Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Pleasure Seekers: The Drug Crisis, Youth and Society.
Fort, Joel. (1969).
Description: First edition,
[vii] + 255 pages.
Contents: 11 chapters,
appendix: Comparison Chart of Major Substances Used for Mind Alteration,
Excerpt(s): A nationally
acclaimed physician specializing in public health, social psychiatry,
and drug abuse, Dr. Joel Fort describes the uses and abuses of
mind-altering drugs and evaluates their effects on individuals
and society. He attacks the "mythology" of the destructive
qualities of today's illegal drugs, maintaining that even the
chromosome-altering effects of LSD are equaled by aspirin and
caffeine, and finds the condemnation of a small range of drugs
dangerously hypocritical while the enthusiastic use of alcohol,
nicotine, and numerous other substances is socially approved.
Dr. Fort's book is an informative analysis of today's drug crisis,
youth and society. (back cover)
With very little to do since the dope-fiend menace
was quiescent for the moment, and with the F. B. I. getting all
of the attention among federal enforcement agencies due to
Hoover's public relations skills, marijuana must have seemed ideal
as a vehicle for a quick rise from obscurity. It was used mainly
by outcasts of society carrying no political muscle (clout in
1969 argot), some intellectuals, jazz musicians,
Negroes, and Mexican Americans, who had first introduced it to
the U.S. around 1910 in the Southwest. In a manner that became
the model for future drug hearings and laws, Anslinger
and company issued press releases describing marijuana as the
cause of crime, violence, assassination, insanity, and other evils.
Newspaper stories headlining the Bureau's press statements were
then submitted to Congressional committees as "evidence,"
supplemented by frightening anecdotes in Anslinger's direct testimony
stressing mental deterioration, release of inhibitions of an antisocial
nature, rape, and other lurid tales. Another Treasury
Department official began his testimony by stating that "marijuana
is being used extensively by high school children in cigarettes
with deadly effect" and gave as evidence that of an editorial
from a Washington newspaper supposedly quoting
the American Medical Association. A Doctor Woodward,
present as legislative counsel for the A. M. A., pointed out that
the statement in question was actually one made by Mr. Anslinger
which had only been quoted in the A.
M. A. Journal. No medical, scientific, or sociological testimony
was sought or heard by the committee and no alternative ways for
dealing with the "problem" were discussed and Doctor
Woodward courageously criticized the Congressmen for proposing
a law which would interfere with future medical use of cannabis
and pointed out that no real evidence had been presented to substantiate
the charges. ... Totally ignoring the content of this testimony,
the members of the committee attacked the doctor's character,
qualifications, experience, and relationship to the A. M. A.,
all of which were impeccable. (pages 69-70)
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