Student Name: Shereen Anis
Student Number/ ID: 250560471
Title: Assignment 1- “New Drug Maddens Victims” th
Assignment Due Date: Friday, September 30 2011, 11:59pm
What is the issue of this program?
1. Is the claim that Cannabis, Marijuana and or “Skunk” are responsible for the inclining rates of
Schizophrenia, psychosis and early triggering of mental illnesses?
What kinds of claims or judgments are at issue?
Marijuana was a kind of super weed, twenty times Cannabis was almost invariably described in
more powerful than Cannabis indica or Indian Australian newspapers as 'the dreaded sex drug,
hemp said to be well known for its violently sex marijuana'.
stimulating effects. The article stated that 'under the
influence of the newer drug the addict becomes at
times almost an uncontrollable sex maniac, able to
obtain satisfaction only from the most appalling of
perversions and orgies'.
Dr John Howard Cumpston, who replied in May Although Anslinger's views on cannabis are
1938 advising the Prime Minister that this 'new drug regarded as so outdated that they are humorous
that maddens victims' was not new at all and that entertainment, his extreme views underlie much of
the drug had been used in Australia for decades and the debate about cannabis and madness today.
was sufficiently regulated under the various state
Poisons Acts as Cannabis indica.
Dr O'Shaughnessy listed the effects of Cannabis This second version of Reefer Madness has
indica - it alleviated pain, exhilarated the spirits, acquired a veneer of science through the media's
increased the appetite and acted decidedly as an selective coverage of the academic literature on
aphrodisiac. As an anti-convulsant he found it was cannabis and schizophrenia.
able to suppress even the terrible convulsions of
tetanus and rabies. He concluded "In Hemp the
profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of
the greatest value".
In the 1990s a new age of Reefer Madness began in Dr Mathew Large, whose paper in February this
the media with a scare campaign about cannabis year, Cannabis Use and Earlier Onset of Psychosis:
causing schizophrenia. That decade saw the start of A systematic Meta-analysis, precipitated a flood of
a moral panic about 'skunk', claimed to be thirty articles with titles likeCannabis use accelerates
times more powerful than the gentle pot of the mental illness; Psychosis triggered by smoking
1960s. According to the newspapers smoking even pot? Cannabis can hasten onset of psychosis
one joint of 'skunk' could send you mad. according to new research; Cannabis triggers early
mental illness. It was an extraordinary media blitz.
claim that there was a new kind of cannabis that was The Australian warned middle-aged fathers 'it's not
many times stronger than previous. And once again safe to share a joint with their teenage sons',
it was all lurid rubbish.
while the prohibitionists of the 1930s had claimed The central objection to Reefer Madness Version
that the new drug