6 Motivation of the User

Cannabis has a long history of ceremonial use in religion in some primitive tribes of Africa and South America, as well as in India, where legal restrictions do not necessitate concealment and where cannabis is still used to a considerable degree as an indigenous medicine. In fact, one contemporary Indian author has pleaded that cannabis continue to be available to the Ayurvedic practitioners, for whom it is an important part of the traditional armamentarium, at least until the use of modern drugs is introduced to the villages.1 Moreover, cannabis, usually in the form of bhang or ganja, is frequently taken by laborers at the end of the day to alleviate fatigue. I. C. and R. N. Chopra note that this results in a 50-percent increase in cannabis consumption in certain parts of India during the harvest season. They write that "a common practice amongst laborers engaged in building or excavation work is to have a few pulls at a ganja pipe or to drink a glass of bhang toward the evening. This produces a sense of well-being, relieves fatigue, stimulates the appetite, and induces a feeling of mild stimulation which enables the worker to bear more cheerfully the strain of the daily routine of life."2 Writing in 1913, C. J. G. Bourhill stated that dagga smoking was not only permitted, but actually encouraged, among African mine workers because "after a smoke the natives work hard and show very little fatigue." The usual mine practice was to allow three smokes a day.3 R. P. Walton noted that the same practice is or was "traditional in the Southwest and in Mexico . . . laborers will usually work better if allowed a moderate amount of the drug. They perform their duties with fair effectiveness and say they do not 'feel work.'"4 Thus, for many people around the world the importance of cannabis as an in-

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Marihuana Reconsidered
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The History of Marihuana in the United States 10
  • 2 - From Plant to Intoxicant 30
  • 3 - Chemistry and Pharmacology 42
  • 4 - The Acute Intoxication: Literary and Other Reports 55
  • 5 - The Acute Intoxication: Its Properties 117
  • 6 - Motivation of the User 173
  • 7 - Turning On 185
  • 8 - The Place of Cannabis in Medicine 218
  • 10 - Psychoses, Adverse Reactions, and Personality Deterioration 253
  • 11 - Crime and Sexual Excess 291
  • 12 - The Campaign Against Marihuana 323
  • 13 - The Question of Legalization 344
  • Abbreviations Selected Bibliography Notes Index 373
  • Abbreviations 375
  • Selected Bibliography 379
  • Notes 391
  • Index 433
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