DRCNet Homepage | Sign on to DRCNet

DRCNet Library | Search the Library

Schaffer Library | The Psychedelic Library

Books Menu Page

The Marijuana Smokers

  Erich Goode

    Chapter 8 - Multiple Drug Use Among Marijuana Smokers

The Premise

    The antimarijuana argument most widely encountered and taken seriously is that marijuana is a "threshold" drug; its use, it is said, "precipitates," "predisposes," or "potentiates" the user to the more potent and dangerous drugs, particularly heroin. It is the empirical and logical basis of this argument that we will now examine.
    It is interesting that the Federal Bureau of Narcotics did not take this argument seriously during the period of the richest and most virulent diatribes against the drug. In 1937, the year of the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, Harry Anslinger, in testimony before a congressional committee, said that the marijuana user specifically did not progress to heroin: "I have not heard of a case of that kind.... The marihuana addict does not go in that direction." With the post-World War II wave of heroin use and addiction, the connection was suddenly perceived by Anslinger. No studies were done in the interim which demonstrated the connection, or even hinted at it. (Some observers claim that the shift in the association, if it has occurred, is evidence that it is the laws and the law enforcement officers which have created the marijuana-heroin link.) In any case, beginning in the late 1940S and early 1950S, asserting the marijuana-heroin link was part of official FBN policy.
    Other observers in the 1930s, however, were affirming the association that Anslinger denied. In fact, an even more elaborate association was constructed for marijuana. One of the most widely circulated and widely quoted works of the 1930s, On the Trail of Marihuana: The Weed of Madness, written by Earle Albert Rowell and Robert Rowell, asserted that cigarettes lead to marijuana, and marijuana, eventually, to heroin.
    This argument emphasizes progressive moral decay as the dynamic thrust generating this movement from one drug to another, a kind of "greased toboggan to hell" approach to activities that society condemns. In a sense, one sin begets another greater sin. By getting away with one sinful activity, one is emboldened to try a more serious one. The only way of avoiding this descent into total corruption is to avoid all contact with evil. Since cigarette smoking is clearly an evil activity, one can avoid being sucked into the maws of marijuana use—and subsequently, narcotics addiction—by never smoking at all:
Marijuana is especially dangerous because it comes in cigarette form. The great tobacco companies have prepared the way for the Devil's parade of death; they have popularized the use of cigarettes ... until today in America, men, women, boys and girls think nothing of lighting up their choice tobaccos.... It is easy now, for a young man or woman planted by the peddler, to pass out this new cigarette and American youth, always looking for adventure, will fall an easy prey. The step from Marijuana to... morphine is a short one.[1]

    Today's observers would consider this portrait absurd, even amusing. As pointed out in the chapters on selling marijuana and on becoming a marijuana user, the neophyte is turned on and supplied by friends; the peddler does not supply cigarettes to get his customers hooked on narcotics. The percentage who go from tobacco cigarettes to marijuana and from marijuana to heroin is minuscule so that no peddler could possibly afford to spend the necessary time to recruit customers.
    In spite of its late entry into the pot-to-heroin debate, the FBN (now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, a subunit of the Justice Department) is presently the most vigorous proponent of the progression theory (although the Bureau, now under John Ingersoll, may eventually represent a departure from its earlier stand of the Anslinger-Giordano years).
... it cannot be too strongly emphasized that the smoking of the marihuana cigarette is a dangerous first step on the road which usually leads to enslavement by heroin....
    Ordinarily, a person is tempted first with marihuana cigarettes. He may not even know they are dope. Then, someone already addicted makes it easy to try some heroin. Most teenage addicts started by smoking marihuana cigarettes. Never let anyone persuade you to smoke even one marihuana cigarette. It is pure poison.[2]
    One particularly grave danger of habitual marihuana use is that there is often a clear pattern of gradation from marihuana to the stronger addictive opiates.[3]

    Often antidrug and narcotics associations, as well as educational and parents' organizations, will sponsor lectures by ex-addicts who describe the horrors of addiction, along with the inevitability of the transition from smoking pot to leading the life of a junkie. One of the most dramatic and effective of such talks, at Miami Beach, is excerpted below:
I am a drug addict.... For twenty-three years of my life I was a junkie. I spent seventeen years... in jails....
    I come from a very nice Jewish family, a middle-to-upper income family. I was the baby and they loved me. They educated me; I got a degree in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin.
    And what did I do to them? I have had forty-seven arrests. For using narcotics. Felonious possession of narcotics. Selling narcotics. For being a whore. For being the madam of a whorehouse. For running a con game.
    I'm not a thief..., but when you have a $185-a-day habit of cocaine and heroin, no legitimate job can support it.
    Look at me.... I'm a fifty-year-old hippie. Every vein is collapsed. I must carry my stigma all my life, a card that warns the doctor he must never try to give me a shot of anything, that only the vein in my neck can be used to take blood out if necessary....
    I was finishing six months as an habitual user in New York. I gave an "honest" cop $10 to slip a letter out to my connection, Porkchop, in East Harlem. I told Porkchop to meet me when I got out, to have a fix ready, I couldn't go out on the street without it.
    He was waiting for me. I went into a phone booth and right through my clothing I gave myself a shot. Just then a police matron came in to make a call, and she busted me. Another six months—a year, back to back. And I started to get scared.
    I was forty-six years old. I couldn't go out and hustle. There are twenty-year-olds doing that. I couldn't shoplift; my mug is known in every store
    from Klein's to De Pinna. I was a five-time loser, I could get fifteen to thirty years. I didn't get smart. I got scared....
    Here I am. I loused up a complete lifetime. I'm starting a new life and I'm forty-nine.

    The revelation of this talk was not simply that someone could become a junkie and live a life of degradation and infamy; it was that pot was the front door to this downfall. "All I did was start with pot," the ex-addict explained. "At the university I fell in love and married a musician.... My husband smoked pot, and what my love did, I did." When asked by a sophisticated student about the "statistics on marijuana leading to drug addiction," she replied:
Will you believe me if I tell you that I know junkies after twenty-three years of living in the gutter with them? Will you believe me when I tell you that I don't know any junkie that started on horse, that they all started on pot?
    I don't know statistics, but I know a thousand junkies, and I tell you that they all started on marijuana. Using drugs is sheer stupidity....[4]

    The question before us, then, is what do the studies on multiple drug use tell us about the likelihood of "progressing" from marijuana to more potent drugs, such as heroin?


