ent, will influence what he feels, sees, and does.
Marijuana smokers often report paranoia as one of the effects of the drug on their psychic
state while high. Many, however, qualify this with the reservation that it is only because
of the legal climate, because of the drug's illegality, their fears of being arrested, the fact
that a friend may have been arrested, that this mood is engendered. In other words, part of
the setting of all users is the fact that the outside world punishes the act, and this
realization is often woven into the experience itself, in the form of fear. Yet to say that this
effect is a direct product of the drug, and not the legal setting in which the user consumes
the drug, is to distort the reality of the situation. As Kenneth Keniston said in a drug
symposium, given February 28, 1969 at the "New Worlds" Drug Symposium, at the State
University of New York at Buffalo, "The only thing that we know for sure about
(26 of 34)4/15/2004 1:07:27 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 7
marijuana is that you can get arrested." The smoker knows this, and sometimes responds,
while high, accordingly. Those who charge the drug with generating panic states are often
the very same ones who themselves produce them. Allen Ginsberg attributes his
sometimes-feeling of paranoia to the prevailing legal climate:
I myself experience... paranoia when I smoke marijuana and for that reason
smoke it in America more rarely than I did in countries where it is legal. I
noticed a profound difference of effect. The anxiety was directly traceable
to fear of being apprehended and treated as a deviant criminal and put
through the hassle of social disapproval, ignominious Kafkian tremblings in
vast court buildings coming to be judged, the helplessness of being
overwhelmed by force or threat of deadly force and put in brick and iron
From my own experience and the experience of others I have concluded
that most of the horrific effects and disorders described as characteristic of
marijuana "intoxication" by the US Federal Treasury Department's Bureau
of Narcotics are, quite the reverse, precisely traceable back to the effects on
consciousness not of the narcotic but of the law and threatening activities of
the US Federal Treasury Department... Bureau of Narcotics itself.25
Another difficulty with the contention that marijuana is psychotomimetic is that it is
never clearly defined what constitutes a psychotic episode. Thus, at one end of the
spectrum of adverse reactions, we might find various vague and superficial sequelae, such
as nervousness after drinking coffee, which are easily dispelled. It is possible to place any
effect on the Procrustian bed of value judgments; hysterical laughter, for instance: "I
laughed for hours at 'Please pass the potato chips.'" Certainly laughing for hours at such a
straightforward request is not normal. Yet the respondent reported the event in positive
terms; a clinician might see it
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The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 5
burdened (or blessed, depending on one's point of view) with the responsibility of
protecting the well-being of society at large, and therefore are under a pressure to act in a
manner that society defines as responsible and mature. The physician knows that when he
speaks, many listen. His favored position disinclines him to a radical direction.1 His
prestige and power are a mixed blessing, because whatever he says will be taken
seriously. He is highly visible, and he is expected to make sober and responsible
pronouncements. The physician and the intellectual, although equally well educated,
informed, and occupying roughly the same social class position, differ markedly in their
accountability to a constituency, and thus usually differ radically on crucial issues. The
question, therefore, becomes not so much: "What is the opinion of the medical profession,
trained in the scientific technique and objective about anything affecting the human body,
on the dangers of this drug, marijuana?" It is, rather: "What sorts of responses toward
marijuana use might be expected from a group of individuals who are highly respected
and affluent members of their community, geared to social functions of a distinctly
protective nature, and responsible to a public?" I would predict that the responses of
doctors regarding marijuana use would not be much different from individuals in positions
much like theirs: bankers, politicians, attorneys, executives, judges. Their attitudes, I
maintain, stem less from their medical knowledge than from their social position in
The position of medical men is a conservative posture, if we understand that as having
the implication of "conserving" the status quo—protecting society from any possible
danger. The basic thrust of such a position is that any substance has potential dangers that
have to be thoroughly examined before it can be released to the unsuspecting public. It is
far better, this line of reasoning goes, to restrict access to an innocuous drug than to permit
access to one which is truly dangerous. The parallel between marijuana and
thalidomide—inadequately tested and prematurely marketed—is obvious and sobering.
