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And seeing students at the health clinic Some have come into problems regarding marijuana. There have been many questions by nine users of marijuana regarding their associates who are using it. And you know there have been some illnesses directly trace it to I think probably what represents a bad batch of marijuana it down one time right. I think that in some 11 years here at the clinic I've seen only one marijuana induced psychosis and that was two months ago. So this in the in my opinion or at least in our experience here is a relatively rare kind of illness. The speakers are two doctors Margaret each year of the University of
Michigan Health Service and Dr. Elliot Luby's assistant director of clinical services at Detroit's Lafayette clinic and professor of psychiatry in Wayne State University's School of Medicine. Both Dr. Luby and Dr. Scherer have formed opinions about marijuana that have come in part from first hand observation. In this program we shall hear some of their views. Mary-Jane perspective a series of six programs about marijuana produced by Brian Reuben for Michigan State University Radio today are by the doctors. The field of medicine has always been one of the major battlegrounds for
opponents and proponents of the drug marijuana. At a moment's notice those who believe the drug is harmful can summon forth overwhelming medical evidence to substantiate their position. And in an equally impressive amount of time those who believe marijuana to be harmless can call forth medical evidence that proves their position. Also beyond a shadow of a doubt. It doesn't take a particularly astute observer to realize that some of the proof the pro or con is very likely in correct. The thought comes to mind that because of the extreme polarization of view is over the issue of marijuana there might be a tendency for some proponents and opponents to adhere to their respective positions a bit too strenuously and in the process close their minds to all other points of view. Dr Luby comments this kind of polarization has occurred
about marijuana. It becomes really a very emotional kind of a a problem with the opponents and the proponents really becoming quite emotionally involved in their arguments when really one has to be as dispassionate about this as he can. For instance I am not in favor of the legalization of marijuana yet I believe that the penalties imposed for marijuana use are far in excess of what they should be. The constitute cruel and unusual punishment and in my opinion if there is indeed polarization over the issue is will there ever be a common ground where both poles can try to meet Dr. Scherer. I think perhaps the area where they could meet is in research and experimentation on the drug and the sharing of mutual experiences
and that perhaps some third party no less come in and try to run past patients and studies that will give us a little more information. I think it. As a police officer if you saw the acts of violence etc. that have been reported and well substantiated they just can't help but change. Affect Your sick thinking. The United States government publishes an informational booklet entitled The dangers of marijuana. Facts you should know. Among other things the booklet says that marijuana can precipitate psychotic episodes during which the user becomes mentally unbalanced for varying degrees of time on the next page. We find these words for certain individuals a small dose and for all individuals a large dose of marijuana's active ingredients causes temporary insanity. One of these claims are they true or false. Dr loopy.
I think those are reasonably accurate statements but they have to be understood. The active ingredient of marijuana which is tetra hydro and it all is a very powerful hallucinogen and in a reasonably large dose is capable of producing pretty much the same helos and Janica facts that we observe with the surging acid Diantha Lemon. However it is unusual for someone smoking American street marijuana for instance to ever ingest enough to produce a serious psychosis. American streak of marijuana is relatively mild and contains a relatively small amount of the the active helos in engine I suspect this is why we only rarely see a marijuana induced psychosis.
