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NCJ Number: 48228 Find in a Library
Title: IDENTIFICATION AND MISIDENTIFICATION OF MARIJUANA
Journal: CONTEMPORARY DRUG PROBLEMS  Dated:(1974)  Pages:291-344
Author(s): D S FULLERTON; M G KURZMAN
Corporate Author: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 54
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Legal Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10007
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A COMPLEX EVALUATION OF METHODS OF MARIHUANA ANALYSIS AND RELATED LAWS ARE PRESENTED AS A GUIDELINE FOR DEFENSE COUNSELS.
Abstract: USING THE PRESENT STATUTORY DEFINITIONS OF 'MARIHUANA' AND THE ANALYTICAL TESTS EMPLOYED BY MOST FORENSIC/ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES TO ANALYZE THE SUBSTANCE, MORE ACQUITTALS FOR MARIHUANA-RELATED OFFENSES COULD BE OBTAINED. TECHNICAL OVERSIGHT AND DEFENSE COUNSEL INCOMPETENCE ARE THE MAIN REASONS FOR THE FAILURE TO CHALLENGE THE IDENTIFICATION OF ALLEGED MARIHUANA. IT IS ARGUED THAT MOST STATES HAVE STATUTES PROHIBITING POSSESSION OF ONLY ONE SPECIES OF MARIHUANA, BUT IN CERTAIN CASES A DEFENDANT MIGHT BE IN POSSESSION OF ANOTHER OF TWO TO FIVE KINDS NOT SPECIFIED IN THE STATUTES. IT IS ALSO ARGUED THAT MOST TESTS USED TO IDENTIFY CANNABIS ARE SO INACCURATE THAT THEY WOULD NOT SURVIVE A WELL-DOCUMENTED DEFENSE CHALLENGE. THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ANALYTICAL METHODS ARE IDENTIFIED AND EVALUATED ON THEIR OWN AND WITH RESPECT TO THE CRIMINAL STATUTES WHICH HAVE EVOLVED. THE DEVELOPMENT OF MARIHUANA STATUTES IS ALSO EXPLORED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT FORENSIC LABORATORIES EMPLOY BOTANISTS BECAUSE AT LEAST THREE SPECIES OF CANNABIS EXIST WHICH CAN BE IDENTIFIED WHEN THE SAMPLE CONTAINS WHOLE LEAVES, ACHENES, FLOWERS, OR STEMS. THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF MARIHUANA MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACTS THAT AS MANY AS ONE-THIRD OF ALL CANNANBIS PLANTS CONTAIN NO MEASURABLE AMOUNTS OF ACTIVE INTOXICANT, THERE ARE NO PRACTICAL METHODS TO DISTINGUISH AMONG SAMPLES OF THE FRAGMENTED OR DRIED SPECIES OF CANNABIS, AND MICROSCOPIC AND CHEMICAL SCREENING NOW USED IN MARIHUANA ANALYSIS IS NOT SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO DEFINE MARIHUANA IN ANY MANNER. EXTENSIVE NOTES AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION ARE PROVIDED. (JSP)
Index Term(s): Definitions; Drug analysis; Evidence identification; Laws and Statutes; Marijuana; Plant analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48228

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