Multiple Drug Use among 200 Marijuana Smokers

    In my questionnaire, I asked interviewees what drugs other than marijuana they had taken at least once to become high. With two specific drugs, heroin and LSD, I also asked how often they had ever taken them. I excluded those drugs taken for strictly utilitarian purposes, such as amphetamine pills taken for dietary reasons or for studying. Needless to say, the fact that a given individual, or a certain percentage of the sample, ever took one or another drug at least once does not imply continued or even occasional usage of that drug. In fact, most individuals who try any given drug to become high do so a small number of times; the majority of all drug users are experimenters, and the regular users, although numerous for many drugs, are usually in the minority.

Multiple Drug Use Among Marijuana Smokers:
Two Studies
  Goode  EVO   
    55"Diet pills"
Barbiturate or tranquilizer  2418Barbiturate or tranquilizer 
Opium2011Opium or morphine
Peyote or mescaline1941Peyote
Amyl nitrite888
    4Cough medicine
Morning-glory seeds510Morning-glory seeds

    About the same time I was interviewing respondents, The East Village Other conducted the survey on drug use cited in Chapter 2, which made inquiries about the age of first turning on, arrests for drugs, feelings of paranoia, selling marijuana, and so forth. One question asked the respondent to enumerate all the drugs he had taken at least once. While this study, like my own, had problems of interpretation,[5] I will examine parallels between the two studies, showing that, although the percentage using nearly every drug is higher for the EVO respondents, the rank-order (i.e. degree of popularity) of the drug used was surprisingly similar.
    Among the 204 respondents, the use of drugs in addition to marijuana was more characteristic than it was exceptional. About two-thirds of the respondents (68 percent) had taken at least one drug other than marijuana or hashish once or more. (Some of the interviewees, I found out later, did not distinguish between marijuana and hashish.) The median number of drugs taken by the interviewees was two and the mean was 3.4. More important than the sheer number of drugs taken is both the kind of drug taken, as well as the frequency. In spite of the commonly stated belief that involvement with marijuana will lead to the use, and eventual addiction to heroin, this potentially dangerous narcotic was used by only a small minority of the sample. Twenty-seven respondents, or 13 percent of the sample, had used heroin at least once, with extremely limited use predominating.
    The picture that LSD presents is different in the extent of its use among marijuana smokers, but similar in the characteristic infrequency. Half had taken the drug at least once and of these, a quarter, or 12 percent of the whole sample, tried LSD only once; nineteen took it twice. Only fourteen respondents took the drug twenty-five times or more, and of these, four had taken it one hundred or more times. Thus, LSD typically is not a drug of frequent use. It is most often taken for curiosity, exploring unusual psychic states, affirming one's status in, and experiencing some of the bases of, a distinctive subculture. Probably more than any other drug in use, the drop-off after the first drug experience is precipitous. There was usually little desire to continue use. Of course, the frequent LSD user may be found (Timothy Leary has claimed to have taken more than 400 "trips"), but relatively rarely. And, of course, fear of chromosome damage temporarily brought the widespread use of LSD almost to a halt, sometime after the interviews, by the fall of 1967. However, after the initial scare, many drug users gradually discounted the findings on the damage to the chromosomes, partly as a result of contrary propaganda, and the extent of LSD usage climbed back up to its former level, accompanied by the use of other psychedelics, such as mescaline.
    Since our sample is not representative, we have no idea whether the percentage taking each of these drugs can be applied to the larger marijuana-using population; it is a safe guess that our respondents are much more heavily involved with other drugs than is the average group of cannabis smokers, including everyone who has sampled the drug at least once up to the daily smoker. What we want to know are the factors that are related to multiple-drug use; what is there in the social life of some users that contributes to the use of drugs other than marijuana? What is it that helps a marijuana user go on to other drugs?
    We found that the most potent variable, by far, in determining a user's use of drugs other than marijuana was how much he smoked marijuana. For instance, nearly all of the daily smokers had tried at least three drugs other than cannabis (92 percent), while almost none of the less than monthly smokers did so (g percent). Each of the categories of use in between formed a step-wise pattern of multiple-drug use; there was a perfect relationship between how much the person smoked marijuana and the likelihood of trying other drugs. (This relationship is presented in Table 8-2).

Frequency of Marijuana Use and Involvement with
Drug Activities (percent)
Marijuana UseEver Tried at
Least Three Drugs
Aside from Marijuana
Ever Took LSD
at Least Once
Ever Sold
Ever Bought
3 to 6 times per week69718093
1 or 2 times per week29494084
1 to 4 times monthly19251467
Less than monthly9221129

    In fact, the concatenance of many factors relating to marijuana use, conceptions of identity, and marijuana-related activity, was remarkable. The more that the respondent used marijuana, the greater the likelihood of conceiving of others in marijuana-relevant terms, conceiving oneself in terms of being a marijuana user, and of desiring that others around oneself smoke marijuana.
    With extended, frequent use and its invariable concomitant, subcultural association, attitudinal shifts generally take place relative to drug use and drug-associated identities. The more that one smokes, the greater the likelihood that he will see himself as a marijuana smoker and the higher that drug-connected identities will rank on his "who am I?" responses. The more that one will look for drug cues in others, the more he will think of others in drug-associated terms; also the more one will think it necessary that others with whom he associates smoke. The more that one smokes, the greater the salience that marijuana has in his life. (The evidence for this assertion is presented in Table 8-3.)

Salience of Marijuana by Amount of Use
Percent saying "yes" to the following questions:
"When you meet a person for the first time, is the fact that he smokes marijuana one of the first
    half-dozen things you think about?"
"Is it preferable that your friends smoke marijuana, or not?"
"Do you think that you would turn on your younger brother or sister, if you had one?"
Marijuana UseFirst Half-dozen
Preferable if
Turn on
Daily 81 56 88
3 to 6 times per week 69 53 73
1 or 2 times per week 45 37 65
1 to 4 times monthly 39 33 57
Less than monthly 16 31 41

    It is impossible at this point to draw causal arrows. We must rather, think of the relationship between our variables in dialectical terms. One variable, the amount of marijuana smoked, influences a person's conception of himself as a smoker which, in turn, also influences how much he smokes. The simple cause and effect model is inadequate here. All of the factors form a kind of configuration. The amount a person smokes is easily quantifiable, but it is itself a partial consequence of other factors. To attempt to separate a strand does violence to the whole.
    Moreover, the more an individual smokes marijuana, the greater is the likelihood that he will also be involved in drug-related activities which further strengthen his social ties to the drug-using group. For instance, the more he smokes, the greater the chances of his having bought and/or sold marijuana. The more he smokes, the greater the need to purchase marijuana; the more he smokes, the greater is the chance of being able to take advantage of the economy in large purchases, and the greater the likelihood of having a surplus to sell; the more he smokes, the more he associates with others who smoke, especially heavily, and thus the more centrally located he is in the marijuana distribution system, and the more knowledge he has about buying and selling.
    But the arrows move in both directions. The more he buys and sells, the greater the number and the intensity of his personal acquaintances in the marijuana network, and the more reinforced will be his marijuana-related activities, including smoking; the more that he buys and sells, the more marijuana there will be around— the greater the likelihood of his keeping a supply—to smoke, and the greater the likelihood of having marijuana to offer to friends when they visit. Simultaneously, both use and sale can be seen as indices of the degree of involvement in the marijuana subcommunity (see Table 8-4).