The physician's stance, then, is paternalistic; certain decisions have to be made for the
public, who, without expertise, cannot possibly decide on the danger or safety of a drug,
unaided by those whose responsibility it is to perform that very task. As Henry Brill,
physician, professor of medicine and hospital director, wrote: "All drugs are guilty until
A guiding principle in this analysis is the specialness of the physician's orientation
toward marijuana and its use.3 I intend "specialness" to bear two distinct but interrelated
meanings. First, that physicians' attitudes toward marijuana, as with everyone else, are
largely "nonrational," not simply untrue or false in a scientific sense, but that the
abinol content, in certain seasons and places, may approach
what would be near-beer to the boozer.
This marihuana is almost harmless
except for asphyxiation from air pollution. The hippie's kick is a psychic
kick. Chemically speaking, the victim often is not smoking marihuana, but
burning underbrush. He is not the victim of a drug, but is the sucker of a
hoax. There is
enough of this gyp going on to help support the notion that
marihuana is innocuous.4
(There is some cross-fertilization in regard to the language going on here; Donald
Miller, Chief Counsel, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous drugs, in an article which
justifies the present legal structure on marijuana, writes: "... many persons report they
obtain no effects whatever when they use marihuana.
They are not the victims of a drug,
but merely have been deceived with a hoax. There is so much gyping going on that it
helps support the notion that marihuana is innocuous. Chemically speaking, many ...
'triers' of marihuana really have... become partially asphyxiated from polluted air.")5
The reader is seriously asked to believe that a great percentage of all marijuana users,
even some experienced ones ("the hopeful hippie"), have never really been high, and that
they are experiencing a placebo reaction. Actually, this point serves propaganda purposes:
if anyone who has smoked marijuana has not been damaged in any way, he must not have
gotten high. Thus protected, the antipot lobbyist is better able to defend the position that
the drug is really dangerous. Actually, the position itself is something of a fraud. The
placebo reaction occurs, of course, with no mean frequency, but the greater the amount of
experience with the drug, the less likely it is that the subject has experienced either no
reaction or nothing but a placebo reaction. In fact, the likelihood that a given person who
has smoked marijuana more than, say, a dozen times, thinks that he has been high
actually experiencing what a truly experienced user would call a high, is practically nil.
The experience has been described in such florid detail by so many more experienced
users that he who has not attained it is eventually aware of it, and knows when he finally
does attain it.
Throughout any discussion of the effects of marijuana, we must alert ourselves to the
complexity of the equation. The simple question, 'What are the effects of marijuana?" is
The answer to this query would have to be a series of further questions:
Under what circumstances? At what dosage level? Engaged in what kinds of activities?
Given what kind of legal and moral climate regarding marijuana use? All of these factors
influence the nature, quality, and degree of response to the drug.
Yet, at the same time, we must not exaggerate the variability of marijuana's
(4 of 34)4/15/2004 1:07:27 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 7
Responses are to some degree systematic. We do not wish to suggest t d the second antimarijuana use—taken in
by the hoax. (back)
11. However, at least one account quoted an informant who claimed that "over a
hundred pot smokers, himself included, are growing hidden little marijuana gardens in
Manhattan's Central Park." See James Sterba, "The Politics of Pot," Esquire, August 68, p.
