. It consists merely of shaking for a few seconds the sample of
Marihuana with a two percent alcoholic solution of potassium hydroxide.
Add to this is an amount of activated charcoal equal in weight to the
Marihuana. The mixture is shaken for a few seconds, and filtered
immediately. The filtrate is purple and on dilution with water, the purple
colored substance may be extracted by amyl alcohol.
Other modifications of the technique have been proposed by Dr.
Myttanaere, Viehoever, Placencias and others.
As I said before, a large number of plants fail to respond to any of
these modifications of the Beam tests. We have followed the appearance of
the Beam test in plants with regard to age, parts of plant, and variety.
In regard to age, some plants three inches tall have been found to
respond to the Beam test. Some plants, at all states of growth, up to their
Many male plants, which are all withered, and consist of nothing but a
skeleton with a few dried flowers sticking to the top still respond to the
alkaline Beam test.
As far as an individual plant goes, the order of response is best in the
top, both with the male and female plants, followed by the upper leaves,
lower leaves, upper twigs, upper stalk, lower twigs, and lower stalk. In
other words, as you go up towards the top of the plant you get the best
Where the top responds very strongly, you generally get a weak
response in the skin of the lower stalk. If the tops respond very weakly, the
upper leaves will probably be negative, or just give a trace of response. We
have never been able to get any response at all from the pith or roots of the
This last summer we tested six varieties of hemp, as Dr. Robinson
indicated this morning. Three of them were Roumanian varieties; one of
them was Italian, one, Manchurian; and one of Chinese origin.
Of the three Roumanian varieties, about a percent could be positively
identified by the alkaline Beam test, as Dr. Natchett pointed out this
The other three gave a trace of response to the test.
The Italian variety was very close to this, having about 98 percent
attainable by the Beam test.
Of the Manchurian and Chinese, only about 20 to 50 percent could be
positively identified, and of these, practically none of the tests were as
strong as the tests obtained from the Roumanian and Italian varieties. The
largest number of the plants were absolutely negative, or showed merely
faint trances of response, which we would not consider to be suitable for
identification if the plants were unknown.
We studied the effect of heating the plants towards response to the
alkaline Beam test. We found that heating parts of the plant at 100 degrees
with air blowing over them for up to five hours did not have any harmful
effects on the material response for the alkaline Beam test.
In fact, some of the plants showed better response
after heating than before. Although some workers in Europe say in no case
should the extract be heated. over 50 degrees Centigrade.
However, heating the plant at 150 degrees under the same conditions
did prove to have a deleterious effect.
Another treatment we tried was permitting the plant to mold. We
subjected the tops of some of the plants, both negative and positive, to
molding, in a very moist atmosphere, for a period of about five weeks. After
this period, the whole plant was covered with slimy mold. Response to the
alkaline Beam test was as good as it was originally.
Some negative plants which were molded remained negative after the
Oxidization is an essential part of the Beam test. Beam, in his
original article, pointed out that if the tests be applied in the absence of
air, a dirty brown color will result instead of the purple color. We have
taken up some of the resin in alcohol, and added an equal volume of 2 per
cent alcoholic KOH solution. The resultant solution was colorless, but on
passing oxygen through it, the characteristic purple color developed.
Shaking the solution with charcoal had the same effect. Presumably
this is because oxidization is effected
by the oxygen adsorbed on the charcoal.
Oxidation must be done in alkaline solution. Charcoal plays a dual role
in the test. In the case of the ethyl acetate test the effect is merely to
remove extraneous matter, since no oxidation is effected in this solution.
In certain solvents, such as petroleum ether, the activated charcoal
will entirely remove from solution the material responsible for the Beam
test, while animal charcoal does this to a much smaller extent. In fact,
animal charcoal may be used in petroleum ether, although its effect as a
cleaning agent is not very large.
The second role of charcoal is that of an oxidizing agent.
The oxygen adsorbed on activated charcoal is effective in producing
the necessary oxidation of the material responsible for the alkaline Beam
test. Animal charcoal is effective to a very much smaller extent, and is
therefore unsatisfactory for use in this process.
MR. WOLLNER: I think we will have a recess now for about five
minutes before we resume.
