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September 20, 1971


Author Affiliations

USA Wurzburg, West Germany

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1707. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120072029

To the Editor.—  Hashish smoked by American soldiers in West Germany is relatively free of contamination. At the US Army Crime Laboratory in Frankfurt, West Germany, serveral dozen confiscated hashish samples are analyzed each week. Only 2% to 3% are found to be adulterated—usually with codeine, morphine, spices, opium, or feces. The samples contain 5% to 10% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).Bronchitis and upper respiratory tract ailments in hashish smokers are being observed with daily frequency by US Army physicians in West Germany. Since publication of our original observations, we have studied an additional 22 bronchitic young soldiers who smoked at least 50 gm of hashish monthly for 3 to 12 months. These patients all demonstrate a decreased vital capacity ranging from 15% to 40% below normal. Discontinuation of hashish smoking for one week improves vital capacity in some patients but not others.It is difficult to study respiratory diseases in hashish