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The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Discussion of the Pharmacology of Marijuana


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?


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
being insane.
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 IÔm 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


the program.

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
forming drug.
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
administered orally?

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
same circumstances?

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
records clean.
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 yearsÓ 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
withdrawal symptoms.
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 offense.
Of all of these people, only three called themselves


constant users. One for three years and twelve months, and the others
nine months.
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
traffic control.
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
into that.

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
the problem?
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
hemp fields.

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
against society.
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
opium user.

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?


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.

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
be present.

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.


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
other phrases.
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
obtains today.
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
touched it.
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.


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