Nonmarijuana Drug Use by Buying and Selling Marijuana
Taken One
or Two
  Other Drugs 
Taken Three
or More
  Other Drugs 
Bought Marijuana  Yes272749147
Sold MarijuanaYes13226489

    The greater the proportion of one's friends who are regular marijuana smokers, the greater is the likelihood that one has taken drugs other than marijuana, and the more extensive one's experience with other drugs is likely to be. Likewise, buying and selling push the individual into social relations that alter his conception of himself regarding drug use and provide opportunities for involvement with other kinds of drugs. The fact that the individual has bought and sold marijuana means that he has had contact with other individuals who are likely to be heavily involved in drug use and who define drug use in favorable terms. This clearly means that other drugs are more available to him (friendships and drug use are empirically related in Tables 8-5 and 8-6).

Nonmarijuana Drug Use by Marijuana-Smoking Friends
Percent of Friends
Who Are Regular
Marijuana Smokers
Taken Marijuana
Taken One or
Two Other Drugs
Taken Three or
More Other Drugs

Taking LSD by Marijuana-
Smoking Friends
  Percent      N   
60-100%    6473

    Heavy marijuana use, then, implicates the individual in intense and extensive social interaction with other marijuana users, involves him with numerous marijuana users and in numerous marijuana related activities, alters the role of marijuana as a relevant criterion in his conceptions of others, and changes his conception of himself as a drug user. Moreover, it increases the likelihood of his taking drugs, in addition to marijuana, of which the subculture approves
    The higher the proportion of friends who were also regular marijuana smokers, the greater were the individual's chances of taking LSD. The fact that he bought or sold marijuana also increased his chances of having taken LSD. It can be seen in Table 8-7 that since marijuana selling is a more intense commitment than mere buying—selling takes one further into the core of the drug-using subculture, particularly the psychedelic drug community—it serves as a more effective predictor in differentiating whether a person will have taken LSD. (Thirteen percent more of the sellers of marijuana have taken LSD than the buyers, and 7 percent fewer of the nonbuyers have taken it than the nonsellers.)

Taking LSD by Buying and
Selling Marijuana
        Yes    No    N 
Bought Marijuana  Yes5941147
        Yes    No    N 
Sold MarijuanaYes722869

    For every drug that we computed, the daily marijuana smoker was far more likely to have tried it than was the less than monthly marijuana smoker. For instance, only a tiny proportion of the least involved smokers (4 percent) had tried heroin at least once, while slightly over a third of the daily smokers had A quarter of the less than monthly smokers had taken one of the amphetamines to get high, while four-fifths of the daily smokers had. So the greater the amount of marijuana use, the greater the chance of having taken nearly any drug. Intense and continuing involvement with marijuana use implies involvement in a drug-using subculture. But it must be recognized that this is a highly conditional statement, it refers specifically to heavy use and intense involvement. At the lowest levels of use, the use of drugs considered dangerous is highly unlikely.
    By smoking marijuana, one does not automatically hurl oneself into an LSD miasma. But by smoking marijuana regularly, one makes friends who also smoke. By making friends who smoke, one's attitudes about not only marijuana use, but also the use of the hallucinogens may change as well. The more that one smokes, the more likely it is that one will make friends who approve of LSD use, and who offer opportunities for the use of the LSD-type drugs. We must think of this process in dynamic, as well as in dimensionalist, terms. This is a time-bound process. And it is a process that is a matter of degree. A single puff of marijuana will do practically nothing in the way of "potentiating" one to LSD use. But daily use over the process of several months, within a milieu of heavy marijuana use, with friends who smoke regularly—the greater the number of friends, and the more intimate the relationship—the greater is the likelihood that this will occur.


