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Costa Rican marihuana smokers and the amotivational syndrome hypothesis /

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Costa Rican marihuana smokers and the amotivational syndrome hypothesis /
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Amotivational syndrome hypothesis, Costa Rican marihuana smokers and the
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Page, John Bryan, 1947-
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1976
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xii, 309 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Adolescence ( jstor )
Appetite ( jstor )
Cannabis ( jstor )
Cigarettes ( jstor )
Death ( jstor )
Dosage ( jstor )
Marijuana use ( jstor )
Motivation research ( jstor )
Observational research ( jstor )
Symptomatology ( jstor )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF ( lcsh )
Marijuana -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Motivation (Psychology) ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 299-307.
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Also available on World Wide Web
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by John Bryan Page.

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COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE
MOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS









BY

JOHN BRYAN PAGE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY









UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1976















































Copyright 1976

John Bryan Page













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Many individuals, both here and in Costa Rica, deserve

my profuse thanks for their help in assembling and analyzing

the information contained herein, but foremost among them

are William E. Carter and Paul L. Doughty. Carter's badger-

like editorial supervision of the writing process, demanding

clarification and refinement of otherwise turgid prose and

byzantine explanations, gave this dissertation a degree of

readability that would never have been achieved without him.

He also piloted me through several false starts in my research,

eventually leading to the choice of motivational syndrome

as a study topic. Doughty should be credited especially

with having enough confidence in my ability to do research

as part of a transdisciplinary team to select me as one of

the anthropological field workers in the Costa Rican Project.

I am also indebted to him for his patient supervision of the

data collection and coding process.

The third co-principal investigator in the Costa

Rican Cannabis Use Study, Wilmer R. Coggins also contributed

to my work with his perspective as a medical doctor. Maryanna

Baden, the Project sociologist made several valuable contri-

butions to my work, including subject matching and the formu-

lation of personal information questionnaires and life history






interview schedules. T. A. Nunez and Otto Von Merinq both

made worthy editorial inputs as readers of the dissertation

who had not participated directly in the transdisciplinary

project from which my material comes.

My co-field worker, William R. True, made more direct

and indirect contributions to my research than I can possibly

recount in this brief space. From introducing me to a key

informant to discovering the representativeness of our

sample, he has been a constant positive influence. Other

co-workers, Claudine de Frenkel and Dina Krauskopf, also

were helpful in collecting needed information on some of

the most valuable subjects in the study sample. Richard

Chiofolo, the Project statistician, merits special thanks

for ironing out some computative problems in Chapter V.

The Project secretaries also deserve hearty thanks for

their help in making this dissertation possible. They

freed True and me from many administrative worries which

might have detracted from our research effort. Olga Fallas

Vardiman was instrumental in making our office as attractive

and efficient as possible during the early months of the

study. Zulema Villalta de Brenes, with her incredible

transcription speed, was largely responsible for the volume

of sociocultural data with which we were able to work. Her

administrative contributions to the Project during its

last months were also prodigious. Other members, Gerardo

Erak, Gerardo Valderrama, Martin Brenes, Marta Villalta,

and Elena Fallas all-helped to keep the office running







smoothly. Lic. Virginia de Barquero, head of the Office of

Stupifying Drugs in the Ministry of Health, was a constant

resource during my two years of field work. Her moral

support and administrative connections helped not only with

pursuing research goals, but also with mundane necessities

of personal comfort. Without Dona Virginia's help in the

field, the study would not even have begun.

Walter Serrano, the Project administrator in charge

of delivering subjects to the medical and psychological

tests, should also be thanked for his participation con-

nected with this dissertation. His energetic contact with

the subjects saved the day more than once when they turned

skiddish through misunderstandings. He consented to be

interviewed regarding his impressions of the informants

after he was no longer on the project payroll, and the

information so obtained was beneficial.

Finally, I should thank the subjects who participated

in the Project. Many did not "make the cut" to the final

matched pair sample, but all had an influence on the final

outcome. They cannot be mentioned by name, for obvious

reasons, but these participants deserve .credit for accepting

us into their confidence. Many expressed the hope that our

studies would lead to sufficient public understanding and

tolerance of their Cannabis use so that one day, they would

no longer have to hide. Hopefully, the following presenta-

tion will add to that understanding.













PREFACE


Selecting a site for the study of long term marihuana

use in Latin America poses three questions which must have

close attention. First of all, will the host government

give full cooperation to the investigators? Second, will

there be proper medical facilities and local personal

resources to carry out the study? Oddly enough, the third

and last question is, does a chronic marihuana using popu-

lation exist in the host country? William E. Carter, Ph.D.

and Wilmer R. Coggins, I1.D. found in their efforts to locate

a Latin American site for a field study of Cannabis use that

this was indeed the order of importance for the main con-

siderations in designating a study site. They encountered a

situation in Costa Rica where the government was anxious

to have a study of chronic marihuana use done there, the

local Social Security medical system had ample hospital

facilities and well-trained personnel to carry out the study,

and a population of long-term marihuana users existed in

the urban setting of San Jose in sufficient numbers to make

the study possible. Such a combination of advantages could

not be found in any of the other Latin American countries

which were considered as possible study sites.

Through an agreement with the Costa Rican Ministry of

Public Health, the Cannabis use study gained the cooperation

vi







of the Office of Stupifying Drugs and the assistance of

the Social Security medical care system. We were given office

space in the Ministry building, and Ministry staff aided us

in getting the office furnished and a secretary hired.

Setting up the administrative environment necessary to

carry out the study of an illegal activity had to involve

local police cooperation. The Costa Rican Minister of

Security arranged for contact between the local narcotics

police and the Project field workers wherein it was agreed

that we would not be arrested or harassed during the course

of our studies. Identification cards were issued to aid

implementing this policy. Similar cards were also to be

issued to subjects in the study so that arrest for marihuana

possession would not interfere with their participation.

These arrangements did not always function ideally, but

they were sufficient for us to carry out the study with only

minor difficulties.

The transdisciplinary design of the Costa Rican Cannabis

Use Study included biomedical, sociocultural, and psycholog-

ical phases which needed a central point of communications

with the co-principal investigators, Drs. Carter and Coggins,

and Paul L. Doughty, Ph.D. The Project office in the Ministry

of Health Building became the center from which project oper-

ations were supervised. William R. True, Ph.D. and I worked

out of the Project office, carrying out sociocultural studies

of marihuana use as well as helping to coordinate other

phases of the transdisciplinary study. This contact with all


vii







phases of the study provided a perspective on its overall

progress and quality which was useful in finally analyzing

the data related to motivational syndrome.

A wide variety of data is utilized in this treatment

of chronic marihuana use, including psychomotor,intellec-

tual function, personality, and attitude test results,

biomedical data, and, most heavily, sociocultural data.

Of the sociocultural data, the most important body of

material comes from the life history interviews elicited

from each of the 82 matched subjects. Consistency of data

collection was assured by the use of an interview schedule

developed by the collaboration of the field team with the

help of Drs. Doughty and Carter, as well as Maryanna Baden,

Ph.D. The 15,000 pages of transcribed interview materials

which resulted will continue to provide valuable information

and insights on urban Costa Rican life.


viii














TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii

PREFACE vi

ABSTRACT xi

CHAPTER I PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING ON
MOTIVATIONALL SYNDROME" 1
Clinical Studies 6
Surveys and Quantitative Studies 24
Composite and Field Research Tactics 33
Overview Authors 09
Synthesis of the Existing Literature 45

CHAPTER II THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY 54

CHAPTER III THE STUDY SAMPLE 70

CHAPTER IV MARIHUANA IN COSTA RICA 89
Preparations 96
Production 101
Forms of Use 105
Types 114
Medicinal Preparations 117
Pharmacological Content of Costa Rican
Cannabis 119
Content of Marihuana 120
Daily Levels of Marihuana Use 122

CHAPTER V SMOKING "SET" AND EFFECTS 129
The User Typology 129
Analysis of Smoking Environment Descriptions
by the Users 138
Subjective Effects of Marihuana Use 157
User Types and Subjective Effects 192
Summary' 213

CHAPTER VI MARIHUANA AND THE LIFE CYCLE 217
Initiation into Cannabis Use 217
Marihuana and School Performance 232
Marihuana and Work 245
Summary 260






Page


CHAPTER VII OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF MOTIVATIONAL
SYNDROME: AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT 263

GLOSSARY 294

APPENDIX 298

BIBLIOGRAPHY 299

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 308













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy



COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE
MOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS


By

John Bryan Page

June, 1976

Chairman: William E. Carter
Major Department: Anthropology

Seven behavioral attributes of motivational syndrome

are derived from a survey of the existing literature on

chronic Cannabis use. These attributes are tested for a

working class population in San Jose, Costa Rica's, using

intensive life history data from 41 chronic Cannabis users

and 41 non-using closely matched controls. Data on smoking

environments and subjectively perceived effects for this

population yield a user typology.

When this user typology is taken into account, compari-

son of school performance and work histories between users

and non-users yields no evidence of the motivational syn-

drome. Social adjustment difficulties, where they exist,

precede the initiation of marihuana use and lead directly






to documented variations in user type. This is corroborated

further by natural history observations. Additional measures,

such as psychological tests, electroencephalographs, and

detailed medical studies also fail to show evidence of the

seven behavioral attributes commonly associated with the

motivational syndrome.


xii













CHAPTER I
PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING
ON "AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME"


The behavioral and social ills which have been attributed

to Cannabis use are widely varied, and each seems to have a

corresponding negation elsewhere in the literature. Kolansky

and Moore (1972), Warnock (1903), Walsh (1894), McGlothlin

and West (1968), and others all find that users of Cannabis

become lazy and apathetic. Miles et al. (1975), Mendelson

and Meyer (1972), Rubin and Comitas (1975), and Hochman (1972)

see no laziness among Cannabis users, and some (Rubin and

Comitas 1975) even say that Cannabis use increases energy.

Bloomquist (1971) Williams et al. (1946), Warnock (1903),

and Kolansky and Moore (1972) say that Cannabis users are

slovenly and neglectful of personal hygiene. Kaplan (1970),

and Miles et al. (1975) find users to be no neater or dirtier

than non-users. Soueif (1967, 1971), Kolansky and Moore

(1971, 1972, 1975), Bindelglas (1973), and Brill et al.

(1970) consider learning and memory functions to be diminished

among chronic Cannabis smokers, while Beaubrun and Knight

(1973) do not see such a diminution of functions among their

sample of users. Soueif (1967), Kolansky and Moore (1972),

Robins et al. (1970), and Smith (1970) say that users of

Cannabis cannot work effectively at everyday jobs, but Rubin










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and Comitas (1975), Trice and Roman (1972), and Miles et al.

(1975) argue that users can and do. Users suffer from inabil-

ity to make and carry out long-term plans, according to

McGlothlin and West (1968), and Bindelglas (1973), but Hoch-

man (1972), and Melinger et al. (1976) do not find this to

be true for their sample of users.

Table 1 illustrates the positions taken by several of

the most prominent researchers who have dealt with some

aspects of the motivationall syndrome." We can see that

there is no unanimity among them regarding any single attribute

of the syndrome, and roughly half disagree with the other

half in finding symptoms of motivational syndrome among the

Cannabis users studied. This situation of diammretrical disa-

greement among Cannabis researchers leads to an atmosphere

of mutual sniping in which the scientific thrust of contri-

buting to the body knowledge about a still misunderstood

drug is lost in interdisciplinary squabbling. The reviews

which follow will treat these and other researchers' work

as even-handedly as possible, with the ultimate objective

of using their experience to build a theoretical position

from which to assess the validity of motivational syndrome.

The term motivational syndrome has been used loosely

in connection with all of the above-named social and behav-

ioral problems and their corresponding negations. Because

motivational syndrome is generally considered a "subtle"

or "insidious" kind of psycho-social disorder, those who

write about it have avoided naming a comprehensive set of








symptoms, or more accurately, behavioral attributes for it,

and relatively few authors have ventured to use the term

motivational syndrome to encompass those behavioral attributes.

This chapter will attempt to review the existing literature on

Cannabis use which deals most directly with behavioral and

social disorders sometimes called motivational syndrome, and

to derive a set of behavioral attributes suitable for compar-

ison with the data gathered in Costa Rica.

Early writing and research reports on the use of Cannabis

do not use the term motivational syndrome, even though the

India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains some testimony

linking "laziness" and "sloth" to Cannabis use. The term

first appeared in modern scholarly writing in an article by

McGlothlin and West, "The Marihuana Problem: An Overview"

(1968). Both authors were experienced in the hippie-based

mind-expanding drug revolution of the mid-sixties. They

describe, in the manner of clinical psychiatry, a condition

they had observed among marihuana users with whom they had

come in contact in California clinical settings. McGlothlin

and West do not present motivational syndrome in a tone which

implies that they invented it, but they also do not refer to

another source for the term. They carefully qualify their

own use of the term, applying it only to "middle class students"

or "impressionable young persons." Their description of the

syndrome to which the term refers is brief:

S. subtly progressive change from conforming,
achievement-oriented behavior to a state of relaxed
and careless drifting has followed their use of
significant amounts of marihuana.




5



Such changes include apathy, loss of effec-
tiveness, and diminished capacity or willingness
to carry out complex, long-term plans, endure
frustration, concentrate for long periods, follow
routines, or successfully master new material.
Verbal facility is often impaired, both in speak-
ing and writing (372).

The authors readily admit that they have not controlled for

such factors as LSD use and social background, but they still

suspect marihuana use as a causative agent (Ibid.). Both

directly and indirectly, much of the work on marihuana use

which followed this article was influenced by it. Some

authors were not as cautious in their use of the term amoti-

vational syndrome as those who first used it.

There have been basically three approaches to study and

discussion of motivational syndrome as related to Cannabis

use. Clinical studies represent an approach which occurs

frequently, encompassing user populations both in the United

States and in other Cannabis using cultures. Impressionistic

accounts of direct personal contact with marihuana users, an

approach that the archaic literature contains in abundance,

appears as part of many comprehensive accounts of the drug

and its use. The quantitative analysis approach is the

newest of the three approaches, using questionnaires and often

large samples to obtain data on the consequences of Cannabis

use. Some researchers combine clinical and quantitative

methods to study these consequences. Authors who attempt

to offer an overview of Cannabis use usually include a mix-

ture of all of the above described approaches in their presen-

tation. The following series of brief reviews will deal with








clinical approaches first, followed by quantitative approaches,

and then mixed clinical, survey, and field research approaches.

Overview authors will be reviewed last, including some examples

of ancedotal writing on motivational syndrome.


Clinical Studies

Studies of Cannabis use which involve chronic users in

either a clinical psychiatric treatment setting (both inpatient

and outpatient) or a hospital experimental setting will be

called clinical studies in this review. We shall begin with

psychiatrists' assessments of the behavioral consequences of

Cannabis use, both in its North American setting and in its

other cultural settings.

Iolansky and Moore's clinical studies of marihuana use

form the basis for three prominent articles on the amotiva-

tional syndrome, also sometimes called "marihuana toxicity"

(1971, 1972, 1975). They find that there is a marked causal

relationship between marihuana use and what most writers

would call motivational syndrome.

During the past six years, we have seen a
clinical entity different from the routine syndromes
seen in adolescents and young adults. Long and care-
ful diagnostic evaluation convinced us that this
entity is a toxic reaction in the central nervous
system due to regular use of marihuana and hashish.
Contrary to what is frequently reported, we
have found the effect of marihuana not to be that
of a mild intoxicant which causes slight exaggera-
tion of usual adolescent behavior, but a specific
and separate clinical syndrome unlike any other
variation of the abnormal mainifestations of
adolescence (Kolansky and Moore 1972: 35).

They continue to list the salient traits of this "syndrome"








which include tiredness, mental confusion, slowed time sense,

difficulty with recent memory, incapability of completing

verbal thoughts, lack of concern for work or personal appear-

ance, and outbreaks of petulance and irrational anger (35-36).

The 1973 NIMH report on the current state of marihuana

research criticizes the Kolansky and Moore study because the

authors do not specify whether or not the patients were, or

had the opportunity to be, intoxicated with marihuana during

the interviews on which the authors reported (V-33). The

reviewers raise this question, because several of the symptoms

enumerated by Kolansky and Moore resemble commonly named

symptoms of acute marihuana intoxication, e.g., slowed time

sense, incapability of completing verbal thoughts, and diffi-

culty with recent memory. This may not be a legitimate

criticism, because chronic use of marihuana may in fact en-

tail states of intoxication that occupy many of the user's

waking hours. Thus, if serious behavioral aberrations

characterize the intoxicated state, then the chronic mari-

huana user would have constant difficulty functioning in

normal daily activities. The NIMH critique also points out

that the clinical method used by Kolansky and Moore, although

very efficacious in discovering complexes of pathological

symptoms that are of clinical interest, is not good for indi-

cating causal relationships between symptoms and other facets

of the individual patients' lives (V-34). This view is under-

lined in Rathod's assessment of Kolansky and Moore's work,

noting that the claimed "toxic reaction" was not buttressed

by any biochemical research (1975: 95).








Kolansky and Moore's 1971 article deals specifically

with adolescent behavior, and the concept of motivational

syndrome therein was rightly rebutted because of the diffi-

culty in separating the effects of smoking marihuana from the

embracing of counter-culture precepts of non-achievement and

altered social consciousness. In their 1972 article, Kolansky

and Moore assiduously avoid adolescence in the case histories

presented in order to connection motivational syndrome more

definitively to smoking marihuana. Adolescence is only one

of several possible crucial transitional periods to which man

in the course of life span is subject. By avoiding adoles-

cence in their discussion, Kolansky and Moore did not neces-

sarily avoid analogous transitional periods in the case

histories of individual subjects. For example, in group 1

case 1 in the 1972 article (37) the 41-year-old male studied

could easily have been approaching a transitional period

before his introduction to marihuana. This took place while

he, a married man, was dating a younger woman. The symptoms

which follow his adoption to the drug include "confusion,

distortion of time sense, apathy, forgetfulness, suspicious-

ness, and poor reality testing" (Ibid.). His personal

situation also deteriorated, both in his family and in his

business. To attribute the above sets of symptoms to mari-

huana use alone may be too simplistic. The precipitating

factor in their onset may just as easily by the middle-age

panic often seen in North American males.

A 28-year-old woman also cited in Kolansky and Moore's








case histories experienced deterioration in job performance

and general attitudes toward efficiency and personal grooming

after initiation of marihuana use (Ibid.). It is noted also

that her attitude toward her marriage changed, and several

love affairs resulted. This particular case points out the

error in unifactorial reasoning in the search for any kind

of psychological disorder. It appears the researchers wished

to find marihuana as the sole cause of this woman's ills,

when actually the situation was entirely too complex to

attribute her problems to marihuana smoking and nothing more.

This does not mean that marihuana could not have been a con-

tributing factor in her case. It simply allows for the

consideration of other equally important sources of upset as

contributory factors.

Crucial transitional periods analogous to that of

adolescence may be contributing factors in all of the cases

cited by Kolansky and Moore. Even more importantly, all of

these cases have been referred for psychological care and

treatment. A distorted, one-sided image of marihuana use

results from dealing only with cases whose recognized aberrance

has brought them to seek treatment. A clinical population by

definition represents only the segment of the total population

that is seen (or sees itself) as outside the normal range of

accepted behavior. Furthermore, the 13 cases cited involve

people whose marihuana use is of short duration (no more than

2 years) and their levels of consumption are not well-docu-

mented. It does not follow that since light marihuana use








accompanies psychological problems among some psychiatric

patients, marihuana necessarily causes the psychological

problems.

Clinical reports on the effects of Cannabis smoking are

by no means new to the psychiatric literature. The British

India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains in its huge

volume of testimony a sizeable representation of psychiatrists

who had practiced in India. Walsh (1894) recognizes that

some people who use Cannabis put their mental health in

jeopardy.

. In a certain proportion, too, it is not very
improbable that, owing to the fact that these per-
sons are of a neuropathic diathesis, and in them a
tendency to insanity exists, and has always been
latent, hemp drugs in excess, or even quantities
which would not damage a man of robust nervous
constitution, have acted as an exciting cause,
making manifest mental weakness which might not
have shown itself in the absence of such indul-
gence (35).

This is the testimony of a clinician who had experience with

Cannabis toxicity in its most ancient cultural context. Walsh

recognizes that cases of pathological reaction to Cannabis use

probably have a close relationship with some pre-existing

tendency to mental disturbance. One of the syndromes connected

with such toxicity reactions is described in the following

symptomology:

. The vice grows in him [the user]; he neglects
his family and his business, falls into irregular
and disorderly habits, which alternate with periods
of self-reproach and mental depression (Walsh 1894:
32).

The above set of behavioral characteristics strikingly resemble








the current concept of the motivational syndrome, yet they

are used by Walsh to describe one of the toxic reactions

suffered by users with a pre-existing tendency toward mental

problems.

Walsh's concept of the relationship between mental

disturbance and Cannabis use is very difficult to dispute,

because patients suffering from Cannabis toxicity psychoses

often have no previous history of mental disturbance. Kolansky

and Moore (1972) include only cases with no psychiatric ante-

cedents in their case history accounts. This is their justi-

fication for claiming that Cannabis is the cause of their

patients' problems. It would be insufficient argument to point

out that stories of maniacal homicide appear constantly in

the news involving people with no history of psychiatric

disturbance. Rather, it is preferable to study a non-institu-

tionalized population of chronic Cannabis users to see if

the motivational symptomology holds for them. In this way,

we avoid prejudicing conclusions on the basis of a sample

that is already recognized as behaviorally aberrant.

Another early clinical study of the consequences of

Cannabis use appeared in the Journal of Mental Science (1903)

written by John Warnock, another Englishman of long experience

in dealing with an ancient Cannabis-using tradition. He finds

that the India Hemp Commission's findings do not agree with

his experience in Egypt with kif, a strong Egyptian Cannabis

preparation, and hashish. According to Warnock, kif was

sufficient cause of psychiatric problems among a high percentage








of the patients in the Cairo Sanitarium (103). He goes so

far as to name this Cannabis-caused syndrome "cannabinomania":

The term cannabinomania may be employed to des-
scribe the mental condition of many hasheesh users
between the above forms [acute cannabis-caused psy-
choses, including temporary intoxication, delirium
from hasheesh, mania from hasheesh, chronic mania
from hasheesh, and chronic dementia from hasheesh].
The individual is a good-for-nothing lazy fellow,
who lives by begging and stealing, and pesters his
relations for money to buy hasheesh, often assaulting
them when they refuse his demands. The moral degrada-
tion of these cases is their most salient symptom;
loss of social position, shamelessness, addiction
to lying and theft, and a loose, irregular life make
them a curse to their families (103).

The above description is not unlike many of the more recent

clinical and impressionistic accounts of motivational

syndrome. One major difference is that certain types of

aggression are incorporated in the description, a character-

istic which contrasts sharply with the passivity usually

attributed to long-term Cannabis users. The characteristics

contained in the above account which are most generalizable

among those cited for the user suffering from the motivational

syndrome are laziness, lack of order, and dedication of all

available resources to drug consumption.

Warnock indicates great familiarity with the cultural

differences between Indian and Egyptian Cannabis use tradition.

As Drake (1971: SS) also suggests, the difference in frequency

of Cannabis-precipitated mental illness between India and

Egypt may be due in part to the exclusive use of stronger,

resin-based preparations by the Egyptian users. Cultural

standards of use in India urge the Cannabis user to eschew








charas, the Indian equivalent of hashish, in favor of the less

concentrated preparations, bhang and ganja. The Egyptian user

typically seeks the depressant effects of heavy dosage and

strong preparations. Finally, Warnock addresses the epidem-

iological problem of "hasheesh mania:"

. Probably only excessive users, or persons
peculiarly susceptible to its toxic effects, become
so insane as to need asylum treatment. Whether the
moderate use of hasheesh has ill effects, I have no
means of judging. (109).

As he sees it, Cannabis use is responsible for mental illness

in Egypt, but still Warnock allows for the pre-existing ten-

dency toward mental illness in these cases. It is interesting

to note that, when addressing the problem of alcohol use as

opposed to hashish use, Warnock is not willing to make the

latter illegal and replace it with the former (105).

The authors cited above all attempt to generalize to

the population at large on the basis of clinical populations,

taking the basic position that Cannabis brings about increased

mental difficulties. Walsh and Warnock modify this position

by allowing for pre-existing tendencies toward psychological

disturbance, while Kolansky and Moore do not. Prince et al.

(1972), on the basis of a parallel data gathering situation,

attempt to reverse the generalization process by arriving at

exactly opposite conclusions. Extrapolating from the data

gathered inside the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica,

Prince, Greenfield, and Marriott concluded that ganja (the

Jamaican term for the form of Cannabis smoked there) is in

fact an alternative to alcohol, and, as such, is less likely








to lead to psychological distrubance (9). This kind of

clinical generalization is no more acceptable than those

mentioned earlier. All of the above mentioned studies lack

the perspective gained by familiarity with the normal, at-large

Cannabis-using population.

In the above account, it may seem that we slip into dis-

cussion of mental disturbance in general while addressing the

problem of motivational syndrome. This is no accident,

because Walsh and Warnock name the symptoms of motivational

syndrome among many other symptoms of mental disorder which

are also associated with Cannabis use. Kolansky and Moore's

work is more tightly associated with the specific charac-

teristics of the motivational syndrome, which they are instru-

mental in describing, but these other works which name parallel

symptoms in the context of a broader symptomology bring up the

central question in the motivational syndrome argument: Does

Cannabis use lead to patterns of behavior which are considered

outside the normal range of accepted behavior? Kolansky and

Moore say yes, Warnock says maybe, Walsh says not without

pre-existing dispositions or tendencies, and Prince, et al.

say not at all.

Among the existing clinical papers and treatises on

Cannabis use, the Chopras' of India (R.N.G.S., and E.C., 1942;

I.C. and R.N., 1957; G.S. and P.S., 1965; G.S., 1969) have

by far the most time depth. Their writing is based on years

of clinical experience in dealing with patients who have used

Cannabis in the complex and baroquely elaborate Cannabis using








tradition found in India. The clinical point of view, as

stated earlier, may distort the researcher's perception of

the consequences of Cannabis use, but the Chopras seem to be

an exception. They know something about the general popula-

tion of Cannabis users in India, and they temper their con-

clusions on that basis.

The following user typology developed by I.C. and II.R.

Chopra (1957) shows that they have a much more finely-tuned

sensitivity to the nuances of dosage level and usage set than

their North American counterparts:

Group I. This group consists of persons belonging to the
poorer classes, such as labourers, domestic servants,
etc. These people are the principal consumers of
ganja (and also charas, if they can get it). They
take these as food accessories in order to relieve
fatigue after their work and for mild euphoric effects
to relieve the monotony of their daily vocations and
existence. They necessarily stick to small doses as
a rule they are able to carry on with their ordinary
work. They suffer little or no injury to their gen-
eral health from the habitual use of the drug.

Group II. This is composed of those individuals who use
Cannabis in the same way as opium for its narcotic
effects. The members of this group are idlers and
persons mentally below average who take to the habit-
ual use of Cannabis in order to induce a state of
oblivion or to overcome feelings of inferiority and
the sense of inhibition. Ganja and Charas are
mostly used by this group and the damage to their
health is more perceptible than in the case of
Group I.

Group III. This includes individuals who use Cannabis in
order to obtain stimulant effects combined with intox-
icating effects, in the same way as alcohol. This
practice exists mostly amongst the idle and the rich
who wish to seek pleasure and new sensations, often
of a sexual nature. Such a use, prolonged and carried
to excess, is apt to cause injury to the gastro-intes-
tinal tract resulting in dyspepsia and impairment of
vitality and general health, and later in damage to
their nervous system. Sometimes other potent drugs








such as .nux vomica and dhatura are also mixed by
addicts to fortify themselves to perpetrate acts
of violence.

Group IV. This group consists mostly of religious
mendicants (sadhis and fakirs) and the priestly
classes. Cannabis drugs are used in all forms by
them in order to overcome the feeling of hunger and
to help them to concentrate on religious and medi-
tational objectives (15).

Low dosage levels among poor laborers correspond with the use

of Cannabis preparations for their fatigue-reducing properties.

Other low-dosage users consume Cannabis preparations for

specific religious ends. Those users among Group II are by

far the most problematic Cannabis users, but the Chopras

describe them as often being mentally deficient. Their dosage

levels are far beyond those of the Group I users, further

evidenced by their preference for the stronger Cannabis pre-

parations and their concentration on what the authors call

"narcotic" effects. Group III and Group IV, the pleasure-

seekers and the meditators, most closely resemble the Cannabis-

using patterns of North American users. North American drug

use by seekers of new stimuli and experience is well known

(cf. Goode 1970, 1972). Drug-connected religious mysticism

in the U.S. in both sacred religious and secular social

consciousness spheres, seems to parallel the Group IV pattern

closely. Group I, as I shall show in more detail, has a

parallel among Costa Rican marihuana users. Group II has

parallels in the Egyptian Cannabis use patterns described by

Warnock (1903) and Soueif (1967 and 1971) and also among some

Costa Rican marihuana smokers.








Asuni, an African psychiatrist who also writes on clinical

observation of chronic marihuana users in Nigeria, suggests

that people who occupy marginal places in society are prone

to use marihuana, as well as certain occupational groups, such

as taxi drivers, truck drivers, prostitutes and musicians

(1964: 20, 25). He seems to recognize some of the limitations

of clinical research, and does not attempt to establish mari-

huana as a cause of the frequent unemployment, loss of effi-

ciency, and tardiness seen in his subjects. Still, Asuni sees

some connection between marihuana use and these traits (27).

Perhaps further examination of the socio-cultural aspects of

Cannabis use would be useful in sorting out the influences

on the behavior of this particular group of Nigerian users.

Up to this point, discussion has been limited to the

various analyses of psychiatric observations in clinical

settings. Another variety of clinical study addressing the

problem of motivational syndrome has become numerous in

recent years, where subjects are placed in a closed laboratory

and given marihuana or some preparation of its psychotropic

derivatives to consume in that closed environment. This does

not really address the question of long-term use, since the

experimental subjects are either marihuana naive or have

relatively limited experience with the drug. However, the

closed laboratory method does afford the investigator with

assurance regarding the dosages of Cannabis administered and

the settings in which it is smoked. The first study of this

kind was done under the auspices of the La Guardia administration








in 1944, and users of long-term experience were studied. Some

psychological testing was done, but the investigators were

concentrating on acute rather than chornic effects, and so,

little difference between user and non-user groups was reported.

Williams, et al. carried out a similar experiment in 1946,

where six subjects were given marihunaa to smoke over a 30-

day period in a closed hospital setting. Psychological tests

were administered during and after the smoking period. Results

suggest that, during the acute period, the subjects experienced

a diminution of precision in motor and intellectual function,

as well as a lack of motivation and increased carelessness.

General clinical observations noted increased sleeping time,

general lassitude, social deterioration, and lack of personal

hygiene, but they also indicated lack of anti-social behavior

or psychotic reactions during the smoking period, even though

dosage ranged from nine to 26 cigarettes per day. All of the

above-named symptoms, some of which are identical to those

described for motivational syndrome, disappeared after the

end of the acute smoking period. This particular study points

out the danger of claiming, as do Kolansky and Moore, that

Cannabis use results in a lasting toxic reaction in the

users' nervous system. A complex of symptoms very close to

the ones named by Kolansky and Moore are, in Williams' et al.

research, apparently linked with the acute smoking experience,

vindicating the NIDA criticism of the Kolansky and Moore study

mentioned earlier.

A more recent example of the procedure carried out by









Williams et al. was performed by Lord (1971) on 37 student-

age subjects. Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality

Inventory (MMPI), Lord attempted to measure change in person-

ality as a result of marihuana administration. He found that

scores (anxiety and repression, respectively) for the subjects

who were given marihuana indicated lower levels of excitement,

energy, and enterprise (94). He makes the following statement

on the relationship between marihuana and motivational

syndrome:

. The present findings support both the LaGuardia
study and current clinical beliefs that marihuana does
cause a reduction of responsibility in individuals.
While the clinical statements regarding this trait are
stated in terms of long-term use of marijuana, both
the LaGuardia study and the present research imply that
these characteristics may also be manifested in short-
term use--even in single experiences with marijuana
(49).

Lord has fallen into the trap of making unqualified general-

izations on the basis of very limited and specific data. His

testing population was made up of young short-term users,

and they were tested after a single administration of the drug.

Lord indicates that he is aware of cultural influences that

impinge on the effects of marihuana (25-26) and yet he does

not bother to give any background information on his user

population other than to state age and sex. This failure to

define the user population in even minimal cultural terms

renders Lord's results nearly useless.

In seemingly a direct approach toward the motivational

syndrome problem Mendelson and Meyer (1972) placed 20 multiple

drug-using males in a hospital setting for 31 days. During








the entire period, the subjects were able to earn money for

tobacco and marihuana by manipulating an operant press-bar.

All subjects earned the maximum (an equivalent of $10 per day)

during the smoking period, and so, no direct relationship

between marihuana and decrease in work output was found.

Miles suggests (1975) that the $10 per day limit may have been

unrealistic, yielding an effect whereby even the least moti-

vated subjects could complete the output maximum without

discriminating the levels of achievement in the group. Also,

the task at hand was so simple that it could not be impaired

by marihuana consumption. Both of these arguments are legit-

imate, and they point out the limitations of over-simplified

laboratory-style experiments such as these. The rewards to

be had in the real world for industriousness are limited by

factors that are very different from the artificial ceiling

seen here. Practically all human tasks, even the most menial,

are too complex to be represented adequately by press-bar

performance.

Miles et al. (1975) performed an experiment in a hospital

setting which comes somewhat closer to replicating real world

conditions than did the Mendelson and Meyer study. Six

"healthy young marihuana smokers" were placed in a special

laboratory situation for 70 days during which they were given

a "job" that entailed the construction of wooden stools. The

subjects were paid for piece work, and after the first week

of the study, they took unanimous action to secure a "raise"

in pay. Miles notes that during a 28-day period in the study








when each subject was required to smoke 17 mg. of THC, produc-

tion and savings declined. The subjects had begun to spend

more time in passive entertainment, and they claimed that the

compulsory smoking was impeding their work output. Neverthe-

less, when a further increase in the piecework rate was insti-

tuted, production increased dramatically in spite of the continued

compulsory marihuana smoking. Miles also notes with regard

to the motivational syndrome that efficiency was not altered

even when production had dropped. That is, the subjects pro-

duced stools at the same rate per unit of working time during

the period of low productivity, but they spent less time working

until their wages were increased. He also found that, con-

trary to the Williams (1946) findings, the carefully monitored

behavior of the subject group indicated no change in personal

hygiene activities during the experimental period, and no

increase in sleep time. Even though this laboratory study

comes much closer than its predecessors to simulating a real

world situation, it still fails to reflect several important

factors which must be assessed adequately in order to make a

definitive statement concerning motivational syndrome. A

short-term study of 70 days cannot yield conclusions about

the consequences of a lifetime of smoking marihuana, because

performance findings, no matter how closely-monitored, do not

reflect how steadily an individual has worked during his life-

time, nor how faithfully he fulfills his other social obliga-

tions. Enthusiasm for a new job could account for the rises

in production during so brief a period. Nevertheless, Miles'








et al. results hint that perhaps users who are smoking moder-

ate amounts of Cannabis can function adequately and even show

signs of motivation while under a daily smoking regimen.