(A short recess was taken, after which the proceedings were
resumed as follows:)
MR. WOLLNER: Now, after that rather exhaustive
treatise on the Beam test, I would like to have Mr. Benjamin tell us
something about this so-called Duquenois test.
The reason time is being given on these tests is this: Every so often a
new test is obtained, and this is the experience in every phase of chemical
activity, and until several months or years have been put in on it, everyone
gets highly enthusiastic about it.
Efforts are made to introduce it as witness material in court, and the
first thing you know you run into a situation where you are yourself out on
a peninsula and you can not possibly get back.
We have asked the Treasury Department not to employ any tests
unless they are absolutely tests on a theory of so-called triangulation, so
that when our men go to court to testify on a seizure that their evidence is
Mr. Benjamin, will you tell us briefly about the Duquenois test and
what our experience has been with that.
MR. BENJAMIN: I think this was proposed in the early part of 1938.
Reagent number 1 is an alcoholic solution with vanillin and acetaldehyde.
The second reagent is concentrated hydrochloric acid;
The technique consists of extracting hemp with petroleum ether and
driving off the solvent by heat.
One then takes one cc. of the alcoholic reagent, adds it to the residue,
and into the solution thus prepared, puts two c.c.’s of concentrated
There is a change in color from green to slate blue to violet blue.
Now, since we have had this, we have tested approximately 165
substances, including some of the alkaloids, the essential oils, C. D.
alcohols, everything I could get my hands on that might show up with this
So far, not one sample of hemp has failed to respond to this test.
When I say "hemp" I am referring to solid extracts, fluid extracts, and ether
available preparations. They all show positive.
Certain essential oils when treated by the test procedure ran through
the same changes as the hemp, namely, oil of bay, geranyl acetate, rhodinyl
acetate, and one or two others.
There was also a compound known as Denol, that gave practically the
same reaction as hemp. That is used in C. D. alcohols. I do not know exactly
what it is composed of, but I think a mixture of higher alcohols and ketones.
MR. SCHICKTANZ: Yes, higher alcohols.
MR. BENJAMIN: I must emphasize the fact that not one sample of
Cannabis or fluid extract of Cannabis or solid extract has failed so far.
MR. WOLLNER: Would you recommend the test as an eliminative test
for hemp; that is to say, hemp would have to give a positive test of the
Duquenois agent in order to be considered hemp, and then proceed?
MR. BENJAMIN: Yes.
MR. WOLLNER: To apply another test to see whether it is another
MR. BENJAMIN: I think the fact that ia the Duquenois test for Cannabis
fails to respond, then one should hesitate to call the sample Cannabis.
MR. WOLLNER: That is predicated---
MR. BENJAMIN: (Interposing) On the 165.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Munch, you have had some experience with some
other tests, which we do not think very much of.
DR. MUNCH: That is fine.
MR. WOLLNER: What is your experience with that test?
DR. MUNCH: I started about three or four years ago with the method
developed by an official in the British pharmacopoeia for ergot, using
paradimethyl amino benzal-
The results I obtained I then dropped, because I got busy on something
else, but I have had occasion this last spring to review and finish up that
work, which was reported at Madison and the American Pharmaceutical
Association. The manuscript is in the hands of the editor of the American
Pharmaceutical Association, and ought to be out next month.
In it I tried various modifications and found the 2-1/2 per cent
solution of paradimethyl amino benzaldehyde in 65 per cent sulphuric acid,
or in 65 per cent phosphoric acid, which is my principal reagent.
The material to be tested is shaken with 10 parts, or approximately
10 parts, of low boiling petroleum ether, (below 40 degrees Centigrade)
which has been redistilled and a half part of Merck’s activated charcoal or
norit, or any other U. S. P., activated carbon for five or ten minutes, then
filtered. The filtrate is evaporated, and the reagent applied to the residue.
The direct application of the reagent causes charring, or does not cause
anything, according to how much material has been removed.
But on the addition of a drop of water there is an immediate
development of a blue color, shifting toward the violet end of the spectrum,
and disappearing within
two seconds or two hours, depending on how much material is present.
Ergot gives a blue color similar to that of Cannabis, but the color
shift is toward the red. The red is much slower than with that of Cannabis,
and it persists for several days.
