Drug Addiction


    IN a paper read at an evening meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society on March 12, Dr. Walter B. Kennedy, a member of the Poisons Board and formerly professor of physiology in the University of Baghdad, made some interesting references to the influence of habit-forming drugs brought to his notice in the Near East and elsewhere. A topical and important aspect of drug addiction is the problem of maruanha, the name by which the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa,is known in the United States. Maruanha, said Dr. Kennedy, is destructive of the moral sense: “Under its influence there develops a ruthlessness rarely encountered under other conditions, and a spurious courage, or rather a complete disregard for danger and consequences which results in horrible crimes of violence-often devoid of motive. An additional danger is that the addict is often led into indulgence in the white drugs, morphine, heroin and cocaine”. Another exotic drug which has lately found its way to Europe is mescal or peyote, obtained from a Mexican cactus. It is an inebriant producing even more brilliant and prolonged hallucinations than does hashish.

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    Drug Addiction. Nature 145, 456–457 (1940). https://doi.org/10.1038/145456d0

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