10 Things Every Parent, Teenager and Teacher Should Know About Marijuana
[ Reprinted in the public interest without permission from a flyer by
the Family Council on Drug Awareness. This flyer is being distributed
at public functions such as concerts, school gatherings, trade shows,
and craft shows. Any typographic errors, unless noted, are mine. The
author of this post has no affiliation with any agency or persons
related to this document, and refrains from editorial comment. ]
10 Things Every Parent, Teenager & Teacher Should Know
"Prohibition...goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to
control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things
that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very
principles upon which our government was founded."
-- Abraham Lincoln
This pamphlet was researched and produced as a public service
by the Family Council on Drug Awareness P.O. Box 71093, LA CA
Additional copies available from:
BACH, PO Box 71093, L.A., CA 90071-0093
35 cents apiece, Ten for $2.00, 100 for $10
1 Q. What is Marijuana?
A. "Marijuana" refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis
plant , which contain the non-narcotic chemical THC at various
potencies. It is smoked or eaten to produce the feeling of being
"high." The different strains of this herb produce different sensual
effects, ranging from sedative to stimulant.
2 Q. Who Uses Marijuana?
A. There is no simple profile of a typical marijuana user. It has been
used for 1000s of years for medical, social, and religious reasons
and for relaxation . Several of our Presidents  are believed
to have smoked it. One out of every five Americans say they have
tried it. And it is still popular among artists, writers, musicians,
activists, lawyers, inventors, working people, etc.
3 Q. How Long Have People Been Using Marijuana?
A. Marijuana has been used since ancient times . While field hands
and working people have often smoked the raw plant, aristocrats
historically prefer hashish  made from the cured flowers of the
plant. It was not seen as a problem until a calculated disinformation
[sic] campaign was launched in the 1930s , and the first American
laws against using it were passed .
4 Q. Is Marijuana Addictive?
A. No, it is not . Most users are moderate consumers who smoke it
socially to relax. We now know that 10% of our population have
"addictive personalities" and they are neither more nor less
likely to overindulge in cannabis than in anything else. On a
relative scale, marijuana is less habit forming than either sugar
or chocolate but more so than anchovies. Sociologists report a general
pattern of marijuana use that peaks in the early adult years, followed
by a period of levelling off and then a gradual reduction in use .
5 Q. Has Anyone Ever Died From Smoking Marijuana?
A. No; not one single case, not ever. THC is one of the few chemicals for
which there is no known toxic amount . The federal agency NIDA says
that autopsies reveal that 75 people per year are high on marijuana
when they die: this does not mean that marijuana caused or was even a
factor in their deaths. The chart below compares the number of deaths
attributable to selected substances in a typical year:
Tobacco...............................340,000 - 395,000
Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents).............125,000+
Drug Overdose (prescription)............24,000 - 27,000
Drug Overdose (illegal)...................3,800 - 5,200
*Source: U.S. Government Bureau of Mortality Statistics, 1987
6 Q. Does Marijuana Lead to Crime and/or Hard Drugs?
A. No . The only crime most marijuana users commit is that they use
marijuana. And, while many people who abuse dangerous drugs also smoke
marijuana, the old "stepping stone" theory is now discredited, since
virtually all of them started out "using" legal drugs like sugar,
coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.
7 Q. Does Marijuana Make People Violent?
A. No. In fact, Federal Bureau of Narcotics director Harry Anslinger once
told Congress just the opposite - that it leads to non-violence and
pacifism . If he was telling the truth (which he and key federal
agencies have not often done regarding marijuana), then re-legalizing
marijuana should be considered as one way to curb violence in our
cities. The simple fact is that marijuana does not change your basic
personality. The government says that over 20 million Americans still
smoke it, probably including some of the nicest people you know.
8 Q. How Does Marijuana Affect Your Health?
A. Smoking anything is not healthy, but marijuana is less dangerous than
tobacco and people smoke less of it at a time. This health risk can
be avoided by eating the plant instead of smoking it , or can be
reduced by smoking smaller amounts of stronger marijuana. There is
no proof that marijuana causes serious health or sexual problems 
but, like alcohol, its use by children or adolescents is discouraged.
Cannabis is a medicinal herb that has hundreds of proven, valuable
theraputic uses - from stress reduction to glaucoma to asthma to
cancer therapy, etc. .