The World Health Organization has suggested that the differentiation between the terms habituation and addiction is outmoded and that only one term dependence should be used to refer to the various ways that drugs affect people. Dr. Libby responds to this idea while dependence is a general term certainly. I bet you ation and addiction both involve a form of drug dependence. However I think it is still useful to distinguish between these two forms of drug dependence. In a bit you ation. Only psychological dependence occurs in addiction. Physiological dependence is characteristic in addiction. Increasing amounts of the drug are required to produce the same psychological and physiological effects that is tolerance for the drug develops. Secondly when the drug is withdrawn the rather predictable series of
withdrawal symptoms invariably occurs and this phenomenon does not result with a bit you eating your items. Some of the speculation surrounding marijuana centers on the question of whether or not it is possible to generalized and describe a certain type of person who is most prone to use the drug. Dr. Marguerite Scherer from her vantage point at the University of Michigan and Dr. Elliot Luby from his vantage point at the Lafayette clinic in Detroit differ in their answers to this question. Some of the popularity is due to the fact of the type of. Person that comes University has some innate introspective qualities that he wants to know more about himself. By the same token he's he's adventuresome me. He takes it somewhat as an intellectual challenge frequently to use this drug. I think
another part of it is that many. Young people come to campus. They're very anxious to be part of the group to be recognized as as as being in the in group. And for many drugs will serve this purpose. Some people have difficulty communicating with other persons and getting along with them and feeling at ease with other people will. More quickly tend to use of drugs. I think if you had to draw up a profile of a of a group you'd say that they're usually pleasant young people and that the larger percentage of them all being male that they're sort of easygoing people who are eager to please. And are lacking in self-confidence. And I'd say that. Many of the young men would have been maybe more feminine qualities more
feminine attributes. No I don't think so. Many people many kinds of people use marijuana from the the black person living in the ghetto to the middle class businessman to the intellectual college student and they use it for varying reasons. There is a wide spectrum of marijuana use in this country. In the second program in this series Johnson Clare said that marijuana is used for different reasons by different kinds of people lower class people for example often use the drug as an escape mechanism simply to experience the physical sensation and volved to these people says and Claire It doesn't matter what particular drug is used. The important thing is to get high. According to Sinclair more educated people use marijuana for different reasons and they are more aware of its specific effect.
Dr. Libby agrees with this proposition. Yes I think this is true I think that marijuana at one time was the drug of the poor. It was the drug of the ghetto. And under the influence of marijuana the ghetto inhabitant could fantasy all of the affluence and material rewards of our society. He could visualize his Cadillac a freezer full of all kinds of goodies and it afforded him. Some kind of relief from the poverty which he found himself in. On the other hand the college advocates of the drug usually have been raised in middle class affluent homes and their drug use is in an attempt to escape the emptiness and meaninglessness of their middle class life. And they talk about
really finding resources and aspects of themselves of their personalities which we they were never aware of before. While under the influence of marijuana the Lafayette clinic in Detroit is the eighth largest psychiatric outpatient clinic in the country. Most research at the clinic is done in the area of serious psychosis. With the emphasis on schizophrenia as he stated at the beginning of this program Dr. Libby has seen only one marijuana induced psychosis in over 11 years at the clinic. Dr. Scherer on the other hand claims that at the University of Michigan Health Service she has seen medical problems that are attributable to marijuana. We had one thousand year old girl who stated that during a marijuana reaction she had become intensely anxious and apprehensive. Without any idea of what she was afraid of she said that she'd been in a state of panic and very agitated for a while. And there was a 20 year old man that
stated during a drug reaction. He would become preoccupied with whether as friends thought he was homosexual. There is there was no reality testing in this conviction during a drug reaction. I was a student that I saw who had had marijuana on three occasions that I bought it weekly intervals. You know I saw him three or four months after the last dose he had favorable results of the first two. Uses of the drug and on the third had an acute panic reaction where you had to be physically restrained by his friends. And now four months later when I saw him initially he dated all his troubles as starting back to this panic reaction to the fact that he'd never really been clear of panic to some degree to the present time and he felt that he was spending a large percentage of his psychic energy just holding himself together as he described.
