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January 21, 1950

Flight from Reality

JAMA. 1950;142(3):216. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910210072034

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This volume is described on the dust jacket as "the marvelous history of hashish, marihuana, opium and opiates, peyote, the coca leaf, alcohol, tobacco, coffee and other drugs and stimulants." But this description omits reference to the author's philosophy and comments concerning the use and abuse of these plant products, an important and interesting part of the volume. In the author's words, "Men have always sought for some flight from reality and always will. Next to the instinct of survival it has dominated more people than any religion.... As a valid history or even as the mere story of the origin and use of these plant products, we can have little concern except pity, for those addicted to excessive indulgence. They are a medical problem, perhaps better confined to psychiatry.... It is self evident that no law is needed to protect the millions of the moderate who use such things,

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