Several other authors have presented clinical-style

reports of their research on marihuana use which will be

encapsulated below. David Kupfer (1973) did an out-patient

clinical study of a small number of light marihuana smokers

in which some psychological testing was administered. His

most important conclusion regarding motivational syndrome

is that depression due to passage through a life crisis is

an important factor among patients exhibiting symptoms of

that syndrome (1322). Based on clinical examination alone

of five marihuana users, John Thurlow (1971) offers three

hypotheses for future consideration and research: 1) That

lack of initiative is a long-term effect of Cannabis use,

2) That other drugs used to adulterate marihuana caused this

lack of initiative, 3) That the connection between amotiva-

tional state and drug use is coincidental (182). Hendin

(1973) bases his article on clinical examination of 15

marihuana using students, finding that the student popula-

tion examined uses marihuana to curb aggression, or, in his

own words, a "surcease from competition" (270). Allen and

West (1968) write of their experience manning a clinic in

the Haight-Ashbury district, and they warn that chronic use

of marihuana could lead to "apathy, enervation, and psycho-

logical immobilization" (125). R. A. Shellow (1973) finds

that the chronically "stoned" person can be depressive in








character, with intolerance to pain and frustration, basing

his conclusion on limited clinical experience with chronic

users (32).

The clinical treatises on motivational syndrome which

have been reviewed in the preceding pages encompass two basic

kinds of Cannabis research experience. The first, exempli-

fied by Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), and the Chopras (1942,

1957, 1969, 1971) involves long experience with Cannabis

users in mental institutions. The second, as in the work of

Miles, et al. (1975), and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) involves

relatively short-term clinical contact with users in an exper-

imental setting. Some clinicians, particularly Kolansky and

Moore (1971, 1972, 1975) are willing to state that Cannabis

use is a direct cause of the apathy, loss of productivity,

decrease of intellectual ability, and moodiness and irrit-

ability which they have observed among chronic marihuana users.

Others, including Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), Asuni (1964),

and the Chopras (1942, 1957, 1969, 1971) prefer to allow for

consideration of other psychological and cultural factors in

determining the etiology of the aberrant behavior observed.

Still other clinical researchers, such as Miles, et al. (1975)

and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) do not observe the aberrant

behavior noted by other clinically-oriented researchers.

Clinical observations have listed and corroborated

several behavioral attributes of motivational syndrome which

deserve further attention. Apathy, lack of energy, loss of

productivity, decrease in intellectual abilities, moodiness








and irritability, sloth and disregard for personal hygiene,

and dedication of all available resources toward Cannabis

procurement all appear in clinical treatises on marihuana

use. The work of the experimental authors makes an indirect

contribution to further Cannabis use research by warning that

drug use should be studied and assessed in its natural setting

and in chronic, long-term forms in order to form valid con-

clusions about the impact of the drug use on the users' lives.

Many experienced clinicians provide important perspectives

on the cultural or psychological factors which impinge on the

behavior of Cannabis users. All of these contributions will

be carried into further analysis of the impact of Cannabis

use on the individual's accommodation in society.


Surveys and Quantitative Studies

Methods for measuring the influence of long-term Cannabis

use have often been quantitative in nature, especially in

the study of users in the United States. McGlothlin, Rowan

and Arnold (1970) managed to identify a sample of 51 adults

who had tried marihuana during adolescence. The mean age of

this group was 40, and their first experience with the drug

took place at least nine and sometimes as many as 20 years

before the beginning of the study. This group was broken down

into those who did not continue marihuana use for a signifi-

cant period of time and those who had continued use for a

period of at least two years at a rate of at least two times

a week (434). These groups of 29 and 22 subjects, respectively,








were contacted by mail and interviewed for points of personal

information. Several psychological scales including measures

of sensation seeking and social desirability were administered.

The authors found that the group which had experienced con-

tinued use of marihuana were much more unstructured and mer-

curial in their lifestyles than the other two groups (440).

The main indicators of this were in the frequent changes of

work and residence. The chronic user group also showed a

strong tendency to seek psychotropic states by other means,

ranging from the practice of Zen Buddhism to heroin use.

McGlothlin et al. recognize the difficulties in general-

izing on the basis of this kind of sample. The method of

procuring the sample immediately prejudiced it somewhat, since

the subjects were recruited from a group that had been adminis-

tered LSD either experimentally or therapeutically during the

early sixties (433). Such a subject group did not form the

kind of data base from which generalizations of any validity

could be made about the ultimate consequences of chronic

Cannabis use. Many were already psychiatric patients, and

the rest had at least subjected themselves to administrations

of LSD. Neither was there scientific control for problem

drug use areas, such as alcoholism and other addictions.

A much more reasonably conceived sample was procured by

Robins, Darvish and Murphy (1970) in their follow-up quanti-

tative study of lower class blacks in St. Louis. Choosing

from public school rolls, they identified a sample which con-

tained 146 non-users and 76 users of marihuana. This population








was broken down further into those who used (or had used

during adolescence) marihuana alone and those who participated

(or had participated) in multiple drug use and finally, those

who did not use marihuana at all. Using a personal interview

and access to several varieties of public record, including

police records, the authors made a comparison of the groups.

They found that, even though the groups were matched for dis-

tribution of what they considered to be crucial home environ-

ment variables (presence of parents, father's job level, etc.)

the user groups appeared to have performed less successfully

in society than the non-user group. The users were less

likely to have graduated from high school than the non-users

(164). Users tended to achieve lower job levels than the

non-users, whether or not they had dropped out of school (166).

Arrest frequencies for non-drug related offenses were higher

for the user groups.

Robins et al. attempted to control for other factors

which might have influenced the comparisons, first by matching

the subject groups at their starting points as children, and

then by controlling for varieties of drug use history. The

problem with the first controlling strategy is that the situa-

tions described by the school records which were used for

matching purposes may have changed radically by the time these

children reached adolescence, the time of drug use onset.

The authors could not guarantee, or even be fairly certain,

that the same home situation existed for their subjects as

adolescents as did for their subjects as children. The








second controlling strategy, for some reason, did not include

alcohol among the psychotropics which the authors called

"drugs," thereby removing from consideration a drug of known

influence on social adjustment. If those with heavy drinking

or alcoholic problems were compared with those who did not

have such problems, the authors might also have found an equally

striking difference between the two groups. Furthermore,

when the user groups were re-distributed according to duration

of marihuana use (those using fewer than five years and those

using more than five years) there was not a clear-cut progres-

sion in the frequency of the social ills mentioned earlier.

Some variables such as number of arrests were more frequent

for the group with less smoking experience than for those with

more smoking experience (175). If there were a causal rela-

tionship between marihuana use and failure to graduate from

high school or to secure a decent job, for example, then we

might reasonably expect for those tendencies to increase with

increased experience and dosage. This did not occur consis-

tently when the authors tested for duration of use. Problems

in control factors and causal statements thus mark the gener-

alizeability of Robins, Darvish and Murphy's otherwise well-

thought-out study.

That use of control factors to eliminate possible non-

drug influences on performance and productivity can yield other

results, is shown in Mellinger, Somers, Davidson, and Man-

heimer's study of University of California students (1975).

Robins, et al. found evidence supporting part of the








motivational syndrome hypothesis by controlling for child-

hood home environment; Mellinger, et al. found evidence

which rejected motivational syndrome when they controlled

for parents' level of education and several academic motiva-

tion variables. This study's methodology was relatively

impersonal, relying on non-contact modes of data elicitation,

especially mailed questionnaires which were self-administered.

Even though the response rate was fairly high, thereby

eliminating bias factors due to non-participation (12) such

a method is problematic in other ways, such as definition of

the relative levels of marihuana use and the use of other

drugs. These levels are difficult to establish using direct

observation and interview techniques; the chances are small

indeed that a mailed questionnaire could achieve real accuracy

on drug consumption questions. Still, Mellinger, et al.

report that drug use of any kind could not be singled out as

a significant factor in college drop-out rate (34). Much

more important in predicting dropout rate were the predis-

posing factors of family background, relationships with

parents in high school, and social values (35). The statis-

tical reasoning in this study is very sound, and it is one of

the few studies of motivational syndrome that attempt to

place the blame for poor performance or low motivation levels

on the socialization process of the individual, rather than the

use of a drug. The authors' arguments are robbed of impact

by the comparative superficiality of their data-gathering

procedures.








Soueif (1967, 1971) has attempted by large-scale

psychological testing of subject populations to establish the

consequences of long term Cannabis use among Egyptian kif

smokers. His first study in 1967 certainly is not lacking

in rigor of test design or execution, utilizing a user popu-

lation procured by means of key informants who led the researchers

through networks of personal interaction to identify a subject

population (6). In this way, Soueif had a stratified sample

in a natural setting for his study purposes. The main data-

gathering instruments in Soueif's study were interview

schedules which underwent extensive and rigorous pre-admninis-

tration testing for reliability and translation into colloquial

Arabic. These schedules were administered to three different

sample groups, one consisting of 204 urban hashish users from

Cairo, another of 49 semi-urban and rural hashish users from

upper Egypt, 115 controls from Cairo, and 40 controls from

upper Egypt. The study provides a wide range of data, including

some epidemiological inference on the extent of hashish con-

sumption in Cairo, and relative popularity of the various

methods of smoking the drug (7). Correlation coefficients

of contingency were estimated for some of the data elicited,

and it was found that positive correlations appeared between

monthly frequency of hashish use and the number of hours

worked per day. The author hints at some negative correlation

between quality of working conditions and amount of hashish

consumed (8). He is unwilling to make a statement about the

correlation between amount of hashish consumed and marital








status, because of inconsistencies between urban and rural

smokers in this regard. Soueif's statement on productivity

is vague and difficult to interpret; he states that users

claim lower quantity and quality of production while under the

influence of hashish and he attempts to correlate it with

specific cognitive and perceptual changes reported by the

users. He found that a fairly high correlation could be

estimated between productivity decline and disturbance in

time perception, and also to distortion of auditory perception

(10). Still, Soueif's work hovers very close to the question

of motivational syndrome without really addressing it. His

research (1967) design and user population are both among the

best to appear in the literature. Within the data gathered,

he may even supply sufficient information to make a much

more definitive statement on motivational syndrome, but he

does not go any further than to analyze the users' reports

of acute effects of the drug on productivity. As we have

already seen, this question is also in doubt. The interview

schedule used with Soueif's subjects contains a section on

family background and on work conditions, and these may have

yielded some work history information for the purpose of

studying chronic consequences of hashish use. For some reason,

Soueif's discussion does not enter this area.

Another Soueif study, completed in 1971, is less promising

because of its use of a prison population, but still is impres-

sive because of the size of the sample. The research involved

nearly 1700 subjects, including users and controls (17). This








time, both an interview schedule and a battery of largely

non-verbal psychological tests were administered. The problem

of motivational syndrome was again side-stepped by Soueif,

as he concentrated on comparing the results of the test

battery, and on pointing out social behavior variation within

the sub-groups of the user population. Nevertheless, Soueif

does report one difference between user and control groups

which might support part of the motivational syndrome argu-

ment. He found that the users on the whole were slower learners

than the controls (27) and that the controls scored consis-

tently higher on the test battery which included digit span,

tool matching, and other tests than did the users (28). One

of the often-cited symptoms of motivational syndrome is the

inability to learn new material or to concentrate, so the

results might be interpreted to exemplify this symptom in

Soueif's population.

Sampling problems here may have prejudiced this partic-

ular study in favor of the non-users. Soueif specifies that

the users were incarcerated exclusively for Cannabis-related

violations (17). Since hashish smoking is a widespread, and

often socially (if not governmentally) accepted custom, the

population of users from which the test population was drawn

by the method of arrest may be assumed to be large. Perhaps

the segment of the user population which at the time of the

study was not incarcerated can be said to be more astute in

avoiding detection than the segment in jail. This prejudice

might not work to the same extent on the population of other








criminals. For comparative purposes, it would be interesting

to have administered the 1971 tests on the 1967 user sample.

Two basic conclusions from Souief's work are of interest

and concern regarding motivational syndrome: first, that

users consider their work output to be diminished while under

the influence of hashish or craving for hashish (1967: 10)

and second, that users seem to be slower learners than con-

trols (1971: 27). The first conclusion disagrees with other

research already cited (Miles et al. 1975; Mendelson and

Meyer 1972) but is based on a much more solidly established

user population and therefore must be taken seriously. The

second may be due to sampling bias, but is worthy of further

investigation.

Other researchers who have used statistical analysis of

psychological data to study the consequences of ongoing mari-

huana use are reviewed below. Mirin et al. (1971) did compari-

sons between heavy and casual users on the basis of a psycho-

logical test battery. They found that heavy users (not con-

trolled for other drug use) tended to have higher scores on

a hostility scale of a moods test, but otherwise no signifi-

cant difference between the two groups in psychological test

variables (57). Student users were the subjects in Hogan's

study of marihuana use, and he found no significant differ-

ences among frequent users, occasional users and non-users

in school performance, and only minor nuance differences in

personality test scores (1970). Shean and Fechtman (1971), in

a comparatively superficial attempt to study the relation








between marihuana use and purpose in life, found that users

scored lower on this test than do non-users.


Composite and Field Research Tactics

Some researchers have a composite research tactic to

elicit several kinds of data on marihuana use. Hochman (1972),

for example, in addition to extensive clinical experience,

used a large-scale questionnaire to investigate some of the

consequences of marihuana use among students. A total of 2200

questionnaires were mailed out, which produced 64 percent

response. Roughly 90 of the subjects eventually submitted to

further interviews and testing. Hochman's interpretation of

his own results is possibly different from the interpretations

that might have been given by Kolansky and Moore of the same

research data. Users and non-users differed significantly in

interruptions of their academic careers and frequency of job

quitting because the job was "dull," and in indecision about

long-range plans, but Hochman finds no evidence supporting

motivational syndrome. His reasons for this interpretation

are that users and non-users do not differ in feelings of

life direction, age of first job, number of jobs, age at

marriage, number of times married, and number of times divorced.

These are only "halfway point" results of a study which is

not yet complete, so Hochman's statement are not final con-

clusions. Nevertheless, Hochman's methods deserve further

comment. The mailing technique in this case was favorably

modified to include some face-to-face contact with some of








the subjects, and, if the dosages reported by the users in the

sample were accurate, it could conceivably yield acceptable

results.

The problem, as in the Mellinger et al. study, is that

the author does not have enough assurance that the reported

levels and varieties of drug are accurate. Hochman has taken

the position that marihuana use in the North American sub-

cultural context represents a new movement in social sensitivity,

and perhaps a "buffer" against increased stress resulting

from living in a fast-paced, urban environment (61). This

position may at times supercede in importance the evidence

produced by his studies. He argues that the users he has

studied do not demonstrate the lassitude described by other

researchers, but he does not convince the reader that he was

dealing with a genuine chronic marihuana user. If they

were in fact long-term users the job or academic instability

and inability to make long-range plans remain questions of

marihuana use that are difficult to answer on the basis of

Hochman's research.

An author who supplies some cross-cultural perspective

using a mix of research tactics is T. A. Lambo of Nigeria

(1965). He has used both clinical and survey methods of ob-

taining data on the consequences of marihuana use. He con-

cludes that the cause-effect relationship between marihuana

use and low productivity or poor social adjustment cannot

be established on the basis of his research (9). As Warnock

and Walsh before him, Lambo does not rule out the possibility








of pre-existing psychological disorder in cases of mental

illness among Cannabis users (9). His survey results show

that crime, Cannabis use, absenteeism, and dismissal rate are

parts of a larger complex of social problems often resulting

from failure on the part of the individual to integrate his

personality sufficiently to "get along" in a changing social

environment (8). This concept, used by Hochman (1972: 61)

to illustrate his own "buffer" view, is important in consider-

ing cultural settings of marihuana use other than the North

American setting so prominent in the literature. Those areas

where marihuana use is considered deviant would tend to have

a population of socially marginal users, much like the ones

described in Lambo's work. Hochman assumes that marihuana

use in fact assuages the social pressures experienced by its

users, an assumption which would be contested by Lambo.

Lambo's description of Nigerian patterns of marihuana use

suggests that there exist among users several complementary

factors which contribute to that use, including participation

in a cultural ambience of societal marginality. The signifi-

cance of this concept will be amply illustrated in the descrip-

tion of Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use.

Lambo also addresses another issue which is implicit in

much of the research on the use of marihuana and other drugs.

He doubts seriously that there exists in scientifically gener-

alizable form a "drug using personality" archetype. "Drug use

proneness" has been another way of wording this idea. Lambo

does not see among the Nigerian marihuana smokers he has








studied a set of personality characteristics which distinguish

the people most likely to abuse drugs from those who are not

(9). Sadava (1973) came to a similar conclusion in a longi-

tudinal study of college freshmen when he recognized that per-

sonality scale characteristics alone failed to predict ade-

quately whether or not an individual would end up using drugs.

He found that social environment also played an important

part in this outcome. The study of motivational syndrome's

validity leads to this question of the personality which is

predisposed to drug use. If tnere exist in the individual

drug user's personality certain elements or characteristics

which make him prone to use drugs, then these characteristics

may be part of a configuration which includes the tendency

to show motivational syndrome symptoms. The question of

"which came first?" is partially answered by Lambo and Sadava

when they suggest that beginning and continuing drug use often

depends heavily on conditions of social nurturance of that use.

Becker (1953) in a pioneering study of the process of

becoming a marihuana user, describes these conditions as he

negates the drug use proneness hypothesis (236). The central

message of Becker's study is that the people who instruct

the prospective user in Cannabis use must successfully rede-

fine the novice's first experience for him in good or bene-

ficial terms, regardless of his own first impression of that

experience (240). If this does not happen, the novice is

much less likely to continue to smoke marihuana. With this

principal in mind, the drug use proneness hypothesis becomes









less credible for marihuana smokers, and the question of

motivational syndrome cannot be applied to this hypothesis.

Re-stated in cultural rather than purely psychological terms,

drug use proneness may still be useful as a concept, although

its definition would become infinitely more complex than the

previous one.

The recently completed study of chronic marihuana users

in Jamaica (Rubin and Comitas 1975) also utilized a variety

of approaches to deal with the consequences of long term

Cannabis use, including psychological and medical testing and

extensive socio-cultural research. Beaubrun and Knight

(1973) state in an article based on the Jamaican research

that a comparison of 30 users' work histories with those of

30 matched non-users showed no difference between the two

groups (311). They go on to suggest that perhaps the lower-

class level of workers used in their study did not yield the

same results as would white-collar workers, whose complex

work tasks would be more affected by the drug than the tasks

of simple day-laborers. Beaubrun and Knight indicate that

they are not very familiar with the daily work schedules of

their subjects, who were hospitalized especially for the testing

period. This kind of perspective on the work habits of the

subjects would have been useful to add depth to the conclu-

sions of this phase of the Jamaican study.

Bowman and Pihl (1973) administered projective technique

formats to a sample of rural Jamaican users and non-users

(Beaubrun and Knight's sample was both urban and rural) also








in connection with the Jamaica study of chronic Cannabis

use. No essential difference was noted by the authors between

users and non-users, underlining the normality of ganja

smoking in Jamaica. Bowman and Pihl found also that the

users were able to compensate behaviorally for the effects

of the drug at increased dosages (169).

The most unusual branch of the Rubin and Comitas study

was the videotape sociocultural study on work efficiency and

Cannabis use done by Schaeffer. Carefully measuring amounts

of food and Cannabis consumed by rural agricultural workers,

and analyzing the videotapes of work party activity for kinetic

efficiency and speed, Schaeffer was able to determine that

workers under the influence of marihuana were working less

rapidly than when not smoking marihuana. The degree to which

'..o,. Lp;ed was reduced seemed to vary directly with the

heaviness of the dose. Users justified this drop in speed

by saying that their work was more thorough when under the

influence of marihuana. The tapes reveal that workers after

smoking performed significantly more movements per minute,

even though their work progressed more slowly. Nevertheless,

Schaeffer found that these significant differences were out-

weighed by the social importance of smoking Cannabis together

in a work party. Obviously, the Jamaican marihuana smoker's

approach to use of that drug is very different from the essen-

tially recreational approach of the North American user.

Schaeffer found that the drug does, in fact, reduce working

speed, but it is regarded by the workers as necessary to do









the job correctly and to maintaining a harmonious work group.

The latter values are so important that they eclipse the

former objective disadvantage. Schaeffer also found that in

the course of the yearly round of cultivating activities, the

difference in work speed caused by the Cannabis could not

otherwise go toward increased production because of the

limited landholdings of the farmers studied. In the present

situation, time that might have been saved by not smoking

ganja on the job would not have a productive outlet because

of limited land resources. These findings confirm the idea

that Cannabis and work can mix in some situations. Even so,

the tasks performed by the farm workers are rudimentary, and

such conclusions may not apply to an urban environment, where

worker's tasks are often more complex. Further evidence

regarding the urban user and his work is provided by the

Costa Rican study on chronic marihuana use.


Overview Authors

Some treatises on Cannabis use are written by authors

who have not conducted original research themselves, but

draw from the results of several researchers to synthesize

their own insights on the use of that drug. The following

segment of this review of the literature covers some of the

authors who have had something to say about amoti'ational

syndrome.

Anecdotal descriptions of long term marihuana users

appeared often in the volumes of the India Hemp Commission's








(1893) massive inquiry, but as the evidence was carefully

weighed, the Commission could not attribute directly to

Cannabis use any of the dire consequences described by their

witnesses. More recently, in the avalanche of publications on

marihuana and marihuana users, authors still employ the ance-

dotal case as an illustration. Kaplan (1970) provides the

example of Bill, the marihuana smoking mailman:

If you were to follow Bill around on his job,
it would be difficult if not impossible to dis-
cover if he was stoned. He walks steadily and
talks coherently--he controls his high. Two things
might give him away: he looks a little blank in
the eyes and he tends to stare at a bird, a tree,
a crack in the sidewalk a bit too long. Just for
a second, he is not quite there (166).

The rest of this passage depicts a successful adaptation of

daily marihuana use to a working lifestyle, but such descrip-

tions must be couched in a broad data base of established

validity before they can be accepted as generalizable to

some population of marihuana users. The body of data pro-

vided for Kaplan by G. Lewis Scott is not sufficiently

analyzed to justify this anecdote.

Even more unsatisfactory because of its source and its

inflammatory nature is a letter from the mother of an 18-year-

old dropout cited by Bloomquist (1971):

As a mother of an eighteen-year-old boy
charged with possession of marihuana, I most emphat-
ically say that I do not need scientific proof to
see what damage it can do. I watched my son travel
the typical road to ruin. . from a student who
enjoyed music, drama, and sports to a useless filthy
college dropout with no other aim in life than to
live in a carefree dream of distortion.
He went all the way . .. loss of appetite, long
deep sleeps after the drug wore off, short attention








span, poor memory, inability to read, talk, or even
communicate for more than a few minutes. His con-
tinued defiance is a definite hindrance to his
return to normal, as he had come to enjoy it so
much (160).

It is unfortunate than anecdotes such as this find their way

into print much more often than do objective scientific

statements. Testimony of the family members can be useful

in analyzing the social outcomes of marihuana use, but this

testimony cannot be accepted as it appears above in a defin-

itive causal statement.

Other authors attempting to present an overv'.iew of

marihuana use avoid the anecdotal description of the individ-

ual user. Grinspoon (1971) uses anecdotal material, but only

to illustrate points about subjective effects reported by

historical and literary figures, and never to depict life-

styles of users. Goode (1970) devotes a chapter to the

profile of the North American user, also avoiding the anec-

dotal account of user lifestyle by dividing the profile into

discreet factors such as age, sex, religion, education, etc.

Both of these authors are skeptical about the validity of

motivational syndrome, because of subcultural differences

between the user groups they have studied and the rest of

North American society (Goode 1972: 92-93; Grinspoon 1971:

289).

A conference at UCLA in which various marihuana researchers

on that campus participated, including two of the inventors

of the term motivational syndrome, produced some statements

on marihuana and its use. Louis Jolyon West, while at the








same time arguing against the existing marihuana laws, made

this statement:

. But the experienced clinician observes in
many of these individuals personality changes which
seem to grow subtly over long periods of time:
diminished drive, lessened ambition, decreased
motivation, apathy, shortened attention span, dis-
tractability, poor judgment, impaired communication
skills, loss of effectiveness, introversion, magical
thinking, derealization and depersonalization, dim-
inished capacity to carry out complex plans or pre-
pare realistically for the future, a peculiar frag-
mentation in the flow of thought, habit deterioration
and progressive loss of insight (Brill, et al. 1970:
461).

Clinical impressions such as these form a qualitative symptom-

ology of motivational syndrome much like the ones seen in

other works, but West is careful to say that he does not con-

sider his work to be definitive on the subject, pointing out

that further study of chronic marihuana use is needed. The

summary statement of the conference concentrated on West's

observations, but also presented Hochman's social evolution

theory of marihuana use among middle-class youth in the United

States. Here, the clinical and mixed statistical approaches

of marihuana research are juxtaposed, with the former attracting

somewhat more attention than the latter.

Another overview article worthy of some attention is

Bindelglas' "Conclusive Evidence and Marihuana" (1973). He

gives the testimony of non-Western clinical experts consider-

able weight as he outlines a symptomology of motivational

syndrome. The main symptoms of this condition, according to

Bindelglas, are "loss of interest and drive, sense of apathy

and tiredness, often accompanied by an unhappy, discontented








mood" (53). Along with these symptoms, Bindelglas enumerates

a number of "other clinical signs" including subtle decrease

in the ability to organize and to integrate multiple ideas,

impairment of the ability to develop new ideas and to think

creatively, gradual impairment of ability to discuss abstract

thought seriously, and deterioration of conversation (53).

This constellation of symptoms and "clinical signs" was culled

from West (1970), McGlothlin and West (1968), Kolansky and

Moore (1972), Bouquet (1951) and Benbud (1957). All of these

are decidedly clinical sources, but their combined corroborative

symptomologies help to remove some of the qualitative and

impressionistic aura which the individual studies cannot

avoid. Rathod (1975) criticizes clinical reports which, either

singly or in combination, attempt to present marihuana as a

cause of aberrant behavior because the clinicians often begin

with the presupposition that the claimed use of Cannabis on

the part of the patient is valid, and that it is the only

drug involved (96). Even though, as Bindelglas points out,

all of the clinicians corroborate each other, they may have

started their chain of inference on the very shaky footing

of assuming that marihuana was the only drug used by their

patients.

Brecher, in an article written for Consumer Reports (1975),

reviews some of the latest research on marihuana, including

recent statements on motivational syndrome by Kolansky and

Moore (1975) and Nahas (1975). Citing Schaeffer's Jamaican

research, he suggests that the term for discussion should









be "motivational syndrome," since those results show marihuana

use to be a necessary ingredient in the work party situation

(146). This comment may seem almost flippant, but it success-

fully expresses the need for some degree of cultural relativism

in the discussion of motivational syndrome. The cultural

values which the Jamaicans connect with marihuana smoking

must be very different from those of North American users who

find difficulty working at all under the influence of the

drug. Variations in the values attached to marihuana smoking

should be an important consideration in the study of amotiva-

tional syndrome.

Among the authors who survey the literature on marihuana

use, Trice and Roman (1972) have by far the most to say about

the relationship between marihuana and work. They introduce

their discussion by describing the difficulties in obtaining

truly objective information on this particular drug because

of the "armed camp" division between the pro- and the contra-

marihuana researchers (50). The lack of research on the

influence of marihuana on quality control in industry has

been, according to the authors, a major handicap in assessing

the relationship between that drug and work patterns (139).

From the evidence now available, they surmise that an exper-

ienced user is not likely to have problems in compensating for

the acute effects of marihuana on the job (145). Absenteeism

is a possible detriment to the users' work performance due to

physical disorders, such as head colds, which seem to accompany

marihuana use (138). An on-the-job difficulty encountered by








by users is the energy expenditure necessary to conceal the

smoking process itself (134). On the whole, Trice and Roman

do not consider moderate marihuana use to be a problem for

the worker of any greater or lesser magnitude than that of

moderate alcohol use (62).


Synthesis of the Existing Literature

In this review of the literature on motivational syndrome,

we have examined a wide variety of research strategies with

samples ranging from tiny hospitalized samples of six people

(Williams, et al. 1946) to 1700 in Soueif's prison sample (1971).

Many of the clinical studies concluded that they have detected

a degree of organic toxicity manifested in the motivational

syndrome which is a consequence of chronic marihuana use

(West 1970; Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Chopra 1942;

Warnock 1903). Others (Walsh 1894; Lambo 1965; Eupfer 1973;

Thurlow 1971) looked for explanations other than Cannabis use

for observed symptoms. The authors of the closed environment

hospital studies (Mendelson and Meyers 1972; Miles 1975;

Williams, et al. 1946) were not totally in agreement on their

findings, but they considered marihuana not to produce lasting

symptoms of motivational syndrome among users. Large-scale

studies often found that Cannabis use alone could not be

blamed for the symptoms of motivational syndrome among users

(Mellinger, et al. 1975; Rubin and Comitas 1975; Hochman 1972;

Hogan 1970). However, Soueif (1967, 1971) found some evidence

that might be construed as supporting motivational syndrome








among Egyptian Cannabis users, and Robins, et al. (1970)

argued with some success that black adults who use Cannabis

during adolescence tended to have problems in adulthood which

could be attributable to their history of Cannabis use.

Researchers of all types were finding evidence supporting

motivational syndrome and evidence refuting it, both with

equal frequency.

Overview writers on marihuana also expressed both points

of view regarding motivational syndrome. Goode (1971),

Grinspoon (1971), Barber (1970), Trice and Roman (1972),

Rubin and Comitas (1973), and Kaplan (1970) all considered

motivational syndrome to be a part of a larger set of symp-

toms that are not necessarily caused by marihuana use.

Bindelglas (1973) McGlothlin and West (1968), Bloomquist

(1971) and Smith (1970) interpreted the evidence in favor

of marihuana as a causative agent for motivational syndrome.

The behavioral attributes listed below are derived from

many authors' research and thinking on the characteristics

of motivational syndrome. Not all of the behavioral attri-

butes in all of the discussed works are included in this

list. It is rather a distillation of all of the attributes

which have sufficient corroboration throughout the literature

to justify inclusion in a master list. If this list has any

cross-cultural applicability, then the Costa Rican evidence

will corroborate its behavioral attributes still further.

Confirming the existence of the same attributes in a different

cultural setting would support the hypothesis that Cannabis








use is a cause of those attributes. The behavioral attributes

of the motivational syndrome as they appear in the existing

literature are the following: 1) loss of interest and gen-

eral apathy and passivity (Bindelglas 1973; Kolansky and Moore

1971, 1972, 1975; McGlothlin and West 1968; Brill, et al.

1970; Smith 1970), 2) Loss of desire to work or maintain

business, loss of productivity (Walsh 1894; McGlothlin and

West 1968; Brill, et al. 1970; Smith 1970; Soueif 1967;

Robbins, et al. 1970), 3) Loss of energy, general state of

tiredness (Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Brill, et al.

1970; Bindelglas 1973), 4) Depressed, moody state of mind,

inability to handle frustration (Kolansky and Moore 1971,

1972, 1975; Bindelglas 1973; Smith 1970; Walsh 1894; Brill,

et al. 1970), 5) Inability to concentrate, decrease in

ability to master new material or organize multiple ideas,

and impairment of verbal facility (McGlothlin and West 1968;

Bindelglas 1973; Soueif 1971; Bloomquist 1970), 6) Sloven-

liness in habits and appearance, including hygiene deterior-

ation (Walsh 1894; Kolansky and Moore 1972; Williams, et al.

1946; Smith 1970), 7) Dedication of all available resources

to procuring more Cannabis (Warnock 1903; Kolansky and Moore

1972; Smith 1970). Inability to make long-range plans and

carry them out was not included in this list of attributes,

because it is not necessarily absent among individuals who

otherwise show a high level of achievement. Many presidents

of the United States might be accused of suffering this same

"disorder."




























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The authors and researchers who refute motivational

syndrome also contribute valuable perspectives for the re-

searcher who would investigate this complex of phenomena.

Grinspoon (1969), Goode (1970, 1972), Barber (1970, Hochman

(1972), Mellinger et al. (1975), Brecher (1974) and Rubin

and Comitas (1973) unanimously warn that cultural factors

including multiple drug use and values of the sub-cultural

group with which marihuana use is connected may cloud the

cause and effect relationship between motivational syndrome

and marihuana use. Miles (1975) and Mendelson and Meyer

(1972) suggest that dosage levels should be well checked

and behavior observed closely. They also suspect that exper-

ienced users can compensate for the effects of marihuana

while performing everyday tasks. Rathod (1975) recommends

more field work in order to avoid the errors common to clini-

cal investigations of such questions.

In Table 2, the prominent researchers in Cannabis who

have dealt with motivational syndrome and related phenomena

are cross-tabulated with positive features of the various

Cannabis research efforts to date. The material tabulated

here shows that relatively few research designs employ more

than four of the six features. All of these features have

been noted as beneficial to the purpose of developing a

balanced perspective on Cannabis use during the preceding

reviews of individual studies. For example, the knowledge

that the researchers are in fact dealing with true chronic

users for whom other kinds of drug use was controlled








strengthens their inferences accordingly, as in the Mellinger

et al. study. On the other hand, McGlothlin's (1970) sample

selection procedure weakens his final conclusions by not

controlling adequately for LSD use.

Dosage documentation is an important weakness in many of

the studies shown in Table 2, as is knowledge of cultural

Cannabis use patterns. When the Cannabis researchers do not

demonstrate an adequate grasp of these two basic points of

information, they have difficulty making their conclusions

convincing.

One of the most striking gaps in the accumulating body

of knowledge on Cannabis use is the lack of studies on non-

institutionalized populations. Of the 17 researchers cited

here, only six deal with Cannabis users in their natural

settings. The others have based their inferences on study

of prison inmates, psychiatric hospital patients, or users in

other special clinical settings.

Availability of medical and basic personal data on the

user samples is a relatively strong design feature in most of

the research cited in Table 2. Nevertheless, these studies

suffer generally from a lack of supporting evidence with which

to rule out other influencing factors. Kolansky and Moore's

intensive clinical study, for this reason, can be dismissed

too easily because of their not being able to specify whether

or not their subjects were "stoned" during clinical sessions

(cf. Chapter 1). Even the Jamaica study (Rubin and Comitas

1975) which pioneered new socio-cultural approaches to the








study of Cannabis use, is diffuse with regard to the various

rural and urban ganja smokers who were tested medically and

psychologically and studied anthropologically.

At the bottom of Table 2, the Costa Rican study of

chronic, long term Cannabis use is included and evaluated.

Not only is this the first study of its kind to include so

many different kinds of intensive data gathering on such a

large user sample and their rigorously matched controls, but

it is the only Cannabis use study to gather all of these

different kinds of data on the same set of subjects. For

any given individual in the matched pair sample the study

files contain the results of a basic physical exam and lab

work-up, chest X-rays, EKG, intensive visual function studies,

lung function studies, a medical history, basic personal infor-

mation, sleep pattern information, psychological testing

results for motor function, intellectual function, personality,

and attitudes, and an average of 150 pages of transcribed life

history materials. Inferences based on this wide range of

information are likely to be stronger than those based on only

one or two varieties of information. With the above data

base at the disposal of the researcher, verification or

rejection of motivational syndrome's specific attributes

should be possible in an almost definitive sense. The chapters

which follow will utilize the body of data gathered during

the two years of research on chornic marihuana use in Costa

Rica directed by Carter, Coggins, and Doughty.