Logic and Fact in Multiple Drug Use Studies

    Unfortunately, no adequate cross-section of marijuana users has ever been studied. Every work done in this area, including my own, suffers from sampling bias. What holds up for one segment of marijuana users may have no relevance for another Probably no study reveals this problem more than a recent paper from the New York State Narcotic Addiction Control Commission, by Glaser, Inciardi, and Babst.[6] A five and ten year follow-up study was conducted of about 700 males who were, in 1957 and 1962, referred to the New York City Youth Council Bureau, "an agency established for handling juvenile and youthful persons alleged to be delinquent or criminal and not deemed sufficiently advanced in their misbehavior to be adjudicated and committed by the courts" for the following three offenses: marijuana use, heroin use, and nondrug offenses.
    The study then checked the appearance of the names of the members of its sample in the Narcotics Register, "the most complete file of its type available anywhere in the United States." Which of these three categories of juvenile offenders was most likely to turn up in the heroin files later? The data appeared to confirm the progression hypothesis: "... while half of the male adolescent heroin users had a heroin record five or ten years later, about forty percent of the marijuana users also acquired a heroin record in this follow-up period.... marijuana use is almost as portentous of adult heroin use as is actual use of heroin as an adolescent." The authors strongly qualify the report's findings in their conclusions; they are in no way guilty of an attempt at an overextension of the applicability of their results. Of the four groups which the authors point out as most likely to use marijuana—the slum dweller, the bohemian, the college student, and the high school student—it is only among the first (and last) of these that the study's data was likely to be drawn. And it is in this group that the transition to heroin is most likely. In the other three groups, the use of heroin is certainly far lower than for the urban slum dweller, so that had the study covered all of the marijuana-using groups, the likelihood of later heroin use, and therefore of the transition taking place, would have been much smaller.
    In fact, the findings are even more narrowly applicable than that. The marijuana smoker whose use is so conspicuous as to come to the attention of the authorities in no way represents users as a whole. To come to the attention of any agency of law enforcement is to be a part of a highly special and unrepresentative kind of social group. Such users are far more likely to be more highly involved with the drug, to be implicated in some of the more heavily sanctioned marijuana-related activities, such as selling, and to be incautious.*
    The Blumer study emphasizes the importance of the cool style in one sector of marijuana users. This kind of user is inclined to denigrate the delinquency-oriented rowdy, who is both more likely to become arrested and to move to later addiction. The cool user is likely to do neither of these. It is almost a certainty that among this conspicuous group, progression to later heroin use is far more likely than among users as a whole.
    The adolescents included in the NACC study are far from representative because they generally reflect the very highest levels of use. And it is among these levels of use that later heroin involvement is most likely. It is not unreasonable to assume that less and more cautious use, lower involvement in the marijuana subculture, and participation in a greater variety of social groups, will be far less likely to precipitate heroin use and addiction. In fact, the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission has probably selected the segment of users which has the very highest likelihood of later heroin use. The progression hypothesis holds up best in the very group where the commission gathered data.
    Lower-class adolescent slum dwellers are far more likely to come to the attention of formal legal agencies of social control than the middle-class suburban teenager. For the latter, informal, nonrecord, nonarrest implementation is more likely than for the former, if caught. Again, it is a certainty that this progression to heroin is most likely among the slum dwellers, which the authors themselves state, and least likely at the top of the class structure, which is distinctly underrepresented in official records. The process of officially recording an individual's illegal behavior is highly contingent on social class, neighborhood, race, and education, among other contingencies. Official notice, in fact, is immersed in the very process the authors are trying to explain. The problem is not with differentials of law enforcement involvement, as the authors imply (i.e., with the New York Youth Council files as opposed to incarcerated drug users), but with involvement with the law at all as opposed to no involvement. In my study only seven respondents were arrested on marijuana charges, and none was incarcerated. To reason from this handful of cases concerning the characteristics of the 200 users in my sample would have led to erroneous conclusions.
    The Narcotics Addiction Control Commission survey at least implied that its validity was stronger in some groups and weaker in others. Another study[7] often cited by law enforcement officers to support their pot-to-heroin claim was conducted among the admissions to the Lexington and Fort Worth addiction centers' inmates in 1965. Of the addicts studied, 70 percent had used marijuana prior to their addiction, that is, had progressed to the narcotics from cannabis. This is quoted as definitive proof that the stepping-stone hypothesis is valid. Giordano, for instance, quotes the Lexington study to support his antipot propaganda. Haslip, too, uses the Ball Lexington research report as support for the progression thesis. Further, both pieces claim that the addict survey documents the pharmacological "effects" explanation for the transition to heroin.
    What does the Ball article really say? Actually, its argument and presentation of fact is much more subtle than the law officers admit. The findings do not support the pharmacological explanation: they refute it. And they do not even document the progression theory; they qualify it. The main point of the Ball-Chambers-Ball article was not that 70 percent of all addicts once used pot. It is that where there is an illicit drug-using subculture, marijuana and heroin will be found as mutual components, making the link more likely; where there is no illicit drug subculture, the progression is unlikely, because there is no group to sustain the transmission. It is the subculture that makes for the pot-to-heroin connection, not the drug itself. The central concept in the Ball piece is "differential association—becoming part of a drug-taking group." Needless to say, the propagandists hold the article to support their own "effects" argument; the findings actually refute this contention. (Actually, in his conclusions, Ball also mentions the effects-reason as one of the various possible explanations for the link: "marijuana is taken for its euphoric effects.")
    However, another caveat is necessary. The Lexington study, like most studies of drug progressions, was made up entirely of addicts, incarcerated ones at that. It was not done with a cross-section of marijuana users. Therefore, we have no idea of how typical their experience with drugs was. The relevant statistic should not be a retrospective percentage of narcotic addicts who have ever used pot, but a percentage of the total universe of all those who have ever used marijuana who also ever became addicted to heroin. The whole reasoning process in studies of addicts is backwards. By all indications, the percentage of marijuana users who ever become narcotics addicts is quite small; the relevant question here is whether this minuscule minority forms a larger percentage than the total universe of those who have never smoked marijuana.
    Out of this seemingly innocent source, gallons of ink have gushed forth in fatuous debate. The progressionists claim that the percentage of addicts who have ever tried marijuana—70 percent in the Ball study, as high as over go percent in others—indicates that pot leads to heroin. The pro-pot propagandists claim that this figure is meaningless, because l00 percent of all addicts drank milk, so that milk is more predictive of later heroin use than marijuana. The antiprogression position is correct on one level, but erroneous on another. In theory, it is always improper to cite the percentage of addicts who ever used marijuana to demonstrate the validity of the stepping-stone hypothesis, because other progressions (milk to heroin) are even stronger. But empirically, we have to assume that the percentage of addicts who have ever used marijuana is higher than for the population at large. Since the percentage of addicts and nonaddicts who once used milk—l00 percent—is the same, this factor provides no differentiating power. But the addict-retrospective argument is also improper, because (1) we do not know whether the percentage of addicts who once used pot is any different for addicts and nonaddicts (we have to assume it, though it is probably a correct assumption); (2) we do not know how much more the addict figure is; (3) and we do not know why it should be more. So the Lexington data does not really tell us very much about drug progression until we have more data, most particularly, a representative sample of the total universe of all marijuana smokers, not merely the ones who became narcotics addicts.
    The theories explaining the progression from pot to heroin (assuming that it exists) boil down to two: the psychological-pharmacological, and the social. The former is espoused by the police; the latter, by nearly everyone else. The psychological-pharmacological interpretation holds that there is an actual property of achieving the high that impels the user from marijuana to heroin; basically it is the effect of the drug which dictates the link. The user, who is "kicks" or "thrill" oriented (otherwise he wouldn't smoke marijuana), seeks an increasingly bigger thrill. Gradually the excitement of marijuana begins to pale; he ceases to achieve the charge he first got; and he searches around for a greater kick. This, as we know, is heroin, the "boss kick," the ultimate high.[8] As Giordano has informed us, "Those seeking personal well-being and exhilaration through the stimuli of drugs ultimately discover that the opiates have more to offer."[9]
    This combination psychological and pharmacological, or "effects," conception of the reason for the progression is that "the use of marihuana develops [in the user] a taste for drug intoxication which, in turn, leads many people to the use of more potent drugs— even heroin."[10] One problem with this view centers around the imputation of causality. Admitting that marijuana fails to provide the kick provided by heroin is in reality saying that marijuana is discarded for heroin. It is not that marijuana leads to heroin, according to this hypothesis, but that marijuana fails to lead to heroin. Marijuana is not a path, but a dead end: it even slowed down the search for the ultimate kick. If it hadn't been for marijuana, the user would have found heroin sooner.[11] Obviously, we need a different explanation.
    Another problem with this conception involves the mechanism by which heroin is perceived as delivering the thrill claimed for it. The effects of a drug are not uniformly grasped by all who happen to come into contact with it; a drug has to be socially defined as delivering a boss kick. The lack of this social dimension weakens the simple effects argument. Were the social dimension taken into account, it would destroy the argument altogether, because the social perceptions of the various drugs vary considerably by user.
    One of the problems with a theory that tends to equate all drugs as existing in the same social and phenomenological category is that those who use drugs illicitly do not perceive them as similar. Some classes of drugs will be thought of as opposites. The effects of the various drugs are extremely different, and their social definitions are even more heterogeneous. Drug users often make the distinction between "head" or "mind" drugs and "body" drugs. Head drugs include LSD, DMT, and DET, mescaline and peyote, and usually hashish and marijuana; these are referred to by drug propagandists, such as Timothy Leary, as the "psychedelics," a term coined by the physician Humphrey Osmond, and taken from the Greek, meaning "the mind is made manifest." The clinical professions often call these drugs "hallucinogens" or "psychotomimetics." (However, they rarely produce hallucinations, and they very rarely mimic a madness-like state, although this is dependent on one's definition of madness.) The body drugs encompass a wide range of substances: the amphetamines, cocaine, the barbiturates, the narcotics (including heroin), and alcohol. One of our respondents, a thirty-two-year-old actor, and a daily smoker of marijuana, spells out the differences between body and mind drugs by citing the irrelevance of heroin to the psychedelicist:
Heroin is a drag, I think, for anybody who is into mind drugs, because it's like being very, very drunk, and it tends to take one out of everything, as I think, as Cocteau said,[12] it's just like getting off the express train that's going to death, and just sort of being nowhere for a while. The only pleasant aspect of heroin is the peculiar sensation of consciousness and unconsciousness at the same time, so that you can actually perceive what it's like to be asleep because part of your brain is still awake, digging it, digging the groovy feeling of being asleep. But other than that, I don't have anything to recommend it.
    Cocaine, of course, and the other stimulants are what I call body drugs which tend to accelerate your behavior, but which don't give you, particularly, any insights.
    The miraculous thing about the psychedelics is that things just pop into your mind, and if you can just listen to what you're saying inside there, you can learn a lot. It seems to me that one of the great things about LSD is that any insights you happen to get behind it are reinforced at the same moment by an emotional response that is so total that you tend to accept the insight because you believe it intellectually and emotionally at the same time, and it stays with you later.

