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President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

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President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded in 1972, after years of research, that, “[t]here is little proven danger of physical or psychological harm from the experimental or intermittent use of natural preparations of cannabis.” Despite the fact that it had been established in the hopes of finding fuel for just the opposite conclusion, the commission recommended the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the recommendation of the commission his administration had appointed.   

Table of Contents

The Report

Letter of Transmittal


I. Marihuana and the Problem of Marihuana

II. Marihuana Use and Its Effects

III. Social Impact of Marihuana Use

IV. Social Response to Marihuana Use

V. Marihuana and Social Policy


Ancillary Recommendations

Legal and Law Enforcement Recommendations

Medical Recommendations

Other Recommendations

Index of Contributors, Contractors and Consultants

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The Appendix

The Technical Papers of the First Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, March, 1972

Letter of Transmittal

Members and Staff


Part One — Biological Aspects

I. History of Marihuana Use: Medical and Intoxicant

II. Biological Effects of Marihuana

III. Behavioral and Biological Concomitants of Chronic Marihuana Smoking by Heavy and Casual Users

Part Two — Social Aspects

I. Marihuana Use in American Society

  • Surveys of Marihuana Use
  • The Incidence and Prevalence of Marihuana Use
  • The Future of Marihuana
  • Why People Use Marihuana
  • Becoming a Marihuana User
  • Circumstances of First Marihuana Use
  • The Marihuana User
  • The Patterns of Marihuana Use
  • Marihuana Use and the User: 1972

II. Marihuana and the Use of Other Drugs

  • Empirical Data on the Escalation Process
  • Youth Drug Use Survey
  • Summary

III. Marihuana and Public Safety

Part Three — Legal Aspects

I. Control of Marihuana, Alcohol and Tobacco

II. The Legal Status of Marihuana

  • International Control
  • The Control of Marihuana Under Federal Law
  • Control of Marihuana at the State Level
  • The Role of Ancillary Offenses and Constructive Possession in Controlling Marihuana
  • Marihuana Control at the Local Level
  • Analysis of Statutes Requiring Physicians to Report Drug Addiction

III. Trafficking Patterns of Marihuana and Hashish

  • Marihuana Traffic From Mexico
  • Marihuana Traffic From Jamaica
  • The Growing Hashish Traffic

Part Four — Response of the Criminal Justice System to Marihuana Use


I. Enforcement Behavior at the State Level

Enforcement Behavior at the Federal Level

  • General Trends
  • Federal Enforcement of the Marihuana Laws: 1970

III. Opinion Within the Criminal Justice System

  • Prosecutorial Opinion
  • Opinion of Court Officials

Part Five — National Survey

I. A Nationwide Study of Beliefs, Information and Experiences

  • Main Report
  • Methods and Procedures

Part Six — Social Policy Aspects

I. The Constitutional Dimensions of Marihuana Control

  • Substantive Limitations on the Criminal Law
  • Federal Preemption of Marihuana Control

II. Models and Statutory Schemes for Controlling Marihuana

  • Law and Social Policy
  • Legal Implementations of Marihuana Control Policies
  • Formulating a Legal Scheme
  • Implementation of Alcohol Prohibition

Marihuana and Education

  • Drug Programs in American Education
  • State Departments of Education Survey
  • Commission Visits
  • Drug Education Programs of Special Interest
  • Marihuana Education in State Programs
  • Surveys of College Drug Courses
  • The Federal Government and Drug Education

Research Needs and Directions

  • Biomedical
  • Psychosocial
  • Legal and Law Enforcement

The post President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse appeared first on Komorn Law.

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