(17 of 18)4/15/2004 1:08:20 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 10
12. As a rough indication of the extent of growth of the marijuana plant in the Midwest,
consider that a botanist recently stated that 17 percent of the seasonal pollen in the air in
Nebraska originates from the marijuana plant. Cited in Sterba, op. cit., p. 118. See Julian
Steyermark, Flora of Missouri (Ames: Iowa State University, 1963). (back)
13. RichardGoldstein,1in7: Drugs on the Campus (New York: Walker, 1966),p. 115.
14. McNeill, op. cit., p. 21. (back)
15. I depart from Mandel, op. cit., p. 93, on this point; Mandel underplays the prestige
motive among sellers. (back)
16. Anonymous, in "A Note From the Underground," in J. L. Simmons, ed., Marijuana:
Myths and Realities (North Hollywood, Calif.: Brandon House, 1967), p. 19. (back)
17. Jack Rosenthal, "A Fresh Look at Those Harsh Marijuana Penalties," The New York
Times, Sunday, October 19, 1969, Section 4, The Week in Review, p. E8. (back)
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(18 of 18)4/15/2004 1:08:20 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 11
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The Marijuana Smokers
Chapter 11 - Marijuana and the Law
The Federal Marihuana Tax Act: 1937-1969
In 1937, the "Marihuana Tax Act" was passed by Congress at the insistence of Harry
Anslinger, then the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. There was little
debate on the measure, and the chief witness in support of the bill was Anslinger himself.
It was signed into law by President Roosevelt with little public notice. While Howard
Becker's "moral entrepreneur" argument takes us a long way in explaining the passage of
the bill,1 it is really only a partial explanation. As Becker tells us, moral crusades are
launched against every conceivable issue; often a seemingly apathetic public will become
outraged over an issue under the fervent tutelage of a resourceful crusader. Sometimes,
however, statutes can even be passed without public support or knowledge. In the case of
the Marihuana Tax Act, most of the hysterical and exaggerated antimarijuana articles
seem to have appeared after the federal law was passed, ostensibly to justify it.2 But
whether the act was passed for purely ideological reasons, or as a calculated measure to
expand the operations and budget of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics,3 it had been
preceded by a marijuana statute in every state of
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, 94, 7930 (1972)
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groups discovered that the physiological activity of t:, The commons about 95 of the people were forbidden to learn to
read or write not even an alphabet and often were punished or put to
death for doing so.
The people were also forbidden to learn Latin, the language of the
Bible. This effectively enabled the few priests who could read to
interpret the scriptures any way they pleased for about 1,200 years,
until the reformation in Europe, circa 1600. 6-THC
They were prepared 133 from
pulegone (137) by a base-catalyzed reaction with the thiophenol (Chart 4
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discussed Smith, and S have done so in a manner that specifically calls forth the efforts of physicians to verify our
It follows that marijuana use will be viewed as a medical matter. And that it is a matter
for physicians' attention. It might be presumed that physicians' word is sought on
marijuana use because it is a medical matter. The sociologist looks at the issue differently.
That marijuana use is a medical matter is an imputation, not a fact. It is because society
has already adopted the pathology or "disease" model on marijuana use that it seems
reasonable to infer that marijuana use, therefore, is a medical matter. But the prior
imputation was necessary to see it that way in the first place.
The central point of this book, explained in detail in the chapter on "the politics of
reality," is that we all view reality selectively. We notice that which verifies our own point
of view, and ignore that which does not. We accept a "world taken for granted," and an
exposure to contrary worlds does little to shake our faith in our own. Moreover, when our
version of what is real and true is threatened, we marshall pseudoevidence to support this
version. Facts used in arguments are rhetorical rather than experimental. Societies whose
values do or would oppose a given activity face a tactical problem: how to make a
condemnation of that activity seem reasonable and rational? A rationale must be provided,
and a personnel whose word is respected must provide that rationale. Thus, by generating
statements from physicians, society is utilizing a valuable ideological resource. The
antimarijuana lobby will therefore court and win the sympathies of doctors whose word on
cannabis is largely negative. Society is searching for verification of an already held
ideological position, not for some abstract notion which idealistic philosophers once
called "truth." (We all assume that we have truth on our side.) So that the pathology
position will be crystallized out of the magma of society's needs and expectations, out of
the social and cultural position of physicians, their self-conception —partly growing out
of society's conception of them—as preservers of society's psychic and bodily
equilibrium, and as experts on anything having to do with what is defined as a health
(4 of 25)4/15/2004 1:04:59 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 5
matter. It is these pressures that generate the concern of physicians regarding marijuana,
and not any particular expertise they might have.4
In lieu of actually doing a survey, it is necessary to examine the writings of physicians
on marijuana. However, to use these written statements to characterize the dominant
medical view on cannabis use it would be necessary to resolve at least one difficulty first.
