At its meeting on October 15, 1970 the Executive Board approved the following statement on marijuana, which was prepared by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is published on the recommendation of the Academy's Council on Child Health and Committee on Youth:
(1) Young people view the inclusion of marijuana as a narcotic, with all its attendant severe punitive connotations, as another example of hypocrisy and lack of justice in America today.
(2) As marijuana is not considered a narcotic but rather a hallucinogen and does not produce addiction as such, it is inappropriate to continue to have this drug subject to the narcotic laws, i.e., the Harrison Narcotic Act.
(3) The penalties for possession and being in the presence of marijuana are severe in terms of their immediate and long-term effect on the individual. This opinion is based on the nature of the drug and the cultural circumstances associated with its use. Possession and being present should be changed from a felony to a misdemeanor.
(4) However, marijuana, as a potentially harmful drug, should not be legalized in any amount at this time. Legalization, if ever, should be deferred until a maximum degree of research and study on the matter can be accomplished.
- Copyright © 1971 by the American Academy of Pediatrics