In order to establish the relationship between the Costa

Rican setting of the chronic marihuana study and the data

which will be analyzed, we shall begin in Chapter II with a

description of the urban environment from which the subject

population came, followed by a description of the subject

selection process. Patterns and levels of Cannabis consump-

tion will then be provided to document the subjects' status

as chronic users. A systematic study of subjective effects

of marihuana use will provide a heuristic means of determining

the impact of that use on the lives of the users. Once this

background and development materials have been presented,

the relationship between marihuana use and the specific

behavioral attributes: apathy, loss of productivity, lethargy,

irritability, decrease of intellectual abilities, slovenliness,

and dedication of all available resources to Cannabis procure-

ment, may be examined for applicability to the Costa Rican

case.

An entire chapter will be devoted to the impact of mari-

huana use in the life cycle, dealing specifically with the

presence or absence of "loss of desire to maintain business,

loss of productivity" among the users when compared with a

closely-matched non-user group. Because it causes the most

concern for the individual's adjustment in society, work and

school performance and life history data will be used to assess

this particular aspect of motivational syndrome for the

Costa Rican case.








"Loss of energy and tiredness" as well as "apathy and

passivity" will be compared to the Costa Rican research evi-

dence using socio-cultural data and also interpretation of

personality measures administered to the sample group by the

psychological investigators on the transdisciplinary research

team. "Depression, and moodiness" will be discussed in light

of psychological and socio-cultural data on the subject

sample, combined with some natural history-style observations.

The psychological battery administered to the sample of

Costa Rican users provides ample evidence for the assessment

of "inability to concentrate, memory loss, and decrease in

verbal ability." This will be combined with some socio-

cultural data and individual user testimony. The discussion

of "slovenliness" as an attribute of motivational syndrome

will bring in testimony by field staff other than the anthro-

pologists, as socio-cultural data. "Dedication of all avail-

able resources to procuring more Cannabis" will be tested

against the Costa Rican evidence field staff testimony, socio-

cultural data from the life history materials, and natural

history observations.














CHAPTER II
THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY


San Jos6 occupies the gently undulating space between

two rivers, the Virilla to the north and the Maria Aquilar

to the south, which cut through the central intramontain

valley of Costa Rica. This rain-soaked valley, called the

meseta central, is the home of 55 percent of the Costa Rican

population. The original handful of Spanish settlers who

came to Costa Rica beginning in 1561 were attracted to the

rich soils of the region, as well as its temperate climate.

Nevertheless, Spanish colonial interest in Costa Rica was

not great, and the white population there did not attain

8000 by 1750 (Stone, 1975; 55). Costa Rica's rate of growth

remained slow during and after the colonial period. San

Jose's population in 1864 was still only 9000, even though

coffee had begun to take hold as a major cash crop, and some

efforts had been made to maintain contact with the inter-

national coffee markets (Stone, 1975; 82-87). International

coffee trade was eventually an influential factor in San

Jose's accelerated growth during the late nineteenth and

early twentieth centuries.

There is little cartographic record of the patterns of

urban growth during the earliest stages of San Jose's history,

but the history is clear enough to indicate that the early









settlement which later became the city began small and grew

very slowly. The hamlet of San JoseY was founded in 1737 when

its population was only a handful of families (Academia de

Geografi'a e Historia, 1952). At that time, it occupied little

more than the central hill on which are now found the Central

Park, the National Cathedral, the National Bank, and the

Union Club. The spurts of growth which brought big city status

to this country village are relatively recent in the city's

history. The population is still becoming accustomed to that

status.

The local pattern of addresses and directions reflects

the recentness of San Jose's transition into urban importance.

Natives of the city, who will be called Josefinos for the sake

of brevity, use a system of directions which resembles that

of a country town. The system uses known points of reference

from which the inquiring party is instructed to measure approx-

imate distances in the direction of one of the four co-ordinates

of the compass. In order to find a house in barrio Mexico,

for example, a Josefino will tell you to go 200 varas (one

vara is 33 inches) to the north of the barrio church and 25

varas east. This system is such a pervasive survival that

mail and other deliveries are still made according to varas

(or in deference to metric internationalism, in meters; which

for direction purposes are used interchangeably). A Josefino

is usually hard-pressed to give directions to an address

across town to a stranger who does not know the local points

of reference, using his momentary position as a reference








point. Neighborhood points of reference sometimes retain

their original place names for direction purposes long after

they have disappeared. Thus, the "old library," although still

used as a reference point, is now a large parking lot.

The township (municipalidad) of San Jose was officially

chartered in 1843, more than a century after the hamlet was

established. Forty-four years later in 1892, one of the first

censuses of good quality in Costa Rica recorded the population

of the city as less than 20,000 (Direcci6n General de Estad-

rstica, 1974; XIX).

San Jose's first major growth spurt took place during the

1920's, reflected in a 1927 census figure of 89,000 population

for the metropolitan area (Cuevas 1973: 5). New lower-class

settlement spread to the south of the central business and

residential districts. These southern barrios extended to,

and across, the banks of the Maria Aguilar River. Their popu-

lation developed a reputation for marihuana use which became

important to our earliest attempts to identify a group of

chronic users. A second growth spurt took place in San Jos&

during the late thirties and early forties, resulting in the

expansion of outlying towns to the south and east of central

San Jose, and doubling the 1927 metropolitan area population

by 1950 (Cuevas 1973: 5). [any of the users and non users

who entered the marihuana study during its later stages came

from these outlying zones.

Present-day San Jose has a metropolitan area population

of 436,862, according to the 1973 Census (Cuevas 1973: 7).








It is the center of a cluster of nearly-continguous cities

and towns with a total population of nearly 700,000. In a

very direct sense, San Jos6 is the hub of governmental,

industrial, and commercial activity for the busiest and most

populous zone of Costa Rica.

Roads from fair to excellent in quality connect the

central metropolitan area to the major surrounding towns,

none of which is more than twenty miles distant. Buses from

all over the country roll into San Jose bringing people ..'ho

must carry out their various transactions with the market

or the government there. Bus service to the city center

from other parts of the immediate metropolitan area and its

satellite cities is regular and affordable. In fact, all

bus service leads ultimately to San Jose, and no destina-

tion is important enough to bypass that central hub. There

is no direct bus communication, for example, between Heredia

and Cartago, the third and second-largest cities in Costa

Rica. Even within the metropolitan area, all bus routes

lead to the city center, with no direct intercommunication

among outlying areas unless they lie along a single bus route.

Public railroad lines also terminate and originate in the

capital's center. Transportation, then, is very centralized

in San Jose, and this gives the city an extremely dense

concentration of social interaction in its main business

district.

Central San Jose crackles with vigorous commercial

activity and the administration of governmental services.








Banks and large department stores dominate the area immediately

north of the central park. West of this shopping area, the

large markets dealing in wholesale and retail farm products

and cheap consumer goods cram the streets with commercial

activity. Hotels and government ministerial buildings are

the most imposing architectural features of the southern and

eastern sectors of the city, and three major government-run

hospitals occupy the area due west of the central park. Little

industry is in evidence in downtown San Jose, but the archi-

tecturally dominant buildings reflect the importance of this

central area in the daily lives of the inhabitants not only

of the metropolitan area, but of the entire meseta central.

One must come to the city center for a driver's license, to

buy a money order, to hospitalize a sick child or to get a

health certificate or a VD injection. One should go to the

city center in order to get the best price on avocadoes or

fabrics or ready-made clothes. Hard-bound books are sold only

in downtown San Jose.

Small businesses and residences occupy the spaces between

the more imposing structures in the downtown area. Shops,

bars, and restaurants present a jumble of storefronts on the

busiest streets in the main shopping zone to the North. The

market zone to the northwest is interspersed with shops of

lower quality as well as cheap boarding houses and hotels.

Here also are numerous handcraft shops where tailoring, shoe-

making, and myriad repair services are performed by artisans

who may live in the back of the shop. The southwest sector









of the city has a high concentration of low-life bars and

brothels, mingled with residences and more artisan shops

and artisan supply stores. The northeast and southeast

sectors of San Jose are the most residential, the former

containing some very upper-class housing, and the latter

mainly middle-class housing with some artisan shops, bars

and restaurants. All of these zones exist within a radius

of one mile from the central park.

San Jose's downtown area is the single most important

feature of the city for the purpose of studying marihuana

use. The reasons for this are twofold. First, as was

intimated earlier in the description of transportation net-

works and centralization of institutional and communication

functions, the downtown area is a communication switching

point with connections to all parts of the metropolitan

area and ultimately the entire country. Messages left with

key people in the city arrive reliably to recipients in the

penitentiary, any outlying residential neighborhood, and in

one case, even in the port city of Limon, 100 miles away.

Second, the downtown area of San Jose is important because

its intense activity has spawned a group of what are often

called "street people," who manage to make a living providing

marginal services for, or swindling or stealing from the

hordes of people who transact their business in San Jose each

day. "Street people" is a phrase often used to describe

hippie-like vagrants who often populate college towns

tPartridge, 1973), but they bear little resemblance to the








street people of San Jose. The gently predatory urban denizen,

whom Ramos (1956) calls the "urban sub-proletarian" occupies

himself in San Jos" shining shoes, "guarding" automobiles,

perpetrating minor gambling frauds, or committing petty larceny.

Often, a street person will engage in more than one of these

occupations concurrently. Such individuals have a wide range

of acquaintances in the city, and they are often key figures

in informal communications network among fellow "urban sub-

proletarians." They are also marginal to "decent" Josefino

society, and this quality makes them more immediately acces-

sible to anthropological research. The openness of the street

people has well-defined limits, and getting to know them takes

as long as for any other individuals in the subject sample.

Nevertheless, they were the first to give our study team any

idea that a chronic marihuana using population existed in

San Jose. Further description of this fascinating group of

inner city inhabitants will be offered later, including its

crucial effect on the intiation of chronic marihuana use.

Living in San Jos6 and its environs is a constant exercise

in maintaining social distance. Even though dwellings are

almost always contiguous, the city's inhabitants do not always

associate with their immediate neighbors, and they often pre-

fer to keep interaction on a formal and superficial level with

the family or individual next door (Rodriguez-Vega 1953: 29).

Despite the fact that Josefina families usually share their

neighbors' business involuntarily because of thin walls, they

prefer to form their strong social relations with people known








through family ties or other formal and informal associations.

Interviews with Costa Rican city dwellers in the study sample

showed that many desired a house with a private entrance where

they could "live tranquilly" (True 1976a: III-11). This ideal

living situation is seldom attained by Josefinos, so they must

maintain social distance in other ways.

Private houses in the city center and in the residential

barrios characteristically have a narrow front four to six

meters wide. The living space in these houses comprises a

single story which extends back from the entrance toward the

middle of the city block, ending in a garden or patio for

laundry purposes. Such a house may be occupied by one family,

or up to four different nuclear families. With similar struc-

tures and living situations on either side of the house, and

only thin walls separating them, city dwellers cannot expect

to maintain a high degree of privacy. Contiguous neighbors

in San Jose seem to compensate for this problem by maintenance

of social distance. They hear, but do not listen to, the

affairs of their neighbors. It was found during early survey-

style work in one residential barrio that people living next

door to each other are likely to know less about each other

than a door-to-door interviewer can find out in a brief inter-

view. Maintenance of social distance in this way protects

the individual's sense of privacy in a crowded situation.

Those neighbors in San Jose who demonstrate a tendency to

pay attention to their neighbor's business are called dispar-

agingly vino, which has the same sense as voyeur, and is








considered little better than the samoleon, or "peeping

tom."

Propinquity, then, and a sense of community with one's

neighbors cannot be considered realistically to form an

important part of the social fabric for urban life in San

Jose. Most Josefinos attach more importance to alternative

frameworks for social interaction, specifically, family ties

and informal personalistic associations. In either of these

frameworks, the individual associates with others because

he has chosen to do so, rather than being forced into social

relations by virtue of some accident of rental rates or near-

ness to work locations. Family ties seem to center on the

individual's parents among Josefinos, and sibling ties are

less emphasized. The individuals who participated in the

chronic marihuana stud, testified that the strength of the

bond between mother and son is particularly strong. More

than half of those questioned in the final sample indicated

that they preferred their mothers over their fathers, compared

with 13 percent who preferred their fathers and 21 percent who

liked both parents equally. Costa Rican mothers react

negatively to spatial separation from their sons, and many of

our subjects reported that their mothers were plunged into

a deep depression by their final departure from the parental

household. Some Costa Rican sons maintain daily contact with

their mothers even though they. live on opposite sides of town.

Informal associations may be formed among Josefinos in

a wide variety of ways. Workshop companions are often included








in an individual's circle of friends and acquaintances. The

clientele of a favorite bar or pool hall may also provide

lasting friendships and social contacts. Some informal social

ties are the product of going through grammar school or

reformatory together. Still others are formed in the course

of trying to deal with institutional structures such as the

social registry or the courts which are too complex or other-

wise impenetrable to handle without the benefit of such asso-

ciations.

The individual city dweller in San Jose uses his familial

and informal social relations as part of his strategy to cope

with an urban environment laden with intimidating impersonal

agencies and intrusive stimuli. Wolf (1956) writes that the

anthropologist's job in an urban setting is to study human

behavior in the intersticial realms between institutional

structures. This concept applies very well to the situation

of urban Costa Ricans. San Josd is the center for the insti-

tutional activity in Costa Rica, and as a result, institutional

transactions take place in bewilderingly large-scale settings.

A person who approaches such transactions on a totally impersonal

level is likely to be faced with endless queues, confusing and

seemingly contradictory instructions, continuous retracing of

steps, and ultimately a low likelihood of success. However,

if he has a cousin who is a bank teller, or an old schoolmate

who works in the Ministry of Transportation, he utilizes these

social ties to facilitate the taking out of a loan or the

renewal of a driver's license. Even a person who has no








direct familial or personalistic ties with the institution

in question may have recourse to a friend who has friends or

family in helpful positions. In this way, the establishment

and maintenance of informal social relations is important to

the relative success with which the Josefino manages his

affairs in an environment dominated by large institutions.

Wolf aptly named the task of the anthropological team

in Costa Rica, because informal association networks were

important urban features which eventually led us to find a

group of long-term marihuana users. Among even the most

deviant segments of Josefino society, personalistic social

networks form the medium through which their participants

deal with the institutions that impinge on their lives. In

the case of the street people, their informal associations

are at best poorly connected with important institutions, and

they depend on the internal cohesiveness of their networks for

effectiveness. For example, some participants in a street

network are regularly picked up by police for "vagrancy."

When this happens, the prisoner sends word through the network

that he needs someone to sign an affidavit to certify that he

is not a vagrant. A participant in the same network with

sufficient respectability to sign the affidavit is then summoned

to the courthouse for this purpose. The research team found

that a wide variety of cheap legal services could be obtained

by participating in one particular system of informal associa-

tion among street people. Participants in such systems often

bemoan the fate that led them to associate with such "bad








company," but they exploit their networks constantly.

Responses to living in San Jose confuse the interpreta-

tion of Redfield's (1947) folk-urban hypothesis. San Jos4 is

the center of activity for all of Costa Rica's large institu-

tions, which operate ostensibly on an impersonal basis, and

this is in keeping with the concept presented in the continuum

of increased impersonal interaction in an urban setting. On

the other hand, Josefinos cope with impersonal institutional

structures by means of familial and personal ties, or the kinds

of ties that, according to the continuum, are supposed to

be strong in a rural village setting, but not in an urban

setting. Urbanists are finding this contradiction to be true

for most urban Latin Americans, as well as many other varieties

of city dwellers around the world.

We had first-hand experience of the workings of the

familial and personal networks among the poorest inhabitants

of San Jose, but the same kinds of social relations may be

dominant at much higher levels of Costa Rican society. Stone

(1975) argues that the Costa Rican elite infrastructure is

based on strong family ties which originated during the

sixteenth century. According to Stone, the descendants of as

few as six original families have supplied most of the high

governmental officials throughout the history of Costa Rica.

Possibly, the governmental institutions themselves may origin-

ally have been formed on the basis of familial relationships.

In the lowest strata of San Jos6 society, interpersonal

networks depend apparently very little on family relationships.








Since they are systems of interaction among people who are

considered deviant by most Josefinos, these networks are

usually based on fluid, informal ties which have less stability

than family ties. Nevertheless, some families are widely-

known and connected among street people.

The courtesies, services, and goods that flow among

participants in a given network vary according to the means

and station of those participants. For example, the inter-

change among elite Josefinos may take the form of government

jobs or banking advantages, while street people pass messages

into and out of prison or dispose of stolen articles through

personalistically-activated channels. Reciprocity governs

the manner of exchange in both of the above cases, sometimes

in the form of direct reciprocity, and sometimes generalized

reciprocity. Often, a good or favor corresponds to a similar

good or favor on the part of beneficiary, in which case the

reciprocity is direct. Generalized reciprocity is particularly

important in netw..orks where communication activity is intense.

For delivered messages or privileged information, the favor

is offered with the generalized expectation of some equal

favor to be extended at an unspecified time in the future.

A man in the penitentiary who scribbles an urgent message

for aid to be taken by a lottery salesman to a contact down-

town is not in a position to offer any immediate reward for

the service, yet he may be expected to do the same thing for

someone else '.hen he is able.

'Iembers of the marihuana study research team received








many emergency messages from jail, called "cables," in which

were handwritten requests for money or legal aid. The down-

town points where these messages were delivered was found to

be a useful place to send messages to participants in the

street people's interpersonal networks. Such messages were

usually delivered and answered within 24 hours, and they some-

times managed to reach people who were many miles from the

San Jose area.

The street people's interpersonal association systems

deal with more than communication, and the goods and services

which flow through these systems include marihuana and stolen

objects. The latter items are euphemistically called descuidos

or "unguarded things," and they are constantly being bought

and sold or passed along for sale by members of street people

networks. Each participant in the chain of circulation for

stolen objects can expect some small share in the profit.

Marihuana distribution occurs only on a relatively small

scale among street people, but it also carries some profit

for participants in the chain of circulation.

The anthropological research team found early in our

study of street people and their networks that people who

occupied crucial positions in the chains of distribution for

information, marihuana, and descuidos were likely to be key

people for making contact with chronic, long term marihuana

users. Some of these key people, called "brokers" b'y. True

(1976a) dealt only in marihuana and information, while others

were central in the distribution system of all three items.








Those who specialized in information were found in a part of

the inner city where many people interact constantly such as

the Central Park. This is a particularly active area because

buses from all over the metropolitan area load and unload there.

Some of our first contacts were made among information brokers

of the Central Park. Other brokers have an operations setting

which is outside the center of San Josd in a residential

barrio. The overall interaction density in this kind of oper-

ations setting is very low, compared to the bustle of downtown

San Josf, but the workings of the broker and his network

remain brisk. We were fortunate to gain the confidence of

several brokers and eventually to learn something of their

operations and the participants in their networks. These

participants later took part in our study of long term mari-

huana use.

San Josu provides a compact urban environment in which

to study a specific deviant behavior. Since it has not been

a major city for very long, its urban qualities are blended

with some survival of "country town" behavior. Josefinos

give directions in terms of varas and compass coordinates

despite the existence of an orderly system of street numbers,

but, in urban fashion, they seem to know very little about

their immediate next-door neighbors. However, Josefinos do

not deal with impersonal institutional structures, such as

governmental ministries, hospitals, and banks in an impersonal

manner. Interpersonal ties between friends and family become

the agencies through which the individual Josefino makes sense








out an otherwise bewildering array of necessary transactions.

These ties exist on all levels of society in San Jose. At

the lowest of these levels, the network of functional social

interaction consists of individuals who may be called street

people. Low-life street networks of informal association

provided initial contacts which led to further contacts in

our search for chronic marihuana smokers. The chapter which

follows will describe the process of following chains of

interaction in this social setting and the eventual procure-

ment of a group of long term smokers for our intensive study

of marihuana use and its effects.













CHAPTER III
THE STUDY SAI-PLE


As part of a trans-disciplinary team of researchers

with specific contractually stated study objectives, the

socio-cultural segment comprising three anthropologists

began with a clear idea of the number of people to be

studied, and the basic kinds of information to be gathered.

We were to locate 80 users of marihuana who had a minimum

of ten years' experience with the drug, and minimal exper-

ience with other kinds of drug use. The subjects were to be

males between the ages of 13 and 50 who were willing to

participate in a series of medical, psychological, and socio-

cultural studies spanning a two-year period. Concurrently,

we were also to find 160 non-marihuana-smokers who were

otherwise as identical to our user group as possible. Je

went into the field with tightly defined numbers and cultural

qualities in mind, and we were held to them by contract.

Scheduling of study activities was also tight from the

beginning, with a set timetable for completion of the various

research phases. July, 1973,marked the beginning of the

study with the first attempts on the part of the sociocultural

team to make contact with a user population. By the beginning

of January, 1974,we were to have identified marihuana users








and suitable controls in sufficient numbers to begin the

initial medical screening phase. This phase entailed passing

all subjects through a medical examination which included

electrocardiogram, opthamological examination, chest X-ray,

comprehensive blood, urine, and fecal analysis, neurological

examination, and general physical examination. Medical

history questionnaires and initial socio-cultural question-

naires were also administered on the same day that each

subject underwent the medical examinations.

The end of June, 1974, would see, according to the study

timetable, the end of the initial medical screening process

for all 240 selected subjects and the completion of initial

socio-cultural studies. From this pool of 240 screened

subjects, those who had not been eliminated for medical or

other reasons would be selected to form 40 matched pairs of

users and non-users. These were to be selected for the pur-

pose of intensive medical and psychological testing, as well

as in-depth elicitation of socio-cultural information from

each of the final 80 participants. The intensive studies

were to begin about July of 1974, and to end about March,

1975. Termination of the project, which had a planned ending

date of June, 1975, was to be completed during the concluding

three months.

The actual execution of the study schedule did not vary

radically from the initial plans, except that the intensive

medical testing continued sporadically until August, 1975.

It was decided at the time of the selection of the matched








pairs that some 12 medical screen test slots would be held

open for contingency purposes. These slots were later filled

with subjects who were considered to have characteristics

which matched them with other subjects who had already passed

through the initial medical screen. When the medical screening

process was finally tallied, 84 users and 156 non-users had

been given the initial tests.

Selection of the subjects who would participate in the

intensive studies was done on the basis of data elicited

during the initial medical screening period. The medical

data were assessed by Wilmer Coggins, the co-principal investi-

gator of the project in charge of medical studies, while the

socio-cultural criteria for matching were evaluated by Paul

Doughty and William Carter, in collaboration with Maryanna

Baden, and with NIDA contract officers Eleanor Carrol, Jean-Paul

Smith, and Stephen Szara.

Many subjects were eliminated from intensive participa-

tion in the second phase of the study because of medical prob-

lems, for which they were subsequently referred to appropriate

branches of the Costa Rican health care system for treatment.

Among these problems the commonest were positive serological

test for syphilis, pulmonary lesion shown in chest X-ray,

and non-correctable visual abnormalities. There were also

12 cases of serious disease diagnosed for which those subjects

were excluded from further testing. Table 3 shows the frequencies

of the various medical criteria used to eliminate subjects

from the selection process for the final group. Most of the








Table 3

Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study
For Medical Reasons

Users Controls Total Signifi-
,1-,4 11-156 1-240 chance

Defects in visual 4
4 4 8 NS
acu ity
Defective color
3 13 16 HS
vision
Positive seriological
test for syphilis
Pulmonary lesion 8 17 25 US
Other serious disease
(incl. severe anemia,
heart disorders, 3 9 12 NS
subnormal mentality)
Total excludable
38 60 98 NS
defects
Total excludable 3 5
37 56 93 I S
subjects*

*Some subjects had more than one excludable defect.
(after Coggins, 1976; X-8)


differences between the large user and control groups in the

rate of occurrence of excludable defects were not significant

statistically. The case of positive syphilis tests may have

a cultural explanation. As we shall see later in more detail,

the users in the sample tended to have more street experience

in their life histories than the controls, including sexual

experience at an earlier age. With more sexual precocity and

more exposure to the streetside variety of sexual behavior,

contraction of a venereal disease becomes a stronger proba-

bility for the users than for the non-users.

Eleven subjects were eliminated for non-medical reasons,








Table 4

Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study
for Reasons Other Than Medical Ones

Cause User Control Total
N-84 N-156 N-240

History of absention from
marihuana found to be N/A 2 2
inaccurate
History of marihuana use
1 N/A1
found to be inaccurate
Alcohol abuse interferes
with participation in 1 2 3
testing
Failure to keep appointments 2 1 3
Failure to cooperate with 2 2
medical test procedure

Totals 6 5 11

(after Coggins, 1976; X-10)

as shown in Table 4. The first two criteria in Table 4

represent people who managed to slip by the pre-screening and

cross-checking done by the anthropological team before testing

was begun. The final group of subjects comprised those whose

smoking or non-smoking reputations had stood up under extensive

cross-checking. Difficulties encountered during the medical

screen procedures account for the other three non-medical

criteria for elimination from the study.

The matched group was selected from a final pool of

qualified subjects which contained 41 marihuana smokers and

95 non-users. The matching procedure was complex, involving

a close match for each of six different variables. These

variables, taken from the results of medical history question-

naires and personal information elicited during the medical








screening process, were age, marital status, educational

level, employment level, alcohol use and tobacco use. Age,

alcohol use, and tobacco use were all reduceable to numerical

equivalents. This was done for tobacco use by expressing

it in pack years, or the number of years during which the

subject has smoked one pack of cigarettes per day. Alcohol

use was scored on the basis of a modified version of the

alcohol use questionnaire designed by the Costa Rican Center

for Studies on Alcoholism, which has a 0 to 17 scale. For

age, tobacco, and alcohol, all pairs had to be within four

points of each other in order to qualify as a matched pair.

Marital status, educational level, and occupation were

matched according to the meanings of these attributes in

Costa Rican society. For example, marital status has a

broad definition among lower-class Costa Ricans, including

stable free unions and serial free unions, as well as long

and short-term formal marriage. Therefore, stable free union

and long-term formal marriage were equated for matching

purposes, while experience with serial free unions was differ-

entiated from pure bachelorhood. The marital status matching

criterion had to be flexible, because of the shifting status

of many of the study participants.

Education for matching purposes was broken into five

categories, none, primary incomplete, primary complete,

secondary incomplete, and secondary complete. Other insti-

tutional socialization such as reformatory, orphanage, or

seminary was also taken into account. Matches could be made








between individuals within one "step" of each other. A

marihuana smoker who had completed four years of primary

school, for example, could be matched with a non-consumer

who had finished sixth grade.

Matching for occupation was done by using equatable

levels of employment, rather than exact job pairing. Lower-

class workers move interchangeably among jobs within their

level of employment, and the jobs within a given level were

deemed appropriate for matching purposes. Artisans who work

in construction, shoemaking, or tailoring were all considered

matchable with each other. Similar employment levels were

also recognized for skilled blue-collar jobs and for white-

collar jobs, although there were very few subjects in the

latter category.

The anthropological team began to seek contacts among

the user population in San Jos6 with the assumption that

long-term use of marihuana was pervasive in all levels of

Costa Rican society. After an initial sortie into the Univer-

sity atmosphere, it was discovered that marihuana use at the

level of ten years or longer in that context was almost

unheard-of, and that the general drug use ambience in the

University was in fact very similar to multi-drug use in

North America. This led to the suspicion that the lower-

class patterns of marihuana use described by early contacts

among street people were really the only patterns which would

ultimately become a source of long-term users who could

qualify for participation in our study. Musicians were at









first expected also to be a group which might produce suit-

able long-term users, but their drug of preference turned

out to be alcohol, and the musicians indicated very little

interest in or consumption of marihuana. Abortive attempts

to find qualified long-term users of marihuana among other

strata of Costa Rican society led to our eventual concentra-

tion on the working class as a source of users and of controls.

Contacts with street people were the anthropological

team's first breakthrough in learning something about chronic,

long term marihuana use in Costa Rica, and they came very

early in the study. In fact, Carter first spoke to some

eventually central informants in the street ambience during

a feasibility study two years before the full-scale study

actually began. These informants began by appearing very

open about their marihuana use, but they seemed to limit

their comments to aspects of use in their own social group,

demurring when asked about other people who might smoke

marihuana. The sequence of behavior on the part of the

street people, first openness, up to a point, and then reluc-

tance to introduce us to other long term users, was frustrating

to the anthropological team, but it was also understandable.

At the time our study was begun, it was punishable by law

to possess marihuana for either sale or personal use, with

a minimum term of six months (cf. Chapter IV). The street

people themselves had little to lose by revealing that they

smoked marihuana, because they were already well-known to

the general public as smokers. Other users of the drug, as








we shall see later, have much more to lose by imprudent

contact with unknown outsiders. Faced with this impasse in

the street people's networks, the anthropological team began

to formulate other means of gaining entry into the social

circles of other groups of long term users.

One of our tactics for attaining contact with other

long term users was a survey of cobbler shops, because we

understood from several sources that shoemakers were often

marihuana users. After mapping these artisan shops for much

of San Josd, we attempted to administer a vague health

questionnaire as a device to lead into conversation about

drug use. This was very unproductive, because most shoe-

makers were too busy during work hours to take time for

answering questions. Another tactic which was only slightly

more successful entailed administering a "health" question-

naire house-to-house in neighborhoods which were known to

have marihuana users among their residents. This tactic led

to the discovery, ironically, of a shoemakers' shop where

there were several qualified users. Otherwise, the daytime

door-to-door method did not produce sufficient contacts with

the user population to warrant its continuation.

The door-to-door tactic had its rewards, despite its

failure in the explicit task of finding chronic marihuana

smokers. The field workers were impressed by the lack of

community spirit in the neighborhoods surveyed. This impres-

sion led to the hypothesis that social ties were not formed

on the basis of propinquity. We also developed a feeling for








the natural gathering-places in the neighborhoods surveyed,

and this helped in carrying out other, more successful

research strategies.

Finally, on the advice of Carter, the anthropological

team selected bars, and other gathering-places in the barrios

where marihuana users were reputed to live. We frequented

these places, picking up whatever information possible. It

was felt that in these contexts, we would be encountering

prospective informants at a time when they would have a

moment to relax and talk, and in a place where they were

likely to be surrounded by friends, or trustworthy acquain-

tances. We used a straightforward manner of introducing

ourselves, in which we explained the objectives of our study

to whoever volunteered conversation. Initial reactions were

tentative in this atmosphere, but progress toward the needed

contacts was made steadily and encouragingly. The clientele

of the low-life bars in which we absorbed large amounts of

alcohol and moderate quantities of information were not

usually eligible to participate in the study because of

alcoholism. However, these individuals eventually managed

to supply sufficient information to lead us to make contact

either with qualified marihuana users, or with people who

knew qualified users. In this way, we began to exploit the

social networks among marihuana users, discovering both a

source of the needed study participants and a useful commun-

ications system.








Key people in the fabric of social interaction among

marihuana users eventually were indispensable in the estab-

lishment and maintenance of contact with users who participated

in our study. Called "brokers" by True (1976c) these key

people are at the hub of some phases of interpersonal rela-

tions among the participants in their respective networks of

interaction. They may, as outlined in the preceding chapter,

be brokers of information because they operate in a part of

the city where many people pass by. Brokers may also dis-

tribute marihuana on a small scale, and in that way, they

have developed extensive contacts with consumers and dis-

tributors of that drug. They may also be key people in other

kinds of illegal or extralegal business through which the'

have dealings with people throughout the city. Often, brokers

handle both information and some combination of other economic

activities.

Methods of contacting key people were varied, and in

retrospect, seem almost haphazard. One key individual was

contacted through regular shoeshines in the central park.

Another was contacted when one of the anthropological researchers

stumbled on his base of operations during a door-to-door sur-

vey. Another was approached at his streetcorner position on

the basis of a description by the drunken clientele of a

nearby bar. Another ke'y person approached the author during

an impromptu street concert. All told, there were no more

than seven key people, or brokers, who contributed their

contacts in the search for chronic marihuana users. We were








able to find all 84 of the users who participated in the study

through the social connections of this handful of key people.

The field research team made the acquaintance of an

estimated 1500 people during the course of the study, and

most of these people were introduced to us through key

people. These brokers were also instrumental in screening

prospective study subjects in both the user and the non-user

categories, because their knowledge of use or abstinence

patterns among the prospective subjects recruited from out-

side their immediate circles of influence was extensive. We

found repeatedly that although they almost never associated

with each other, people in the various marihuana user social

networks seemed to know each other. This was true for individ-

uals coming from widely separated sectors of San Jos6.

The following is a brief description of the beginnings

of a relationship with one key informant, and the mechanics

of continuing this relationship. After hearing from local

bar clientele about a "very intelligent" marihuana dealer

who operated nearby, one of the field researchers approached

this individual, whom we shall call Loqui, at his street-

corner base of operations. A week of standing on the street-

corner with Loqui yielded introduction to two or three users

among those who were constantly around the marihuana dealer,

but the researcher decided that he was not relating to this

particular social grouping. He could see that association

with Loqui was potentially productive, but he did not feel

comfortable working with Loqui's social group. He introduced








the author to Loqui in the hope that better relations with

this social group would result. The plan worked, and the

eventual contribution of Loqui's network of friends and

acquaintances was large. Through either direct or indirect

connections, Loqui was instrumental in introducing us to

roughly 40 of the 240 subjects who passed through the initial

medical screen, 15 of whom (seven controls and eight users)

became part of the matched pair participant group.

The process of winning Loqui's confidence was gradual.

A pair of special glasses for his mother, rides throughout

the city in an automobile, a serenade for his girlfriend,

and other minor favors contributed to confidence building.

Encounters with the police were probably the most important

factors in achieving the confidence of key informants,

because these confrontations removed suspicion that we were

somehow in league with the authorities, a suspicion that

appeared repeatedly in our early contacts. In spite of our

previous agreement with the police, they still saw fit to

cause minor incidents in our presence, fortunately also in

the presence of key informants. After two or three such

incidents, Loqui was convinced that we were not part of any

police effort.

Simple day-to-day participation in Loqui's streetcorner

group, where he dealt in marihuana and information, was suffi-

cient to get to know a large number of users and even some

non-users. However, many of the steadiest participants in

his immediate network were too young to be included in the








marihuana study, so Loqui eventually was asked if he knew

of more experienced users. He knew more long term users than

we had imagined, and through his own system of communica-

tions, Loqui was able to arrange meetings which allowed us

to explain the project to these "old timers" and solicit

their participation. Key informants from other networks were

often consulted at this point to ascertain the accuracy of

Loqui's marihuana use report for these prospective informants.

His reports were found to be correct so consistently that

we eventually decided that cross-checking was no longer

necessary for Loqui's contacts. The only case of elimination

of one of Loqui's contacts for non-medical reasons was for

other drug use not reported in the medical history (recorded

in Table 4 as "failure to cooperate with medical testing

procedures").

Our relationship to Loqui and his social network was by

no means exploitative. It was reciprocal in the sense that

our investigative team was able to offer services and some-

times goods in the context of the same interpersonal net

through which we were receiving information. When Loqui's

brother was arrested for marihuana dealing, we were able to

offer legal aid, and we eventually managed to free him. When

we needed to buy marihuana samples to submit for analysis,

he sometimes sold us the samples, thereby giving our rela-

tionship to him direct reciprocality.

