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Anthropology 2201F/G
Christopher Ellis

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? 2. Claims Judgments 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in May Although Anslinger's views on cannabis are 1938 advising the Prime Minister that this 'new drug regarded as so outdated that they are humorous that maddens victims' was not new at all and that entertainment, his extreme views underlie much of the drug had been used in Australia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
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