Again these are people who react and I'm sure underlying psychological problems but who are functionally adequate or functioning adequately prior to the use of drugs. And in this one particular case I'd just say that the N has had significant difficulty since. Opponents of marijuana often quote two sources. Dr. David ause of Bell and Dr P. L. Chappell to back up their contention that the drug is dangerous. In his book drug addiction Dr also Bell says that depriving chronic users of marijuana may result in anxiety restlessness irritability or even a state of depression with suicidal fantasies. Sometimes self-mutilating actions or actual suicide attempts and Dr. Chappell writing in the British Journal of addiction says that from a psychiatric point of view marijuana dependence is but little different from narcotic addiction. Well I would disagree with the latter statement. I think there's a
very basic difference is between marijuana dependence and heroin or morphine dependence for instance heroin or morphine dependence is a far more serious form of drug use and it is not compatible with any kind of creative loving marijuana dependence on the other hand. It does not have that kind of pervasive effect upon the user. Now as regards Dr ASA Bell statement I have never observed the clinical phenomenon which he described. I'm not in any attempt to not by any means attempting to minimize the effects of marijuana. Nevertheless I must admit that in 13 years. Here at the Lafayette clinic we simply have not observed these changes at least in those patients whom we have studied who have
been using American street marijuana. This may be depended upon a home much of the active ingredient is in the cigarette. Another point of contention on the issue of marijuana involves whether or not marijuana leads to the use of more potent drugs such as heroin. The government says it does and offers studies to back up its point. One of these studies was made at the Public Health Service Hospital at Lexington Kentucky in 1967 of over 2000 addicts examined at that time seventy point four percent had used marijuana prior to their addiction. Other substantiation of its positions as the government comes again from Dr. Chapal who says that his research shows that evidence is strong that marijuana develops a taste for drug intoxication which often leads to more potent drugs such as heroin. Dr. Libby these arguments were valid and I
think that in this country we would have an enormous number of heroin addicts as far as I know. We we at the present time have some 50000 heroin users in the United States. Half of them live in the city of New York. Heroin is the drug of the urban poor. I believe that some 40 to 50 percent of college students have had some kind of an experience with marijuana. Many other people have used marijuana at one time or another in their lives. I suspect that if marijuana use played a significant part in her own addiction we would know have at least 500000 to 1 million addicts in this country today. My impression is that the
heroin addict has tried many drugs in his past from Maryland heroin to the amphetamines to the anti-histamines he will use anything which will give him a high or a kick. So I would really discount the importance of marijuana in the development of addiction to the narcotic drugs. One of the mainstays of the government's argument against reducing penalties for marijuana offenses is the idea that marijuana causes crimes of violence. In our first program Ross Ellis the director of the federal narcotics bureau for Michigan Ohio and Kentucky dwelled at length on this relationship to Alice. There is no doubt but that marijuana causes violent crime. Dr. Scherer agrees with that position saying that while she interned at a Washington D.C. hospital she saw several
examples of cases that involved what she refers to as marijuana and deeds of rather pronounced violence. Dr. Libby however takes a different position regarding this argument. I suspect that some violent crimes have been committed under the influence of marijuana. And he also says back that the great majority of women crimes the United States are committed. Persons who have not been using marijuana. So I don't think really that that is a valid statement. I'm concerned about marijuana. I'm concerned about the manner in which college students are abusing the drug. Yet I find that the marshalling data of this kind in opposition to the drug really leads only to the feeling among students that they are being lied to were
that no valid basis for not using the drug is presented to them. And this is why. In top 1 in talking to students I don't use data of this kind in the past the American Medical Association has said that the use of marijuana is probably disproportionately higher among young persons with psychiatric problems than among those without them. A comment from Dr. Scherer and Dr. Libby on whether they agree with that statement. Yes I do. We we seem to confirm this in the in the students that we see here at University that are having problems with marijuana. You know ice becomes a problem what causes what's the cause and what's the result. I think that most investigators would agree that marijuana cannot
produce functional psychopathology but can only pursue potatoes and individuals who are predisposed to this this problem. Many may interpret this as an exoneration of the drug. However I I feel that. But the occurrence of psycho biology in any individual at a given time requires many factors that if people have a predisposition to mental illness. Are many more many more people have a predisposition to mental illness than develop it and so that that in this sense the use of marijuana to me for septic trouble that would otherwise have not developed or made profit occurred at a later date when they're better able to handle it. I.e. I don't know whether I like him and agree with that statement. We do see many young people with psychiatric problems who are desperately searching for some kind of meaning in their life