I went to two neighborhood drug stores, and got ten or eleven
materials out of their prescription department, and sent them through the
same tests. Many of them gave no color. Others gave colors of some sort.
But, to make a long story short, none of them gave the same type of
color as the blue shift that I obtained with Cannabis.
I have tried about 50 samples of Cannabis, so far, and every one of
those gave the same reaction.
While my eye is not too good, still there is a symmetric trend
between the potency on dogs and the degree of color developed here. By
degree I mean intensity and duration, considering them together. But a
product stronger on the dog has given me a stronger color.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Matchett, what is your experience with that
DR. MATCHETT: We found too many other substances, which we regard
as giving colors too similar to that
given to Cannabis, to have any value in the hands [of] anyone not very
definitely expert in the use of it. Even in such hands it is our judgment that
colors given tobacco and certain other substances were still too near the
color given by Cannabis for use in the case of extracts.
Of course, where we have a plant to look at, we realize a different
DR. MUNCH: Even with tobacco?
DR. MATCHETT: Tobacco was very close.
DR. MUNCH: Is that right?
DR. MATCHETT: This was not used with charcoal.
DR. MUNCH: If I do not use charcoal, I get inconclusive results along
DR. MATCHETT: I am coming 'to that.
It was our experience that the U.S.P. activated charcoal would remove
either the hemp or tobacco test substance from petroleum ether. The result
being that the test in hemp was about the same as it was in tobacco.
I will ask Mr. Benjamin if that is a correct statement.
MR. BENJAMIN: That is correct.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Lancaster, have you had any experience with these
tests in Canada?
MR. LANCASTER: Yes, Dr. [sic] Wollner.
Some years ago our interest was aroused as to whether or not
Canadian Cannabis would be at all active. As some of you know, the plant
thrives in all climates. We have it in all altitudes. There are no cultivated
But some years ago we wanted to satisfy ourselves about the activity
of the Canadian produced Cannabis. Some was grown in western Canada for
windbreak purposes, that is the only economic function it had with us.
After applying the alkaline Beam test, as put out from Geneva we
obtained positive reactions, and the pharmacologists tried it on dogs and
we found it responded, so we concluded that some of the Canadian Cannabis
From the standpoint of the administration of the Narcotic Act, our
interest is entirely limited to the illicit traffic, and it is confined to the
reefer or cigarette, where we have the advantage of a physical. diagnosis,
rather than chemical.
The chemical work on this we intend to follow up as of extreme
importance, because it is difficult to predict to what extent the extracts
may come into use.
There is a possibility of developing a non-reactive type of plant, but
it is not of an immediate concern, although there again conditions of world
trade and combined
complications might become such that Canada might be asked to take up
that problem again. Who knows?
So we can not afford to lose interest in these chemical phases of the
Our experience with the Beam test has been that it is somewhat
erratic, and does not always give the equivalent results in the hands of
different operators, for some reason.
Of course, there again, we have run some of our tests on plants where
we know we have had them in storage for some years.
It is rather puzzling there is no reaction there.
MR. WOLLNER: No reaction?
MR. LANCASTER: On prolonged storage.
MR. WOLLNER: Under what conditions was that hemp stored?
MR. LANCASTER: In a large glass stopped bottle. However, we have to
check that again, because of the results of this vegetation which remained
an open field, which is another puzzle.
MR. WOLLNER: That is where we all find ourselves at the moment.
What I would like to hear from the group is something in the way of
suggestions as to how this problem can be
most competently attacked. What is to be done? The problem is not a
simple one, although there is no indication as to its complexity. I say it is
not a simple problem, because if material has not been advanced after
several thousand years of experience there must be some barrier there.
Is there any technique which should be considered which has not been
Dr. Hibben, have you any suggestions along this line?
DR. HIBBEN: That is rather a difficult question. I think we are
I think the first thing that has to be done is developing an adequate
method for determining the content of the active principle, and until such a
method is developed, there is not going to be very much room for
MR. WOLLNER: The only difficulty has been that this problem has been
very much the problem of peeling an onion--the more you peel, apparently
the more peels you can take off, until you peel away the onion and then
there is nothing left.
DR. HIBBEN: That is quite true. But I do not think there has been any
comprehensive, systematic work done on the problem, by an adequate
chemical staff, under ade-
MR. WOLLNER: The first thing seems to be to find the active principle.