9 Q. What About All Those Scary Statistics and Studies?
A. Most were prepared as scare tactics for the government by Dr. Gabriel
Nahas, and were so biased and unscientific that Nahas was fired by
the National Institute of Health  and finally renounced his own
studies as meaningless . For one experiment, he suffocated monkeys
for five minutes at a time, using proportionately more smoke than the
average user inhales in an entire lifetime . The other studies
that claim sensational health risks are also suspect, since they lack
controls and produce results which cannot be replicated or
independently verified .
10 Q. What Can I Do About Marijuana?
A. No independent government panel that has studied marijuana has ever
recommended jail for users . Concerned persons should therefore
ask their legislators to re-legalize and tax this plant, subject to
age limits and regulations similar to those on alcohol and tobacco.
For More Information, Write:
Family Coucil on Drug Awareness
P.O. Box 71093, LA CA 90071-0093
FOOTNOTES TO THE TEXT:
1. The same plant, known as hemp, has an estimated 50,000 non-drug
commercial uses including paper, textiles, fuels, food and sealants,
but these uses are also banned by existing laws. Sources: Encyclopedia
Britannica, federal documents and historical records.
2. Coptic Christians, Rhastafarnians [sic], Shintos, Hinus, Buddhists,
Sufis, Essenes, Zoroastrians, Bantus, and many other sects have
traditions that consider the plant to have religious value.
3. Their personal correspondence and records reveal that U.S. Presidents
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and others smoked hashish, as did Benjamin
Franklin and Mary Todd Lincoln. President John F. Kennedy is also
reported to have smoked marijuana to relieve his back pain. Many of
America's greatest leaders and Founding Fathers (including George
Washington) were hemp farmers. Sources: National Archives, published
4. Archeologists report that cannabis was possibly the first plant
cultivated by humans - about 8000 B.C. - and was used for linen,
paper, and garments. Source: Columbia University, _History of the
World_. It was being smoked in China and India as early as 2700 B.C.
5. Turkish smoking parlors were popular in both Europe and America. as
well as the Middle and Far East, as recently as the turn of the
6. The exhaustive Indian Hemp "Raj" Commission report (1986) by British
authorities found no reason to restrict its use. But the notorious
yellow journalist William Randolph Hearst fabricated and published
horror stories about marijuana that were eventually investigated and
shown to be lies, but not until long after the marijuana prohibition
was enacted in 1938. Source: Larry Sloman, _Reefer Madness_.
7. Laws against marijuana were passed a year after the invention of a
machine to harvest and process hemp so it could compete commercially
against businesses owned by Hearst, the DuPonts and other powerful
families. Source: Jack Herer, _The Emporor Wears No Clothes_.
8. Marijuana does not lead to physical dependency. Costa Rican Study,
1980; Jamaican Study, 1975; Nixon Blue Ribbon Report, 1972, et. al.
9. Source: Psychology Today, Newsweek, et.al.
10. Source: All univerity medical studies: UCLA, Harvard, Temple, etc.
11. Costa Rican Study, 1980; Jamaican Study, 1975; "The legal drugs for
adults, such as alcohol and tobacco...precede the use of all illicit
drugs." Source: National Academy of Sciences.
12. The FBI reports that 65-75% of criminal violence is alcohol related.
"Pacifist syndrome" testimony was given by Federal Bureau of Narcotics
Director Harry Anslinger before Congress (1948). However, the "Siler"
Study conducted by the U.S in Panama (1931) reported "no impairment"
in military personnel who smoked marijuana while off duty.
13. "The only clinically significant medical problem is that
scientifically linked to marijuana is bronchitis. Like smoking
tobacco, the treatment is the same: stop smoking." Source: Dr. Fred
14. Coptic study (UCLA), 1981; "There is not yet any conclusive evidence
as to whether prolonged use of marijuana causes permanent changes in
the nervous system or sustained impairment of brain function and
behavior in human beings." Source: National Academy of Sciences.
15. Source: Dr. Tod Mikuriya, _Marijuana Medical Papers_. Marijuana could
replace at least 10-20% of prescribed drugs now in use. Source: Dr.
Raphael Mechoulam. Marijuana was a major active ingredient in 40-50%
of patent medicines before its ban.
18. The U.S. Government reports that the oral dose of cannabis required to
kill a mouse is about 40,000 times the dose required to produce
symptoms of intoxication in man. Source: Lowe, _Journal of
Pharmacological and Experimental Therapeutics_, Oct. 1946.
19. In another famous study, Heath/Tulane (1974), wild monkeys were
brutally captured, then virtually suffocated in marijuana smoke over a
period of 90 days. Source: National Institute of Health.
20. Examples: the "LaGuardia" Committee Report (New York, 1944) and
President Richard Nixon's Blue Ribbon "Shafer" Commission (1972).