Loqui's interpersonal relations were most intense in

his own neighborhood, although they did not generally involve






Distribution of


in Loqui's Network


Loqui's Corner


Figure A


Spatial


Participants


ScoCIS








his immediate neighbors. This may be illustrated by mapping

Loqui's informal associations with respect to residence

location, as in Figure A. We can see that there is a "nesting"

effect, whereby most of the relations are within a short

distance from Loqui's own residence. In spite of the rela-

tive narrowness of Loqui's associational net, some of the

lines of direct or indirect association extend to distant

parts of San Jose, and these led to contacts with other users

and controls who participated in the project.

Other associational networks tapped by the anthropological

team had much wider ranges throughout the city, and this

quality had favorable consequences for the eventual configur-

ation of the project sample. True (1976a) found that, compared

with recent analyses of the metropolitan area's more than

500 different neighborhoods, the zones from which the subject-

participants in our study came were fairly representative in

terms of socio-economic level and housing quality. Although

our sampling technique was not at all random, we managed to

identify a group of people whose general socio-economic

characteristics were quite comparable to those of much of

the rest of San Jose's working class population.

The ecological distribution of the subjects in the

final participant group was also fairly representative of the

San Jose metropolitan area. True and Doughty (1976a) collab-

orated to develop a typology of community from which the

subject population came, including central city zones, resi-

dential zones contiguous to the city center, housing projects








near the city, transitional peripheral zones, satellite

towns, squatter settlements, rural communities, and provincial

towns outside the San Jos4 metropolitan area (III-16-32).

According to their analyses of the 240 subjects for the initial

medical screen, and the 82 matched pair subjects, True and

Doughty found that both groups have roughly equal proportions

of users and non-users who reside in the various neighborhood

types. IJearly half of the subjects in both groups come from

either central city or residential contiguous zones, and all

other zones are represented in the sample. Analysis of per-

sonal income information for the sample of users and non-users,

when compared to 1973 Census data for the zones in which the

subjects live, shows that the earnings of the study sample

are representative of working class earnings of their neigh-

borhoods (III-36).

We did not begin the process of finding qualified parti-

cipants for the chronic marihuana use study project with any

set of criteria for making group representative of San Jose's

population. Indeed, we did not have any assurance that mari-

huana users were not completely deviant from the normal

Josefino pattern of life. If that had been the case, we would

not have selected a group that was at all representative of

the working class life style. Expedient methods had to be

used to identify and get to know individuals whose behavior

could at any time cause them to be jailed. Retrospective

analysis of the study sample allows us to say with confidence

that it was, in fact, representative of the Costa Rican working




87



class in the most crucial social and economic aspects. Never-

theless, we must say that this representativeness was seren-

dipitous. Later chapters will present further perspectives

on the relationship of the subject procurement procedure to

the formulation of the research problem of motivational syn-

drome.




Full Text
COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE
AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS
BY
JOHN BRYAN PAGE
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08666 402 5

Copyright 1976
John Bryan Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many individuals, both here and in Costa Rica, deserve
my profuse thanks for their help in assembling and analyzing
the information contained herein, but foremost among them
are William E. Carter and Paul L. Doughty. Carter's badger¬
like editorial supervision of the writing process, demanding-
clarification and refinement of otherwise turgid prose and
byzantine explanations, gave this dissertation a degree of
readability that would never have been achieved without him.
He also piloted me through several false starts in my research,
eventually leading to the choice of amotivational syndrome
as a study topic. Doughty should be credited especially
with having enough confidence in my ability to do research
as part of a transdisciplinary team to select me as one of
the anthropological field workers in the Costa Rican Project.
I am also indebted to him for his patient supervision of the
data collection and coding process.
The third co-principal investigator in the Costa
Rican Cannabis Use Study, Wilmer R. Coggins also contributed
to my work with his perspective as a medical doctor. Maryanna
Baden, the Project sociologist made several valuable contri¬
butions to my work, including subject matching and the formu¬
lation of personal information questionnaires and life history
iii

interview schedules. T. A. Nunez and Otto Von Mering both
made worthy editorial inputs as readers of the dissertation
who had not participated directly in the transdisciplinary
project from which my material comes.
My co-field worker, William R. True, made more direct
and indirect contributions to my research than I can possibly
recount in this brief space. From introducing me to a key’
informant to discovering the representativeness of our
sample, he has been a constant positive influence. Other
co-workers, Claudine de Frenkel and Dina Krauskopf, also
were helpful in collecting needed information on some of
the most valuable subjects in the study sample. Richard
Chiofolo, the Project statistician, merits special thanks
for ironing out some computative problems in Chapter V.
The Project secretaries also deserve hearty thanks for
their help in making this dissertation possible. They
freed True and me from many administrative worries which
might have detracted from our research effort. Olga Fallas
Vardiman was instrumental in making our office as attractive
and efficient as possible during the early months of the
study. Zulema Villalta de Brenes, with her incredible
transcription speed, was largely responsible for the volume
of sociocultural data with which we were able to work. Her
administrative contributions to the Project during its
last months were also prodigious. Other members, Gerardo
Erak, Gerardo Valderrama, Martin Brenes, Marta Villalta,
and Elena Fallas allrhelped to keep the office running
IV

smoothly. Lie. Virginia de Barquero, head of the Office of
Stupifying Drugs in the Ministry of Health, was a constant
resource during my two years of field work. Her moral
support and administrative connections helped not only with
pursuing research goals, but also with mundane necessities
of personal comfort. Without Dona Virginia's help in the
field, the study would not even have begun.
Walter Serrano, the Project administrator in charge
of delivering subjects to the medical and psychological
tests, should also be thanked for his participation con¬
nected with this dissertation. His energetic contact with
the subjects saved the day more than once when they turned
skiddish through misunderstandings. He consented to be
interviewed regarding his impressions of the informants
after he was no longer on the project payroll, and the
information so obtained was beneficial.
Finally, I should thank the subjects who participated
in the Project. Many did not "make the cut" to the final
matched pair sample, but all had an influence on the final
outcome. They cannot be mentioned by name, for obvious
reasons, but these participants deserve .credit for accepting
us into their confidence. Many expressed the hope that our
studies would lead to sufficient public understanding and
tolerance of their Cannabis use so that one day, they would
no longer have to hide. Hopefully, the following presenta¬
tion will add to that understanding.
v

PREFACE
Selecting a site for the study of long term marihuana
use in Latin America poses three questions which must have
close attention. First of all, will the host government
give full cooperation to the investigators? Second, will
there be proper medical facilities and local personnal
resources to carry out the study? Oddly enough, the third
and last question is, does a chronic marihuana using popu¬
lation exist in the host country? William E. Carter, Ph.D.
and Wilmer R. Coggins, M.D. found in their efforts to locate
a Latin American site for a field study of Cannabis use that
this was indeed the order of importance for the main con¬
siderations in designating a study site. They encountered a
situation in Costa Rica where the government was anxious
to have a study of chronic marihuana use done there, the
local Social Security medical system had ample hospital
facilities and well-trained personnel to carry out the study,
and a population of long-term marihuana users existed in
the urban setting of San Jose in sufficient numbers to make
the study possible. Such a combination of advantages could
not be found in any of the other Latin American countries
which were considered as possible study sites.
Through an agreement with the Costa Rican Ministry of
Public Health, the Cannabis use study gained the cooperation
vi

of the Office of Stupifying Drugs and the assistance of
the Social Security medical care system. We were given office
space in the Ministry building, and Ministry staff aided us
in getting the office furnished and a secretary hired.
Setting up the administrative environment necessary to
carry out the study of an illegal activity had to involve
local police cooperation. The Costa Rican Minister of
Security arranged for contact between the local narcotics
police and the Project field workers wherein it was agreed
that we would not be arrested or harrassed during the course
of our studies. Identification cards were issued to aid
implementing this policy. Similar cards were also to be
issued to subjects in the study so that arrest for marihuana
possession would not interfere with their participation.
These arrangements did not always function ideally, but
they were sufficient for us to carry out the study with only
minor difficulties.
The transdisciplinary design of the Costa Rican Cannabis
Use Study included biomedical, sociocultural, and psycholog¬
ical phases which needed a central point of communications
with the co-principal investigators, Drs. Carter and Coggins,
and Paul L. Doughty, Ph.D. The Project office in the Ministry
of Health Building became the center from which project oper¬
ations were supervised. William R. True, Ph.D. and I worked
out of the Project office, carrying out sociocultural studies
of marihuana use as well as helping to coordinate other
phases of the transdisciplinary study. This contact with all
Vll

phases of the study provided a perspective on its overall
progress and quality which was useful in finally analyzing
the data related to amotivational syndrome.
A wide variety of data is utilized in this treatment
of chronic marihuana use, including psychomotor,intellec¬
tual function, personality, and attitude test results,
biomedical data, and, most heavily, sociocultural data.
Of the sociocultural data, the most important body of
material comes from the life history interviews elicited
from each of the 82 matched subjects. Consistency of data
collection was assured by the use of an interview schedule
developed by the collaboration of the field team with the
help of Drs. Doughty and Carter, as well as Maryanna Baden,
Ph.D. The 15,000 pages of transcribed interview materials
which resulted will continue to provide valuable information
and insights on urban Costa Rican life.
vm

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
PREFACE vi
ABSTRACT xi
CHAPTER I PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING ON
"AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME" 1
Clinical Studies 6
Surveys and Quantitative Studies 24
Composite and Field Research Tactics 33
Overview Authors ^9
Synthesis of the Existing Literature 45
CHAPTER II THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY 54
CHAPTER III THE STUDY SAMPLE 70
CHAPTER IV MARIHUANA IN COSTA RICA 89
Preparations 96
Production 101
Forms of Use 105
Types 114
Medicinal Preparations 117
Pharmacological Content of Costa Rican
Cannabis 119
Content of Marihuana 120
Daily Levels of Marihuana Use 122
CHAPTER V SMOKING "SET" AND EFFECTS 129
The User Typology 129
Analysis of Smoking Environment Descriptions
by the Users 138
Subjective Effects of Marihuana Use 157
User Types and Subjective Effects 192
Summary 213
CHAPTER VI MARIHUANA AND THE LIFE CYCLE 217
Initiation into Cannabis Use 217
Marihuana and School Performance 232
Marihuana and Work 245
Summary 260
IX

Page
CHAPTER VII OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF AMOTIVATIONAL
SYNDROME: AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT 263
GLOSSARY 294
APPENDIX 298
BIBLIOGRAPHY 299
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 308
x

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE
AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS
By
John Bryan Page
June, 1976
t
Chairman: William E. Carter
Major Department: Anthropology
Seven behavioral attributes of amotivational syndrome
are derived from a survey of the existing literature on
chronic Cannabis use. These attributes are tested for a
working class population in San Jose, Costa Rica's, using
intensive life history data from 41 chronic Cannabis users
and 41 non-using closely matched controls. Data on smoking
environments and subjectively perceived effects for this
population yield a user typology.
When this user typology is taken into account, compari¬
son of school performance and work histories between users
and non-users yields no evidence of the amotivational syn¬
drome. Social adjustment difficulties, where they exist,
precede the initiation of marihuana use and lead directly
xi

to documented variations in user type. This is corroborated
further by natural history observations. Additional measures,
such as psychological tests, electroencephalographs, and
detailed medical studies also fail to show evidence of the
seven behavioral attributes commonly associated with the
amotivational syndrome.
Xll

CHAPTER I
PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING
ON "AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME"
The behavioral and social ills which have been attributed
to Cannabis use are widely varied, and each seems to have a
corresponding negation elsewhere in the literature. Kolansky
and Moore (1972), Warnock (1903), Walsh (1894), McGlothlin
and West (1968) , and others all find that users of Cannabis
become lazy and apathetic. Miles et al. (1975), Mendelson
and Meyer (1972) , Rubin and Comitas (1975), and Hochman (1972)
see no laziness among Cannabis users, and some (Rubin and
Comitas 1975) even say that Cannabis use increases energy.
Bloomquist (1971), Williams et al. (1946), Warnock (1903),
and Kolansky and Moore (1972) say that Cannabis users are
slovenly and neglectful of personal hygiene. Kaplan (1970),
and Miles et al. (1975) find users to be no neater or dirtier
than non-users. Soueif (1967, 1971), Kolansky and Moore
(1971, 1972, 1975), Bindelglas (1973), and Brill et al.
(1970) consider learning and memory functions to be diminished
among chronic Cannabis smokers, while Beaubrun and Knight
(1973) do not see such a diminution of functions among their
sample of users. Soueif (1967), Kolansky and Moore (1972),
Robins et al. (1970), and Smith (1970) say that users of
Cannabis cannot work effectively at everyday jobs, but Rubin
1

TABLE 1
Cross-tabulation cf Cannabis Researchers and Problem:
Correlated with Cannabis Use
Researchers
Problems
Apathy and
Passivity
Loss of desire
to work and
productivi ty
Chronic
tired¬
ness
Memory,
Learning
and Idea¬
tion Di f-
ficulties
Depression
and
Irr1tabi1ity
Slovenliness
and lack of
concern for
personal
hygeine
Obsession
with obtain¬
ing more
Cannabl s
Inability
to make or
carry out
long term
plans
General
state
of ill
healtn
Kolansky and
Moore (1972)
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
x
McGlor.hlin and
Wesc
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
Walsh
•
(X)*
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
Warnock
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
Chopea, I.C.
and R.N. (1967)
X
X
X
X
X
Souief (1967)
Souief (1971)
X
X
«
X
Wil1 lams, et al,**
X
X
X
X
X
Robins, et al.
X
X
X
X
West
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
(X)
{X)
Mel 1 inger, et al.
Hochman
Miles, et al
Asani
(X)*
(X)
(X)
Lambo
Mendel sen and Meyer**
Rubin and Comicas
(X)
(X)
(X)
•Parenthesis mean that the researcher has some reservations about hypothesizing a causal relation between Cannabis use and these problems.
**Not studies of chronic Cannabis use.
to

3
and Comitas (1975), Trice and Roman (1972), and Miles et al.
(1975) argue that users can and do. Users suffer from inabil¬
ity to make and carry out long-term plans, according to
McGlothlin and West (1968), and Bindelglas (1973), but Hoch-
man (1972), and Melinger et al. (1976) do not find this to
be true for their sample of users.
Table 1 illustrates the positions taken by several of
the most prominent researchers who have dealt with some
aspects of the "amotivational syndrome." We can see that
there is no unanimity among them regarding any single attribute
of the syndrome, and roughly half disagree with the other
half in finding symptoms of amotivational syndrome among the
Cannabis users studied. This situation of diammetrical disa¬
greement among Cannabis researchers leads to an atmosphere
of mutual sniping in which the scientific thrust of contri¬
buting to the body knowledge about a still misunderstood
drug is lost in interdisciplinary squabbling. The reviews
which follow will treat these and other researchers' work
as even-handedly as possible, with the ultimate objective
of using their experience to build a theoretical position
from which to assess the validity of amotivational syndrome.
The term amotivational syndrome has been used loosely
in connection with all of the above-named social and behav¬
ioral problems and their corresponding negations. Because
amotivational syndrome is generally considered a "subtle"
or "insidious" kind of psycho-social disorder, those who
write about it have avoided naming a comprehensive set of

4
symptoms, or more accurately, behavioral attributes for it,
and relatively few authors have ventured to use the term
amotivational syndrome to encompass those behavioral attributes
This chapter will attempt to review the existing literature on
Cannabis use which deals most directly with behavioral and
social disorders sometimes called amotivational syndrome, and
to derive a set of behavioral attributes suitable for compar¬
ison with the data gathered in Costa Rica.
Early writing and research reports on the use of Cannabis
do not use the term amotivational syndrome, even though the
India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains some testimony
linking "laziness" and "sloth" to Cannabis use. The term
first appeared in modern scholarly writing in an article by
McGlothlin and West, "The Marihuana Problem: An Overview"
(1968). Both authors were experienced in the hippie-based
mind-expanding drug revolution of the mid-sixties. They
describe, in the manner of clinical psychiatry, a condition
they had observed among marihuana users with whom they had
come in contact in California clinical settings. McGlothlin
and West do not present amotivational syndrome in a tone which
implies that they invented it, but they also do not refer to
another source for the term. They carefully qualify their
own use of the term, applying it only to "middle class students
or "impressionable young persons." Their description of the
syndrome to which the term refers is brief:
. . . subtly progressive change from conforming,
achievement-oriented behavior to a state of relaxed
and careless drifting has followed their use of
significant amounts of marihuana.

5
. . . Such changes include apathy, loss of effec¬
tiveness, and diminished capacity or willingness
to carry out complex, long-term plans, endure
frustration, concentrate for long periods, follow
routines, or successfully master new material.
Verbal facility is often impaired, both in speak¬
ing and writing (372).
The authors readily admit that they have not controlled for
such factors as LSD use and social background, but they still
suspect marihuana use as a causative agent (Ibid.). Both
directly and indirectly, much of the work on marihuana use
which followed this article was influenced by it. Some
authors were not as cautious in their use of the term amoti-
vational syndrome as those who first used it.
There have been basically three approaches to study and
discussion of amotivational syndrome as related to Cannabis
use. Clinical studies represent an approach which occurs
frequently, encompassing user populations both in the United
States and in other Cannabis using cultures. Impressionistic
accounts of direct personal contact with marihuana users, an
approach that the archaic literature contains in abundance,
appears as part of many comprehensive accounts of the drug
and its use. The quantitative analysis approach is the
newest of the three approaches, using questionnaires and often
large samples to obtain data on the consequences of Cannabis
use. Some researchers combine clinical and quantitative
methods to study these consequences. Authors who attempt
to offer an overview of Cannabis use usually include a mix¬
ture of all of the above described approaches in their presen¬
tation. The following series of brief reviews will deal with

6
clinical approaches first, followed by quantitative approaches,
and then mixed clinical, survey, and field research approaches.
Overview authors will be reviewed last, including some examples
of ancedotal writing on amotivational syndrome.
Clinical Studies
Studies of Cannabis use which involve chronic users in
either a clinical psychiatric treatment setting (both inpatient
and outpatient) or a hospital experimental setting will be
called clinical studies in this review. We shall begin with
psychiatrists' assessments of the behavioral consequences of
Cannabis use, both in its North American setting and in its
other cultural settings.
Kolansky and Moore's clinical studies of marihuana use
form the basis for three prominent articles on the amotiva¬
tional syndrome, also sometimes called "marihuana toxicity"
(1971, 1972, 1975). They find that there is a marked causal
relationship between marihuana use and what most writers
would call amotivational syndrome.
During the past six years, we have seen a
clinical entity different from the routine syndromes
seen in adolescents and young adults. Long and care¬
ful diagnostic evaluation convinced us that this
entity is a toxic reaction in the central nervous
system due to regular use of marihuana and hashish.
Contrary to what is frequently reported, we
have found the effect of marihuana not to be that
of a mild intoxicant which causes slight exaggera¬
tion of usual adolescent behavior, but a specific
and separate clinical syndrome unlike any other
variation of the abnormal mainifestations of
adolescence (Kolansky and Moore 1972: 35).
They continue to list the salient traits of this "syndrome"

7
which include tiredness, mental confusion, slowed time sense,
difficulty with recent memory, incapability of completing
verbal thoughts, lack of concern for work or personal appear¬
ance, and outbreaks of petulance and irrational anger (35-36).
The 1973 NIMH report on the current state of marihuana
research criticizes the Kolansky and Moore study because the
authors do not specify whether or not the patients were, or
had the opportunity to be, intoxicated with marihuana during
the interviews on which the authors reported (V-33). The
reviewers raise this question, because several of the symptoms
enumerated by Kolansky and Moore resemble commonly named
symptoms of acute marihuana intoxication, e.g., slowed time
sense, incapability of completing verbal thoughts, and diffi¬
culty with recent memory. This may not be a legitimate
criticism, because chronic use of marihuana may in fact en¬
tail states of intoxication that occupy many of the user's
waking hours. Thus, if serious behavioral aberrations
characterize the intoxicated state, then the chronic mari¬
huana user would have constant difficulty functioning in
normal daily activities. The NIMH critique also points out
that the clinical method used by Kolansky and Moore, although
very efficacious in discovering complexes of pathological
symptoms that are of clinical interest, is not good for indi¬
cating causal relationships between symptoms and other facets
of the individual patients' lives (V-34). This view is under¬
lined in Rathod's assessment of Kolansky and Moore's work,
noting that the claimed "toxic reaction" was not buttressed
by any biochemical research (1975: 95).

8
Kolansky and Moore's 1971 article deals specifically
with adolescent behavior, and the concept of amotivational
syndrome therein was rightly rebutted because of the diffi¬
culty in separating the effects of smoking -marihuana from the
embracing of counter-culture precepts of non-achievement and
altered social consciousness. In their 1972 article, Kolansky
and Moore assiduously avoid adolescence in the case histories
presented in order to connection amotivational syndrome more
definitively to smoking marihuana. Adolescence is only one .
of several possible crucial transitional periods to which man
in the course of life span is subject. By avoiding adoles¬
cence in their discussion, Kolansky and Moore did not neces¬
sarily avoid analogous transitional periods in the case
histories of individual subjects. For example, in group 1
case 1 in the 1972 article (37) the 41-year-old male studied
could easily have been approaching a transitional period
before his introduction to marihuana. This took place while
he, a married man, was dating a younger woman. The symptoms
which follow his adoption to the drug include "confusion,
distortion of time sense, apathy, forgetfulness, suspicious¬
ness, and poor reality testing" (Ibid.). His personal
situation also deteriorated, both in his family and in his
business. To attribute the above sets of symptoms to mari¬
huana use alone may be too simplistic. The precipitating
factor in their onset may just as easily by the middle-age
panic often seen in North American males.
A 28-year-old woman also cited in Kolansky and Moore's

9
case histories experienced deterioration in job performance
and general attitudes toward efficiency and personal grooming
after initiation of marihuana use (Ibid.). It is noted also
that her attitude toward her marriage changed, and several
love affairs resulted. This particular case points out the
error in unifactorial reasoning in the search for any kind
of psychological disorder. It appears the researchers wished
to find marihuana as the sole cause of this woman's ills,
when actually the situation was entirely too complex to
attribute her problems to marihuana smoking and nothing more.
This does not mean that marihuana could not have been a con¬
tributing factor in her case. It simply allows for the
consideration of other equally important sources of upset as
contributory factors.
Crucial transitional periods analogous to that of
adolescence may be contributing factors in all of the cases
cited by Kolansky and Moore. Even more importantly, all of
these cases have been referred for psychological care and
treatment. A distorted, one-sided image of marihuana use
results from dealing only with cases whose recognized aberrance
has brought them to seek treatment. A clinical population by
definition represents only the segment of the total population
that is seen (or sees itself) as outside the normal range of
accepted behavior. Furthermore, the 13 cases cited involve
people whose marihuana use is of short duration (no more than
2 years) and their levels of consumption are not well-docu¬
mented. It does not follow that since light marihuana use

10
accompanies psychological problems among some psychiatric
patients, marihuana necessarily causes the psychological
problems.
Clinical reports on the effects of Cannabis smoking are
by no means new to the psychiatric literature. The British
India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains in its huge
volume of testimony a sizeable representation of psychiatrists
who had practiced in India. Walsh (1894) recognizes that
some people who use Cannabis put their mental health in
j eopardy.
. . . In a certain proportion, too, it is not very
improbable that, owing to the fact that these per¬
sons are of a neuropathic diathesis, and in them a
tendency to insanity exists, and has always been
latent, hemp drugs in excess, or even quantities
which would not damage a man of robust nervous
constitution, have acted as an exciting cause,
making manifest mental weakness which might not
have shown itself in the absence of such indul¬
gence (35) .
This is the testimony of a clinician who had experience with
Cannabis toxicity in its most ancient cultural context. Walsh
recognizes that cases of pathological reaction to Cannabis use
probably have a close relationship with some pre-existing
tendency to mental disturbance. One of the syndromes connected
with such toxicity reactions is described in the following
symptomology:
. . . The vice grows in him [the user]; he neglects
his family and his business, falls into irregular
and disorderly habits, which alternate with periods
of self-reproach and mental depression (Walsh 1894:
32) . •
The above set of behavioral characteristics strikingly resemble

11
the current concept of the amotivational syndrome, yet they
are used by Walsh to describe one of the toxic reactions
suffered by users with a pre-existing tendency toward mental
problems.
Walsh's concept of the relationship between mental
disturbance and Cannabis use is very difficult to dispute,
because patients suffering from Cannabis toxicity psychoses
often have no previous history of mental disturbance. Kolansky
and Moore (1972) include only cases with no psychiatric ante¬
cedents in their case history accounts. This is their justi¬
fication for claiming that Cannabis is the cause of their
patients' problems. It would be insufficient argument to point
out that stories of maniacal homicide appear constantly in
the news involving people with no history of psychiatric
disturbance. Rather, it is preferable to study a non-institu-
tionalized population of chronic Cannabis users to see if
the amotivational symptomology holds for them. In this way,
we avoid prejudicing conclusions on the basis of a sample
that is already recognized as behaviorally aberrant.
Another early clinical study of the consequences of
Cannabis use appeared in the Journal of Mental Science (1903)
written by John Warnock, another Englishman of long experience
in dealing with an ancient Cannabis-using tradition. He finds
that the India Hemp Commission's findings do not agree with
his experience in Egypt with kif, a strong Egyptian Cannabis
preparation, and hashish. According to Warnock, kif was
sufficient cause of psychiatric problems among a high percentage

12
of the patients in the Cairo Sanitarium (103). He goes so
far as to name this Cannabis-caused syndrome "cannabinomania":
The term cannabinomania may be employed to des-
scribe the mental condition of many hasheesh users
between the above forms [acute cannabis-caused psy¬
choses, including temporary intoxication, delirium
from hasheesh, mania from hasheesh, chronic mania
from hasheesh, and chronic dementia from hasheesh].
The individual is a good-for-nothing lazy fellow,
who lives by begging and stealing, and pesters his
relations for money to buy hasheesh, often assaulting
them when they refuse his demands. The moral degrada¬
tion of these cases is their most salient symptom;
loss of social position, shamelessness, addiction
to lying and theft, and a loose, irregular life make
them a curse to their families (103).
The above description is not unlike many of the more recent
clinical and impressionistic accounts of amotivational
syndrome. One major difference is that certain types of
aggression are incorporated in the description, a character¬
istic which contrasts sharply with the passivity usually
attributed to long-term Cannabis users. The characteristics
contained in the above account which are most generalizable
among those cited for the user suffering from the amotivational
syndrome are laziness, lack of order, and dedication of all
available resources to drug consumption.
Warnock indicates great familiarity with the cultural
differences between Indian and Egyptian Cannabis use tradition.
As Drake (1971; 88) also suggests, the difference in frequency
of Cannabis-precipitated mental illness between India and
Egypt may be due in part to the exclusive use of stronger,
resin-based preparations by the Egyptian users. Cultural
standards of use in India urge the Cannabis user to eschew

13
charas, the Indian equivalent of hashish, in favor of the less
concentrated preparations, bhang and ganja. The Egyptian user
typically seeks the depressant effects of heavy dosage and
strong preparations. Finally, Warnock addresses the epidem¬
iological problem of "hasheesh mania:"
. . . Probably only excessive users, or persons
peculiarly susceptible to its toxic effects, become
so insane as to need asylum treatment. Whether the
moderate use of hasheesh has ill effects, I have no
means of judging. . . (109) .
As he sees it, Cannabis use is responsible for mental illness
in Egypt, but still Warnock allows for the pre-existing ten¬
dency toward mental illness in these cases. - It is interesting
to note that, when addressing the problem of alcohol use as
opposed to hashish use, Warnock is not willing to make the
latter illegal and replace it with the former (105) .
The authors cited above all attempt to generalize to
the population at large on the basis of clinical populations,
taking the basic position that Cannabis brings about increased
mental difficulties. Walsh and Warnock modify this position
by allowing for pre-existing tendencies toward psychological
disturbance, while Kolansky and Moore do not. Prince et al.
(1972), on the basis of a parallel data gathering situation,
attempt to reverse the generalization process by arriving at
exactly opposite conclusions. Extrapolating from the data
gathered inside the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica,
Prince, Greenfield, and Marriott concluded that ganja (the
Jamaican term for the form of Cannabis smoked there) is in
fact an alternative to alcohol, and, as such, is less likely

14
to lead to psychological distrubance (9). This kind of
clinical generalization is no more acceptable than those
mentioned earlier. All of the above mentioned studies lack
the perspective gained by familarity with the normal, at-large
Cannabis-using population.
In the above account, it may seem that we slip into dis¬
cussion of mental disturbance in general while addressing the
problem of amotivational syndrome. This is no accident,
because Walsh and Warnock name the symptoms of amotivational
syndrome among many other symptoms of mental disorder which
are also associated with Cannabis use. Kolansky and Moore's
work is more tightly associated with the specific charac¬
teristics of the amotivational syndrome, which they are instru¬
mental in describing, but these other works which name parallel
symptoms in the context of a broader symptomology bring up the
central question in the amotivational syndrome argument: Does
Cannabis use lead to patterns of behavior which are considered
outside the normal range of accepted behavior? Kolansky and
Moore say yes, Warnock says maybe, Walsh says not without
pre-existing dispositions or tendencies, and Prince, et al.
say not at all.
Among the existing clinical papers and treatises on
Cannabis use, the Chopras' of India (R.N.G.S., and E.C., 1942;
I.C. and R.N., 1957; G.S. and P.S., 1965; G.S., 1969) have
by far the most time depth. Their writing is based on years
of clinical experience in dealing with patients who have used
Cannabis in the complex and baroquely elaborate Cannabis using

15
tradition found in India. The clinical point of view, as
stated earlier, may distort the researcher's perception of
the consequences of Cannabis use, but the Chopras seem to be
an exception. They know something about the general popula¬
tion of Cannabis users in India, and they temper their con¬
clusions on that basis.
The following user typology developed by I.C. and N.R.
Chopra (1957) shows that they have a much more finely-tuned
sensitivity to the nuances of dosage level and usage set than
their North American counterparts:
Group I. This group consists of persons belonging to the
poorer classes, such as labourers, domestic servants,
etc. These people are the principal consumers of
ganja (and also charas, if they can get it). They
take these as food accessories in order to relieve
fatigue after their work and for mild euphoric effects
to relieve the monotony of their daily vocations and
existence. They necessarily stick to small doses as
a rule they are able to carry on with their ordinary
work. They suffer little or no injury to their gen¬
eral health from the habitual use of the drug.
Group II. This is composed of those individuals who use
Cannabis in the same way as opium for its narcotic
effects. The members of this group are idlers and
persons mentally below average who take to the habit¬
ual use of Cannabis in order to induce a state of
oblivion or to overcome feelings of inferiority and
the sense of inhibition. Ganja and Charas are
mostly used by this group and the damage to their
health is more perceptible than in the case of
Group I.
Group III. This includes individuals who use Cannabis in
order to obtain stimulant effects combined with intox¬
icating effects, in the same way as alcohol. This
practice exists mostly amongst the idle and the rich
who wish to seek pleasure and new sensations, often
of a sexual nature. Such a use, prolonged and carried
to excess, is apt to cause injury to the gastro-intes-
tinal tract resulting in dyspepsia and impairment of
vitality and general health, and later in damage to
their nervous system. Sometimes other potent drugs

16
such as nux vomica and dhatura are also mixed by
addicts to fortify themselves to perpetrate acts
of violence.
Group IV. This group consists mostly of religious
mendicants (sadhis and fakirs) and the priestly
classes. Cannabis drugs are used in all forms by
them in order to overcome the feeling of hunger and
to help them to concentrate on religious and medi-
tational objectives (15).
Low dosage levels among poor laborers correspond with the use
of Cannabis preparations for their fatigue-reducing properties
Other low-dosage users consume Cannabis preparations for
specific religious ends. Those users among Group II are by
far the most problematic Cannabis users, but the Chopras
describe them as often being mentally deficient. Their dosage
levels are far beyond those of the Group I users, further
evidenced by their preference for the stronger Cannabis pre¬
parations and their concentration on what the authors call
"narcotic" effects. Group III and Group IV, the pleasure-
seekers and the meditators, most closely resemble the Cannabis
using patterns of North American users. North American drug
use by seekers of new stimuli and experience is well known
(cf. Goode 1970, 1972). Drug-connected religious mysticism
in the U.S. in both sacred religious and secular social
consciousness spheres, seems to parallel the Group IV pattern
closely. Group I, as I shall show in more detail, has a
parallel among Costa Rican marihuana users. Group II has
parallels in the Egyptian Cannabis use patterns described by
Warnock (1903) and Soueif (1967 and 1971) and also among some
Costa Rican marihuana smokers.