That is a different proposition.
DR. MUNCH: Has any work been done on the chlorophyl of the leaf?
DR. MATCHETT: All the work we know of is what you have done.
DR. MUNCH: The only thought I have is, if the chlorophyll of Marihuana
happens to be different from all other chlorophylls in the universe, it can
be identified microscopically.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Hibben, you have run some microscopic tests on
Cannabis direct for the chlorophyll.
DR. HIBBEN: I did not look for chlorophyll. I say that is very desirable,
but I say they would be very doubtful on the chlorophyll alone.
DR. MATCHETT: Of course, there are some points about that.
MR. VALAER: The chemistry of opium was very uncertain for a long,
long time. We had a crude mass to work with, and gradually they pulled out
one hundred pieces or more. I believe, after all, we have not been interested
in this more than about two years. I believe the chemical crude resin
Marihuana will work out in the same way. We have two stills upstairs. We
have a good many people
working on it in extracts and various ways, even now in this brief time.
MR. WOLLNER: Dr. Couch, do you have anything to offer?
DR. COUCH: I would like to say that this problem is in no more
desperate condition than a great many other problems in which a solution
has not been reached. They all present this picture before the real work is
done in solving it which makes it all seem extremely baffling.
It is very curious that by plugging along and keeping infernally at it,
that one of these days the problem is solved almost before it is realized,
and it seems to me that the lines that have been projected here and the
lines that have been followed are exactly those that should be followed, and
will, in the course of time, lead to the solution of the problem; I mean the
information that you desire to have.
There is one thing that occurs to me that has not been mentioned, and
that is if any work has been done upon the smoke from Marihuana, as the
smoke is physiologically active.
It may be different from the resin taken by mouth or injected into the
veins. That is another matter. But it seems to me that there is something
there that might
be developed as a test for identity.
MR. SMITH: I think Dr. Hershfield did something on that chlorophyll
work which he did two years ago.
DR. COUCH: Of course, along that line is also the possibility of
reaction from the protein. It simply rests on the possibility and probability
that that is, of course, the leafy tissue, and the extract probably would not
The leafy portion would contain some propein. That with a water
extract or salt extract of the plant itself, in a very short time would get
positive results, one away or the other.
The difficulty there is there may be present some protein that is also
present in another plant. That difficulty arises, but the precipitation
reactions are amazingly specific and amazingly direct.
When one goes from one animal tissue to another he has to wash his
hands extremely carefully as he changes over from one to another, so as not
to spoil the test in the next tissue. There is that sort of delicacy.
I simply offer that as a test. I presume there has already been a lot of
thought discounted on that subject.
MR. WOLLNER: I do not know of that test. Dr. Loewe?
DR. LOEWE: If I may bring up the encroachment which
is in doubt, it has been known thousands and thousands of years that sex
cells contain an active principle. However, it has taken up to this century to
get hold of those active principles, and the reason was not the difficulty
with respect to chemistry, but the difficulty was that there was no test
for the active principle only as an active principle, and no chemical tests
This is the same situation in Cannabis with one exception, and we
know the physiological test for the active principle is given. It is much
more easily accessible. This biological test is much more easily accessible,
so there is a test, and the thing which has not yet been done, at least not
yet systematically enough, is to dovetail the identification of the active
principle by its active nature by a biological test.
I think this specific picture of the dovetail work gives immediately
the solution, unless somebody is inclined to drop the whole thing.
But I again remember that same situation in the female hormone and
the male hormone, which involves just this one property to give a beautiful
color reaction. However, it did not take more than five years after finding
the right test and using the right test in the right way from the first
isolation of the principle. I think
this is the way prescribed.
MR. WOLLNER: Do you know of any experiments, Dr. Loewe, that have
been performed on the smoke itself?
DR. LOEWE: No.
DR. BLATT: I know of where they took the Marihuana smoke and passed
it through solvents.
DR. LOEWE: Through chloroform?
DR. BLATT: No, through water.
DR. LOEWE Water, rather than chloroform?
DR. BLATT: Yes.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: There is a great deal of work being done at
the present time with respect to the use of opium smoke. A paper has just
been prepared by someone in a laboratory in London, which has just been
issued. Are you familiar with Dr. Nicholls?
