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July 1, 1939


Author Affiliations

Psychiatrist-in-Charge, Psychiatric Clinic, Court of General Sessions; Senior Psychiatrist, Bellevue Hospital NEW YORK

From the Bellevue Hospital and the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court of General Sessions, Dr. Karl M. Bowman director.

JAMA. 1939;113(1):4-12. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800260006002

For almost ten years, marihuana smoking in the United States has engaged the attention of police officials, narcotic officers, prosecutors, judges and physicians. With its spread, the attention given marihuana in the press has increased. It is frequently a theme in contemporary literature; even the stage and screen have exploited its theatrical possibilities.1 It has been blamed in the press and by responsible officials for insanity, suicide and crime, especially among the youth of the country, and is fast attaining the position of a public enemy. In 1931 the International Narcotic Education Association in its Geneva convention acted to include marihuana (hashish) in an international treaty for the limitation of the distribution of narcotic drugs. The marihuana excise tax law was enacted by Congress and made effective Oct. 1, 1937. It makes the use of marihuana, except by qualified persons, illegal. The penal code, based on the uniform narcotic

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