17
Asuni, an African psychiatrist who also writes on clinical
observation of chronic marihuana users in Nigeria, suggests
that people who occupy marginal places in society are prone
to use marihuana, as well as certain occupational groups, such
as taxi drivers, truck drivers, prostitutes and musicians
(1964: 20, 25). He seems to recognize some of the limitations
of clinical research, and does not attempt to establish mari¬
huana as a cause of the frequent unemployment, loss of effi¬
ciency, and tardiness seen in his subjects. Still, Asuni sees
some connection between marihuana use and these traits (27).
Perhaps further examination of the socio-cultural aspects of
Cannabis use would be useful in sorting out the influences
on the behavior of this particular group of Nigerian users.
Up to this point, discussion has been limited to the
various analyses of psychiatric observations in clinical
settings. Another variety of clinical study addressing the
problem of amotivational syndrome has become numerous in
recent years, where subjects are placed in a closed laboratory
and given marihuana or some preparation of its psychotropic
derivatives to consume in that closed environment. This does
not really address the question of long-term use, 'since the
experimental subjects are either marihuana naive or have
relatively limited experience with the drug. However, the
closed laboratory method does afford the investigator with
assurance regarding the dosages of Cannabis administered and
the settings in which it is smoked. The first study of this
kind was done under the auspices of the La Guardia administration

18
in 1944, and users of long-term experience were studied. Some
psychological testing was done, but the investigators were
concentrating on acute rather than chornic effects, and so,
little difference between user and non-user groups was reported.
Williams, et al. carried out a similar experiment in 1946,
where six subjects were given marihunaa to smoke over a 30-
day period in a closed hospital setting. Psychological tests
were administered during and after the smoking period. Results
suggest.that, during the acute period, the subjects experienced
a diminution of precision in motor and intellectual function,
as well as a lack of motivation and increased carelessness.
General clinical observations noted increased sleeping time,
general lassitude, social deterioration, and lack of personal
hygiene, but they also indicated lack of anti-social behavior
or psychotic reactions during the smoking period, even though
dosage ranged from nine to 26 cigarettes per day. All of the
above-named symptoms, some of which are identical to those
described for amotivational syndrome, disappeared after the
end of the acute smoking period. This particular study points
out the danger of claiming, as do Kolansky and Moore, that
Cannabis use results in a lasting toxic reaction in the
users' nervous system. A complex of symptoms very close to
the ones named by Kolansky and Moore are, in Williams' et al.
research, apparently linked with the acute smoking experience,
vindicating the NIDA criticism of the Kolansky and Moore study
mentioned earlier.
A more recent example of the procedure carried out by

19
Williams et al. was performed by Lord (1971) on 37 student-
age subjects. Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory (MMPI), Lord attempted to measure change in person¬
ality as a result of marihuana administration. He found that
scores (anxiety and repression, respectively) for the subjects
who were given marihuana indicated lower levels of excitement,
energy, and enterprise (94). He makes the following statement
on the relationship between marihuana and amotivational
syndrome:
. . . The present findings support both the LaGuardia
study and current clinical beliefs that marihuana does
cause a reduction of responsibility in individuals.
While the clinical statements regarding this trait are
stated in terms of long-term use of marijuana, both
the LaGuardia study and the present research imply that
these characteristics may also be manifested in short¬
term use--even in single experiences with marijuana
(49) .
Lord has fallen into the trap of making unqualified general¬
izations on the basis of very limited and specific data. His
testing population was made up of young short-term users,
and they were tested after a single administration of the drug.
Lord indicates that he is aware of cultural influences that
impinge on the effects of marihuana (25-26) and yet he does
not bother to give any background information on his user
population other than to state age and sex. This failure to
define the user population in even minimal cultural terms
renders Lord's results nearly useless.
In seemingly a direct approach toward the amotivational
syndrome problem Mendelson and Meyer (1972) placed 20 multiple
drug-using males in a hospital setting for 31 days. During

20
the entire period, the subjects were able to earn money for
tobacco and marihuana by manipulating an operant press-bar.
All subjects earned the maximum (an equivalent of $10 per day)
during the smoking period, and so, no direct relationship
between marihuana and decrease in work output was found.
Miles suggests (1975) that the $10 per day limit may have been
unrealistic, yielding an effect whereby even the least moti¬
vated subjects could complete the output maximum without
discriminating the levels of achievement in the group. Also,
the task at hand was so simple that it could not be impaired
by marihuana consumption. Both of these arguments are legit¬
imate, and they point out the limitations of over-simplified
laboratory-style experiments such as these. The rewards to
be had in the real world for industriousness are limited by
factors that are very different from the artificial ceiling
seen here. Practically all human tasks, even the most menial,
are too complex to be represented adequately by press-bar
performance.
Miles et al. (1975) performed an experiment in a hospital
setting which comes somewhat closer to replicating real world
conditions than did the Mendelson and Meyer study. Six
"healthy young marihuana smokers" were placed in a special
laboratory situation for 70 days during which they were given
a "job" that entailed the construction of wooden stools. The
subjects were paid for piece work, and after the first week
of the study, they took unanimous action to secure a "raise"
in pay. Miles notes that during a 28-day period in the study

21
when each subject was required to smoke 17 mg. of THC, produc¬
tion and savings declined. The subjects had begun to spend
more time in passive entertainment, and they claimed that the
compulsory smoking was impeding their work output. Neverthe¬
less, when a further increase in the piecework rate was insti¬
tuted, production increased dramatically in spite of the continued
compulsory marihuana smoking. Miles also notes with regard
to the amotivational syndrome that efficiency was not altered
even when production had dropped. That is, the subjects pro¬
duced stools at the same rate per unit of working time during
the period of low productivity, but they spent less time working
until their wages were increased. He also found that, con¬
trary to the Williams (1946) findings, the carefully monitored
behavior of the subject group indicated no change in personal
hygiene activities during the experimental period, and no
increase in sleep time. Even though this laboratory study
comes much closer than its predecessors to simulating a real
world situation, it still fails to reflect several important
factors which must be assessed adequately in order to make a
definitive statement concerning amotivational syndrome. A
short-term study of 70 days cannot yield conclusions about
the consequences of a lifetime of smoking marihuana, because
performance findings, no matter how closely-monitored, do not
reflect how steadily an individual has worked during his life¬
time, nor how faithfully he fulfills his other social obliga¬
tions. Enthusiasm for a new job could account for the rises
in production during so brief a period. Nevertheless, Miles'

22
et al. results hint that perhaps users who are smoking moder¬
ate amounts of Cannabis can function adequately and even show
signs of motivation while under a daily smoking regimen.
Several other authors have presented clinical-style
reports of their research on marihuana use which will be
encapsulated below. David Kupfer (1973) did an out-patient
clinical study of a small number of light marihuana smokers
in which some psychological testing was administered. His
most important conclusion regarding amotivational syndrome
is that depression due to passage through a life crisis is
an important factor among patients exhibiting symptoms of
that syndrome (1322). Based on clinical examination alone
of five marihuana users, John Thurlow (1971) offers three
hypotheses for future consideration and research: 1) That
lack of initiative is a long-term effect of Cannabis use,
2) That other drugs used to adulterate marihuana caused this
lack of initiative, 3) That the connection between amotiva¬
tional state and drug use is coincidental (182). Hendin
(1973) bases his article on clinical examination of 15
marihuana using students, finding that the student popula¬
tion examined uses marihuana to curb aggression, or, in his
own words, a "surcease from competition" (270). Allen and
West (1968) write of their experience manning a clinic in
the Haight-Ashbury district, and they warn that chronic use
of marihuana could lead to "apathy, enervation, and psycho¬
logical immobilization" (125). R. A. Shellow (1973) finds
that the chronically "stoned" person can be depressive in

23
character, with intolerance to pain and frustration, basing
his conclusion on limited clinical experience with chronic
users (32).
The clinical treatises on amotivational syndrome which
have been reviewed in the preceding pages encompass two basic
kinds of Cannabis research experience. The first, exempli¬
fied by Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), and the Chopras (1942,
1957, 1969, 1971) involves long experience with Cannabis
users in mental institutions. The second, as in the work of.
Miles, et al. (1975), and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) involves
relatively short-term clinical contact with users in an exper¬
imental setting. Some clinicians, particularly Kolansky and
Moore (1971, 1972, 1975) are willing to state that Cannabis
use is a direct cause of the apathy, loss of productivity,
decrease of intellectual ability, and moodiness and irrit¬
ability which they have observed among chronic marihuana users.
Others, including Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), Asuni (1964),
and the Chopras (1942, 1957, 1969, 1971) prefer to allow for
consideration of other psychological and cultural factors in
determining the etiology of the aberrant behavior observed.
Still other clinical researchers, such as Miles, et al. (1975)
and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) do not observe the aberrant
behavior noted by other clinically-oriented researchers.
Clinical observations have listed and corroborated
several behavioral attributes of amotivational syndrome which
deserve further attention. Apathy, lack of energy, loss of
productivity, decrease in intellectual abilities, moodiness

24
and irritability, sloth and disregard for personal hygiene,
and dedication of all available resources toward Cannabis
procurement all appear in clinical treatises on marihuana
use. The work of the experimental authors makes an indirect
contribution to further Cannabis use research by warning that
drug use should be studied and assessed in its natural setting
and in chronic, long-term forms in order to form valid con¬
clusions about the impact of the drug use on the users' lives.
Many experienced clinicians provide important perspectives
on the cultural or psychological factors which impinge on the
behavior of Cannabis users. All of these contributions will
be carried into further analysis of the impact of Cannabis
use.on the individual's accommodation in society.
Surveys and Quantitative Studies
Methods for measuring the influence of long-term Cannabis
use have often been quantitative in nature, especially in
the study of users in the United States. McGlothlin, Rowan
and Arnold (1970) managed to identify a sample of 51 adults
who had tried marihuana during adolescence. The mean age of
this group was 40, and their first experience with the drug
took place at least nine and sometimes as many as 20 years
before the beginning of the study. This group was broken down
into those who did not continue marihuana use for a signifi¬
cant period of time and those who had continued use for a
period of at least two years at a rate of at least two times
a week (434). These groups of 29 and 22 subjects, respectively,

25
were contacted by mail and interviewed for points of personal
information. Several psychological scales including measures
of sensation seeking and social desirability were administered.
The authors found that the group which had experienced con¬
tinued use of marihuana were much more unstructured and mer¬
curial in their lifestyles than the other two groups (440).
The main indicators of this were in the frequent changes of
work and residence. The chronic user group also showed a
strong tendency to seek psychotropic states by other means,
ranging from the practice of Zen Buddhism to heroin use.
McGlothlin et al. recognize the difficulties in general¬
izing on the basis of this kind of sample. The method of
procuring the sample immediately prejudiced it somewhat, since
the subjects were recruited from a group that had been adminis¬
tered LSD either experimentally or therapeutically during the
early sixties (433). Such a subject group did not form the
kind of data base from which generalizations of any validity
could be made about the ultimate consequences of chronic
Cannabis use. Many were already psychiatric patients, and
the rest had at least subjected themselves to administrations
of LSD. Neither was there scientific control for problem
drug use areas, such as alcoholism and other addictions.
A much more reasonably conceived sample was procured by
Robins, Darvish and Murphy (1970) in their follow-up quanti¬
tative study of lower class blacks in St. Louis. Choosing
from public school rolls, they identified a sample which con¬
tained 146 non-users and 76 users of marihuana. This population

26
was broken down further into those who used (or had used
during adolescence) marihuana alone and those who participated
(or had participated) in multiple drug use and finally, those
who did not use marihuana at all. Using a personal interview
and access to several varieties of public record, including
police records, the authors made a comparison of the groups.
They found that, even though the groups were matched for dis¬
tribution of what they considered to be crucial home environ¬
ment variables (presence of parents, father's job level, etc.)
the user groups appeared to have performed less successfully
in society than the non-user group. The users were less
likely to have graduated from high school than the non-users
(164). Users tended to achieve lower job levels than the
non-users, whether or not they had dropped out of school (166).
Arrest frequencies for non-drug related offenses were higher
for the user groups.
Robins et al. attempted to control for other factors
which might have influenced the comparisons, first by matching
the subject groups at their starting points as children, and
then by controlling for varieties of drug use history. The
problem with the first controlling strategy is that the situa¬
tions described by the school records which were used for
matching purposes may have changed radically by the time these
children reached adolescence, the time of drug use onset.
The authors could not guarantee, or even be fairly certain,
that the same home situation existed for their subjects as
adolescents' as did for their subjects as children. The

27
second controlling strategy, for some reason, did not include
alcohol among the psychotropics which the authors called
"drugs," thereby removing from consideration a drug of known
influence on social adjustment. If those with heavy drinking
l
or alcoholic problems were compared with those who did not
have such problems, the authors might also have found an equally
striking difference between the two groups. Furthermore,
when the user groups were re-distributed according to duration
of marihuana use (those using fewer than five years and those
using more than five years) there was not a clear-cut progres¬
sion in the frequency of the social ills mentioned earlier.
Some variables such as number of arrests were more frequent
for the group with less smoking experience than for those with
more smoking experience (175). If there were a causal rela¬
tionship between marihuana use and failure to graduate from
high school or to secure a decent job, for example,, then we
might reasonably expect for those tendencies to increase with
increased experience and dosage. This did not occur consis¬
tently when the authors tested for duration of use. Problems
in control factors and causal statements thus mark the gener-
alizeability of Robins, Darvish and Murphy's otherwise well-
thought-out study.
That use of control factors to eliminate possible non¬
drug influences on performance and productivity can yield other
results, is shown in Mellinger, Somers, Davidson, and Man-
heimer's study of University of California students (1975).
Robins, et al. found evidence supporting part of the

28
amotivational syndrome hypothesis by controlling for child¬
hood home environment; Mellinger, et al. found evidence
which rejected amotivational syndrome when they controlled
for parents' level of education and several adademic motiva¬
tion variables. This study's methodology was relatively
impersonal, relying on non-contact modes of data elicitation,
especially mailed questionnaires which were self-administered.
Even though the response rate was fairly high, thereby
eliminating bias factors due to non-participation (12) such
a method is problematic in other ways, such as definition of
the relative levels of marihuana use and the use of other
drugs. These levels are difficult to establish using direct
observation and interview techniques; the chances are small
indeed that a mailed questionnaire could achieve real accuracy
on drug consumption questions. Still, Mellinger, et al.
report that drug use of any kind could not be singled out as
a significant factor in college drop-out rate (34). Much
more important in predicting dropout rate were the predis¬
posing factors of family background, relationships with
parents in high school, and social values (35). The statis¬
tical reasoning in this study is very sound, and it is one of
the few studies of amotivational syndrome that attempt to
place the blame for poor performance or low motivation levels
on the socialization process of the individual, rather than the
use of a drug. The authors' arguments are robbed of impact
by the comparative superficiality of their data-gathering
procedures.

29
Soueif (1967, 1971) has attempted by large-scale
psychological testing of subject populations to establish the
consequences of long term Cannabis use among Egyptian kif
smokers. His first study in 1967 certainly is not. lacking
in rigor of test design or execution, utilizing a user popu¬
lation procured by means of key informants who led the researchers
through networks of personal interaction to identify a subject
population (6). In this way, Soueif had a stratified sample
in a natural setting for his study purposes. The main data-
gathering instruments in Soueif's study were interview
schedules which underwent extensive and rigorous pre-adminis¬
tration testing for reliability and translation into colloquial
Arabic. These schedules were administered to three different
sample groups, one consisting of 204 urban hashish users from
Cairo, another of 49 semi-urban and rural hashish users from
upper Egypt, 115 controls from Cairo, and 40 controls from
upper Egypt. The study provides a wide range of data, including
some epidemiological inference on the extent of hashish con¬
sumption in Cairo, and relative popularity of the various
methods of smoking the drug (7). Correlation coefficients
of contingency were estimated for some of the data elicited-,
and it was found that positive correlations appeared between
monthly frequency of hashish use and the number of hours
worked per day. The author hints at some negative correlation
between quality of working conditions and amount of hashish
consumed (8). He is unwilling to make a statement about the
correlation between amount of hashish consumed and marital

30
status, because of inconsistencies between urban and rural
smokers in this regard. Soueif's statement on productivity
is vague and difficult to interpret; he states that users
claim lower quantity and quality of production while under the
influence of hashish and he attempts to correlate it with
specific cognitive and perceptual changes reported by the
users. He found that a fairly high correlation could be
estimated between productivity decline and disturbance in
time perception, and also to distortion of auditory perception
(10). Still, Soueif's work hovers very close to the question
of amotivational syndrome without really addressing it. His
research (1967) design and user population are both among the
best to appear in the literature. Within the data gathered,
he may even supply sufficient information to make a much
more definitive statement on amotivational syndrome, but he
does not go any further than to analyze the users' reports
of acute effects of the drug on productivity. As we have
already seen, this question is also in doubt. The interview
schedule used with Soueif's subjects contains a section on
family background and on work conditions, and these may have
yielded some work history information for the purpose of
studying chronic consequences of hashish use. For some reason,
Soueif's discussion does not enter this area.
Another Soueif study, completed in 1971, is less promising
because of its use of a prison population, but still is impres¬
sive because of the size of the sample. The research involved
nearly 1700 subjects, including users and controls (17). This

31
time, both an interview schedule and a battery of largely
non-verbal psychological tests were administered. The problem
of amotivational syndrome was again side-stepped by Soueif,
as he concentrated on comparing the results of the test
battery, and on pointing out social behavior variation within
the sub-groups of the user population. Nevertheless, Soueif
does report one difference between user and control groups
which might support part of the amotivational syndrome argu¬
ment. He found that the users on the whole were slower learners
than the controls (27) and that the controls scored consis¬
tently higher on the test battery which included digit span,
tool matching, and other tests than did the users (28). One
of the often-cited symptoms of amotivational syndrome is the
inability to learn new material or to concentrate, so the
results might be interpreted to exemplify this symptom in
Soueif's population.
Sampling problems here may have prejudiced this partic¬
ular study in favor of the non-users. Soueif specifies that
the users were incarcerated exclusively for Cannabis-related
violations (17). Since hashish smoking is a widespread, and
often socially (if not governmentally) accepted custom, the
population of users from which the test population was drawn
by the method of arrest may be assumed to be large. Perhaps
the segment of the user population which at the time of the
study was not incarcerated can be said to be more astute in
avoiding detection than the segment in jail. This prejudice
might not work to the same extent on the population of other

32
criminals. For comparative purposes, it would be interesting
to have administered the 1971 tests on the 1967 user sample.
Two basic conclusions from Souief's work are of interest
and concern regarding amotivational syndrome: first, that
users consider their work output to be diminished while under
the influence of hashish or craving for hashish (1967: 10)
and second, that users seem to be slower learners than con¬
trols (1971: 27). The first conclusion disagrees with other
research already cited (Miles et al. 1975; Mendelson and
Meyer 1972) but is based on a much more solidly established
user population and therefore must be taken seriously. The
second may be due to sampling bias,' but is worthy of further
investigation.
Other researchers who have used statistical analysis of
psychological data to study the consequences of ongoing mari¬
huana use are reviewed below. Mirin et al. (1971) did compari¬
sons between heavy and casual users on the basis of a psycho¬
logical test battery. They found that heavy users (not con¬
trolled for other drug use) tended to have higher scores on
a hostility scale of a moods test, but otherwise no signifi¬
cant difference between the two groups in psychological test
variables (57). Student users were the subjects in Hogan's
study of marihuana use, and he found no significant differ¬
ences among frequent users, occasional users and non-users
in school performance, and only minor nuance differences in
personality test scores (1970). Shean and Fechtman (1971), in
a comparatively superficial attempt to study the relation

33
between marihuana use and purpose in life, found that users
scored lower on this test than do non-users.
Composite and Field Research Tactics
Some researchers have a composite research tactic to
elicit several kinds of data on marihuana use. Hochman (1972),
for example, in addition to extensive clinical experience,
used a large-scale questionnaire to investigate some of the
consequences of marihuana use among students. A total of 2200
questionnaires were mailed out, which produced 64 percent
response. Roughly 90 of the subjects eventually submitted to
further interviews and testing. Hochman's interpretation of
his own results is possibly different from the interpretations
that might have been given by Kolansky and Moore of the same
research data. Users and non-users differed significantly in
interruptions of their academic careers and frequency of job
quitting because the job was "dull," and in indecision about
long-range plans, but Hochman finds no evidence supporting
amotivational syndrome. His reasons for this interpretation
are that users and non-users do not differ in feelings of
life direction, age of first job, number of jobs, age at
marriage, number of times married, and number of times divorced.
These are only "halfway point" results of a study which is
not yet complete, so Hochman's statement are not final con¬
clusions. Nevertheless, Hochman's methods deserve further
comment. The mailing technique in this case was favorably
modified to include some face-to-face contact with some of

34
the subjects, and, if the dosages reported by the users in the
sample were accurate, it could conceivably yield acceptable
results.
The problem, as in the Mellinger et al. study, is that
the author does not have enough assurance that the reported
levels and varieties of drug are accurate. Hochman has taken
the position that marihuana use in the North American sub¬
cultural context represents a new movement in social sensitivity,
and perhaps a "buffer" against increased stress resulting
from living in a fast-paced, urban environment (61). This
position may at times supercede in importance the evidence
produced by his studies. He argues that the users he has
studied do not demonstrate the lassitude described by other
researchers, but he does not convince the reader that he was
dealing with a genuine chronic marihuana user. If they
were in fact long-term users the job or academic instability
and inability to make long-range plans remain questions of
marihuana use that are difficult to answer on the basis of
Hochman's research.
An author who supplies some cross-cultural perspective
using a mix of research tactics is T. A. Lambo of Nigeria
(1965). He has used both clinical and survey methods of ob¬
taining data on the consequences of marihuana use. He con¬
cludes that the cause-effect relationship between marihuana
use and low productivity or poor social adjustment cannot
be established on the basis of his research (9). As Warnock
and Walsh before him, Lambo does not rule out the possibility

35
of pre-existing psychological disorder in cases of mental
illness among Cannabis users (9). His survey results show
that crime, Cannabis use, absenteeism, and dismissal rate are
parts of a larger complex of social problems often resulting
from failure on the part of the individual to integrate his
personality sufficiently to "get along" in a changing social
environment (8). This concept, used by Hochman (1972: 61)
to illustrate his own "buffer" view, is important in consider¬
ing cultural settings of marihuana use other than the North
American setting so prominent in the literature. Those areas
where marihuana use is considered deviant would tend to have
a population of socially marginal users, much like the ones
described in Lambo's work. Hochman assumes that marihuana
use in fact assuages the social pressures experienced by its
users, an assumption which would be contested by Lambo.
Lambo's description of Nigerian patterns of marihuana use
suggests that there exist among users several complementary
factors which constribute to that use, including participation
in a cultural ambience of societal marginality. The signifi¬
cance of this concept will be amply illustrated in the descrip¬
tion of Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use.
Lambo also addresses another issue which is implicit in
much of the research on the use of marihuana and other drugs.
He doubts seriously that there exists in scientifically gener-
alizable form a "drug using personality" archetype. "Drug use
proneness" has been another way of wording this idea. Lambo
does not see among the Nigerian marihuana smokers he has

36
studied a set of personality characteristics which distinguish
the people most likely to abuse drugs from those who are not
(9). Sadava (1973) came to a similar conclusion in a longi¬
tudinal study of college freshmen when he recognized that per¬
sonality scale characteristics alone failed to predict ade¬
quately whether or not an individual would end up using drugs.
He found that social environment also played an important
part in this outcome. The study of amotivational syndrome's
validity leads to this question of the personality which is
predisposed to drug use. If there exist in the individual
drug user's personality certain elements or characteristics
which make him prone to use drugs, then these characteristics
may be part of a configuration which includes the tendency
to show amotivational syndrome symptoms. The question of
"which came first?" is partially answered by Lambo and Sadava
when they suggest that beginning and continuing drug use often
depends heavily on conditions of social nurturance of that use.
Becker (1953) in a pioneering study of the process of
becoming a marihuana user, describes these conditions as he
negates the drug use proneness hypothesis (236). The central
message of Becker's study is that the people who instruct
the prospective user in Cannabis use must successfully rede¬
fine the novice's first experience for him in good or bene¬
ficial terms, regardless of his own first impression of that
experience (240). If this does not happen, the novice is
much less likely to continue to smoke marihuana. With this
principal in mind, the drug use proneness hypothesis becomes

37
less credible for marihuana smokers, and the question of
amotivational syndrome cannot be applied to this hypothesis.
Re-stated in cultural rather than purely psychological terms,
drug use proneness may still be useful as a concept, although
its definition would become infinitely more complex than the
previous one.
The recently completed study of chronic marihuana users
in Jamaica (Rubin and Comitas 1975) also utilized a variety
of approaches to deal with the consequences of long term
Cannabis use, including psychological and medical testing and
extensive socio-cultural research. Beaubrun and Knight
(1973) state in an article based on the Jamaican research
that a comparison of 30 users' work histories with those of
30 matched non-users showed no difference between the two
groups (311). They go on to suggest that perhaps the lower-
class level of workers used in their study did not yield the
same results as would white-collar workers, whose complex
work tasks would be more affected by the drug than the tasks
of simple day-laborers. Beaubrun and Knight indicate that
they are not very familiar with the daily work schedules of
their subjects, who were hospitalized especially for the testing
period. This kind of perspective on the work habits of the
subjects would have been useful to add depth to the conclu¬
sions of this phase of the Jamaican study.
Bowman and Pihl (1973) administered projective technique
formats to a sample of rural Jamaican users and non-users
(Beaubrun and Knight's sample was both urban and rural) also

38
in connection with the Jamaica study of chronic Cannabis
use. No essential difference was noted by the authors between
users and non-users, underlining the normality of ganja
smoking in Jamaica. Bowman and Pihl found also that the
users were able to compensate behaviorally for the effects
of the drug at increased dosages (169).
The most unusual branch of the Rubin and Comitas study
was the videotape sociocultural study on work efficiency and
Cannabis use done by Schaeffer. Carefully measuring amounts
of food and Cannabis consumed by rural agricultural workers,
and analyzing the videotapes of work party activity for kinetic
efficiency and speed, Schaeffer was able to determine that
workers under the influence of marihuana were working less
rapidly than when not smoking marihuana. The degree to which
woj.r, g.ieed was reduced seemed to vary directly with the
heaviness of the dose. Users justified this drop in speed
by saying that their work was more thorough when under the
influence of marihuana. The tapes reveal that workers after
smoking performed significantly more movements per minute,
even though their work progressed more slowly. Nevertheless,
Schaeffer found that these significant differences were out¬
weighed by the social importance of smoking Cannabis together
in a work party. Obviously, the Jamaican marihuana smoker's
approach to use of that drug is very different from the essen¬
tially recreational approach of the North American user.
Schaeffer found that the drug does, in fact, reduce working
speed, but it is regarded by the workers as necessary to do

39
the job correctly and to maintaining a harmonious work group.
The latter values are so important that they eclipse the
former objective disadvantage. Schaeffer also found that in
the course of the yearly round of cultivating activities, the
difference in work speed caused by the Cannabis could not
otherwise go toward increased production because of the
limited landholdings of the farmers studied. In the present
situation, time that might have been saved by not smoking
ganja on the job would not have a productive outlet because
of limited land resources. These findings confirm the idea
that Cannabis and work can mix in some situations. Even so,
the tasks performed by the farm workers are rudimentary, and
such conclusions may not apply to an urban environment, where
worker's tasks are often more complex. Further evidence
regarding the urban user and his work is provided by the
Costa Rican study on chronic marihuana use.
Overview Authors
Some treatises on Cannabis use are written by authors
who have not conducted original research themselves, but
draw from the results of several researchers to synthesize
their own insights on the use of that drug. The following
segment of this review of the literature covers some of the
authors who have had something to say about amotivational
syndrome.
Anecdotal descriptions of long term marihuana users
appeared often in the volumes of the India Hemp Commission's

40
(1893) massive inquiry, but as the evidence was carefully
weighed, the Commission could not attribute directly to
Cannabis use any of the dire consequences described by their
witnesses. More recently, in the avalanche of publications on
marihuana and marihuana users, authors still employ the ance-
dotal case as an illustration. Kaplan (1970) provides the
example of Bill, the marihuana smoking mailman:
If you were to follow Bill around on his job,
it would be difficult if not impossible to dis¬
cover if he was stoned. He walks steadily and
talks coherently--he controls his high. Two things
might give him away: he looks a little blank in
the eyes and he tends to stare at a bird, a tree,
a crack in the sidewalk a bit too long. Just for
a second, he is not quite there (166).
The rest of this passage depicts a successful adaptation of
daily marihuana use to a working lifestyle, but such descrip¬
tions must be couched in a broad data base of established
validity before they can be accepted as generalizadle to
some population of marihuana users. The body of data pro¬
vided for Kaplan by G. Lewis Scott is not sufficiently
analyzed to justify this anecdote.
Even more unsatisfactory because of its source and its
inflammatory nature is a letter from the mother of an 18-year-
old dropout cited by Bloomquist (1971):
As a mother of an eighteen-year-old boy
charged with possession of marihuana, I most emphat¬
ically say that I do not need scientific proof to
see what damage it can do. I watched my son travel
the typical road to ruin. . . from a student who
enjoyed music, drama, and sports to a useless filthy
college dropout with no other aim in life than to
live in a carefree dream of distortion.
He went all the way . ... loss of appetite, long
deep sleeps after the drug wore off, short attention

41
span, poor memory, inability to read, talk, or even
communicate for more than a few minutes. His con¬
tinued defiance is a definite hindrance to his
return to normal, as he had come to enjoy it so
much (160) .
It is unfortunate than anecdotes such as this find their way
into print much more often than do objective, scientific
statements. Testimony of the family members can be useful-
in analyzing the social outcomes of marihuana use, but this
testimony cannot be accepted as it appears above in a defin¬
itive causal statement.
Other authors attempting to present an overview of
marihuana use avoid the anecdotal description of the individ¬
ual user. Grinspoon (1971) uses anecdotal material, but only
to illustrate points about subjective effects reported by
historical and literary figures, and never to depict life¬
styles of users. Goode (1970) devotes a chapter to the
profile of the North American user, also avoiding the anec¬
dotal account of user lifestyle by dividing the profile into
discreet factors such as age, sex, religion, education, etc.
Both of these authors are skeptical about the validity of
amotivational syndrome, because of subcultural differences
between the user groups they have studied and the rest of
North American’ society (Goode 1972: 92-93; Grinspoon 1971:
289) .
A conference at UCLA in which various marihuana researchers
on that campus participated, including two of the inventors
of the term amotivational syndrome, produced some statements
on marihuana and its use. Louis Jolyon West, while at the

42
same time arguing against the existing marihuana laws, made
this statement:
. . . But the experienced clinician observes in
many of these individuals personality changes which
seem to grow subtly over long periods of time:
diminished drive, lessened ambition, decreased
motivation, apathy, shortened attention span, dis-
tractability, poor judgment, impaired communication
skills, loss of effectiveness, introversion, magical
thinking, derealization and depersonalization, dim¬
inished capacity to carry out complex plans or pre¬
pare realistically for the future, a peculiar frag¬
mentation in the flow of thought, habit deterioration
and progressive loss of insight (Brill, et al. 1970:
461) .
Clinical impressions such as these form a qualitative symptom-
ology of amotivational syndrome much like the ones seen in
other works, but West is careful to say that he does not con¬
sider his work to be definitive on the subject, pointing out
that further study of chronic marihuana use is needed. The
summary statement of the conference concentrated on West's
observations, but also presented Hochman's social evolution
theory of marihuana use among middle-class youth in the United
States. Here, the clinical and mixed statistical approaches
of marihuana research are juxtaposed, with the former attracting
somewhat more attention than the latter.
Another overview article worthy of some attention is
Bindelglas' "Conclusive Evidence and Marihuana" (1973). He
gives the testimony of non-Western clinical experts consider¬
able weight as he outlines a symptomology of amotivational
syndrome. The main symptoms of this condition, according to
Bindelglas, are "loss of interest and drive, sense of apathy
and tiredness, often accompanied by an unhappy, discontented

43
mood" (53). Along with these symptoms, Bindelglas enumerates
a number of "other clinical signs" including subtle decrease
in the ability to organize and to integrate multiple ideas,
impairment of the ability to develop new ideas and to think
creatively, gradual impairment of ability to discuss abstract
thought seriously, and deterioration of conversation (53).
This constellation of symptoms and "clinical signs" was culled
from West (1970), McGlothlin and West (1968), Kolansky and
Moore (1972) , Bouquet (1951) and Benbud , (1957). All of these
are decidedly clinical sources, but their combined corroborative
symptomologies help to remove some of the qualitative and
impressionistic aura which the individual studies cannot
avoid. Rathod (1975) criticizes clinical reports which, either
singly or in combination, attempt to present marihuana as a
cause of aberrant behavior because the clinicians often begin
with the presupposition that the claimed use of Cannabis on
the part of the patient is valid, and that it is the only
drug involved (96). Even though, as Bindelglas points out,
all of the clinicians corroborate each other, they may have
started their chain of inference on the very shaky footing
of assuming that marihuana was the only drug used by their
patients.
Brecher, in an article written for Consumer Reports (1975),
reviews some of the latest research on marihuana, including
recent statements on amotivational syndrome by Kolansky and
Moore (1975) and Nahas (1975). Citing Schaeffer's Jamaican
research, he suggests that the term for discussion should

44
be "motivational syndrome," since those results show marihuana
use to be a necessary ingredient in the work party situation
(146). This comment may seem almost flippant, but it success¬
fully expresses the need for some degree of cultural relativism
in the discussion of amotivational syndrome. The cultural
values which the Jamaicans connect with marihuana smoking
must be very different from those of North American users who
find difficulty working at all under the influence of the
drug. Variations in the values attached to marihuana smoking
should be an important consideration in the study of amotiva¬
tional syndrome.
Among the authors who survey the literature on marihuana
use, Trice and Roman (1972) have by far the most to say about
the relationship between marihuana and work. They introduce
their discussion by describing the difficulties in obtaining
truly objective information on this particular drug because
of the "armed camp" division between the pro- and the contra-
marihuana researchers (50). The lack of research on the
influence of marihuana on quality control in industry has
been, according to the authors, a major handicap in assessing
the relationship between that drug and work patterns (139).
From the evidence now available, they surmise that an exper¬
ienced user is not likely to have problems in compensating for
the acute effects of marihuana on the job (145). Absenteeism
is a possible detriment to the users' work performance due to
physical disorders, such as head colds, which seem to accompany
marihuana use (138). An on-the-job difficulty encountered by

45
by users is the energy expenditure necessary to conceal the
smoking process itself (134). On the whole, Trice and Roman
do not consider moderate marihuana use to be a problem for
the worker of any greater or lesser magnitude than that of
moderate alcohol use (62).
Synthesis of the Existing Literature
In this review of the literature on amotivational syndrome,
we have examined a wide variety of research strategies with
samples ranging from tiny hospitalized samples of six people
(Williams, et al. 1946) to 1700 in Soueif's prison sample (1971).
Many of the clinical studies concluded that they have detected
a degree of organic toxicity manifested in the amotivational
syndrome which is a consequence of chronic marihuana use
(West 1970; Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Chopra 1942;
Warnock 1903). Others (Walsh 1894; Lambo 1965; Kupfer 1973;
Thurlow 1971) looked for explanations other than Cannabis use
for observed symptoms. The authors of the closed environment
hospital studies (Mendelson and Meyers 1972; Miles 1975;
Williams, et al. 1946) were not totally in agreement on their
findings, but they considered marihuana not to produce lasting
symptoms of amotivational syndrome among users. Large-scale
studies often found that Cannabis use alone could not be
blamed for the symptoms of amotivational syndrome among users
(Mellinger, et al. 1975; Rubin and Comitas 1975; Hochman 1972;
Hogan 1970). However, Soueif (1967, 1971) found some evidence
0
that might be construed as supporting amotivational syndrome

46
among Egyptian Cannabis users, and Robins, et al. (1970)
argued with some success that black adults who use Cannabis
during adolescence tended to have problems in adulthood which
could be attributable to their history of Cannabis use.
Researchers of all types were finding evidence supporting
amotivational syndrome and evidence refuting it, both with
equal frequency.
Overview writers on marihuana also expressed both points
of view regarding amotivational syndrome. Goode (1971),
Grinspoon (1971), Barber (1970), Trice and Roman (1972),
Rubin and Comitas (1973) , and Kaplan (1970) all considered
amotivational syndrome to be a part of a larger set of symp¬
toms that are not necessarily caused by marihuana use.
Bindelglas (1973), McGlothlin and West (1968), Bloomquist
(1971) and Smith (1970) interpreted the evidence in favor
of marihuana as a causative agent for amotivational syndrome.
The behavioral attributes listed below are derived from
many authors' research and thinking on the characteristics
of amotivational syndrome. Not all of the behavioral attri¬
butes in all of the discussed works are included in this
list. It is rather a distillation of all of the attributes
which have sufficient corroboration throughout the literature
to justify inclusion in a master list. If this list has any
cross-cultural applicability, then the Costa Rican evidence
will corroborate its behavioral attributes still further.
Confirming the existence of the same attributes in a different
cultural setting would support the hypothesis that Cannabis

47
use is a cause of those attributes. The behavioral attributes
of the amotivational syndrome as they appear in the existing
literature are the following: 1) loss of interest and gen¬
eral apathy and passivity (Bindelglas 1973; Kolansky and Moore
1971, 1972, 1975; McGlothlin and West 1968; Brill, et al.
1970; Smith 1970), 2) Loss of desire to work or maintain
business, loss of productivity (Walsh 1894; McGlothlin and
West 1968; Brill, et al. 1970; Smith 1970; Soueif 1967;
Robbins, et al. 1970), 3) Loss of energy, general state of
tiredness (Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Brill, et al.
1970; Bindelglas 1973), 4) Depressed, moody state of mind,
inability to handle frustration (Kolansky and Moore 1971,
1972, 1975; Bindelglas 1973; Smith 1970; Walsh 1894; Brill,
et al. 1970), 5) Inability to concentrate, decrease in
ability to master new material or organize multiple ideas,
and impairment of verbal facility (McGlothlin and West 1968;
Bindelglas 1973; Soueif 1971; Bloomquist 1970), 6) Sloven¬
liness in habits and appearance, including hygiene deterior¬
ation (Walsh 1894; Kolansky and Moore 1972; Williams, et al.
1946; Smith 1970), 7) Dedication of all available resources
to procuring more Cannabis (Warnock 1903; Kolansky and Moore
1972; Smith 1970). Inability to make long-range plans and
carry them out was not included in this list of attributes,
because it is not necessarily absent among individuals who
otherwise show a high level of achievement. Many presidents
of the United States might be accused of suffering this same
disorder."