MR. LANCASTER: Yes, Dr. Nicholls was mentioned in connection with
the research today.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Is that the same Nicholls who is on the
Opium Assay Committee?
DR. BLATT: I was going to say very much the same thing as Dr. Loewe
said; that is, that I can not see any reason for being discouraged as far as
chemistry is concerned.
Now, you have got a perfectly good point of attack.
The amazing thing about this whole problem is that nothing has been
done with the exception of this one matter in 1932, when it was
established that crude Cannabinol behaves like a pure substance, and the
customary high vacuum distillation technique fails to separate it into its
The work has been apparently dropped from that time on.
The surprising thing is that someone has not jumped into that.
MR. WOLLNER: Of course, there has been no commercial demand in that
respect, .and that is one of the reasons for that.
DR. BLATT: It is difficult to get hold of the material.
DR. HIBBEN: If you want to get something on spectroscopic methods,
when these chemists leave the point where there are spectroscopic
methods for determination and for determining the structure, they would
aid greatly in facilitating this problem.
MR. WOLLNER: It would aid greatly.
DR. MATCHETT: We would like to ask Dr. Hlbben if there are not some
such methods which may be correlated to the bioassay?
The essential or volatile oils come out of this material very readily.
It can be narrowed down to relatively few compounds.
If we knew, separately, the spectra of these various materials, would
it not help to follow the separations at that stage of operations?
DR. HIBBEN: Yes, I think it would. You can start in by that procedure on
DR. MATCHETT: And I believe also carotenoids.
DR. HIBBEN: Yes.
DR. MATCHETT: As the fractionation goes further and further, the
number of bioassays increases almost without limit, and that is one reason
we were particularly interested in it.
Also, the quantitative phase has to be considered.
DR. LOEWE: But, as an economic matter, and the rational method is to
proceed in an economical way, which can be done by carefully choosing
fractions to test.
DR. MATCHETT: I do not believe we could quarrel about that.
DR. MUNCH: Doctor, there is the other thought, and that is that we have
not been picking on any of the prisoners lately.
COMMISSIONER ANSLINGER: Doctor, we are not dealing
with the same problem as opium, where we can take the addict to a hospital
at Lexington and go through all of the experiments.
There is a little danger that this drug might affect a man
permanently. He might do something which we may be sorry for later.
I think that must be given serious thought.
DR. WRIGHT: Dr. Wollner, I will not be very long now, but I just want
to clarify a point, and it would seem from reports and other information
that the tests are rather indicative of hemp rather than of the active prin-
I am saying that for this reason: We would like to be in a position to
approach the development of strains that were free from the active
Now, until we have a test it seems to be that we can not do anything.
MR. WOLLNER: Yes, and no.
DR. WRIGHT: I will say it is possible that one of these tests may be
useful from a breeding standpoint, but it seems to me it is working entirely
on a guess,
It would seem to me that any approach would be resolving the strains
in pure breeding alone. In other words, approach the inbreeding situation in
a hybrid manner;
that is the approach we want, but it would seem to me that all we could do
at this state would be to develop those lines at random.
In other words, set up as many facilities as we could for pure
breeding lines. Any individual plant that would be tested would be very
indefinite as to what its progeny would be, and it would seem to me that
that is more or less a blind approach; shall I say a lick in the dark; and we
would have to develop as many as we could. We can do that, develop as many
lines as possible, like in Prussic acid in Sudan grass.
My point is, and I am mentioning it to you chemists, that we can get
nowhere without a test of consequence. We might be lucky. About ten
thousand chances to one, we might be lucky until we have a test.
MR. WOLLNER: In the last analysis, you are unquestionably correct
about that. Really, before significant progress can be made by the
agricultural people, we will have to provide you with a formula.
Before we adjourn, I would like to invite any of the visiting friends
present to come upstairs for a few minutes and see our laboratory set-up
for tackling this job, the molecular stills, and extraction equipment, and I
am quite sure you will enjoy it.
And I want to really express my appreciation and thanks for your kind
cooperation in helping to clarify these issues.
(Whereupon, at 5:10 o'clock p.m., the Conference was adjourned sine