There is the question of the typicality of published and widely disseminated statements, as
opposed to the actual sentiments and actions of the vast bulk of doctors who do not write
on marijuana. Thos
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soil-based supplements/fertilizers and then there are hydroponics
Most hydroponics nutrient solutions are complete nutrient
solutions. They provide every element and compound needed for
proper plant growth. Because of this hydroponics nutrients are a bit
steep in price. Always spend your money on the correct nutrients
because any short cuts will lead to failure and kill your plant.
If all the nutrients are contained in a single pack there is a
chance that the elements may combine and precipitate in the pack.
This may cause the solution to become unbalanced and is then
rendered useless to you and your plants. Keeping this in mind, get a
complete nutrient solution that is contained in several bottles called
‘Twin’ or ‘Triple packs’.
One brand name called Formulex has managed to hold all the
elements in a single pack using certain chemicals to prevent
precipitation. This pack is very good for starting clones or seeds in a
rockwool SBS tray. Formulex can be used in soil grows also.
Figure 9.12 - Formulex
Twin / Triple Packs:
Figure 9.13 - This is an example of triple pack nutrients.
For best results the hydroponics grower should consider a
Twin or even a Triple pack. Basically the chemicals are held in
different packs to prevent precipitation. Optimum, Power Gro, Ionic,
and General hydroponics Flora Series are the most common multi part
nutrient solutions. The most popular one with cannabis cultivation is
the G.H. Flora Series, a 3-part system - Gro, Micro, and Bloom. An
experienced grower can adjust these nutrients to get optimum
performance from their plants.
These packs have instructions on the bottles explaining how
to mix down the nutrients into water, and can be broken down and
mixed weaker or stronger to the grower's needs.
MONITORING RECYCLE SYSTEMS
Depending on what set-up you are using, you may find that
your solution goes through a system that uses the nutrients in the
reservoir over and over. As the plant extracts the nutrients and
minerals from the solution it will become depleted of its resources over
time. For this reason we must understand how to monitor our
nutrients. In today's world monitoring systems are a bit expensive. If
you have a ppm reader (TDS meter, Total Dissolved Solids) you can
understand how much of your nutrients have been used up and how
much more you need to add to reach the optimal nutrient level. All
reservoirs will become unbalanced and need replenishing. As a general
rule, an initial amount is used to fill the reservoir. As the plants use up
the solution, we top up the reservoir to maintain the initial level.
If you start with 10 gallons of solution then we need to top up
to that total of 10 gallons every few days.
Figure 9.14 - Ppm reader (TDS meter).
If you do not have a reader you can still grow a good crop, but
it takes practice to get it right. If a cannabis hydroponics grower does
not have a ppm reader, t Granchelli, H
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e biased in one way or another. This does not mean that
all are wrong, or even that all are right. It does mean that all rest on necessarily
unprovable assumptions, all are underpinned by an ontology which transcends scientific
technique. Scientific technique itself rests on faith. It demands that the real world be
viewed in one manner, and that alternate versions of viewing the world be ignored. For
certain purposes, this is very useful. For others, it is not. While the scientific version of
reality offers the claim that it is the real world, as a sociologist, we must say that it is one
particular version of the real world, true or false, according to certain assumptions. If we
do not accept the rules of the game in the first place, then the whole scientific enterprise is
Accepting cultural patterns as valid on their own level is a very useful bias for certain
kinds of purposes. We do not, by doing so, attempt to prove, say, that the American
government is riddled with Communists (if we are studying the John Birch Society), or
that marijuana is harmless and beneficial (if we are studying potsmokers). We do not
mean that they are "true" in the traditional scientific sense of the word. We mean that they
are true in that they are woven into the viscera of the people we are studying, and that they
are extremely meaningful to them. They are true in the emotional sense. They represent
valid belief-alternatives, and they spring from powerful social and psychological needs.