TABLE 2
Cross-tabulation of Cannabis Researchers and Beneficial Research Design Features
Researchers
Researcl
i Design Features
Chronic use
Documenta-
Medical Data
Soc1o-cultural
Patterns of
Sample not
Use
Studied (with
tlon of
Available on
Information on
Use Known
Institution-
Sample
controls for
Dosage
Subjects
Subjects Avail-
alized*
Size
other drug use)
able
Kolansky and
Moore
X
X
(X)**
13
McGlothl1n and
(X)
Not Available
West
X
X
Walsn
X
X
(X)
N/A
Warnock
X
X
(X)
N/A
Chopra, I.C. and
N/A
R.N. (1957)
X
X
X
X
X
Soulef (1967)
X
X
X
X
408
Souief (1971)
X
X
X
849
Hil1 lams, et al.
X
X
6
Robins, et al.
(X)
X
X
76
Mal 11nger, et al.
X
X
(X)
X
Hochman
X
X
X
X
90
Miles, et al.
X
X
(X)
6
Asunl
X
X
X
X '
some, yes
others, no
Not specified
Lambo
X
X
X
X
some, yes
Not specified
Mendel son and
(X)
others, no
Meyer
Rubin and
1
X
X
20
31
Coni tas
X
X
Xo
Xo
X
X°°
Carter, Coggins
41
and Doughty
X
X
X
X
X
X
‘Clinic out-patients are considered institutionalized
‘‘Parentheses mean that this 1s assumed because of the nature of the study, although this Information Is not exhaustive
“Subjects were Institutionalized, only for medical and psychological tests.

49
The authors and researchers who refute amotivationa1
syndrome also contribute valuable perspectives for the re¬
searcher who would investigate this complex of phenomena.
Grinspoon (1969), Goode (1970, 1972), Barber (1970, Hochman
(1972), Mellinger et al. (1975), Brecher (1974) and Rubin
and Comitas (1973) unanimously warn that cultural factors
including multiple drug use and values of the sub-cultural
group with which marihuana use is connected may cloud the
cause and effect relationship between amotivational syndrome
and marihuana use. Miles (1975) and Mendelson and Meyer
(1972) suggest that dosage levels should be well checked
and behavior observed closely. They also suspect that exper
ienced users can compensate for the effects of marihuana
while performing everyday tasks. Rathod (1975) recommends
more field work in order to avoid the errors common to clini
cal investigations of such questions.
In Table 2, the prominent researchers in Cannabis who
have dealt with amotivational syndrome and related phenomena
are cross-tabulated with positive features of the various
Cannabis research efforts to date. The material tabulated
here shows that relatively few research designs employ more
than four of the six features. All of these features have
been noted as beneficial to the purpose of developing a
balanced perspective on Cannabis use during the preceding
reviews of individual studies. For example, the knowledge
that the researchers are in fact dealing with true chronic
users for whom other kinds of drug use was controlled

50
strengthens their inferences accordingly, as in the Mellinger
et al. study. On the other hand, McGlothlin's (1970) sample
selection procedure weakens his final conclusions by not
controlling adequately for LSD use.
Dosage documentation is an important weakness in many of
the studies shown in Table 2, as is knowledge of cultural
Cannabis use patterns. When the Cannabis researchers do not
demonstrate an adequate grasp of these two basic points of
information, they have difficulty making their conclusions
convincing.
One of the most striking gaps in the accumulating body
of knowledge on Cannabis use is the lack of studies on non-
institutionalized populations. Of the 17 researchers cited
here, only six deal with Cannabis users in their natural
settings. The others have based their inferences on study
of prison inmates, psychiatric hospital patients, or users in
other special clinical settings.
Availability of medical and basic personal data on the
user samples is a relatively strong design feature in most of
the research cited in Table 2. Nevertheless, these studies
suffer generally from a lack of supporting evidence with which
to rule out other influencing factors. Kolansky and Moore's
intensive clinical study, for this reason, can be dismissed
too easily because of their not being able to specify whether
or not their subjects were "stoned" during clinical sessions
(cf. Chapter 1). Even the Jamaica study (Rubin and Comitas
1975) which pioneered new socio-cultural approaches to the

51
study of Cannabis use, is diffuse with regard to the various
rural and urban ganja smokers who were tested medically and
psychologically and studied anthropologically.
At the bottom of Table 2, the Costa Rican study of
chronic, long term Cannabis use is included and evaluated.
Not only is this the first study of its kind to include so
many different kinds of intensive data gathering on such a
large user sample and their rigorously matched controls, but
it is the only Cannabis use study to gather all of these
different kinds of data on the same set of subjects. For
any given individual in the matched pair sample the study
files contain the results of a basic physical exam and lab
work-up, chest X-rays, EKG, intensive visual function studies,
lung function studies, a medical history, basic personal infor¬
mation, sleep pattern information, psychological testing
results for motor function, intellectual function, personality,
and attitudes, and an average of 150 pages of transcribed life
history materials. Inferences based on this wide range of
information are likely to be stronger than those based on only
one or two varieties of information. With the above data
base at the disposal of the researcher, verification or
rejection of amotivational syndrome's specific attributes
should be possible in an almost definitive sense. The chapters
which follow will utilize the body of data gathered during
the two years of research on chornic marihuana use in Costa
Rica directed by Carter, Coggins, and Doughty.

52
In order to establish the relationship between the Costa
Rican setting of the chronic marihuana study and the data
which will be analyzed, we shall begin in Chapter II with a
description of the urban environment from which the subject
population came, followed by a description of the subject
selection process. Patterns and levels of Cannabis consump¬
tion will then be provided to document the subjects' status
as chronic users. A systematic study of subjective effects
of marihuana use will provide a heuristic means of determining
the impact of that use on the lives of the users. Once this
background and development materials have been presented,
the relationship between marihuana use and the specific
behavioral attributes: apathy, loss of productivity, lethargy,
irritability, decrease of intellectual abilities, slovenliness,
and dedication of all available resources to Cannabis procure¬
ment, may be examined for applicability to the Costa Rican
case.
An entire chapter will be devoted to the impact of mari¬
huana use in the life cycle, dealing specifically with the
presence or absence of "loss of desire to maintain business,
loss of productivity" among the users when compared with a
closely-matched non-user group. Because it causes the most
concern for the individual's adjustment in society, work and
school performance and life history data will be used to assess
this particular aspect of amotivational syndrome for the
Costa Rican case.

53
"Loss of energy and tiredness" as well as "apathy and
passivity" will be compared to the Costa Rican research evi¬
dence using socio-cultural data and also interpretation of
personality measures administered to the sample group by the
psychological investigators on the transdisciplinary research
team. "Depression, and moodiness" will be discussed in light
of psychological and socio-cultural data on the subject
sample, combined with some natural history-style observations
The psychological battery administered to the sample of
Costa Rican users provides ample evidence for the assessment
of "inability to concentrate, memory loss, and decrease in
verbal ability." This will be combined with some socio¬
cultural data and individual user testimony. The discussion
of "slovenliness" as an attribute of amotivational syndrome
will bring in testimony by field staff other than the anthro¬
pologists, as socio-cultural data. "Dedication of all avail¬
able resources to procuring more Cannabis" will be tested
against the Costa Rican evidence field staff testimony, socio
cultural data from the life history materials, and natural
history observations.

CHAPTER II
THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY
San José occupies the gently undulating space between
two rivers, the Virilla to the north and the Maria Aquilar
to the south, which cut through the central intramontain
valley of Costa Rica. This rain-soaked valley, called the
meseta central, is the home of 55 percent of the Costa Rican
population. The original handful of Spanish settlers who
came to Costa Rica beginning in 1561 were attracted to the
rich soils of the region, as well as its temperate climate.
Nevertheless, Spanish colonial interest in Costa Rica was
not great, and the white population there did not attain
8000 by 1750 (Stone, 1975; 55). Costa Rica's rate of growth
remained slow during and after the colonial period. San
Jose's population in 1864 was still only 9000, even though
coffee had begun to take hold as a major cash crop, and some
efforts had been made to maintain contact with the inter¬
national coffee markets (Stone, 1975; 82-87). International
coffee trade was eventually an influential factor in San
Jose's accelerated growth during the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries.
There is little cartographic record of the patterns of
urban growth during the earliest stages of San Jose's history,
but the history is clear enough to indicate that the early
54

55
settlement which later became the city began small and grew
very slowly. The hamlet of San José" was founded in 17 37 when
its population was only a handful of families (Academia de
Geografía e Historia, 1952). At that time, it occupied little
more than the central hill on which are now found the Central
Park, the National Cathedral, the National Bank, and the
Union Club. The spurts of growth which brought big city status
to this country village are relatively recent in the city's
history. The population is still becoming accustomed to that
status.
The local pattern of addresses and directions reflects
the recentness of San Jose's transition into urban importance.
Natives of the city, who will be called Josefinos for the sake
of brevity, use a system of directions which resembles that
of a country town. The system uses known points of reference
from which the inquiring party is instructed to measure approx¬
imate distances in the direction of one of the four co-ordinates
of the compass. In order to find a house in barrio Mexico,
for example, a Josefino will tell you to go 200 varas (one
vara is 33 inches) to the north of the barrio church and 25
varas east. This system is such a pervasive survival that
mail and other deliveries are still made according to varas
(or in deference to metric internationalism, in meters; which
for direction purposes are used interchangeably). A Josefino
is usually hard-pressed to give directions to an address
across town to a stranger who does not know the local points
of reference, using his momentary position as a reference

56
point. Neighborhood points of reference sometimes retain
their original place names for direction purposes long after
they have disappeared. Thus, the "old library," although still
used as a reference point, is now a large parking lot.
The township (municipalidad) of San Jose was officially
chartered in 1848 , more than a century after the hamlet was
established. Forty-four years later in 1892, one of the first
censuses of good quality in Costa Rica recorded the population
of the city as less than 20,000 (Dirección General de Estad¬
ística, 1974; XIX).
San Jose's first major growth spurt took place during the
1920's, reflected in a 1927 census figure of 89,000 population
for the metropolitan area (Cuevas 1973: 5). New lower-class
settlement spread to the south of the central business and
residential districts. These southern barrios extended to,
and across, the banks of the Maria Aguilar River. Their popu¬
lation developed a reputation for marihuana use which became
important to our earliest attempts to identify a group of
chronic users. A second growth spurt took place in San Josó
during the late thirties and early forties, resulting in the
expansion of outlying towns to the south and east of central
San Jose, and doubling the 1927 metropolitan area population
by 1950 (Cuevas 1973: 5). Many of the users and non users
who entered the marihuana study during its later stages came
from these outlying zones.
Present-day San Jose has a metropolitan area population
of 436,862, according to the 1973 Census (Cuevas 1973: 7).

57
It is the center of a cluster of nearly-continguous cities
and towns with a total population of nearly 700,000. In a
very direct sense, San José is the hub of governmental,
industrial, and commercial activity for the busiest and most
populous zone of Costa Rica.
Roads from fair to excellent in quality connect the
central metropolitan area to the major surrounding towns,
none of which is more than twenty miles distant. Buses from
all over the country roll into San Jose bringing people who
must carry out their various transactions with the market
or the government there. Bus service to the city center
from other parts of the immediate metropolitan area and its
satellite cities is regular and affordable. In fact, all
bus service leads ultimately to San Jose, and no destina¬
tion is important enough to bypass that central hub. There
is no direct bus communication, for example, between Heredia
and Cartago, the third and second-largest cities in Costa
Rica. Even within the metropolitan area, all bus routes
lead to the city center, with no direct intercommunication
among outlying areas unless they lie along a single bus route.
Public railroad lines also terminate and originate in the
capital's center. Transportation, then, is very centralized
in San Jose, and this gives the city an extremely dense
concentration of social interaction in its main business
district.
Central San Jose crackles with vigorous commercial
activity and the administration of governmental services.

58
Banks and large department stores dominate the area immediately
north of the central park. West of this shopping area, the
large markets dealing in wholesale and retail farm products
and cheap consumer goods cram the streets with commercial
activity. Hotels and government ministerial buildings are
the most imposing architectural features of the southern and
eastern sectors of the city, and three major government-run
hospitals occupy the area due west of the central park. Little
industry is in evidence in downtown San Jose, but the archi¬
tecturally dominant buildings reflect the importance of this
central area in the daily lives of the inhabitants not only
of the metropolitan area, but of the entire meseta central.
One must come to the city center for a driver's license, to
buy a money order, to hospitalize a sick child or to get a
health certificate or a VD injection. One should go to the
city center in order to get the best price on avocadoes or
fabrics or ready-made clothes. Hard-bound books are sold only
in downtown San José-.
Small businesses and residences occupy the spaces between
the more imposing structures in the downtov/n area. Shops,
bars, and restaurants present a jumble of storefronts on the
busiest streets in the main shopping zone to the North. The
market zone to the northwest is interspersed with shops of
lower quality as well as cheap boarding houses and hotels.
Here also are numerous handcraft shops where tailoring, shoe¬
making, and myriad repair services are performed by artisans
who may live in the back of the shop. The southwest sector

59
of the city has a high concentration of low-life bars and
brothels, mingled with residences and more artisan shops
and artisan supply stores. The northeast and southeast
sectors of San Jose are the most residential, the former
containing some very upper-class housing, and the latter
mainly middle-class housing with some artisan shops, bars
and restaurants. All of these zones exist within a radius
of one mile from the central park.
San Jose's downtown area is the single most important
feature of the city for the purpose of studying marihuana
use. The reasons for this are twofold. First, as was
intimated earlier in the description of transportation net¬
works and centralization of institutional and communication
functions, the downtown area is a communication switching
point with connections to all parts of the metropolitan
area and ultimately the entire country. Messages left with
key people in the city arrive reliably to recipients in the
penitentiary, any outlying residential neighborhood, and in
one case, even in the port city of Limón, 100 miles away.
Second, the downtown area of San Jose is important because
its intense activity has spawned a group of what are often
called "street people," who manage to make a living providing
marginal services for, or swindling or stealing from the
hordes of people who transact their business in San Jose each
day. "Street people" is a phrase often used to describe
hippie-like vagrants who often populate college towns
(Partridge, 1973), but they bear little resemblance to the

60
Street people of San Jose. The gently predatory urban denizen,
whom Ramos (1956) calls the "urban sub-proletarian" occupies
himself in San José" shining shoes, "guarding" automobiles,
perpetrating minor gambling frauds, or committing petty larceny.
Often, a street person will engage in more than one of these
occupations concurrently. Such individuals have a wide range
of acquaintances in the city, and they are often key figures
in informal communications network among fellow "urban sub¬
proletarians." They are also marginal to "decent" Josefino
society, and this quality makes them more immediately acces¬
sible to anthropological research. The openness of the street
people has well-defined limits, and getting to know them takes
as long as for any other individuals in the subject sample.
Nevertheless, they were the first to give our study team any
idea that a chronic marihuana using population existed in
San José. Further description of this fascinating group of
inner city inhabitants will be offered later, including its
crucial effect on the intiation of chronic marihuana use.
Living in San José and its environs is a constant exercise
in maintaining social distance. Even though dwellings are
almost always contiguous, the city's inhabitants do not always
associate with their immediate neighbors, and they often pre¬
fer to keep interaction on a formal and superficial level with
the family or individual next door (Rodrxguez-Vega 1953: 29).
Despite the fact that Josefina families usually share their
neighbors' business involuntarily because of thin walls, they
prefer to form their strong social relations with people known

61
through family ties or other formal and informal associations.
Interviews with Costa Rican city dwellers in the study sample
showed that many desired a house with'a private entrance where
they could "live tranquilly" (True 1976a: III-ll). This ideal
living situation is seldom attained by Josefinos, so they must
maintain social distance in- other ways.
Private houses in the city center and in the residential
barrios characteristically have a narrow front four to six
meters wide. The living space in these houses comprises a
single story which extends back from the entrance toward the
middle of the city block, ending in a garden or patio for
laundry purposes. Such a house may be occupied by one family,
or up to four different nuclear families. With similar struc¬
tures and living situations on either side of the house, and
only thin walls separating them, city dwellers cannot expect
to maintain a high degree of privacy. Contiguous neighbors
in San José” seem to compensate for this problem by maintenance
of social distance. They hear, but do not listen to, the
affairs of their neighbors. It was found during early survey-
style work in one residential barrio that people living next
door to each other are likely to know less about each other
than a door-to-door interviewer can find out in a brief inter¬
view. Maintenance of social distance in this way protects
the individual's sense of privacy in a crowded situation.
Those neighbors in San Jose who demonstrate a tendency to
pay attention to their neighbor's business are called dispar¬
agingly vino, which has the same sense as voyeur, and is

62
considered little better than the samoledn, or "peeping
tom. "
Propinquity, then, and a sense of community with one's
neighbors cannot be considered realistically to form an.
important part of the social fabric for urban life in San
Jose. Most Josefinos attach more importance to alternative
frameworks for social interaction, specifically, family ties
and informal personalistic associations. In either of these
frameworks, the individual associates with others because
he has chosen to do so, rather than being forced into social
relations by virtue of some accident of rental rates or near¬
ness to work locations. Family ties seem to center on the
individual's parents among Josefinos, and sibling ties are
less emphasized. The individuals who participated in the
chronic marihuana study testified that the strength of the
bond between mother and son is particularly strong. More
than half of those questioned in the final sample indicated
that they preferred their mothers over their fathers, compared
with 13 percent who preferred their fathers and 21 percent who
liked both parents equally. Costa Rican mothers react
negatively to spatial separation from their sons, and many of
our subjects reported that their mothers were plunged into
a deep depression by their final departure from the parental
household. Some Costa Rican sons maintain daily contact with
their mothers even though they live on opposite sides of town.
Informal associations may be formed among Josefinos in
a wide variety of ways. Workshop companions are often included

63
in an individual's circle of friends and acquaintances. The
clientele of a favorite bar or pool hall may also provide
lasting friendships and social contacts. Some informal social
ties are the product of going through grammar school or
reformatory together. Still others are formed in the course
of trying to deal with institutional structures such as the
social registry or the courts which are too complex or other¬
wise impenetrable to handle without the benefit of such asso¬
ciations.
The individual city dweller in San José uses his familial
and informal social relations as part of his strategy to cope
with an urban environment laden with intimidating impersonal
agencies and intrusive stimuli. Wolf (1956) writes that the
anthropologist's job in an urban setting is to study human
behavior in the intersticial realms between institutional
structures. This concept applies very well to the situation
of urban Costa Ricans. San José is the center for the insti¬
tutional activity in Costa Rica, and as a result, institutional
transactions take place in bewilderingly large-scale settings.
A person who approaches such transactions on a totally impersonal
level is likely to be faced with endless queues, confusing and
seemingly contradictory instructions, continuous retracing of
steps, and ultimately a low likelihood of success. However,
if he has a cousin who is a bank teller, or an old schoolmate
who works in the Ministry of Transportation, he utilizes these
social ties to facilitate the taking out of a loan or the
renewal of a driver's license. Even a person who has no

64
direct familial or personalistic ties with the institution
in question may have recourse to a friend who has friends or
family in helpful positions. In this way, the establishment
and maintenance of informal social relations is important to
the relative success with which the Josefino manages his
affairs in an environment dominated by large institutions.
Wolf aptly named the task of the anthropological team
in Costa Rica, because informal association networks were
important urban features which eventually led us to find a
group of long-term marihuana users. Among even the most
deviant segments of Josefino society, personalistic social
networks form the medium through which their participants
deal with the institutions that impinge on their lives. In
the case of the street people, their informal associations
are at best poorly connected with important institutions, and
they depend on the internal cohesiveness of their networks for
effectiveness. For example, some participants in a street
network are regularly picked up by police for "vagrancy."
When this happens, the prisoner sends word through the network
that he needs someone to sign an affidavit to certify that he
is not a vagrant. A participant in the same network with
sufficient respectability to sign the affidavit is then summoned
to the courthouse for this purpose. The research team found
that a wide variety of cheap legal services could be obtained
by participating in one particular system of informal associa¬
tion among street people. Participants in such systems often
bemoan the fate that led them to associate with such "bad

65
company," bat they exploit their networks constantly.
Responses to living in San Jose confuse the interpreta¬
tion of Redfield's (1947) folk-urban hypothesis. San José is
the center of activity for all of Costa Rica's large institu¬
tions, which operate ostensibly on an impersonal basis, and
this is in keeping with the concept presented in the continuum
of increased impersonal interaction in an urban setting. On
the other hand, Josefinos cope with impersonal institutional
structures by means of familial and personal ties, or the kinds
of ties that, according to the continuum, are supposed to
be strong in a rural village setting, but not in an urban
setting. Urbanists are finding this contradiction to be true
for most urban Latin Americans, as well as many other varieties
of city dwellers around the world.
We had first-hand experience of the workings of the
familial and personal networks among the poorest inhabitants
of San José, but the same kinds of social relations may be
dominant at much higher levels of Costa Rican society. Stone
(1975) argues that the Costa Rican elite infrastructure is
based on strong family ties which originated during the
sixteenth century. According to Stone, the descendants of as
few as six original families have supplied most of the high
governmental officials throughout the history of Costa Rica.
Possibly, the governmental institutions themselves may origin¬
ally have been formed on the basis of familial relationships.
In the lowest strata of San José society, interpersonal
networks depend apparently very little on family relationships.

66
Since they are systems of interaction among people who are
considered deviant by most Josefinos, these networks are
usually based on fluid, informal ties which have less stability
than family ties. Nevertheless, some families are widely-
known and connected among street people.
The courtesies, services, and goods that flow among
participants in a given network vary according to the means
and station of those participants. For example, the inter¬
change among elite Josefinos may take the form of government
jobs or banking advantages, while street people pass messages
into and out of prison or dispose of stolen articles through
personalistically-activated channels. Reciprocity governs
the manner of exchange in both of the above cases, sometimes
in the form of direct reciprocity, and sometimes generalized
reciprocity. Often, a good or favor corresponds to a similar
good or favor on the part of beneficiary, in which case the
reciprocity is direct. Generalized reciprocity is particularly
important in networks where communication activity is intense.
For delivered messages or privileged information, the favor
is offered with the generalized expectation of some equal
favor to be extended at an unspecified time in the future.
A man in the penitentiary who scribbles an urgent message
for aid to be taken by a lottery salesman to a contact down¬
town is not in a position to offer any immediate reward for
the service, yet he may be expected to do the same thing for
someone else when he is able.
Members of the marihuana study research team received

67
many emergency messages from jail, called "cables," in which
were handwritten requests for money or legal aid. The down¬
town points where these messages were delivered was found to
be a useful place to send messages to participants in the
street people's interpersonal networks. Such messages were
usually delivered and answered within 24 hours, and they some¬
times managed to reach people who were many miles from the
San José area.
The street people's interpersonal association systems
deal with more than communication, and the goods and services
which flow through these systems include marihuana and stolen
objects. The latter items are euphemistically called descuidos
or "unguarded things," and they are constantly being bought
and sold or passed along for sale by members of street people
networks. Each participant in the chain of circulation for
stolen objects can expect some small share in the profit.
Marihuana distribution occurs only on a relatively small
scale among street people, but it also carries some profit
for participants in the chain of circulation.
The anthropological research team found early in our
study of street people and their networks that people who
occupied crucial positions in the chains of distribution for
information, marihuana, and descuidos were likely to be key
people for making contact with chronic, long term marihuana
users. Some of these key people, called "brokers" by True
(1976a) dealt only in marihuana and information, while others
were central in the distribution system of all three items.

68
Those who specialized in information were found in a part of
the inner city where many people interact constantly such as
the Central Park. This is a particularly active area because
buses from all over the metropolitan area load and unload there.
Some of our first contacts were made among information brokers
of the Central Park. Other brokers have an operations setting
which is outside the center of San José in a residential
barrio. The overall interaction density in this kind of oper¬
ations setting is very low, compared to the bustle of downtown
San José, but the workings of the broker and his network
remain brisk. We were fortunate to gain the confidence of
several brokers and eventually to learn something of their
operations and the participants in their networks. These
participants later took part in our study of long term mari¬
huana use.
San José provides a compact urban environment in which
to study a specific deviant behavior. Since it has not been
a major city for very long, its urban qualities are blended
with some survivals of "country town" behavior. Josefinos
give directions in terms of varas and compass coordinates
despite the existence of an orderly system of street numbers,
but, in urban fashion, they seem to know very little about
their immediate next-door neighbors. However, Josefinos do
not deal with impersonal institutional structures, such as
governmental ministries, hospitals, and banks in an impersonal
manner. Interpersonal ties between friends and family become
the agencies through which the individual Josefino makes sense

69
out an otherwise bewildering array of necessary transactions.
These ties exist on all levels of society in San Jose. At
the lowest of these levels, the network of functional social
interaction consists of individuals who may be called street
people. Low-life street networks of informal association
provided initial contacts which led to further contacts in
our search for chronic marihuana smokers. The chapter which
follows will describe the process of following chains of
interaction in this social setting and the eventual procure-.
ment of a group of long term smokers for our intensive study
of marihuana use and its effects.

CHAPTER III
THE STUDY SAMPLE
As part of a trans-disciplinary team of researchers
with specific contractually stated study objectives, the
socio-cultural segment comprising three anthropologists
began with a clear idea of the number of people to be
studied, and the basic kinds of information to be gathered.
We were to locate 80 users of marihuana who had a minimum
of ten years' experience with the drug, and minimal exper¬
ience with other kinds of drug use. The subjects were to be
males between the ages of 18 and 50 who were willing to
participate in a series of medical, psychological, and socio¬
cultural studies spanning a two-year period. Concurrently,
we were also to find 160 non-marihuana-smokers who were
otherwise as identical to our user group as possible. We
went into the field with tightly defined numbers and cultural
qualities in mind, and we were held to them by contract.
Scheduling of study activities was also tight from the
beginning, with a set timetable for completion of the various
research phases. July, 197 3, marked the beginning of the
study with the first attempts on the part of the sociocultural
team to make contact with a user population. By the beginning
of January, 1974, we were to have identified marihuana users
70

71
and suitable controls in sufficient numbers to begin the
initial medical screening phase. This phase entailed passing
all subjects through a medical examination which included
electrocardiogram, opthamological examination, chest X-ray,
comprehensive blood, urine, and fecal analysis, neurological
examination, and general physical examination. Medical
history questionnaires and initial socio-cultural question¬
naires were also administered on the same day that each
subject underwent the medical examinations.
The end of June, 1974, would see, according to the study
timetable, the end of the initial medical screening process
for all 240 selected subjects and the completion of initial
socio-cultural studies. From this pool of 240 screened
subjects, those who had not been eliminated for medical or
other reasons would be selected to form 40 matched pairs of
users and non-users. These were to be selected for the pur¬
pose of intensive medical and psychological testing, as well
as in-depth elicitation of socio-cultural information from
each of the final 80 participants. The intensive studies
were to begin about July of 1974, and to end about March,
1975. Termination of the project, which had a planned ending
date of June, 1975, was to be completed during the concluding
three months.
The actual execution of the study schedule did not vary
radically from the initial plans, except that the intensive
medical testing continued sporadically until August, 1975.
It was decided at the time of the selection of the matched

72
pairs that some 12 medical screen test slots would be held
open for contingency purposes. These slots were later filled
with subjects who were considered to have characteristics
which matched them with other subjects who had already passed
through the initial medical screen. When the medical screening
process was finally tallied, 84 users and 156 non-users had
been given the initial tests.
Selection of the subjects who would participate in the
intensive studies was done on the basis of data elicited
during the initial medical screening period. The medical
data were assessed by Wilmer Coggins, the co-principal investi¬
gator of the project in charge of medical studies, while the
socio-cultural criteria for matching were evaluated by Paul
Doughty and William Carter, in collaboration with Maryanna
Baden, and with NIDA contract officers Eleanor Carrol, Jean-Paul
Smith, and Stephen Szara.
Many subjects were eliminated from intensive participa¬
tion in the second phase of the study because of medical prob¬
lems, for which they were subsequently referred to appropriate
branches of the Costa Rican health care system for treatment.
Among these problems the commonest were positive serological
test for syphilis, pulmonary lesion shown in chest X-ray,
and non-correctable visual abnormalities. There were also
12 cases of serious disease diagnosed for which those subjects
were excluded from further testing. Table 3 shows the frequencies
of the various medical criteria used to eliminate subjects
from the selection process for the final group. Most of the

Table 3
73
Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study
For Medical Reasons
Users Controls Total Signifi-
N-84 N-156 N-240 canee
Defects in visual ^
acuity
4
-
8
NS
Defective color ^
vision
13
16
NS
Positive seriologica^Q
test for syphilis
17
37
P <
Pulmonary lesion 8
17
25
NS
Other serious disease
(incl. severe anemia,
heart disorders, 3
subnormal mentality)
9
12
NS
Total excludable
defects
60
98
NS
Total excludable 37
subjects*
56
93
NS
*Some subjects had more than one excludable defect,
(after Coggins, 1976; X-8)
differences between the large user and control groups in the
rate of occurrence of excludable defects were not significant
statistically. The case of positive syphilis tests may have
a cultural explanation. As we shall see later in more detail,
the users in the sample tended to have more street experience
in their life histories than the controls, including sexual
experience at an earlier age. With more sexual precocity and
more exposure to the streetside variety of sexual behavior,
contraction of a venereal disease becomes a stronger proba¬
bility for the users than for the non-users.
Eleven subjects were eliminated for non-medical reasons,

74
Table 4
Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study
for Reasons Other Than Medical Ones
Cause
User
N-8 4
Control
N-156
To ta 1
N-240
History of absention from
marihuana found to be
inaccurate
N/A
2
2
History of marihuana use
found to be inaccurate
1
N/A
1
Alcohol abuse interferes
with participation in
testing
1
2
3
Failure to keep appointments
2
1
3
Failure to cooperate with
medical test procedure
2
0
2
Totals
6
5
11
(after Coggins, 1976; X-10)
as shown in Table 4. The first two criteria in Table 4
represent people who managed to slip by the pre-screening and
cross-checking done by the anthropological team before testing
was begun. The final group of subjects comprised those whose
smoking or non-smoking reputations had stood up under extensive
cross-checking. Difficulties encountered during the medical
screen procedures account for the other three non-medical
criteria for elimination from the study.
The matched group was selected from a final pool of
qualified subjects which contained 41 marihuana smokers and
95 non-users. The matching procedure was complex, involving
a close match for each of six different variables. These
variables, taken from the results of medical history question¬
naires and personal information elicited during the medical

75
screening process, were age, marital status, educational
level, employment level, alcohol use and tobacco use. Age,
alcohol use, and tobacco use were all reduceable to numerical
equivalents. This was done for tobacco use by expressing
it in pack years, or the number of years during which the
subject has smoked one pack of cigarettes per day. Alcohol
use was scored on the basis of a modified version of the
alcohol use questionnaire designed by the Costa Rican Center
for Studies on Alcoholism, which has a 0 to 17 scale. For
age, tobacco, and alcohol, all pairs had to be within four
points of each other in order to qualify as a matched pair.
Marital status, educational level, and occupation were
matched according to the meanings of these attributes in
Costa Rican society. For example, marital status has a
broad definition among lower-class Costa Ricans, including
stable free unions and serial free unions, as well as long
and short-term formal marriage. Therefore, stable free union
and long-term formal marriage were equated for matching
purposes, while experience with serial free unions was differ¬
entiated from pure bachelorhood. The marital status matching
criterion had to be flexible, because of the shifting status
of many of the study participants.
Education for matching purposes was broken into five
categories, none, primary incomplete, primary complete,
secondary incomplete, and secondary complete. Other insti¬
tutional socialization such as reformatory, orphanage, or
seminary was also taken into account. Matches could be made

76
between individuals within one "step" of each other. A
marihuana smoker who had completed four years of primary
school, for example, could be matched with a non-consumer
who had finished sixth grade.
Matching for occupation was done by using equatable
levels of employment, rather than exact job pairing. Lower-
class workers move interchangeably among jobs within their
level of employment, and the jobs within a given level were
deemed appropriate for matching purposes. Artisans who work
in construction, shoemaking, or tailoring were, all considered
matchable with each other. Similar employment levels were
also recognized for skilled blue-collar jobs and for white-
collar jobs, although there were very few subjects in the
latter category.
The anthropological team began to seek contacts among
the user population in San José with the assumption that
long-term use of marihuana was pervasive in all levels of
Costa Rican society. After an initial sortie into the Univer¬
sity atmosphere, it was discovered that marihuana use at the
level of ten years or longer in that context was almost
unheard-of, and that the general drug use ambience in the
University was in fact very similar to multi-drug use in
North America. This led to the suspicion that the lower-
class patterns of marihuana use described by early contacts
among street people were really the only patterns which would
ultimately become a source of long-term users who could
qualify for participation in our study. Musicians were at

77
first expected also to be a group which might produce suit¬
able long-term users, but their drug of preference turned
out to be alcohol, and the musicians indicated very little
interest in or consumption of marihuana. Abortive attempts
to find qualified long-term users of marihuana among other
strata of Costa Rican society led to our eventual concentra¬
tion on the working class as a source of users and of controls.
Contacts with street people were the anthropological
team's first breakthrough in learning something about chronic,
long term marihuana use in Costa Rica, and they came very
early in the study. In fact, Carter first spoke to some
eventually central informants in the street ambience during
a feasibility study two years before the full-scale study
actually began. These informants began by appearing very
open about their marihuana use, but they seemed to limit
their comments to aspects of use in their own social group,
demurring when asked about other people who might smoke
marihuana. The sequence of behavior on the part of the
street people, first openness, up to a point, and then reluc¬
tance to introduce us to other long term users, was frustrating
to the anthropological team, but it was also understandable.
At the time our study was begun, it was punishable by law
to possess marihuana for either sale or personal use, with
a minimum term of six months (cf. Chapter IV). The street
people themselves had little to lose by revealing that they
smoked marihuana, because they were already well-known to
the general public as smokers. Other users of the drug, as

78
we shall see later, have much more to lose by imprudent
contact with unknown outsiders. Faced with this impasse in
the street people's networks, the anthropological team began
to formulate other means of gaining entry into the social
circles of other groups of long term users.
One of our tactics for attaining contact with other
long term users was a survey of cobbler shops, because we
understood from several sources that shoemakers were often
marihuana users. After mapping these artisan shops for much,
of San José-, we attempted to administer a vague health
questionnaire as a device to lead into conversation about
drug use. This was very unproductive, because most shoe¬
makers were too busy during work hours to take time for
answering questions. Another tactic which was only slightly
more successful entailed administering a "health" question¬
naire house-to-house in neighborhoods which were known to
have marihuana users among their residents. This tactic led
to the discovery, ironically, of a shoemakers' shop where
there were several qualified users. Otherwise, the daytime
door-to-door method did not produce sufficient contacts with
the user population to warrant its continuation.
The door-to-door tactic had its rewards, despite its
failure in the explicit task of finding chronic marihuana
smokers. The field workers were impressed by the lack of
community spirit in the neighborhoods surveyed. This impres¬
sion led to the hypothesis that social ties were not formed
on the basis of propinquity. We also developed a feeling for

79
the natural gathering-places in the neighborhoods surveyed,
and this helped in carrying out other, more successful
research strategies.
Finally, on the advice of Carter, the anthropological
team selected bars, and other gathering-places in the barrios
where marihuana users were reputed to live. We frequented
these places, picking up whatever information possible. It
was felt that in these contexts, we would be encountering
prospective informants at a time when they would have a
moment to relax and talk, and in a place where they were
likely to be surrounded by friends, or trustworthy acquain¬
tances. We used a straightforward manner of introducing
ourselves, in which we explained the objectives of our study
to whoever volunteered conversation. Initial reactions were
tentative in this atmosphere, but progress toward the needed
contacts was made steadily and encouragingly. The clientele
of the low-life bars in which we absorbed large amounts of
alcohol and moderate quantities of information were not
usually eligible to participate in the study because of
alcoholism. However, these individuals eventually managed
to supply sufficient information to lead us to make contact
either with qualified marihuana users, or with people who
knew qualified users. In this way, we began to exploit the
social networks among marihuana users, discovering both a
source of the needed study participants and a useful commun¬
ications system.