    The single similarity between marijuana and heroin is that both seem to give, or are reported as giving, a kind of relaxing euphoria, a sense of floating well-being. Beyond that, their effects are almost diametrically opposed and are categorized as such. Marijuana seems to generate a speeded-up, irrational, and seemingly disconnected thought, while heroin slows down, dulls, and deadens the mental processes. Marijuana smokers are far more sensually inclined than heroin addicts; marijuana is closely linked with sex, with orgiastic eating practices, and with an appreciation of loud, vigorous and frenetic hard rock music, while heroin tends to produce a lack of interest in sex—even impotence—and food (junkies often eat just enough to keep themselves alive).
    We are not claiming that the effects of one drug have nothing to do with whether a user will later use another drug whose effects are similar. But what we are saying is that if the effects-hypothesis holds up at all, it cannot explain the marijuana-heroin link. If anything, it casts doubt on it. A sociologist might say that it is possible for a subculture to define the effects as similar, and users will think that they are similar, isolate similar characteristics such as the feeling of euphoria, but then we have to move to an altogether new level of explanation, which the proponents of the pharmacological theory of the escalation are unwilling to do.
    The social theory of the progressive drug use underplays the pharmacological characteristics of the two drugs. It is not so much that getting high pushes the drug user from marijuana to heroin, as Henry Brill claims: "... the association is not a direct pharmacological association, which means that if you take marijuana ipso facto you become physically vulnerable to the opiate. It isn't that way."[13] Furthermore, "there is no pharmacological relation between the two drugs in the laboratory, but it is far from certain that there is no association in the street."[14] Rather, it is that a specific social group defines both as acceptable and pleasurable, offering opportunities for members to use both. As the New York State Narcotics Control Commission data show, it is entirely possible that in slum and ghetto milieu, marijuana use leads to, or, in a very broad sense, potentiates, heroin use. But it is not marijuana, specifically, that provides the impelling force. Marijuana and heroin use in the slum are mutual components in a subculture. Marijuana is experienced sooner in the encounter with this subculture; it is on the periphery of this quasi-criminal subculture. Yet the involvement with marijuana is obviously a matter of degree. Taking a few puffs of a marijuana cigarette during a school lunch period may not implicate one in any heroin-linked activities or associations. But daily use has a far higher chance of doing just that. In the ghetto milieu, progressive involvement with marijuana is likely to precipitate encounters with heroin users. The more that one uses marijuana in the lower-class slum, the greater is the likelihood that one will later use heroin; the two exist in the same subcultural context. Interactions, friendships, associations, which are carried out as a result of marijuana use are likely to precipitate heroin-using involvements, particularly if they are frequent and intimate. In this sense, and in this sense only, marijuana use leads to heroin use.
    One subcase of this line of reasoning is the "supplier" theory of drug progression. By smoking marijuana, one is to some degree forced to interact with the criminal underworld. The seller of marijuana is also invariably a narcotics supplier, or so the theory has it. By buying marijuana, one often interacts with, forms friendships with, comes to respect the opinions of, the seller of the drug, who is generally older, more experienced and sophisticated, involved in a daring and dangerous life, and is respected and eagerly sought after by many members of one subcommunity. This interaction can be seen as having a hook attached to it: the seller does not make as much profit from the bulky, low-priced, sporadically used marijuana as he would selling heroin, so that he is, therefore, anxious to have his customers use the more profitable drug. The neophyte drug user gradually acquires the seller's favorable definition of, and accepts opportunities for, heroin use.[15]
    In large part, the association of the two drugs is seen as an unintended consequence of their mutual illegality. If marijuana were readily available, it would not be necessary to go to the underworld drug supplier, and the impelling thrust behind this relationship would be removed. This argument holds that the agent most responsible for the progression from marijuana to heroin is the police, that is, law enforcement agencies from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to the local authorities. It is the fact that marijuana users, are, willy-nilly, involved in criminal activity and in criminal associations that makes for this drug progression.
The fact that those who use marijuana, a nonaddicting stimulant, are also required to see themselves as furtive criminals could in some part also account for the presumed tendency of the majority of, if not all, drug addicts to start out by using marijuana. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the movement from the nonaddicting drugs or stimulants to the addictive is made more natural because both are forced to belong to the same marginal, quasi-criminal culture.[16]

