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October 11, 1985

The Marijuana Question and Science's Search for an Answer

Author Affiliations

Kansas University Medical Center Kansas City


by Helen C. Jones and Paul W. Lovinger, 537 pp, with illus, $24.95, New York, Dodd Mead & Co Inc, 1985.

JAMA. 1985;254(14):2000-2001. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140162052

According to this book, the scientific literature contains more than 9,000 studies on cannabis. The authors give at least passing reference to 300 of them, selected because they were "notable or quotable" and "not necessarily the best studies from the scientific standpoint."

The book also includes scores of quotations from cannabis users, few of which will make Bartlett's ("I get a stuffed nose when I smoke a lot"— Bert).

The authors are anticannabis and admit it. They are opposed to all "recreational" drugs. "We don't fathom the concept of swallowing pills for entertainment, breathing in toxic chemicals for fun, or contorting one's mind for amusement. Wholesome, healthful pleasures are abundant. A world of natural delights is out there."

In their view, any use of an illicit drug constitutes abuse. "The legitimate function of a drug is to alleviate illness or suffering." They do not subscribe to Berton Roueché's view that,