80
Key people in the fabric of social interaction among
marihuana users eventually were indispensible in the estab¬
lishment and maintenance of contact with users who participated
in our study. Called "brokers" by True (1976c) these key
people are at the hub of some phases of interpersonal rela¬
tions among the participants in their respective networks of
interaction. They may, as outlined in the preceding chapter,
be brokers of information because they operate in a part of
the city where many people pass by. Brokers may also dis¬
tribute marihuana on a small scale, and in that way, they
have developed extensive contacts with consumers and dis¬
tributors of that drug. They may also be key people in other
kinds of illegal or extralegal business through which they
have dealings with people throughout the city. Often, brokers
handle both information and some combination of other economic
activities.
Methods of contacting key people were varied, and in
retrospect, seem almost haphazard. One key individual was ,
contacted through regular shoeshines in the central park.
Another was contacted when one of the anthropological researchers
stumbled on his base of operations during a door-to-door sur¬
vey. Another was approached at his streetcorner position on
the basis of a description by the drunken clientele of a
nearby bar. Another key person approached the author during
an impromptu street concert. All told, there were no more
than seven key people, or brokers, who contributed their
contacts in the search for chronic marihuana users. We were

81
able to find all 84 of the users who participated in the study
through the social connections of this handful of key people.
The field research team made the acquaintance of an
estimated 1500 people during the course of the study, and
most of these people were introduced to us through key
people. These brokers were also instrumental in screening
prospective study subjects in both the user and the non-user
categories, because their knowledge of use or abstinence
patterns among the prospective subjects recruited from out¬
side their immediate circles of influence was extensive. We
found repeatedly that although they almost never associated
with each other, people in the various marihuana user social
networks seemed to know each other. This was true for individ¬
uals coming from widely separated sectors of San Jose.
The following is a brief description of the beginnings
of a relationship with one key informant, and the mechanics
of continuing this relationship. After hearing from local
bar clientele about a "very intelligent" marihuana dealer
who operated nearby, one of the field researchers approached
this individual, whom we shall call Loqui, at his street-
corner base of operations. A week of standing on the street-
corner with Loqui yielded introduction to two or three users
among those who were constantly around the marihuana dealer,
but the researcher decided that he was not relating to this
particular social grouping. He could see that association
with Loqui was potentially productive, but he did not feel
comfortable working with Loqui's social group. He introduced

82
the author to Loqui in the hope that better relations with
this social group would result. The plan worked, and the
eventual contribution of Loqui's network of friends and
acquaintances was large. Through either direct or indirect
connections, Loqui was instrumental in introducing us to
roughly 40 of the 240 subjects who passed through the initial
medical screen, 15 of whom (seven controls and eight users)
became part of the matched pair participant group.
The process of winning Loqui's confidence was gradual.
A pair of special glasses for his mother, rides throughout
the city in an automobile, a serenade for his girlfriend,
and other minor favors contributed to confidence building.
Encounters with the police were probably the most important
factors in achieving the confidence of key informants,
because these confrontations removed suspicion that we were
somehow in league with the authorities, a suspicion that
appeared repeatedly in our early contacts. In spite of our
previous agreement with the police, they still saw fit to
cause minor incidents in our presence, fortunately also in
the presence of key informants. After two or three such
incidents, Loqui was convinced that we were not part of any
police effort.
Simple day-to-day participation in Loqui's streetcorner
group, where he dealt in marihuana and information, was suffi¬
cient to get to know a large number of users and even some
non-users. However, many of the steadiest participants in
his immediate network were too young to be included in the

83
marihuana study, so Loqui eventually was asked if he knew
of more experienced users. He knew more long term users than
we had imagined, and through his own system of communica¬
tions, Loqui was able to arrange meetings which allowed us
to explain the project to these "old timers" and solicit
their participation. Key informants from other networks were
often consulted at this point to ascertain the accuracy of
Loqui's marihuana use report for these prospective informants.
His reports were found to be correct so consistantly that
we eventually decided that cross-checking was no longer
necessary for Loqui's contacts. The only case of elimination
of one of Loqui's contacts for non-medical reasons was for
other drug use not reported in the medical history (recorded
in Table 4 as "failure to cooperate with medical testing
procedures").
Our relationship to Loqui and his social network was by
no means exploitative. It was reciprocal in the sense that
our investigative team was able to offer services and some¬
times goods in the context of the same interpersonal net
through which we were receiving information. When Loqui's
brother was arrested for marihuana dealing, we were able to
offer legal aid, and we eventually managed to free him. When
we needed to buy marihuana samples to submit for analysis,
he sometimes sold us the samples, thereby giving our rela¬
tionship to him direct reciprocality.
Loqui's interpersonal relations were most intense in
his own neighborhood, although they did not generally involve

84
Spatial Distribution
of Participants in Loqui's Network
Figure A

85
his immediate neighbors. This may be illustrated by mapping
Loqui's informal associations with respect to residence
location, as in Figure A. We can see that there is a "nesting"
effect, whereby most of the relations are within a short
distance from Loqui's own residence. In spite of the rela¬
tive narrowness of Loqui1s associational net, some of the
lines of direct or indirect association extend to distant
parts of San Jose, and these led to contacts with other users
and controls who participated in the project.
Other associational networks tapped by the anthropological
team had much wider ranges throughout the city, and this
quality had favorable consequences for the eventual configur¬
ation of the project sample. True (1976a) found that, compared
with recent analyses of the metropolitan area's more than
500 different neighborhoods, the zones from which the subject-
participants in our study came were fairly representative in
terms of socio-economic level and housing quality. Although
our sampling technique was not at all random, we managed to
identify a group of people whose general socio-economic
characteristics were quite comparable to those of much of
the rest of San Jose's working class population.
The ecological'*" distribution of the subjects in the
final participant group was also fairly representative of the
San Jose metropolitan area. True and Doughty (1976a) collab¬
orated to develop a typology of community from which the
subject population came, including central city zones, resi¬
dential zones contiguous to the city center, housing projects

86
near the city, transitional peripheral zones, satellite
towns, squatter settlements, rural communities, and provincial
towns outside the San José metropolitan area (III-16-32).
According to their analyses of the 240 subjects for the initial
medical screen, and the 82 matched pair subjects, True and
Doughty found that both groups have roughly equal proportions
of users and non-users who reside in the various neighborhood
types. Nearly half of the subjects in both groups come from
either central city or residential contiguous zones, and all
other zones are represented in the sample. Analysis of per¬
sonal income information for the sample of users and non-users,
when compared to 1973 Census data for the zones in which the
subjects live, shows that the earnings of the study sample
are representative of working class earnings of their neigh¬
borhoods (III-36).
We did not begin the process of finding qualified parti¬
cipants for the chronic marihuana use study project with any
set of criteria for making group representative of San Jose's
population. Indeed, we did not have any assurance that mari¬
huana users were not completely deviant from the normal
Josefino pattern of life. If that had been the case, we would
not have selected a group that was at all representative of
the working class life style. Expedient methods had to be
used to identify and get to know individuals whose behavior
could at any time cause them to be jailed. Retrospective
analysis of the study sample allows us to say with confidence
that it was, in fact, representative of the Costa Rican working

87
class in the most crucial social and economic aspects. Never¬
theless, we must say that this representativeness was seren¬
dipitous. Later chapters will present further perspectives
on the relationship of the subject procurement procedure to
the formulation of the research problem of amotivational syn¬
drome .

NOTES
XThe
the usage
tion of a
use of the term "ecological" here is derived from
of urban sociologists, implying spatial distribu-
city's component parts (Dotson and Dotson 1954).
88

CHAPTER IV
MARIHUANA IN COSTA RICA
Earliest Spanish colonial documents do not reveal the
origin of psychotropic Cannabis use in Latin America. The
plant itself is not native to the new world, but it arrived
in Mexico practically with the arrival of Cortez. Cannabis
was an important 16th century source of cordage, but the
passage in Mexico of an ordinance in 1550 forbidding its
cultivation hints that psychotropic use of the drug may have
begun early (Carter 1976: 3). Elsewhere in Latin America,
Cannabis sativa was grown for cordage in relatively few
places, and Chile became the only exporter of hemp products
to Spain (Partridge 1974: 39). Costa Rica apparently had
to import hemp products as late as 1864, when an import tax
exemption was enacted for sacks made of that fiber (Carter
1976: II-3).
Cannabis cultivation for fiber and for psychotropic
purposes are very different, and they can exist independently
of each other. The absence of solid evidence to confirm
the existence of a psychotropic Cannabis using tradition
during the colonial period leads to the suspicion that Cannabis
as a psychotropic was introduced to Latin America considerably
later than the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Probably
the oldest tradition of psychotropic Cannabis use in the
89

90
New World is the Brazilian tradition. Partridge concludes
that the adoption of ritual marihuana use by remote indigenous
tribes in Brazil may mean that the drug's arrival in Brazil
was relatively early (1974: 40). The lexicon of Cannabis
use in Brazil apparently contains evidence of a West African
origin for Cannabis use in Brazil (Ibid.). If so, the arrival
of Cannabis as a psychotropic drug in that region may have
been as early as the first half of the seventeenth century.
Costa Rican users themselves sometimes tell stories of
Indians using marihuana before Spanish conquest. It is
popular to claim that the Indian "peace pipe" held marihuana
instead of tobacco. Neither of these claims has any histor¬
ical or botanical supporting evidence. A more likely time
for Cannabis' arrival in Costa Rican is roughly the four
decades bracketing the turn of the century. During that
period, a railroad from San José to Costa Rican's Atlantic
port of Limén was under construction, and foreign laborers
were being hired to clear the right-of-way and lay the road¬
bed. Psychotropic Cannabis use was apparently first observed
in Costa Rican among railroad workers in the 1880's by Adolf
Tonduz, assistant to the famous botanist, Henri Francois
Pittier (Carter 1976: II-4). It is not specified in Tonduz'
account whether he saw blacks or Chinese smoking and culti¬
vating Cannabis, since he referred only to "coolies," which
could be taken at that time to mean either race. Nevertheless,
the workers on the San José-Limén railroad are the most
likely carriers of marihuana use into Costa Rica.

91
The knotty problem of sorting out which group actually
brought marihuana into Costa Rica is partially solved by
examining the drug-using backgrounds of both the Chinese and
the African-descended railroad workers. The first large
contingent of Chinese railroad workers arrived in 1888 follow¬
ing de Lesseps' abandoning a canal building project in Panama.
China began using Cannabis for fiber very early in its history,
but the preferred psychotropic in China is opium. Generally,
Chinese railroad workers imported to the New World during
the nineteenth century brought opium, not Cannabis, with them.
On the other hand, the African-descended Jamaican rail¬
road workers have a direct historical link with the venerable
Indian tradition of Cannabis use. Indian indentured servants
shipped to Jamaica in 1840 brought a rich and varied tradition
of psychotropic Cannabis use to their new Caribbean home.
Although there is no real documentation of the diffusion
process, it seems most likely that the black Jamaicans
adopted some of the most fundamental patterns of Cannabis
smoking and cultivation, which they brought along when they
were hired to build the railroad to the Atlantic in Costa
Rica. Supporting evidence for this explanation is found in
the marihuana lexicons of Jamaica and Costa Rica. Jamaicans
call their Cannabis preparation ganja, and one of the slang
words for marihuana used in San José is canchac, apparently
a direct cognate. Limón and its environs are presently a
center for marihuana production, and it is also the place of
origin for all Jamaican-descended Costa Ricans. Marihuana

92
use is also reputed to be more widespread in the Limón area
than in other parts of Costa Rica. In sum, Jamaican-descended
black Costa Ricans probably played an important role in
bringing a psychotropic Cannabis use tradition to Costa Rica.
There are other opinions about the arrival of Cannabis
in Costa Rica which also have some factual grounds. Mexico
may have had some influence on early patterns of Costa Rican
marihuana consumption, because a tradition of use was estab¬
lished there by the late nineteenth century, and it may have
diffused to Central America. The evidence for this lies in
the current use of the Mexican term, mota for marihuana among
Costa Rican users. Volunteers from Costa Rican who fought
in World War I may have learned to smoke marihuana overseas
and returned with the habit (Carter 1976: II-6). Probably
all of the above described theories on the arrival of psycho¬
tropic Cannabis use in Costa Rica are true to some extent,
although the Jamaican influence is strongest in present-day
patterns of marihuana smoking. The limited cultural elabor¬
ation of Costa Rican Cannabis (described later in this Chapter)
use implies a fairly recent arrival, as well as a fragmented
diffusion process, where only the barest essentials of mari¬
huana smoking were brought to Costa Rica.
The first indication that the Costa Rican government
was concerned about psychotropic drug use was in 1913, when
a delegate was sent to the Second International Conference
on Opium (Carter 1976: II-7). Although no mention was made
of Cannabis at the conference, Costa Rica signed an international

93
drug treaty shortly thereafter. Ten years later, the first
drug control laws were passed in Costa Rica, and four years
after that, in 1927, a drug advisory board was established.
By 1928, laws had been passed regulating import, export, and
sale of opiates and marihuana (Ibid.).
A 1929 anti-drug campaign yielded the first evidence of
marihuana use in San Jose among its lower-class inhabitants
(Ibid.: 9). This "dragnet," intended to establish control
of drug traffic and to provide treatment for users, also
produced a number of arrests for use and sale of opiates,
including heroin. The connection between addictive opiate
drugs and marihuana remains, implicit in the formation of
governmental policy during later stages of the official
history of Cannabis in Costa Rica. The Sanitary Code of
1949 treats marihuana, cocaine, and the opiates equally,
stiffening penalties for cultivation, sale, or simple posses¬
sion of all these drugs (Ibid.: 10).
A Single Convention on Drugs and Narcotics issued by
the United Nations in 1961 was approved by the Costa Rican
government in 1972. Costa Rica was thereby accepting inter¬
national responsibility for controlling the production of
and trade in marihuana and a number of other drugs. The
establishment of a police Department of Narcotics some two
years before also indicates a growing official concern about
drug use. Survey of newspaper back issues shows that the
flare-up of official and public concern about Cannabis and
other drugs around 1972 is sudden, and the first since the

94
time of the 1929 drug law enactments (Doughty 1976: '11-59
and 60).
In 1972, one of San Jose's newspapers, La Prensa Libre,
carried out a campaign against drug use, mainly aimed at
marihuana (Ibid.: 11-51). The reason for growing concern,
according to the newspaper's editors, was the increase in
Cannabis use among young people of the middle and upper
classes (Ibid.). Whereas earlier in its history, marihuana
had caused little worry (except for a brief initial period
of establishing control mechanisms) because its use was
confined to a segment of the lower class, now marihuana was
regarded as a threat to the "cream" of Costa Rican youth.
The Prensa Libre campaign, producing hundreds of articles on
the ill effects of marihuana use, set a tone of newspaper
writing on the subject which has been consistantly negative
in Costa Rican newspapers ever since. Lurid reports of
marihuana users abounded during the initial campaign, to be
replaced later by scientific reports on the negative effects
of the drug.
Krauskopf's attitude test results (1976) provide evidence
of La Prensa Libre's campaign. One of the most significant
differences between users and non-users in the entire attitude
test was in attitudes concerning marihuana (XVII-24). Non¬
users almost unanimously rejected marihuana in all items
involving the drug, despite the fact that some had neighbors
or even relatives who were chronic users. This result, of
course, is not totally the consequence of a single newspaper

95
campaign. Lower class Costa Rican mothers probably also have
an influence on the formation of these attitudes as they
attempt to keep their sons away from the low-life ambience
where marihuana use thrives. Nevertheless, reinforcement
in newsprint of mothers' opinions must have some role in
maintaining negative views on marihuana and its use.
It might be inferred that a ray of understanding amidst
all of the public anti-drug zeal appeared in March of 1974
in the form of a revised Sanitary Code. According to the
new code, traffic and cultivation of marihuana are to be
punished more severely than before, but possession for per¬
sonal consumption is to be handled by referring users for
medical treatment (Ministerio de Salubridad 1974: articles
371-372, 126, 127). As yet, there is no treatment facility
for this purpose, and police still arrest users for possession
of relatively small amounts on suspicion of trafficking.
Nevertheless, instead of risking six months in jail, users
now can count on being free, usually in a couple of weeks.
United States influence has been crucial on both sides
of the emergence of marihuana as a publicly recognized social
problem. Imitation of the highly fashionable patterns of
drug use which originated in the United States during the
middle and late 1960's is probably responsible for the adop¬
tion among Costa Rican middle- and upper-class youth of
marihuana use. This facet of the drug situation in Costa
Rica is apparent in the observed similarity of youthful
Costa Rican marihuana smoking practices and those of

96
youthful smokers in the United States. Limited dosage, rit¬
ualistic sharing of a single cigarette, and selection of
identical use settings are common to both the Costa Rican
youth and North American youth styles of Cannabis consumption.
On the other hand, the United States has had an active
part in forming government agencies in Costa Rica for drug
control enforcement. The United States Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) offered consultant services to the Costa
Rican government for the purpose of setting up a special
police force to enforce drug control. It is particularly
ironic that the Cannabis use patterns described below are
not directly related to United States influence, yet they
are forced to withstand the main thrust of two opposed influ¬
ences which did, in fact, emanate from that country.
Preparations
Among Costa Ricans most aware that marihuana has been
with their people for at least several generations are members
of the urban lower class. Such individuals, making up the
bulk of our base sample of 240, are familiar with a very
limited variety of psychotropic drugs. The two most commonly
used are marihuana and alcohol. In our matched pair subsample
of 82, some men admit to having used barbiturates on one or
two occasions, and among younger users there are isolated
cases of glue-sniffing. A single individual in the subsample
had tried LSD and psilocibin mushrooms. None mentioned
previous use of amphetamines, although the field researchers

97
noted streetside mention of benzadrine. Opiates in the form
of low-grade morphine were tried by two of the individuals
in the subsample on isolated occasions, never to be used
again after a single experience. However, the majority of
users in our matched pair subsample adhered to marihuana and
alcohol as their principal drugs.
Other sectors of the population, including university
students and some upper-middle-class professionals, have
access to a much wider range of drugs, from cocaine to synthetic
mescaline. Their social and economic means have allowed them
to secure these drugs at prices that would be exorbitant in
the United States, and that are certainly out of the reach of
lower-class drug users. University student and upper-middle-
class drug use is modeled after the "Age of Aquarius" ethos
which was popular in the United States in the late 1960's
i.e., the search for expanded consciousness and social aware¬
ness by means of LSD, cocaine, mushrooms and marihuana. Such
a use pattern is imitated to some extent by the youngest of
the lower-class marihuana users (usually too young to qualify
for our sample) who, for economic reasons, must replace acid
"trips" and cocaine snorting with glue sniffing and pill-popping.
Older lower-class marihuana users do not find these activities
appealing.
Cannabis use among the long-term users in our Costa Rican
sample is relatively devoid of variety. The staple of use
is picadura, the chopped-up tops and flowers of the female
Cannabis sativa plant. This is consumed most commonly in the

98
form of wheat paper cigarette, which contains not less than
175 mg. and not more than 300 mg. of marihuana according to
repeated weighings of net contents of street-sold cigarettes.
Occasionally the contents of several of these cigarettes
will be combined to form cigars. Costa Rican users almost
exclusively consume marihuana by smoking it. Preparations
other than picadura are extremely rare.
Field workers' reports include three other preparations
observed or described. The first of these is a black liquid,
called caldito claimed by users to be the result of prolonged
boiling of picadura. The process does not resemble any Indian
bhang recipes (Chopra and Chopra 1957), but its product could
have psychotropic effects if it retained diffused particles
of the picadura. The liquid was observed only once.
A second special preparation known to some Costa Rican
Cannabis users is pambelé.^ It bears a close resemblance
to the Indian ganja, as described by Chopra (1957: 19).
Pambelé apparently is imported from Colombia in the form of
flat leaf-shaped blocks, composed of compressed resin and
plant material of Cannabis plants grown near the Colombian
coast. Among users in Costa Rica, it is considered a delicacy.
A small amount is scraped from the edge of the block into
a cigarette paper, and is then rolled and smoked in the same
way as picadura. We were unable to secure any pambelé for
analysis, but users claim that a cigarette of this material
is worth ten of any Costa Rican grown marihuana.
A third special Cannabis preparation in use in Costa

99
Rica is hachís. This is apparently a generic term used to
designate any concentrated form of Cannabis. It has not
actually been observed in use by the field research team, but
descriptions of its use and preparation are vivid enough to
assure that it does exist in Costa Rican Cannabis use con¬
texts. The descriptions come from older users, all with 25
or more years of experience. One of them claims to be able
to manufacture two of the three varieties of hachfs. The
first of these is a solid block of what appears basically
to be resin. The informant describes pounding the dried
plant with a Coca-Cola bottle, collecting the residue from
this pounding, and compressing it into a rectangular box,
which is then buried and allowed to harden. It is not
specified if the plant material itself is included, because
the informant in this case is remembering a process that he
witnessed 20 years ago. If the plant material is not included,
the process would resemble the Egyptian process of manufacturing
hashish described in Drake (1971: 72). When the block has
aged sufficiently (over a period of four weeks or longer) it
is removed from the ground, and shavings from the block may
be smoked. The informant remembers being able to smoke this
preparation anywhere in the city without worry.
The other two Cannabis preparations given the name hachís
require an involved chemical process and special technical
expertise. Because psilocibin mushrooms are used, it is not
a pure Cannabis preparation in the strictest sense. The
process of manufacture is as follows:

100
Ingredients
4 oz. marihuana in picadura
6 oz. 95% alcohol
1 oz. honey
2 oz. psilocibin mushrooms
Place marihuana, alcohol, and honey in a jar (a
16 oz. mayonnaise jar) and mix ingredients thoroughly.
Bury the jar in a safe, shady spot, and allow ingre¬
dients to steep for a week. Open and add mushrooms.
(At this point the process observed was left off
because the materials had been stolen. The remaining
steps are as described by the informant.) Allow
materials to mingle another week, then remove from
the ground. Strain'the liquid from the marihuana
and place in a distillation retort. The distillation
apparatus should have two collection chambers placed
along the vapor-carrying tube. The first collects
the condensed esencia (essence) of marihuana (what is
known in the United States as "hash oil"). The yield
will be 1-2 grams, depending on the quality of the
marihuana used.
The preferred manner of using the oil is to add one or two
drops to a shot of brandy.
The same informant who described the above recipe is the
reputed source of another preparation, also called hachís,
which takes the form of a powder. We were unable to obtain
the recipe, but we did obtain a description of its nature and
use from another informant.
. . . they said that it was hachís . . . they gave
my brother five packets and three to me . . .1 took
one in a half a glass of water . . . afterwards a
whole blessed day . . . and the following day I was
high . . . but it was very strange ... I don't
know, but I wasn't hungry ... It was a very white
powder . . . and I couldn't figure out how they got
it ... It must be a process.

101
The powder may be drunk, as described above, or either it
or the oil may be combined with tobacco and smoked in a pipe.
Such special, strong preparations represent but a tiny
percentage of Cannabis use by our sample. For daily use, even
in the cases of those who are familiar with the stronger pre¬
parations, picadura rolled into cigarettes is the overwhelming
preference.
Production
Because it would have exposed our informants to too
much risk of arrest, the anthropological field team did not
visit a professionally run marihuana plantation. One amateur
operation was visited, but it was so poorly cared for that
its potential yield was in doubt. We were able to elicit
two excellent detailed descriptions of cultivation, however,
which appear accurate and corroborate each other. The two
informants who supplied these descriptions do not know each
other; yet they seem to agree on all of the details of mari¬
huana planting except for the time needed for maturing before
the plant may be cut for drying. The following sequence is
based mainly on these descriptions.
Costa Rica has many zones where cultivation of Cannabis
is possible. Users generally cite the area around Limón on
the Atlantic coast, and Buenos Aires, south of and within the
Talamanca Mountain range, as the areas where the best domestic
Cannabis is grown. For potent Cannabis, the informants say
that one must search for a hot climate with sufficient, but

102
not over-abundant rainfall. They do not describe exact
water tolerances of the plant, but given the high temperatures
of these areas, the water needs must be great. The first step
in Cannabis planting is preparation of the plot. For this,
standard slash-and-burn is used; i.e., the vegetation is cut
and dried, and the area burned. Burning must take place
just before the beginning of the rainy season. One corner of
the plot is set aside as a seedling nursery, and the seeds
are planted two by two, six inches apart. They must be
carefully watched during the first six weeks of growth,
because during this period they are especially vulnerable to
insects and competition from other plants. When the seedlings
have reached a height of 6-8 inches, they may be transplanted
to the larger plot. For transplanting, female plants are
considered the most worthwhile. Furrows must be made in the
larger plot, and the seedlings set one vara apart along the
furrows. The plants may now be left to their own, except
for occasional spraying for insects or watering as deemed
necessary.
At this point, the informants differed on how long the
plants should grow before harvesting. One claimed that four
months are sufficient, while the other claimed that six months
is the minimal growth time for acceptable psychotropic strength,
and that seven to eight months would be ideal. The difference
of opinion may represent a difference of growing areas in
their respective experiences.
Harvesting is begun by peeling the bottom of the plant

103
stalk near the root. The plant is then left another week to
dry before breaking it off at the bottom for stripping. The
lower, thicker leaves and branches are ignored by the har¬
vester, who uses a curved pruning knife to strip off the
upper leaves, flowers, and seed heads. These parts are then
placed in the shade for drying, which takes 15 to 20 days.
Once the material has dried sufficiently, it is chopped into
very fine particles, using a very sharp knife and cutting
board or scissors. This process is sometimes delayed, however,
until the material reaches the vendor. Seeds may be saved
for re-planting or they may be left in the picadura to increase
its weight and volume. Sometimes the thick stems are also
chopped finely and included in the picadura to increase
weight and volume.
The above description does not indicate expertise in the
area of resin production. Costa Rican users and growers seem
not to be sophisticated in their perceptions of the capabilities
of the Cannabis plant. Growers seem to know that the plants
must be cared for intensively during the first six weeks
of life, but they do not go further in stimulating resin
production or in collecting the natural high-potency substances
that occur naturally during the plant's growth. They are
aware of Cannabis' dioecious nature, recognizing the mor¬
phological differences and the great suitability of the
female to marihuana production, but this perception seems
based on the greater leaf production of the female plant,
2
rather than an awareness of her resin-producing qualities.

104
Users are vaguely aware of the existence of more potent
Cannabis preparations, but they do not really know, except
for a few individuals, what they are nor how they are made.
Cannabis planting and growing technology in India, Egypt,
and even Mexico has developed over the centuries into an
exact art of resin stimulation and careful manufacture of
specialized potent forms. Costa Rican Cannabis production
rarely goes beyond cutting and chopping of the dried plant
material.
Evidence of the lack of concentrated preparation in
Costa Rica is abundant in newspaper reports of police con¬
fiscations of Cannabis. In our files which date to 1970,
there are only a handful of references to high-potency
Cannabis preparations. Such materials are usually in the
possession of foreigners. The overwhelming majority of
reported confiscations made by police range in size from a
few ounces to shipments of one hundred pounds, usually in
the form of picadura, although occasionally in the form of
whole, uncut plants.
The relative crudity of Cannabis production in Costa
Rica may in part be due to the constant efforts of police
to capture quantities of the drug and to arrest shippers and
growers. Plantations must be relatively isolated and inac¬
cessible in order to be safe from the Narcotics agents'
periodic sorties into the growing areas. Intensive cultiva¬
tion of the plants, necessary for resin production and
collection, is made less feasible by this isolation and

105
secrecy. Large scale cultivation would multiply the number
of people who know the location of the planted field, a
risk that no grower is willing to take. Fields are often
left completely untended from just after transplanting
until harvest time.
Forms of Use
By far the predominant smoking vehicle for marihuana is
the cigarette rolled in wheat paper, the mildest tasting
paper available at a low price. The paper is bought by
individual marihuana vendors in 8 1/2" by 11 1/2" sheets at
00.50 per sheet ($.06). One sheet makes 32 cigarettes, so
that, to roll one pound of picadura into roughly 1800 cigar¬
ettes, a vendor will buy 60 sheets.
The wheat paper used to roll the street cigarette is
characteristically yellow in color. This color stains the
hands of both users and rollers, and it may be removed only
by hard rubbing of whetstone or rough brick. Even though
many people still smoke tobacco cigarettes that are also
home-rolled with this paper, yellow stains on thumb and
forefinger of the right hand are considered identifying
signs of marihuana users, both by their fellow users, and
by the police. The oldest users in the sample often achieve
an almost mahogany-like hue on their fingers as a result
of years of use.
The rolling process is quick and unceremonious, with an
emphasis on rapidity and efficiency. Often especially skilled

106
rollers are employed, although many vendors do not deal in
a volume that makes this necessary. Practically anyone can
role 500-600 cigarettes in a day. Skilled workers can roll
twice that amount in a day. Such people are paid 0150 to
0200 per week ($17 to $23). However, very few reach this
level of specialization. Most rolling is done on an informal
basis, where two or three trusted friends help in the rolling
of four ounces or a half-pound. The participants sometimes
receive marihuana for their own use in return for such ser¬
vices, but the relationship between vendor and his rolling
party can also involve complex reciprocity which may go
beyond both monetary compensation and payment in kind.
Once rolled into cigarettes, the marihuana is packaged
into "rolls" of 25 cigarettes, and it reaches the consumers
in either this form, or an individual cigarettes. The "roll"
is tightly packed and easily concealable in a sock or pocket.
Users often wad loose cigarettes into a ball and wrap them
in plastic or cellophane so that they may be hidden in the
mouth and even swallowed during police search and questioning.
According to the users in our sample, eating of Cannabis
does not result in a psychotropic effect. They cite instances
of having to swallow quantities of the drug when arrest seemed
certain, and of feeling no psychotropic effect. Marihuana
3
has not yet invaded Costa Rican pastries or sweetmeats.
Some cooking with Cannabis was noted in our brief exposure
to university-related "Age of Aquarius" ethos groups, but it
has not penetrated the older tradition of marihuana use as
it exists in Costa Rica.

107
Rough handling on the part of users is possible because
the cigarette has much more paper than normally would be
needed to hold such a small amount of picadura for immediate
smoking purposes. The cigarettes are long and thin with a
double or triple lateral overlap and closure at both ends.
They are made to take punishment in the street.
When a user is about to smoke his cigarette, he never
simply lights up. The cigarette must first be opened and
the tightly packed contents loosened. The material is often
carefully examined for color, smell, twig content and seeds.
Twigs are discarded, and seeds are either crushed or dis¬
carded because they do not burn evenly. Even so, most
regular users have tiny burned holes in their shirts caused
by hot seeds that have dropped out of the cigarette while
smoking. If the picadura has no smell, it is considered
too old to be of much potency. Color is used to identify
roughly where the material is grown, a system of classifica¬
tion which will be described in more detail in the following
pages.
Often vendors will keep a quantity of marihuana hidden
in the ground before it is sold. Users have a special test
to discover whether this has occurred. If marihuana remains
in the ground for more than a few days, the picadura can be
infested with insects that spin webs in the material. When
the user passes a pencil tip through material that has been
subjected to these conditions, the picadura "beards" on the
end of the pencil and hangs there. Good picadura always falls
away from the pencil tip.