    If the social theory of drug progression has any validity, then further thought yields the realization that marijuana has relatively little to do with the actual mechanics of the link. We must make a clear distinction between a simple association or correlation and actual cause. We are a long way from the description of a fact (marijuana and heroin exist, in some drug-using groups, in mutual association) to the attribution of causality (marijuana use causes heroin addiction). In this case, both marijuana use and heroin use are part of the same basic syndrome, only in one specific social environment. In other words, marijuana use does not cause heroin addiction, but both are caused by a third outside condition. The automatic attribution of causality here is classified as a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. Something that happens in association with, and after, something else is not necessarily caused by that earlier event. The link may exist elsewhere; in this case, the social environment. The simple-minded impute causality to time-ordered association. The sophisticated withhold such judgments. Naturally, this whole argument is dependent on the empirical fact of the mutuality of marijuana and heroin in "quasi-criminal" contexts which vary considerably from one group, class, and community to another.
    A recent work on multiple drug use among college students shows the relative absence of the opiates on campus. According to Richard Blum,[17] the total number who used any of the opiates in each of the schools was always under five, or about 1 percent of his five campus samples. (Actually, most of those who had tried one of the opiates had tried opium, not heroin, which is far weaker in effect and very, very infrequently leads to addiction in America, although obviously, quite often in the Orient.) The marijuana use ranged from about a third of the students to a tenth, depending on the campus. The degree of the use of marijuana, as opposed to any opiate, including heroin, on the college campus, is of a wholly different magnitude. Even if heroin use on the college campus in the past two years has doubled or tripled, the numbers are still minuscule.
    Does marijuana precipitate or lead to heroin on the college campus? Obviously not, if the heroin users are microscopic in number. Actually, this notion cannot be dismissed so lightly; it deserves some exploration. Even though the opiate users may be insignificant in number, it is entirely possible that the marijuana user is more likely to use one of the opiates than the person who does not use marijuana. Blum correlated figures for the use of each of the various drugs. These figures show that users of any given drug are more likely to use (or to have tried) any other drug. However, for each drug, the degree of increasing the likelihood varies from one drug to another. The users of LSD, say, are more likely to have taken at least one of the tranquilizers or barbiturates to get high than those who have never tried LSD; however, the difference between the two figures is small. On the other hand, using heroin considerably increases the chances of having taken, say, dolophine or dilaudid. Rather than looking to see whether there is a simple increase over the nonuser, it is more profitable to look at differences among various categories of drug users, as well as the degree of increase.
    On the surface, this evidence will appear to support the antimarijuana, progression hypothesis. In a very narrow statistical sense, marijuana does lead to heroin, even on the college campus. Of course, most pot users never even try any of the opiates, but at the very least, having smoked pot increases one's chances of ever trying (and possibly becoming deeply involved with) the addicting drugs. Or so it would seem. Blum's data, however, are more complex than that. The correlation between marijuana and the opiates is not substantial; however, it is statistically significant. But the correlation between tobacco and marijuana, and alcohol and marijuana, is as large, and even larger than, the marijuana-opiates correlation.

tobacco-marijuana correlation: r =.31
alcohol-marijuana correlation: r =.22
marijuana-opiates correlation: r =.24

    This means that if the argument that marijuana leads to the opiates is meaningful, so is the claim that alcohol or cigarettes lead to the use of marijuana.[18] Alcohol and cigarettes lead to marijuana in the same degree that marijuana leads to the opiates. If the former argument is absurd, then so is the latter. They make the same degree of empirical sense. These data, however valid, will be of no interest to the propagandists. The cliché that marijuana leads to heroin will be repeated without realizing that the argument that cigarettes lead to marijuana is equally valid and equally absurd. Thus, although alcohol and marijuana are often seen as competitors and are to some degree mutually exclusive, in fact, drinkers are more likely to smoke (at least, to try) marijuana than nondrinkers are. The few very heavy drinkers are unlikely to use pot regularly and if these near-alcoholics begin using marijuana, their alcoholic consumption typically drops. But on the gross overall levels, drinking liquor increases one's chances of trying marijuana. Individuals who drink more than occasionally have a much higher likelihood of ever trying marijuana than those who drink only occasionally. The Simon-Gagnon college youth survey[19] cited in Chapter 2 uncovered the dense and close relationship between the consumption of these two intoxicants. Only 4 percent of the male and 2 percent of the female nondrinkers had ever tried marijuana, but 22 percent of the male and 13 percent of the female moderate-or-more drinkers had done so. Moreover, only 6 percent of the men and 7 percent of the women nondrinkers who had never smoked marijuana said that they might like to try; while of the moderate or more drinkers, almost a third said they would like to try.
    In a statewide representative study of the high school students in the state of Michigan conducted in 1968, a powerful relationship between drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana was found.[20] Only 2 percent of the students who said that they did not drink claimed ever to have smoked marijuana. The figure was nearly ten times higher, 17 percent, for the youths who drank alcohol. And almost 20 percent of these high school students who drank said that if they were offered pot in a congenial setting by a friend, they would accept; only 3 percent of the nondrinkers said that they would. On the other hand, only 8 percent of the drinkers said that if offered, they would tell officials about the offer, but a quarter of the nondrinkers would inform the police or a high school official representative. About twice the percentage of drinkers as nondrinkers thought that marijuana was basically harmless or beneficial. High school and college students who drink alcoholic beverages are clearly far more likely to progress to the use of marijuana than their peers who do not drink liquor.
    This means that the claim that heroin addicts started with marijuana turns out to be false. The drug that nearly all addicts started with is, of course, alcohol, and not marijuana. The adolescent's first experiences with a psychoactive drug are invariably with alcohol, and not marijuana. And the alcohol-drinking adolescent is statistically more likely to "go on" to use marijuana, just as the marijuana smoker is statistically more likely to go on to use heroin—or any other drug—than the adolescent who never drinks alcohol or smokes pot. Obviously, much of the causality in the relationship must be laid at the doorstep of experiences tracing back before the young adult's first marijuana experience.
    In other words, it is not only the friendships and associations that the young marijuana user makes in the process of smoking pot which makes it more likely that he will experiment with more powerful drugs. It is also necessary to explore early family experiences. I do not refer to the classic psychoanalytic variables, but to cultural and style of life variables. Parents who drink are more likely to raise children who have a more tolerant attitude toward drugs in general, and who have a higher chance of experimenting with drugs.[21] The example of parents is a powerful factor in unwittingly generating the adolescent's deviant behavior. Parents who drink and smoke react hostilely to their children's drug use without realizing that they had a hand in it.


