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vity, one can avoid being sucked into the maws of
marijuana use—and subsequently, narcotics addiction—by never smoking at all:
Marijuana is especially dangerous because it comes in cigarette form. The
great tobacco companies have prepared the way for the Devil's parade of
death; they have popularized the use of cigarettes ... until today in America,
men, women, boys and girls think nothing of lighting up their choice
tobaccos.... It is easy now, for a young man or woman planted by the
peddler, to pass out this new cigarette and American youth, always looking
for adventure, will fall an easy prey. The step from Marijuana to... morphine
is a short one.1
Today's observers would consider this portrait absurd, even amusing. As pointed out in
the chapters on selling marijuana and on becoming a marijuana user, the neophyte is
turned on and supplied by friends; the peddler does not supply cigarettes to get his
customers hooked on narcotics. The percentage who go from tobacco cigarettes to
marijuana and from marijuana to heroin is minuscule so that no peddler could possibly
afford to spend the necessary time to recruit customers.
In spite of its late entry into the pot-to-heroin debate, the FBN (now the Bureau of
Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, a subunit of the Justice Department) is presently the most
vigorous proponent of the progression theory (although the Bureau, now under John
Ingersoll, may eventually represent a departure from its earlier stand of the Anslinger-
... it cannot be too strongly emphasized that the smoking of the marihuana
cigarette is a dangerous first step on the road which usually leads to
enslavement by heroin....
Ordinarily, a person is tempted first with marihuana cigarettes. He may
not even know they are dope. Then, someone already addicted makes it easy
to try some heroin. Most teenage addicts started by smoking marihuana
cigarettes. Never let anyone persuade you to smoke even one marihuana
cigarette. It is pure poison.2
One particularly grave danger of habitual marihuana use is that there is
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The Marijuana Smokers - Chapter 8
often a clear pattern of gradation from marihuana to the stronger addictive
Often antidrug and narcotics associations, as well as educational and parents'
organizations, will sponsor lectures by ex-addicts who describe the horrors of addiction,
along with the inevitability of the transition from smoking pot to leading the life of a
junkie. One of the most dramatic and effective of such talks, at Miami Beach, is excerpted
I am a drug addict.... For twenty-three years of my life I was a junkie. I
spent seventeen years... in jails....
I come from a very nice Jewish family, a middle-to-upper income family.
I was the baby and they loved me. They educated me; I got a degree in
anthropology at the University of Wisconsin.
And what did I do to them? I have had forty-seven arrests. For using
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