top of page
  • Writer's pictureElucidation Strategies

The Truth in Print in 1944

There have been many instances of official reports being disregarded because of extreme bias. Consider the study initiated by New York City Mayor Fiorello “Frank” LaGuardia in 1938. LaGuardia was no fan of FBN Director Harry Anslinger and formed a commission to learn the actual truth about cannabis, not the "truth" produced by the federal government. In 1938, he assembled a diverse team of health experts and law enforcement professionals to study all the aspects of cannabis from a scientific and sociological perspective. Marijuana had substantially entered the city through the jazz scene and LaGuardia knew that he needed accurate and relevant information to enable his administration to make informed and practical decisions.

“I am glad that the sociological, psychological, and medical ills commonly attributed to marihuana have been found to be exaggerated insofar as the City of New York is concerned...From the study as a whole, it is concluded that marihuana is not a drug of addiction, comp

arable to morphine, and it that if tolerance is acquired, this is of a very limited degree. Furthermore, those who have been smoking marihuana for a period of years showed no mental or physical deterioration which may be attributed to the drug.” The report foreword, written by Mayor LaGuardia

The official report, The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York, was published in 1944. The report, often referred to as the LaGuardia Report, concluded:

  1. The consensus among marijuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy.

  2. The practice of smoking marijuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word.

  3. The sale and distribution of marijuana is not under the control of any single organized group.

  4. The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marijuana smoking.

  5. Marijuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes.

  6. Marijuana smoking is not widespread among school children.

  7. Juvenile delinquency is not associated with smoking marijuana.

  8. Publicity over the catastrophic effects of marijuana smoking in New York City is unfounded.

Unsurprisingly, Anslinger publicly denounced the report as “giddy sociology and medical mumbo-jumbo,” making sure to include his signature false narratives and bogus "evidence" in his criticism of the LaGuardia Report. Also, he set out to destroy as many copies of the report as he could. If he had acknowledged the legitimacy of the report, America could have ended up in a very different place in regards to cannabis. Instead, he doubled-down and continued to spread untruths.

This is why we’re still dealing with this. It’s not really about the plant.

Contact Elucidation Strategies for cannabis consulting services.


bottom of page