Some Recent Trends

    Many journalists think that since about 1967 heroin is increasingly used in social groups which had shunned it previously. College students, suburban residents, white middle-class youths of all kinds are beginning to experiment with heroin and the other narcotics, some eventually becoming addicted. A newspaper story announces, "Heroin Invades Middle Class."[22] Another intones, "Use of Heroin Said to Grow in Colleges."[23]
    No serious observer doubts that the use of heroin has increased in the past few years, and, moreover, is now used in social and economic groups which previously had shunned it altogether. College and even high school students with upper-middle-class backgrounds seem to be experimenting with, and even becoming addicted to, heroin in numbers which were totally unknown in 1967 or 1968. The suburban addict has become a reality. And of course, addiction to heroin seems to be rising among all groups, not merely the affluent, and especially among teenagers. (It is unfortunate that widespread public attention to this problem did not come about until it became a problem among white middle-class youth, and not when it was mainly concentrated in the slums.) For instance, teenage deaths from heroin overdosages in New York City have risen about five times since 1965. Arrests on "opiates" charges in California tripled between 1967 and 1968 for juveniles (see Table 8-8 for these figures.)[24] Schools in which heroin use was previously unknown find themselves with noticeable numbers of users; schools in which heroin use was rare but noticeable now have a thriving colony of users.

Drug Arrests in California, 1960 to 1968 [a]
  Marijuana  Opiates [b]  Dangerous 
Drugs [c]
  Marijuana  Opiates [b]  Dangerous 
Drugs [c]
[a] Does not include the category "other offenses."
[b] Not all "opiate" arrests are on the basis of heroin charges, although most are. In 1968, the California Bureau of Criminal Statistics combined the categories "heroin and other narcotics" and "narcotic addict or user" into the single category "opiates." Thus, for the previous years, I have combined these two categories to make them consistent with the 1968 designation.
[c] The main drugs included in the category "dangerous drugs" are the amphetamines and LSD: however, LSD was not added to the "dangerous drugs" category until 1965.

    There is, then, no question that this process is taking place. But there is some question as to its extent. It is an easy matter to exaggerate the depth of a problem and to declare that a previously absent problem is reaching epidemic proportions. The question of whether a given condition should exist at all is completely separate from the issue of how widespread it is. It is necessary to place the problem in perspective. First of all, recall from earlier chapters that a minority of America's youth has tried marijuana once—about a quarter of college youth, and fewer younger adolescents and young adults who do not attend college. And the marijuana experimenters who progress to use marijuana regularly are only a small minority of this small minority. Further, the regular marijuana users who progress to heroin are still a smaller proportion of this tiny segment. Actual addiction is less likely still. Of course, in some milieu, such as in and near large cities, especially New York, far more adolescents will take heroin than in rural areas; but even in New York, it is a minority phenomenon.
    In early 1970, I conducted a brief study of drug use among the students of a deviance and delinquency class in a large suburban university. Some tentative generalizations relevant to multiple drug use may be made, using this study. About a quarter of the over 500 students in the sample had not tried any drug, including marijuana, even once, to get high. (Medical uses were not considered.) About a third had tried marijuana at least once, but had not used any other drugs. Thus, slightly under half had smoked marijuana and, in addition, had used some other drug at least once: they were multiple drug users. Ranking the drugs according to what proportion of the students in the sample had ever used them produces a rank-order almost identical to my 1967 New York marijuana smokers study, cited in the beginning of this chapter, and the EV0 study, also done in New York in 1967. The drugs most often used are the amphetamines and the psychedelics; one of the drugs least often used, aside from a variety of miscellaneous drugs, is heroin. Heroin does not appear among the first half-dozen drugs most often used among young adults. About a third of the students had taken at least one of the amphetamines at least once (although for exactly what purposes I was not able to determine due to the questionnaire's brevity—many used pills to study for examinations at night). The next most popular drug was mescaline; slightly fewer than a third had taken mescaline at least once. About a quarter of the sample had taken LSD. The next most frequent drugs used were the barbiturates and tranquilizers—about half as many as had tried LSD took "downs" at least once. The remaining drugs, in order of the number of students who had taken them, were: opium, cocaine, methedrine, and DMT. Heroin was sampled by about 5 percent of the students. Of these, about six students admitted to regular use (more than a dozen times); this is about 1 percent of the sample.
    An exploratory study such as this cannot be regarded as precise or infallible; it is, for instance, possible for students to avoid admitting to drug use, even in an anonymous questionnaire distributed to a class of 500 students. (Some students hinted at exaggeration rather than understatement.) And the students in this particular class may not represent the entire university, and the experiences of this university may not be duplicated at other ones, and so on. But as a scrap of evidence, it may be useful to help piece together the whole picture. But bringing evidence to bear on the heroin question is not in any way an effort to minimize the problem. The use of this dangerous narcotic is engaging a larger and larger number of our youth today. The situation that exists in 1970 may not be valid in 1975. At the same time, it is necessary to examine the facts. And the facts indicate that there appears to be no cause for the cry epidemic. It is possible that in some neighborhoods or schools the problem is that extensive. But looking at the broader picture, such a situation has not materialized. A rational and sober assault on the heroin problem is called for, and not sensational cries of a mythical epidemic.
    Although it in no way minimizes the heroin issue, a related point has tended to become lost in the public outcry against heroin. The heavy use of methedrine ("meth" or "speed") is actually far more dangerous than heroin addiction. The physically debilitating longterm effects of heroin—overdosing aside—are relatively trivial.** Methedrine, on the other hand, is debilitating and toxic. The nervous system is progressively destroyed by heavy continued dosages of this drug. Moreover, the use of this drug is extremely widespread; although exact figures are impossible to obtain, there may be more chronic users of methedrine than heroin addicts. This does not even count the millions of housewives, truckdrivers, and businessmen, who use smaller doses of the amphetamines over long periods of time. Although there has been some recent attention paid to the amphetamine and methedrine problem,[25] the public is generally completely ignorant about the degree of its seriousness, as well as its extent of use. As long as marijuana continues to be socially defined as a serious social problem, it is unlikely that any progress will be made toward a solution of the problem of the use of really potent drugs. There is no indication that any such awareness is emerging, so that American society will continue to have its heroin and methedrine problems for some time to come.

