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NCJ Number: 185202 Find in a Library
Title: Reefer Madness Caribbean Style
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues Selected Papers  Volume:30  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2000  Pages:465-497
Author(s): Hymie Rubenstein
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines a generalized tropical “intellectual backwardness” and associated moral apathy and other effects of marijuana use.
Abstract: “Reefer madness,” a spurious psychiatric affliction that was widely promulgated in the United States during the 1930's, is rarely mentioned today as a possible sequela of acute cannabis consumption. Reefer madness (RM) was questioned and generally dismissed in the West by the 1940's, but was still widely accepted as a genuine psycho-pharmaceutical affliction in the Eastern Caribbean country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the 1990's. This paper describes and analyzes the reasons for this discontinuity between the West and the Rest by referring to the multiplicity of factors supporting the Vincentian RM syndrome: a generalized tropical “intellectual backwardness” and associated moral apathy; the real and alleged behavioral-psychological effects of acute cannabis ingestion; the peculiarly Caribbean character of Vincentian RM and the way it differs from its American counterpart; the types of people promoting the affliction; the larger anti-marijuana context that includes opposition to any involvement with the substance and, most important, the national system of racial and class stratification. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Controlled Substances
Index Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Decriminalization; Drug abuse; Drug effects; Drug Policy; Drug use; Marijuana; Studies; West Indies
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