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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).
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

ISBN: None

Description: First edition, [vii] + 255 pages.

Contents: 11 chapters, appendix: Comparison Chart of Major Substances Used for Mind Alteration, bibliography, index.

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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