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September 1970

Marihuana, Ethanol, and Dextroamphetamine: Mood and Mental Function Alterations

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif
From the Veterans Administration Hospital and Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(3):199-203. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750030007002

MARIHUANA, ethanol, and dextroamphetamine are three widely used social drugs with somewhat different actions. Marihuana is a sedative somewhat like ethanol, but also has perceptual effects resembling those of hallucinogens. Ethanol is primarily a sedative, while dextroamphetamine is a stimulant. As it has been seldom possible to compare these three drugs in the same subjects, using quantified doses, we measured their effects on mood and selected mental functions.

Methods  Twelve normal young volunteers were chosen primarily on the basis of their being in good physical and emotional health and intelligent and cooperative enough to carry out the required procedures. All but one were men. Although most subjects had had prior experience with small doses of marihuana and amphetamines, and all with alcoholic beverages, none were chronic or recent users of any of these drugs, except for mild use of beverage alcohol. Subjects were told that these three drugs were to

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