A major study conducted in 1939 through 1944, was sponsored by Fiorello La Guardia the Mayor of New York City, was conducted to see the detrimental effects marijuana has on people. The study gave marijuana extract fluid, marijuana pills, and marijuana cigarettes to 77 patients, 72 who were inmates at the penitentiaries at Riker’s, Hart Islands, and the House of Detention for Women. The dosage varied widely from .4 to .8 grams of smoked marijuana 1 or 2 pills or from 2 to 22 cc of the fluid. The inmates were then transferred to at the Welfare Hospital in New York City where they would be given neurological and psychiatric examinations as they were admitted in to the hospital. The Director of the study would then make up the subjects’ personality, character of their responsiveness, and their behavior in new surroundings. These were done before and after marijuana use. Additional reports were given from the nurses who were working around the subjects. In addition to these tests, there were tests done for these people complex psychophysical functions, tests to determine musical aptitude and perception of time and space, as well as tests to test the function of various organs and systems of the subjects. Symptoms of the use of marijuana included 1 subject had a feeling of depression and discomfort throughout the study. In one of the subjects there was a psychotic state of depression with anxiety and an episode with fear of death. There were symptoms of heaviness of extremities in 3 subjects, dizziness in 3 subjects, nausea in 2 subjects, and faintness in 2 subjects. In all subjects there was some increase in pulse rate, blood pressure, dilation and sluggishness of pupils, dryness of mouth and throat, ataxia, some clumsiness and problems with coordination of movement. Except for the psychotic episode the subjects did not give any evidence of abnormal mental content at any stage of the drug action. Smoking effects duration lasted on average from 1 to 3 hours. The study concluded that under the influence of marijuana the tests did not have any statistical difference, however, subjects would feel more confident, less aggressive, be more relaxed, and have a more favorable attitude toward themselves. People would be more verbal but due to intellectual confusion would be jokes without a point and would be less likely to open up about sexual ideas and other matter that they would not hesitate to mention under the influence of marijuana. The subjects noted they felt like they were “drifting” or “floating” and would be enveloped in pleasant lassitude. With higher doses the pleasurable feelings would be outweighed by anxiety, physical distress, and nausea. The study also concluded there is no change in the basic personality structure of the individual, only superficial aspects of their behavior show alteration.

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