or some way of relating to other people for some method of reducing anxiety. And marijuana provides them with a a temporary. Technique of achieving all of these goals yet I have seen students whom I would certainly not call psychiatrically ill who have used marijuana in social settings as they would use alcohol. Few people would doubt that marijuana use has increased considerably in the last few years. The federal government says the frequency of marijuana arrests and seizures has risen by several hundred percent in the Detroit area alone. Dr. loopy on why the drug is used so much today. Well I think that a drug culture has developed in this country. We in the United States are notorious where our extensive use of
drugs of one kind or another. And among college students there is a kind of seeking or searching for a widening of their individual experience and some kind of affirmation of their identity. And these drugs. According to their proponents their users enable people to look into themselves to find meaning in life which they had heretofore not been able to find. And I think that they are excellent tranquilizers in the sense that they they do reduce anxiety they facilitate social communication they make it much easier for Rob the shy and withdrawn people to want to talk you know in a in a group. I'm not advocating the use of
marijuana for this purpose but I suspect this is why. The seizures of of the leaf have increased so very much in the United States. Dr. Scherer and Dr. Luby give slightly different answers when asked whether there is a chance that those who say they favor marijuana because it is no worse than alcohol might risk overlooking some of the drug's dangers. I think that that after all the dangers this has been proven time and time again. However I don't consider marijuana as as a good comparison even outside the legal aspects of the use that are out that adds danger to what you see is a problem that I feel that marijuana acts on a higher brain center than you know all of us. Alcohol well Pressac down and lower levels of the cerebellum
and cause dizziness and a taxi is discordant activity. But marijuana I'm convinced can cause acute brain syndromes panic reactions and personality changes that may be difficult to reverse. Yes I think unquestionably they are closing themselves off to some of the possible dangers of marijuana. However I think that statement by the way is correct. Alcohol addiction in this country is a far more serious problem than marijuana habituation the physical consequences of alcohol use are very severe. The effect of alcohol upon living can be profound and easily far greater than that which occurs with them with marijuana. On the other hand extensive marijuana habituation can lead to
a withdrawal from any kind of creative living and a sort of apathy and an involvement would certainly is a profoundly self-destructive. While Dr. Libby believes that on the whole there are many exaggerations being put forth as evidence of marijuana's danger. He also believes there still are some solid reasons for not considering the drug to be safe. The dangers involved in marijuana use probably Well first of all marijuana is an habituating drug that is a psychological dependence can develop upon marijuana so that the drug can become the dominant factor in in the habituated patient's life. You can become preoccupied with marijuana to the exclusion
of all other aspects of living. Secondly while taking the drug unquestionably there is an impairment of judgment of orientation. He will tend to behave in a manner which is not characteristic for him in the non-drug state. And. Thirdly the social setting in which marijuana is used may lead to the use of other more serious drugs. On the whole Dr. Scherer tends to be more receptive than Dr. loopy to statements about marijuana that claim the drug causes crime and leads to stronger drugs such as heroin. Both doctors however view with alarm the severity of penalties for marijuana offenses. Yes I would I would like to see the penalty decrease for possession.
I would I would like to see it remain as it is for sale of the drug importation cetera. But I'd like to see some of these youngsters have have another chance. And where this is their chance by law rather than discretion or the penalties are they the as I mentioned they represent cruel and unusual punishment. When you can sentence any man to 20 years in prison for using marijuana. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. I think this kind of penalty is rarely imposed but nevertheless it should not even be there as a as a threat. And he in my opinion no marijuana use should be a misdemeanor.
The participants in this program were Dr. Marguerite Scherer of the University of Michigan Health Service and Dr. Elliot Lubin the assistant director of clinical services at Detroit's Lafayette clinic and professor of psychiatry in Wayne State University's School of Medicine. On the final program in this series entitled The president's report and the future we will talk to Bruce Jackson the author of several articles about drugs and a member of the study group on narcotics and drug abuse for the presidential Crime Commission report. The doctors Park Five Mary-Jane in perspective a series of sex programs about marijuana use by Brian Reuben for Michigan State University Radio. This is the national
Mary Jane for perspective
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Chicago: “Mary Jane for perspective; 5,” 1969-01-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 11, 2022,
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APA: Mary Jane for perspective; 5. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from