    * In the chapter on "Marijuana and the Law," we show that the large majority of arrests that occur are a result of accidental patrol enforcement. The statement on the incaution of arrested users does not contradict this fact. It is the incautious user who is most likely to be in situations where the police may accidentally discover his possession, use, and sale. (back)
    For a description of these various styles of drug use, see Herbert Blumer, Alan Sutter Samir Ahmed, and Roger Smith, The World of Youthful Drug Use (Berkeley: School of Criminology, University of California, January 1967), pp. 13-47.
    ** This point illustrates the fact that addiction, in and of itself, is not an adequate measure of the degree of harm of a drug. Methedrine, which is not addicting technically, is more dangerous than heroin, which is. (back)



    1. Elmer James Rollings, "Marihuana—the Weed of Woe" (Wichita, Kan.: Defender Tract Club, n.d. [circa 1938]). (back)
    2. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, "Living Death: The Truth about Drug Addiction" (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965). (back)
    3. Gene R. Haslip, "Current Issues in the Prevention and Control of Marihuana Abuse" (Paper presented to the First National Conference on Student Drug Involvement sponsored by the United States National Student Association at the University of Maryland, August 16, 1967). See also, Henry L. Giordano, "The Prevention of Drug Abuse," Humanist, March-April 1968, pp. 20-23. Word for word, Giordano duplicates Haslip's sentence on drug progression. (back)
    4. Theo Wilson, "I am a Drug Addict: An Autobiography," New York Daily News, February 14, 1968, p. C6. (back)
    5. See The East Village Other, January l-15, p. 6. Consider only the following possibilities of sampling bias: EVO readers do not represent marijuana smokers in general; EVO readers do not represent even New York area marijuana smokers, the EVO reader who is sufficiently motivated to fill out the questionnaire doesn't represent all EVO readers; all EVO purchasers do not represent all EVO readers, some EVO readers (none of which sent in the questionnaire) do not use drugs; and so forth. We use this survey only as rough corroborative evidence. (back)
    6. Daniel Glaser, Tames A. Inciardi, and Dean V. Babst, "Later Heroin Use by Marijuana-Using, Heroin-Using, and Non-Drug-Using Adolescent Offenders in New York City," The International Journal of the Addictions 4 (Tune 1969): 145-155. (back)
    7. John C. Ball, Carl D. Chambers, and Marion .T Ball. "The Association of Marihuana Smoking with Opiate Addiction in the United States," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 59 (June 1968): 171-182. (back)
    8. The best description of social definitions of heroin as the ultimate kick may still be found in "Cats. Kicks and Color," by Harold Finestone, in the anthology edited by Howard S. Becker, The Other Side (New York: The Free Press, 1964), pp. 281-297. (back)
    9. Giordano, op. cit., p. 21. (back)
    10. Henry L. Giordano, "Marihuana—A Calling Card to Addiction," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 37, no. 1l (November 1968): 5. See also Giordano, "The Dangers of Marihuana, Facts You Should Know" (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 68). (back)
    11. I am grateful to Professor John Kaplan for this insight. See his Marijuana: The New Prohibition, forthcoming. (back)
    12. Jean Cocteau, French artist, writer, and filmmaker, 1891-1963, was addicted to opium in the 19205; he wrote a book about his experiences, translated into English as Opium: Diary of a Cure (New York: Grove Press, 1958). The bodily effects of opium are superficially similar to heroin in some respects, although considerably weaker. Heroin is, of course, a derivative of opium. (back)
    13. Henry Brill, "Drugs and Drug Users: Some Perspectives," in New York State Narcotic Addiction Control Commission, Drugs on the Campus: An Assessment (The Saratoga Springs Conference on Colleges and Universities of New York State, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., October 25-27, 1967), p. 59. (back)
    14. Brill, "Why Not Pot Now? Some Questions and Answers," Psychiatric Opinion 5, no. 5 (October 1968): 18. (back)
    15. For an example of this line of reasoning, see Alfred R. Lindesmith and John H. Gagnon, "Anomie and Drug Addiction," in Marshall B. Clinard, ed., Anomie and Deviant Behavior (New York: The Free Press, 1964), pp. 171-174. (back)
    16. Kenneth B. Clark, Dark Ghetto (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 90. (back)
    17. Richard H. Blum et al., Students and Drugs (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1969), pp. 101-109. (back)
    18. I am making the empirically valid assumption that the first instance of alcohol and cigarette use generally precedes rather than follows the use of marijuana, and that the use of marijuana precedes the initial use of the opiates. (back)
    19. William Simon and John H. Gagnon, The End of Adolescence (New York: Harper & Row, 1970). (back)
    20. Richard A. Bogg, Roy G. Smith, and Susan Russell, Drugs and Michigan High School Students (Lansing: Michigan House of Representatives, Special Committee on Narcotics, December 9, 1968). The figures I present were not calculated in this study. Mr. Bogg kindly lent me a copy of the IBM cards which stored this study's data, and I calculated the percentages myself. I would like to thank Mr. Bogg for his generosity. (back)
    21. See the study by the Addiction Research Foundation of Toronto, Canada, A Preliminary Report on the Attitudes and Behaviour of Toronto Students in Relation to Drugs (Toronto. Addiction Research Foundation, January 1969), p. 66 and Tables 18 and 19. Recently Mayor Lindsay of New York City claimed that television was one of the causes of tolerance in attitudes toward drugs among today's youth, and partly responsible for drug use. Actually, as the Toronto study shows, drug users are more skeptical toward the mass media as a source of information about drugs than nonusers are. See pp. 56-57 and Table 45. (back)
    22. Philip D. Carter, "Heroin Invades the World of the White Middle Class," The Washington Post, February 16, 1969, pp. A1, A8.(back)
    23. Peter Kihss, "Use of Heroin Said to Grow in Colleges, but Number of Addicts is Still Small," The New York Times, March 1l, 1969, p.35. (back)
    24. State of California Department of Justice, Bureau of Criminal Statistics, Drug Arrests and Dispositions in California: 1968 (Sacramento: State of California, 1969), 1968 Drug Arrests in California: Advance Report (Sacramento: State of California, April 1969), and Drug Arrests and Dispositions in California: 1967 (Sacramento: State of California, 1968).
    The same trends are noticeable in Great Britain. The number of cannabis offences and heroin addicts seem to be increasing almost identically. See Nicholas Wade, "Pot and Heroin," New Society, January 23, 1969, p. 117. (back)
    25. For a frightening, although sensationalistic, journalistic account of the lives of several chronic amphetamine users, see Gail Sheehy, "The Amphetamine Explosion," New York, July 21, 1969, pp. 26-42. Earlier journalistic articles include John Kifner, "Methedrine Use Is Growing," The New York Times, October 17, 1967, pp. 1, 40, and Don McNeill, "The A-Heads: An Amphetamine Apple in Psychedelic Eden," The Village Voice, February 2, 1967, pp. 11, 31. Blumer's study also contains some material on the use of the amphetamines. (back)

Chapter 9

DRCNet Homepage | Sign on to DRCNet

DRCNet Library | Search the Library

Schaffer Library | The Psychedelic Library

Books Menu Page