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Mrs. William Dick Sporborg to Seek Aid of State Head of Schools in Drive.


Program of Crime Prevention Adopts Anti-Narcotic Work as Pivotal Point.

New York Times  January 3, 1937

Cooperation of the Commissioner of Education of the State of New York will be asked by Mrs. William Dick Sporborg in inaugurating a campaign of education among the pupils of junior and senior high schools covering the devastating effects of the use of the marihuana weed.

In her duel capacity as chairman of the department of crime prevention of the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs and chairman of legislation for the General Federation, Mrs. Sproborg has assumed responsibility for a concerted drive against the narcotic. This will be a pivotal point in the program for crime prevention locally but its ramifications, it is hoped, will reach into every State.

Mrs. Sporborg has just returned from a conference with Henry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The Federal bureau has admitted that its hands are tied by the fact that the marihuana weed is indigenous to so many States that its distribution is an intrastate problem. Hope for its ultimate control lies, in the opinion of the government's officers, in adoption by States of the Uniform Narcotic Act.

More Aid to Be Sought

In the work of education, assistance of the State Congress of Parents and Teachers will be sought. Throughout the country, national educational organizations will be asked to assist in bringing home to young people not already acquatined with marihuana the reasons for its general designation as "the killer drug." In cigarettes, it is most commonly sold to school boys and girls, according to Mrs. Sporborg. The weed derives its name from the Mexican equivalent of the names of Mary and John, a fact which those who are engaged in the attack on it say suggests its universal appeal to boys and girls.

"Primarily we want to protect our young people from a danger which is not apparent to them," says Mrs. Sporborg, "but if the government is going to stop the traffic in marihuana, it will have to have the cooperation of Statewide organizations.

Conference to Be Called

"Recently a boat came into New York Harbor from Southern waters with practically the entire crew under the influence of this drug. This endangers the lives of travelers and we are aghast, but the cigarettes sold in the vicinity of our high schools in an age when smoking is so generally indulged in by girls as well as boys, makes this our immediate concern. After our general federation meeting in Washington this month it may seem advisable to call a conference here in New York to discuss the suppression of the drug."

The General Federation of Women's Clubs has made measures against the smuggling of narcotics a part of its interest for many years and a sustained drive in every State for adoption of the Uniform Narcotic Act will probably grow out of the board meeting to be held in the near future.

Evidence to show that the sale of marihuana cigarettes is definitely tied up with juvenile delinquency has been accumulated by Mrs. Sporborg to fortify her department of crime prevention, which will make an attack on the vending of these cigarettes in the vicinity of high schools as part of its program.


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