NORMAN Q. BRILL, M.D.; EVELYN CRUMPTON, Ph.D.; IRA M. FRANK, M.D.; JOEL S. HOCHMAN, M.D.; PETER LOMAX, M.D.; WILLIAM H. McGLOTHLIN, Ph.D.; LOUIS JOLYON WEST, M.D.
Use of marijuana is increasing. Although predominantly used by young people, it is not confined to any age, social, or occupational group. Marijuana is unusually safe (as compared with alcohol or barbiturates). It appears to cause no physical dependence, and no tolerance develops on continued use, but psychic dependence and habituation do occur. Although statistical evidence is lacking, some clinicians believe personality changes occur in chronic users. They describe diminished drive, ambition, and motivation, along with poor judgment, distractability, impaired ability to communicate, and diminished capacity to carry out complex plans or pursue career goals and believe there is some organic basis for these changes. Others have been reluctant to attribute such changes to marijuana because the chronic user has usually taken other drugs and because chronic marijuana use may be a manifestation rather than a cause of personality disorders. Some see drug abuse by middle-class youth as a symptom of dissatisfaction with the present values and direction of society, and the solution is seen to lie in the resolution of this conflict rather than through laws or control. In the next 10 years many more mind-altering drugs will become available, making it more imperative for the development of imaginative controls to replace the punitive approaches that have aggravated rather than solved the problem.
BRILL NQ, CRUMPTON E, FRANK IM, HOCHMAN JS, LOMAX P, McGLOTHLIN WH, et al. The Marijuana Problem. Ann Intern Med. 1970;73:449–465. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-73-3-449
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(3):449-465.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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