LaGuardia Committee Report on Marihuana (1944) Biography
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
1. "Under the influence of marihuana the basic personality structure of the individual does not change but some of the more superficial aspects of his behavior show alteration.
2. With the use of marihuana the individual experiences increased feelings of relaxation, disinhibition and self-confidence.
3. The new feeling of self-confidence induced by the drug expresses itself primarily through oral rather than through physical activity. There is some indication of a diminution in physical activity.
4. The disinhibition which results from the use of marihuana releases what is latent in the individual's thoughts and emotions but does not evoke responses which would be totally alien to him in his undrugged state.
5. Marihuana not only releases pleasant reactions but also feelings of anxiety.
6. Individuals with a limited capacity for effective experience and who have difficulty in making social contacts are more likely to resort to marihuana than those more capable of outgoing responses."
Summary, LaGuardia Committee Report on Marihuana, 1944
Government Reports and Peer-Reviewed Studies Official vetted reports from international government bodies (such as the United Nations and the European Union), foreign governments (federal level agencies such as France’s Ministry of Justice, South Africa’s Ministry of Health, or Japan’s office of the Prime Minister), and US government agencies (state, federal, and quasi-government agencies including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, and Legal Services Corporation) and peer-reviewed studies from academic journals (such as Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, etc.) tend to have multiple editorial and ideological filters, and they normally receive rigorous review from experts before being formally issued.
A Government investigation commissioned by Mayor LaGuardia, New York City
New York State Committee
"The Committee on Public Health Relations adopted the report of its Subcommittee and recommended to Mayor LaGuardia that he appoint a special committee to carry out the proposed study.
Accordingly in January 1939 he appointed the Mayor's Committee on Marihuana, composed of the members of the Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Health Relations which recommended the study [Dr. George B. Wallace, Chairman, Dr. E. H. L. Corwin, Secretary, and Drs. McKeen Cattell, Leon H. Cornwall, Robert F. Loeb, Currier McEwen, B. S. Oppenheimer, Charles Diller Ryan, and Dudley D. Shoenfeld] and four ex-officio members: Dr. Peter F. Amoroso, First Deputy Commissioner (later Commissioner) of Correction; Dr. Karl M. Bowman, Director of the Psychiatric Division of the Department of Hospitals; Dr. S. S. Goldwater, Commissioner of Hospitals- and Dr. John L. Rich, Commissioner of Health. Upon his accession to the commissionership of the Department of Hospitals, Dr. Willard C. Rappleye succeeded Dr. Goldwater as a member of this Committee."
"The studies were made possible by the financial support of three Foundations, the Friedsam Foundation, the New York Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund, each of which donated $7,500. The whole amounts granted by the Friedsam Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund and $5,000 of the New York Foundation's grant were to be applied to the clinical study- the remaining $2,500 given by the New York Foundation was earmarked for the sociological study. The Research Council of the Department of Hospitals undertook the financial supervision of the clinical study and The New York Academy of Medicine that of the sociological study."
"The sociological study proceeded under the active direction of Dr. Dudley D. Shoenfeld.[...] The clinical study consisted of two parts; the medical, including psychiatric, and the psychological. Dr. Karl M. Bowman directed the medical and psychiatric part of this study and Dr. David Wechsler the psychological part."
# of Offices:
# of Staff:
Samuel Allentuck, M.D., Psychiatrist, who was in charge
Louis Gitzelter, MD
Frank Anker, MD, Assistant Physicians
Robert S. Morrow, PhD
Florence Halpern, MA
Adolph G. Woltmann, MA
Miss Rose Horowitz, secretary-stenographer and bookkeeper
"The Committee is indebted to the Department of Hospitals for making available two small wards and office space in the Welfare Hospital (now known as the Goldwater Memorial Hospital), to Dr. Chrisman G. Scheri, the Superintendent of the hospital, and to the laboratory staff of the Third Medical Division for their assistance in the conduct of laboratory experiments. Acknowledgment should also be made of the services of Dr. Robert C. Batterman who interpreted the electrocardiograms and Dr. Hans Strauss for the electroencephalographic work. Professor Walter R. Miles of Yale University assisted in the planning of the psychological part of the study. This whole undertaking would have been impossible without the help and cooperation of Dr. Peter F. Amoroso, of the Department of Correction, who, aside from his services as a member of the Committee, was responsible for arrangements for volunteers from among the prisoners of the Riker's Island Penitentiary. Thanks are due also to the medical staff of the Riker's Island Hospital for their assistance in the narcotic addiction study.
At the suggestion of Dr. Cattell a pharmacological study was done in the Department of Pharmacology of Cornell Medical School by Dr. S. Loewe. Dr. W. Modell collaborated in this work. We are indebted to Dr. Roger Adams, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois, and to Dr. H. J. Wollner, Consulting Chemist of the United States Treasury Department, who supplied some of the active principles of marihuana which were used in the study...
The tremendous task of compiling, editing, and revising the reports was undertaken by Dr. George B. Wallace, the chairman of the Committee, and Miss Elizabeth V. Cunningham of the staff of the Committee on Public Health Relations of The New York Academy of Medicine. They had the assistance of Dr. Dudley D. Shoenfeld, who prepared the sociological report, Dr. David Wechsler, who revised the psychological reports, and Dr. McKeen Cattell, who edited the pharmacological report."
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