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April 1974

Marihuana and Social Behavior: A Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

New York; Washington, DC; New York
From the Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Dr. Galanter and F. Nurnberg), and the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology of the National Institute of Mental Health, Washington, DC (Drs. Stillman, Wyatt, Vaughn, and Weingartner).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(4):518-521. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760100082013

Experienced marihuana users, solicited to join three twelve-member sensitivity groups, smoked marihuana, a placebo, and no drug during 12 experimental group meetings, arranged in a balanced order. Questionnaire responses previously standardized on these subjects were analyzed, revealing the nature of cognitive and behavioral effects experienced. Although somatic sensory experiences and feelings of detachment were consistent in the marihuana condition, no consistent affective changes, increased insight, or increased feelings of cohesiveness were experienced.

These subject responses were at variance with those anticipated by subjects in light of their previous marihuana experiences, and were probably influenced by marihuana "folklore." In this context and at this dose level, marihuana was found to act as a mild psychotomimetic; there is little reason to expect the drug to be effective either as an adjunct to group therapy or an antidepressant.