They are part of an ideological and cultural whole, a fabric that is relatively consistent, a
system that is eloquent testimony to personal and social locations. We say that the biggest
slice of the most essential reality of each man is the reality as seen through his eyes. No
matter that two versions of what is right and what wrong will be almost totally
contradictory. Both represent authentic modes of living, ideological positions that are, on
the affective level, inviolable and irrefutable. If we do not accept this principle, what we
are doing cannot be called social science.
One of the reasons why the attempt to understand a deviant or criminal activity from the
first-person point of view is seen as biased is that in the past, the "institutional" or
"correctional" viewpoint has been dominant, that is, the conception that the legal and
moral transgressor has in some measure erred and must be dealt with by agents of
correction. Official agencies of social control have in the past been successful in defining
the climate of right and wrong; their view ( similar to and, supposedly, based on, the
scientific point of view) was imperialistic in that they demanded the right to define right
and wrong for all members of society. Any viewpoint which contravened their own was
(3 of 19)4/15/2004 1:03:03 AM
The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 1
labeled biased. If deviance is viewed in correctional terms, we cannot but see the effort to
understand th All these modifications have resulted in a series of novel THC derivatives
and analogs, which show a wide variety of enhanced activities such as
antiglaucoma, antinausea, analgesic, tranquilizer, antihypertensive, etc
~'<"'; in use, and nondrug offenses.
The study then checked the appearance of the names of the members of its sample in
the Narcotics Register, "the most complete file of its type available anywhere in the
United States." Which of these three categories of juvenile offenders was most likely to
turn up in the heroin files later? The data appeared to confirm the progression hypothesis:
"... while half of the male adolescent heroin users had a heroin record five or ten years
later, about forty percent of the marijuana users also acquired a heroin record in this
follow-up period.... marijuana use is almost as portentous of adult heroin use as is actual
use of heroin as an adolescent." The authors strongly qualify the report's findings in their
conclusions; they are in no way guilty of an attempt at an overextension of the
applicability of their results. Of the four groups which the authors point out as most likely
to use marijuana—the slum dweller, the bohemian, the college student, and the high
school student—it is only among the first (and last) of these that the study's data was
likely to be drawn. And it is in this group that the transition to heroin is most likely. In the
other three groups, the use of heroin is certainly far lower than for the urban slum dweller,
so that had the study covered all of the marijuana-using groups, the likelihood of later
heroin use, and therefore of the transition taking place, would have been much smaller.
In fact, the findings are even more narrowly applicable than that. The marijuana smoker
whose use is so conspicuous as to come to the attention of the authorities in no way
represents users as a whole. To come to the attention of any agency of law enforcement is
to be a part of a highly special and unrepresentative kind of social group. Such users are
far more likely to be more highly involved with the drug, to be implicated in some of the
more heavily sanctioned marijuana-related activities, such as selling, and to be incautious.
The Blumer study emphasizes the importance of the cool style in one sector of
marijuana users. This kind of user is inclined to denigrate the delinquency-oriented rowdy,
who is both more likely to become arrested and to move to later addiction. The cool user
is likely to do neither of these. It is almost a certainty that among this conspicuous group,
progression to later heroin use is far more likely than among users as a whole.
The adolescents included in the NACC study are far from representative because they
generally reflect the very highest levels of use. And it is among these levels of use that
later heroin involvement is most likely. It is not unreasonable to assume that less and more
cautious use, lower involvement in the marijuana subculture, and participation in a greater
variety of social groups, will be far less likely to precipitate heroin use and addiction. In
fact, the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission has probably selected the segment o Salemink, 1 Saponification of93 gave
the metabolite 84, which was reduced with LiAlH4 to 71