108
Costa Rican marihuana smokers do not pass the lighted
cigarette from one smoking companion to another. Individual
users smoke their own cigarette from beginning to end, with¬
out offering a single puff to those around them. Exceptions
occasionally occur among the youngest consumers in our study
population who sometimes pass around the last cigarette of
the roll possibly in imitation of marihuana useage styles
seen in movies made in the United States. However, the gen¬
eral pattern is of non-sharing, and seems to be a function
of the volume in use. It simply would not be practical for
users to share individual cigarettes when each user smokes
several "joints" in a single session. Individual consump¬
tion, as seen through field observation, ranges up to 40
4
cigarettes in a session of smoking.
>i.. In order to minimize paper consumption, Costa Rican
users often combine the contents of several street-size
cigarettes, which as explained above have an excess of paper.
The resulting puro (literally, "cigar") may contain the pica¬
dura of as many as six or seven street-size cigarettes.^
Other stylistic variations on smoking are worthy of individual
descriptions:
Pipa de paz (peace pipe) - A wooden tube two
to three inches long which is closed at one end
and has a hole in the side for insertion of the
bicho ("joint"). It is used by younger consumers
who often hang it around their necks on a long
leather thong. The peace pipe enables the smoker
to finish the joint without touching it.
Cachimba (name given to any tobacco pipe used
to smoke Cannabis) - Sometimes cigarettes are in¬
serted into the bowl of the pipe, and sometimes

109
loose picadura is placed in the bowl, either by
itself or mixed with tobacco. The mixture is
made in this order: one layer of tobacco, one
layer of marihuana, and one layer of tobacco. In
comparison with cigarette smoking, pipe use is
relatively rare. Users claim that it is practical
to use pipes for smoking marihuana only when the
material is available in abundance, because more
waste accompanies pipe smoking than cigarette
smoking. The advantage of pipe use is the elim¬
ination of paper from the smoking process.
Coco seco (dried coconut) - This is a rare
style said to be used in Limón by the blacks to
test batches of freshly cured marihuana for potency.
A coconut is perforated at one end and the meat
cleaned out through the hole. It is then dried, and
when the drying is completed another hole is made
in the other end. Dried marihuana tops and flowers
(not yet chopped) are inserted in the first hole.
Hot charcoal is then inserted through the first
hole, and the smoker inhales through the second
hole in the coconut.
Pipa de agua (water pipe) - Another rare form
of smoking. The only two designs observed by field
workers were a composite wine bottle-straw-bowl
design and a one-piece bamboo pipe. The smoke is
drawn through the water, and thereby cooled, reducing
harshness.
Caja de fósforos (matchbox) - The user per¬
forates the top of a wooden matchbox, making a hole
just big enough to insert a single cigarette. He
then tears out one end of the tray section. The
cigarette is lit and inserted in the hole, and the
user inhales through the open end of the box. The
wide opening and the mixing of air and smoke that
results is said to give a more powerful initial
"rush."
The above descriptions deal with variations on cigarette and
picadura smoking, and they often assume an abundance of mari¬
huana. The dregs are also important. Costa Rican users are
similar to North American marihuana users in their careful
consumption of the very last shreds of marihuana and paper
that remain when the cigarette is nearly finished. The

110
FIGURE B
IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA
Pipa de paz (peace pipe)
hole in which cigarette is inserted ^-hollow center
rrr—mnrrrr~
closed end
open end
Cachimba (pipe)
Coco Seco (dried coconut)
mouth placed around

Ill
FIGURE B
IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA
Pi pa de agua (water pipe)
Caja de fos foros (matchbox)
hole into which
cigarette is inserted
jacket
end to be
through box
tray inserted into box

112
FIGURE B
IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA
Taco
marihuana butt tobacco cigarette
e )
)
i
tobacco removed from
cigarette tip
r~
—
)
marihuana butt placed in
tobacco cigarette
££3
(TTZ r
II . II
taco
£YT T
Ct^L^lAri.. ...
)
Muleta (crutch)
wood matchstick
paper match
O
LS
twig
C

113
FIGURE B
IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA
La Bandera (flag)
marihuana cigarette
unrolled
picadura
paper
â– excess paper
used as handle
re-rolled with less pape
J
4— picadura

following are Costa Rican methods to matar la tocola ("kill
the roach"):
Taco - By far the most frequently used method,
the taco is made by emptying the tobacco from the
end of a regular tobacco cigarette and placing, in
the space that is opened up, the final piece of the
marihuana cigarette. This end is then twisted and
moistened, so that the roach will remain secure.
The cigar is then lighted, and the entire tandem
cigarette is smoked.
Muleta (literally "crutch") - Costa Rican users
make muletas out of the handiest material available.
This can include any kind of twig, a broomstraw,
matchsticks (either wooden or cardboard), a bobby
pin, or a paper clip. Twigs and wooden matchsticks
are broken, and the roach is placed in the broken
notch. The two ends are then pressed against each
other so that the roach is held in between. Broom-
straws and cardboard matchsticks are split, and the
roach is pressed between the two split ends. Bobby
pins and paper clips are used in the same way as
cardboard matchsticks.
La Bandera (the flag) - Because most street
cigarettes have an excess of paper, the user may re¬
roll the cigarette using only 1/3 of the paper. The
excess is used as a handle for the marihuana cigarette,
enabling the user to hold the cigarette without stain¬
ing the fingers, and to finish the entire cigarette
without having to resort to a taco or a muleta. (It
might be noted here that excess paper, if not smoked,
is never thrown away carelessly. It is either burned,
chewed into a little gray ball, or saved for future
use. Narcotics police identify this paper with mari¬
huana use, and become suspicious of the places where
it is seen lying around.)
The above items are part of everyday use of marihuana in
Costa Rica, because cigarette smoking is the preponderant
use style.
Types
There is little concensus among the Costa Rican users
in our sample regarding local typologies or taxonomies of

115
marihuana as they use it. Color and place of origin appear
to be the principal identifying factors. For consumers,
place of origin usually refers to place from which the
material was brought directly to San Jose, i.e., usually
Limón or San Isidro del General. Thus, marihuana that is
produced in Talamanca and shipped through San Isidro, becomes
San Isidran.
According to users, Limón produces two varieties. One
is almost black in color, with an earthy aroma and a harsh
taste which irritates the throat. Its effects are strong,
and they are felt very quickly after smoking is begun. The
other, la rubia or "the blonde," is almost yellow in color,
is less fusty in aroma and much less harsh in taste. It
is also strong, but the effects delay ten to 15 minutes
after smoking begins.
San Miguelito, a variety which comes from Panama, is
one of the more controversial marihuanas recognized by Costa
Rican users. The dried leaves have been described as yellow
and curly, brown and straight, and many variations in between.
It usually has many more seeds than the other varieties, and
it is recognized unanimously as one of the strongest mari¬
huana available to the Costa Rican consumer.
According to Cannabis users in our sample, San Isidro
del General produces a marihuana that is passable, but that
does not receive as high overall ratings as la negra from
Limdn and San Miguelito from Panama. Table 5 lists the
characteristics attributed to the four most often named
varieties by Costa Rican users.

116
TABLE 5
Common Marihuana Types
Marihuana
Type
Color and
Smell
Consistency
Origin
Taste
Effects-
Remarks
La Negra
Black
"earthy
smel1"
Straight
fine seeds
Limón
Harsh,
rasps
the
throat
Strong
and imme¬
diate
effect
La Rubia
Yel1owish
(blonde)
"like a
cut lawn"
Curly many
seeds
Limón
Smooth
Moderate,
but "good
high" and
delayed
action
La Cafe
Brown
"little
odor"
Straight
few seeds
San
Isidro
del
General
Neither
harsh
nor
smooth
Compara-
tively
weak
San
Miguelito
Yellow to
brown
"fusty,
and stronger
Curly to
straight
many
seeds
Panama
(via
Lirnon)
Harsh
Strongest
available
than tobacco"

117
Medicinal Preparations
As compared to reports described by Rubin and Comitas
(1975) for Jamaica, Cannabis in Costa Rica does not have a
wide variety of medicinal applications. Only three medicinal
preparations were noted by the field research team, and all
were specifically used for alleviating either coughing or
asthma symptoms. Possibly the concentration on asthma remedies
is related to the higher frequency of acute asthma attacks in
San José. The city has an extremely damp climate where asthma
is more of a problem than it is in most temperate areas.
The informant responsible for the hachís recipes also
supplied us with a cough medicine recipe. The same initial
procedure of soaking marihuana in pure cane alcohol makes up.
the first step. Instead of distilling the drained-off alcohol
after a two-week soaking period, this liquid is mixed with
honey and sugar base soft drink syrup. Two tablespoons are
guaranteed to clear up the most stubborn, persistent cough.
The most mentioned asthma remedy is a tea made from the
boiled root of the Cannabis plant. This preparation is known
to people outside the marihuana-smoking social networks and
is often used by people of respectable social position for
relieving asthma symptoms. Less frequently mentioned is
another boiled preparation, using the seeds of the plant.
Cannabis seeds are first placed in a thin cloth and crushed
by beating the cloth with a heavy object. The cloth is then
placed in water and boiled with the seeds inside. Both the
root tea and the seed tea are to be drunk by the asthma
sufferer.

118
There is some historical evidence that the medicinal
properties of Cannabis were beginning to be recognized during
roughly the same era when the first laws controlling the drug
were enacted. The Costa Rican Synopsis of Vegetable Medicines
(Perez-Cabrera 1938), contains a section on Cannabis sativa.
The initial comment in this section is of interest to the
question of amotivational syndrome, because it attributes
"lethargy and idiocy" to the habitual use of the drug. The
account continues to name a wide range of maladies for. which
Cannabis is therapeutic, including cancer pain, madness,
whooping cough, and asthma (Ibid.: 87). However, the testi¬
mony of users in our study sample does not reflect a wide¬
spread practice of this kind of medicinal Cannabis use in
San Jose.
One informant who suffered from severe asthma gave us
a very strong testimonial to the effectiveness of marihuana
in alleviating the symptoms of this disease. He and his
two brothers all suffered from asthma since they were small
children, occasionally experiencing acute attacks. Along
with the older of his two younger brothers, he began smoking
marihuana at an early age; except for occasional wheezing,
neither have suffered from asthma since they began regular
smoking of the drug. The youngest of the three never took
up marihuana smoking, and died at the age of 20 in an acute
asthma attack. This younger brother's physical constitution
was claimed to be abnormally weak, but no weaker than that
of his brothers. The informant believes that his younger

119
brother's refusal to use marihuana was in part responsible
for his early death.
Smoking marihuana in the normal manner is claimed by
users to have a number of additional minor medicinal uses.
Normal smoking is said to cure headaches, hangover, insomnia,
loss of appetite, impotence, depression and general malaise.
Pharmacological Content of Costa Rican Cannabis
A major difficulty with much of the research on amoti-
vational syndrome is the question of dosage. Only in the
artificial environment of hospital testing as practiced by
Miles, et al. (1975) or Mendelson and Meyer (1972) do the
studies reviewed in Chapter I achieve exactitude in dosage
documentation, and even then, only for relatively brief
periods of use. Studies of chronic, long term use are even
more difficult in this respect, because the researcher must
assume a degree of uniformity both in the habits of the sub¬
ject, and in the quality of his drug during the period of use.
The two-year study in Costa Rican benefitted greatly
from the recent advances in analyzing Cannabis' psychotropic
ingredient. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been
shown to have most of the same physiological and subjective
effects on humans in laboratory administrations as natural
marihuana material.
We do not assume that the marihuana samples collected
over the two-year period which comprised the field study are
completely representative of the marihuana smoked .by the users

120
for ten or more years; the users' experience of up to 30 years
makes such an assumption difficult. Nevertheless, samples
were collected at varied times of year, so that the two-year
¡•'riod itself was evenly represented. Most of the variations
in the pharmacological makeup of Costa Rican marihuana,
related to seasonal variations in Delta 9 THC content or to
different methods of harvesting and processing the plants,
should be reflected in these samples.
Content of Marihuana
Thirteen separate samples of marihuana were obtained
from study participants, over a two-year period of time
between 1973 and 1975 for analysis in laboratories designated
by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the United States.
Marihuana samples were obtained by the field team in the forms
in which the drug is sold to consumers, dried and chopped into
picadura and usually rolled into cigarettes. We found through
repeated weighings of confiscated street rolls of marihuana
that these rolls of 25 cigarettes always weighed very close
to 5 grams. Thus, a ten-gram sample usually consisted of
two street rolls of marihuana cigarettes. The street-sized
marihuana cigarette is so uniform that it is a basic unit
of reference for determining the individual dosage levels
among the users in the study sample.
Analyses were done in triplicate using thin-layer chroma¬
tography and gas chromatography. Table 6 shows the per cent
by weight of the ingredients in the Costa Rican marihuana
samples as indicated.

121
TABLE 6 (After Coggins 1976: 11-46)
Analysis of Marihuana
Mean Per Cent by Weight
l
Sample Number
Cannabi-
Chromene*
Delta 9 THC
Cannabinol
1.
.25
2.49
.03
2.
.19
2.34
.02
3.
.19
1.27
.17
4.
.21
1.33
.28
5.
.18
3.41
.28
6.
.08
1.62
.07
7.
.15
2.86
.23
8.
.10
1.53
.08
9.
.24
3.72
.44
10.
.09
1.60
.26
11.
.13
1.78
.23
12.
.16
1.87
.18
13.
.17
1.67
.19
*These samples contain only trace amounts of Cannabidiol (50 nanograms).

122
The extremely small amounts of Cannabidiol (CBD) in
these samples is noteworthy since there is evidence that CBD
interferes with the effects of Delta 9 THC in man (Coggins
1976: 11-47).
Daily Levels of Marihuana Use
Two different methods were employed to elicit use level
data for the study sample during the course of our investiga¬
tion. With the first, the subjects provided reports on their
daily use patterns by 24-hour recall, giving as exact informa¬
tion as possible, including precise number of cigarettes and
the times at which they were smoked. With the second, subjects
were asked to estimate their average level of use over time.
Twenty-four hour recall information was obtained in
conjunction with the dietary survey and the sleep EEG studies.
During the course of the dietary study in which daily food
intakes were recorded by the field investigation team, users
were asked to recall how much marihuana they had smoked over
the previous 24 hours. This information was gathered for three
consecutive days. Users undergoing the sleep EEG study supplied
similar use figures based on 24-hour recall to the hospital
liason personnel prior to their entry into the sleep laboratory.
These figures were collected on all eight nights of the sleep
EEG participation, and of course were not made available at
any time to the sleep study technicians. All of the 24-hour
recall data for each user was averaged, and then the mean mari¬
huana consumption per day was computed for the entire sample
of 41 users. This mean was 9.6 marihuana cigarettes per day,

123
with a median of seven and a range of from 2.5 to 40 cigarettes
per day.
Intensive use-history interviews in which the subjects
were asked to estimate their daily average consumption rates
comprised the second method of use level elicitation. The con¬
sistency between the general self estimate in the life history
interviews and 24-hour recall data was very close. The general
estimate ranged from 2.5 to 25 cigarettes per day, with a
sample-wide mean of 11.8 marihuana cigarettes per day, and a
median of 10. We can see from this that the users' general
estimates of average daily marihuana intake tend to be slightly
higher than the 24-hour recall reports, but this difference
is not great enough to be given any real importance in the
study of chronic marihuana--use .
We should emphasize that the level of marihuana consump¬
tion was dependent on access to the drug, and some users who
demonstrated apparently unlimited capacity for smoking mari¬
huana were prevented by their financial situation from smoking
to their capacity. Some subjects reported or were observed
smoking up to 80 marihuana cigarettes in a single day, when they
were financially able. Such levels of consumption were achieved
only rarely, and none were recorded in the 24-hour recall data.
Nevertheless, the investigative team feels that it is important
to include this information in qualitative form during any
discussion of marihuana dosage levels among Costa Rican users.
In order to compare the daily marihuana consumption aver¬
ages for the Costa Rican sample used in this study with use

124
data that are available from other cultural traditions
of marihuana use, we computed the mean Delta 9 THC content
for all samples analyzed during two years in the field. This
mean is 2.1 per cent by weight. The comparable figures avail¬
able are expressed in Delta 9 THC content of Cannabis material
consumed. In order to make our estimates comparable, we
multiplied the mean THC content for all samples by the amount
of material consumed in milligrams. The figures that result
are similar to the approximate figures for participants in
other s.tudies of chronic Cannabis users.
The light Costa Rican user from our sample who smoked
2.5 cigarettes per day is likely to be exposed to about 10 mg.
of Delta 9 THC per day. This makes his THC exposure comparable
to that of the typical chronic user in the United States,
according to Rubin and Comitas (1975: 192). The average Costa
Rican user, who smokes about ten cigarettes per day is exposed
to somewhat less Delta 9 THC, about 40 mg., than his Indian or
Egyptian counterparts, who consume 60 to 90 mg. of this sub¬
stance. The heaviest user in our sample, who smokes an average
of 40 marihuana cigarettes per day, has a level of Delta 9 THC
exposure which is on par with heavy hashish smokers in India
and among United States armed forces in Germany, at 160 mg.
per day. Figures for the heavy Egyptian hashish smoker are
somewhat higher, at 200 mg. per day (Rubin and Comitas 1975:
192 or Ibid.). Yet, the user who may on occasion consume 80
to 100 cigarettes in a single day, probably is exposed to over
350 mg. of Delta 9 THC.

125
Thus, the users in the Costa Rican sample represent a
range of Cannabis use which is quite comparable to that re¬
ported in other studies where careful attempts to establish
daily usage patterns have been made. Considering the absence
of concentrated Cannabis preparations in Costa Rica, the
Costa Rican smokers are actually doing much more smoking than
their Indian or Moroccan counterparts, who are almost exclu¬
sively hashish smokers, to achieve similar dosage levels.
The standard marihuana cigarettes sold on the street,
singly, or in'rolls of 25, contain approximately 200 mgm. of
marihuana. Assuming that approximately 50 per cent of the
THC content of marihuana is lost to the air or destroyed in
the burning cigarette (Manno, et al. 1970), the average daily
dose of Delta 9 THC taken in by these subjects would range
from 3.18 mgm. for the lowest level of daily use (2.5 cigar¬
ettes) and the lowest potency of marihuana samples (1.27
per cent), to 149 mg. of THC for the highest level of daily
use (40 cigarettes) and the highest potency of THC content
measured (3.7 per cent). The mean daily use of the 41 sub¬
jects (9.6 cigarettes) would provide a range of Delta 9 THC
of 12.1 mg. per day for the least potent samples to 35.3 mg.
per day for the most potent samples.*
This conservatively estimated range of daily intake of
Delta 9 THC would categorize these subjects as "typical"
*For exposure figures cf. Table 7. The figures in that
table should be multiplied by .50 to obtain estimated dosage
levels.

126
users in the scheme of comparative usage exposure levels
presented by Rubin and Comitas (1975). Therefore, it may
be said with confidence that the dosage levels of the matched
pair sample of users places them in good standing among
Cannabis users worldwide. Given the condition of dealing
with marihuana use over long periods of time and a natural,
uncontrolled setting, the data on Costa Rican Cannabis con¬
sumption are as good as can be expected, and they are much
better than those available for any other study dealing with
amotivational syndrome.
Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use have cloudy histor¬
ical origins, but their comparative simplicity testifies
to a relatively recent arrival in that country. Cigarettes
made of chopped, dried plant material are the staple of
marihuana users who are apparently ignorant of the elaborate
possibilities of Cannabis use. Concealment strategies dic¬
tate the form of the marihuana cigarettes used in San Jose,
because a governmental policy of repressing Cannabis use has
dominated use patterns for most of this century. Levels of
consumption among Costa Rican marihuana smokers are comparable
to worldwide figures for Cannabis use, and therefore, assess¬
ment of Costa Rican use patterns regarding the presence or
absence of amotivational syndrome should have some relevance
to the study of Cannabis use effects in other cultural settings.

127
TABLE 7
Extrapolations of Degree of Exposure to Delta 9 THC
Based on Cross-Tabulation of Sample Analysis Results
and Average Daily Consumption Levels.*
Delta 9 THC Content in
mg./100 mg.
(% by weight)
Marihuana Smoked
Low
Mean
High
per day in mg.
1.27
2.11
3.72
Low (2.5 cig./day)
500 mg.
6.35 mg.
10.55 mg.
18.60 mg.
Mean (9.6 cig./day)
1900 mg.
24.13 mg.
40.09 mg.
70.68 mg.
High (40 cig./day)
8000 mg.
101.60 mg.
168.80 mg.
297.60 mg.
*Since we cannot assume that the user absorbs all of the Delta 9
THC when he smokes, we must emphasize that these amounts indicate levels
of exposure. An approximate dosage level may be obtained by multiply¬
ing the cell amounts by .50.

NOTES
Pambeld- is also the name of a Colombian prizefighter
who is now holder of the world welterweight title, a fact
which suggests the perceived potency of this material.
2
The female Cannabis sativa plant excretes a resin
which is particularly rich in Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), the main psychotropic ingredient in Cannabis prepar¬
ations. Hashish and other strong Cannabis preparations are
composed of resin from the female plant.
3
The users may have this impression either because the
doses swallowed are relatively small, or because by the time
the slower effect of Cannabis ingestion arrive, they have
already smoked again, thereby masking the ingestion effects.
^Smoked over a period of about 2 1/2 hours.
^The precise manner in which puros and street cigarettes
were smoked will be discussed in Chapter V.
128

CHAPTER V
SMOKING "SET" AND EFFECTS
One approach to the development of a theoretical basis
for interpreting the role of marihuana use in the lives of
Costa Rican users is to begin with a systematic inventory of
the drug's subjective effects. This chapter defines how the
user's physical location and state of mind at the time of use
interact with the physical and mind-altering effects of the
drug to produce marihuana's effects. Ultimately the concepts
presented here are intended to aid in assessing the appli¬
cability of amotivational syndrome to the smoking patterns
of Costa Rican marihuana users.
The User Typology
It is normal for people of similar habits to be drawn
together in the course of their social activities. In certain
contexts, even crowds act uniformly, as in the cheers shouted
at football games, or the unison olé of the bull ring. In
the case of marihuana smokers, a user typology can be built
based on similarities and differences in social status, the
smoking environment, nature and level of use, and reported
and perceived effects. Chopra (1957) has already done this
for India by identifying four different varieties of users.
129

130
In his typology, Chopra does not go far toward an analy¬
sis of specific effects. He sees basically three kinds of
Cannabis intoxication: euphoric, hunger- and fatigue-relieving,
and "narcotic." The first two are associated with relatively
light dosages, and the last with very heavy use of concen¬
trated, resin-based preparations. Since he is dealing with
large differences in dosage level, Chopra's gross character¬
izations of Cannabis' effects seem adequate for his definitions
of varying styles of Indian Cannabis use. His development of
stylistic typologies simplifies what otherwise would be an
undifferentiated continuum of extremely complex and varied
factors.
Typologies such as Chopra's are useful in helping delin¬
eate the boundaries between clusterings of complex cultural
phenomena. To be operationalized, they must take the approach
of the ideal type. Such an approach allows for variability
and nuance when applied to individual cases, at the same time
that it employs a broad, cross-cutting principle to simplify
the handling of otherwise unmanageable masses of data. Ideal
types may be derived from religious beliefs, and ethical and
symbolic systems, as did the types used by the German sociolo¬
gist, Max Weber, in his analyses of the world's great civili¬
zations (1958). Ours will be based on varieties of marihuana
use and their relationship to the users' social environment.
Users in our sample fall into two broad categories:
those who exercise readily discernible control over their
immediate social environment, and those who, rather than

131
controlling such environment, must adapt quixotically to it.
The former group leads a much calmer, more patterned and
stable life. Because this stability permeates all activities
of members of this group, including marihuana use, we shall
call them "stable smokers." The latter group leads a much
less secure existence. Its members find that they must hide
their marihuana use from family and usually from fellow
workers and supervisors as well. Because of their street-
side pattern of use, we shall call them "street movers" or,
if they are at-all-costs-clandestine smokers, "pastoralist-
escapists."
The stable smoker is typically either the head of his
household, or has made enough peace with the other adults in
the house to be able to smoke at home. With the home as a
basic refuge, the stable smoker has little need to expose
himself to the risks of community sanction and possible
arrest in order to pursue his habit. Stable smokers often
succeed in finding work in situations where fellow workers
also smoke marihuana, especially in occupations such as
shoemaking, baking, tailoring, trucking or taxi driving.
Shoemakers have a particularly strong reputation for marihuana
use on the job. Usually other adults in the home (wife,
in-laws, parents, etc.) are tolerant but disapproving. Only
in rare cases do these adults actively share marihuana use.
The stable smoker generally eschews social contexts for
smoking outside of this controlled environments. He considers
running with a barra (crowd) too risky, and so, on those rare

132
occasions when he smokes on the street, he is likely to smoke
alone. This does not mean that he is necessarily anti-social
in his smoking behavior. There are bars in San José where
certain people may smoke with relative impunity, because
sufficient vigilance and precautions are maintained by the
management to insure the security of their clientele. The
marihuana smoked in these places is usually brought to the
bar by the user himself. If he is well known in the bar,
however, the bartender himself may provide him with material.
Other smoking environments used by the stable smoker will be
described in greater detail later.
Stable smokers contrast more sharply with fellow smokers
of the pastoralist-escapist and street mover types than they
do with their matched, non-user controls (see Chapter VI:
212-222). To a much higher degree than members of the other
user types, they have steady jobs. Their families approximate
those of the non-users much more closely than those of the
other two types of smokers. They usually have a woman in the
household to prepare regular meals. They tend to be older
than the other groups, with a mean age of 33.9 and a range of
22 to 48.'*' During the study, they proved easier to find at
home, more responsible, and on the whole more cooperative than
were the street movers or pastoralist-escapists.
Street movers, who represent the group called street
people in Chapter II and III, are constantly active in the
street life of San José, and are highly skilled in the street
language and bustling economic activity found there. Usually

133
they enter street networks during early or middle childhood,
propelled by unstable home situations. Street movers may
live in a family household, but may not smoke there. Many,
however, live alone in cheap rented rooms in the boarding
houses which surround the central market area and red-light
district. There they may find a precarious peace with
management willing to tolerate smoking in their room, but
only so long as the rent is paid. When landlords do not
approve of such activities, street movers tend to smoke in
the city streets or the coffee groves that surround San
Jose.
The style of life of street movers contrasts sharply
with that of stable smokers. Home and family life are at
best spotty, and often nonexistent. The street mover lacks
a steady job, although he may have worked sporadically on an
ad hoc basis (a pattern which is called camaronear, or "to
shrimp" in the local street argot). The street mover's diet
is similar to the rest of his life style: sporadic and uneven.
Often lacking a household to which to resort for steady meals,
he takes what he can get in the street, which is often neither
nutritious nor satisfying. His pattern is one which has ante¬
cedents which reach back long before first marihuana use.
Street movers tend to be younger than the stable smokers, with
a mean age of 28.1 and a range of 20-43 years of age. Because
of their disordered and mercurial life style, street movers
are difficult to locate in their urban environment.
The smoker type with the smallest representation in our

134
sample is the pastoralist-escapists. Only two were selected
for the matched pair sample for intensive testing and data
gathering, yet they are important in the typology. Pastor-
alist-escapists represent a strong trend today among younger
lower-class users of marihuana to embrace certain parts of
the "Age of Aquarius" ethos of North America. Most pastor-
alist-escapists known to the research team were too young
to qualify for the user sample. Those who were old enough
had begun smoking before the arrival of stylish drug use in
Costa Rica, but had taken up some of the superficial charac¬
teristics of this ethos after their traditional Costa Rican
pattern of use had already been established. For some
reason, pastoralist-escapists are unwilling to risk the
danger of arrest. This differentiates them from the street
movers, and, since they are otherwise similar to the street
movers in their dependency on open smoking environments out¬
side of the home or closed workshops, pastoralist-escapists
resort to the surrounding coffee plantations and countryside
for their marihuana smoking activities.
Being younger on the whole than the other two user types,
pastoralist-escapists usually still live with their family
of orientation. Otherwise, they are similar to the street
movers in the general mercurial quality of their life styles.
Pastoralist-escapists do not hold steady jobs, or at best,
change jobs frequently. They have spent time participating
in street culture activities, often after exposure to street
culture at an early age, but they do not demonstrate the same

135
skill in street survival as their street mover counterparts.
Pastoralist-escapists have some home and family life.
Of the 41 marihuana users chosen for the matched pair
sample, 23 were stable smokers, 16 street movers, and two
pastoralist-escapists. Their classification into these
three basic types was based on two years' familiarity with
the smoking habits and life history materials of each subject,
and was then tested by a comparative, quantitative analysis
of smoking environments. Through that analysis, we discovered
that stable smokers, for example, may be distinguished from
the other two types of users even by the frequency of effects
claimed for marihuana smoking.
As in any kind of typology, there are certain border¬
line cases which could have gone into another category. Three
of the street movers might have been termed pastoralist-
escapists but were left in the street mover category because
of their occasional demonstrations of openness of marihuana
smoking and their propensity to smoke with street groups.
Some stable smokers might have been called street movers on
the basis of their life styles and nefarious economic activities,
but they remained in the stable smoker category on the basis
of their access to closed and secure smoking environments.
Other stable smokers have changed status in such a way that
they might now be called street movers. Since we finished
eliciting intensive materials, they have lost the stable home
situation which allowed them to smoke marihuana in peace. In
these cases, we have attempted to "freeze" our point of view

136
so that some analysis of patterns of use at a specific point
in time would be possible.
Changes from one smoking style to another are commonly
found in the life histories of several subjects, especially
the younger ones. Older stable smokers describe periods in
their youth when they pursued activities similar to those of
typical street movers. Young stable smokers often fluctuate
between street mover and stable smoker style before settling
on a stable smoker situation. A case in point is Gonzalo.
He was 20 when we first contacted him, and had been living
with his mother and two younger sisters for the previous year
and a half. He had built the house in which they lived on
government land in a community of squatters. His work his¬
tory during the two years the project lasted had been one
of steady work with infrequent job changes. His income during
that period of time was the only support for his family. His
smoking style bore all of the characteristics of a stable
smoker because he had reached an accord with his family re¬
garding his smoking habits. He smoked marihuana generally
at home, or in the homes of some of his squatter neighbors
who also smoked.
Gonzalo abandoned his home and family to avoid arrest
after an argument with another neighbor which led to a knife
fight in which the neighbor was gravely wounded. By the time
he was able to return, his mother was living with another man,
and Gonzalo was left on the street. His adventures since
that time, including work history, trouble with the police,

137
and smoking environments, have resembled the life style of
a street mover more than that of a stable smoker. If he
follows the characteristic sequence found in old users, he
may vacillate several more times between stable smoker
and street mover before finally settling on a single style.
Yet, we call him a stable smoker because the bulk of our
information on Gonzalo's life style was collected during
a period when he lived with his family and worked regularly.
In the case of Luis Diego, the opposite occurred.
According to his life history, he has lived almost entirely
in the street mover style, in spite of the fact that, when
we first contacted him, he had been living a fairly stable
relationship with a woman for about a year. Luis Diego moved
back to his customary street mover style before we began to
collect his life history materials. He was therefore classi¬
fied as a street mover; this classification seemed to reflect
his most customary style of life, as described in the life
history materials.
One type of variation that does not occur in the users'
vacillation between marihuana smoking styles is the transition
from pastoralist-escapist to street mover. Paco, the older
pastoralist-escapist, is on the verge of becoming a stable
smoker as he is establishing his own family of procreation.
He has never embraced the street mover style because of his
strong aversion to open smoking environments.

138
Analysis of Smoking Environment Descriptions by the Users
The various smoking environments chosen by marihuana
users are closely related to their relative control over
social environments. By sifting participant observation
data, life history materials, and marihuana use interviews,
we were able to identify 13 kinds of marihuana using
environments. These were abstracted from smoking context
2
and effects material m the transcribed interviews. Each
segment of transcribed interview text was examined for
descriptions of smoking environment and subjectively per¬
ceived effects, as these were reported by the individual
subjects. In all, 578 different context accounts of smoking
environment were counted by the scorer, with 527 described
effects of marihuana smoking. The reason that the number of
effects is not identical to the number of smoking contexts
is that sometimes two effects were named for a single environ¬
mental setting, and sometimes settings were named but no
accompanying effects described. The scorer kept an individ¬
ual user's tally for effects named and environments cited.
The underlying hypothesis for this process of enumer¬
ation was that if the subjects named smoking effects and
contexts according to their customary smoking habits, then
the user typology, previously defined in non-quantitative
terms, could be tested by that enumeration. The cross-tabu-
lation format was- conceived to facilitate the formulation of
a relationship between user type and smoking environment,
user type and effects obtained, and smoking environments and
effects obtained.

139
In the analysis, smoking environment has been defined as
the place where the user felt the effects described, or where
he actually smoked the marihuana. Most often, the two were
coterminous. However, users sometimes smoke in preparation
for an activity in a place where it would be too risky to
smoke; to eliminate confusion, we have scored this as equal
to an effect felt in the place where the marihuana is actually
smoked.
Preparatory smoking is a normal procedure for some of
our users. One stable smoker, for example, mentions his
preparation for work:
At times, I haven't gotten stoned, and I feel
a bit donkey-headed, and maybe I have to assemble
a control box like that one there, or maybe with
24 circuit breakers. Well, each breaker carries
a line, and there’s a diagram with instructions
to assemble the box, and I feel donkey-headed and
I can't do it. Then, I leave it and don't assemble
it. The next day, I come to work well-toasted
. . . and shortly afterwards the box is assembled.
This smoker maintains that preparatory smoking makes him a
more effective and willing worker.
Another user explains preparatory smoking as follows:
When I'm going to talk to the mayor or some
official, first I smoke and get stoned, and then I
go talk. The same with a lawyer. I like to smoke
before talking, because then, with my batteries in,
I'm "pure life." I spend day and night smoking
weed.
The above texts were scored for two smoking environments
and one effect each. The first example was scored for "home
alone" and "work alone" environments and the "work better"
effect. The second was scored for "home alone" ánd "street

14 0
alone" environments and the "improves performance" effect
(cf. Table 8).
Stable smokers like the ones quoted above usually have
a private place where they do their preparatory smoking
undisturbed. Others not so fortunate seclude themselves and
smoke all of the material they have in order not to risk
being caught in possession. This kind of smoking is not in
preparation for any specific activity, but rather for street
wandering, bar-hopping, or dancing. One young user explains
his preparatory smoking thus:
Most of the time you could say (that I smoke)
accompanied, because alone it's difficult. I buy
(material). I do . . . and find an empty field,
and I smoke, since I don't like to carry that stuff
around. So what I do is, I go to a place, and I
smoke it right there, and I come out of there simply
with what I've got in my head.
Carrying marihuana in one's head (la llevo en la jupa) is a
use style which appears in most users' accounts. It is safe,
and, except for a very perceptive observer, undetectible.
Preparatory smoking is a way for the marihuana smoker to
enjoy the effects of the drug in any context he wishes.
In doing our analysis of smoking set, certain kinds of
similar environments were combined into a single category,
especially when they were reported infrequently. For example,
smoking in school was combined with smoking alone in a work¬
shop, because smoking in school was reported seldom, and the
nature of the smoking environments in both cases was similar.
In both, one is forced to hide one's smoking from supervisory
authority, and is required to function in the same manner as
non-smokers.

141
Once basic smoking environments were identified, they
were tabulated with citation instances in the life history
materials and marihuana interviews. When a new environment
was found during the sifting of the transcribed interviews,
it was either included in a separate category or combined
with one of the existing categories. Bar and dance-hall
were kept separate because bars are less open smoking envir¬
onments than dance-halls. Prison, as a smoking environment,
is so unique that it was included in spite of the few
instances in which it was cited by our sample.
To give an adequate idea of the scope and nuance of these
smoking contexts, each included in the final tables deserves
a brief description. They will be listed in order from
"safest" and "lowest risk" to "most open" and "highest risk."
Home alone. The smokers in our sample cited this
smoking environment more than any other. Of the 578 enumer¬
ated smoking environments, 128, or 22.1 per cent were in the
"home alone" category. All references to smoking alone in
one's own or one's family's home were scored for this category.
Workshop (school) alone. This was another relatively
closed environment, cited in 11.9 per cent of the cases.
The "workshop alone" category was scored when the user des¬
cribed an instance of smoking by himself while on the job or
in school.
Workshop with group. This category was scored when the
user mentioned a smoking environment in which he and his
working companions smoked together while on the job. Six and

142
one tenth per cent of cited environments were coded in this
fashion.
Home with group. This environment could be either in
the subject's own home or in the homes of his friends, but it
had to connote smoking with other users. This category
accounted for 7.1 per cent of all cited environments.
Vehicle. Since all of these citations were for group
smoking, this category was not separated into solitary and
social sub-units, as were the "workshop" and "home" environ¬
ment categories. The "vehicle" context accounts for only
2.4 per cent of all environments cited, but since the "ride"
in a car or truck is seen by many users as one of the most
pleasant smoking environments, we separate it from the
countryside contexts described later.
Countryside alone. One does not have to go very far
from the center of San Jose to find small groves of trees
or coffee plantations where he can smoke in relative quiet.
Users cited this smoking environment in 2.2 per cent of cases.
Street alone. Solitary consumption of marihuana on the
streets of San José was cited by users in 8.1 per cent of
all named user environments. Variations of this environment
include ducking into a theatre restroom to smoke a quick
joint, smoking in the restrooms of a downtown cafe, and smoking
while walking along a dark side street.
Countryside group. When users described experiences
where several of them resorted to the coffee plantations and
nearby rivers for peaceful smoking sessions, these experiences

143
were scored in the "countryside group" category. With 11.4
per cent of the total responses enumerated, it is the fourth
most frequently-cited smoking environment mentioned by our
user sample.
Street group. The second most-cited smoking environment
was the street corner group which smoked marihuana together.
Eighteen and three tenths per cent of all smoking environ¬
ments cited were so categorized. There is always a certain
conspiratorial quality in this kind of smoking context; smoking
style will vary in accord with the business of a particular
corner. Concealment of the yellow marihuana cigarettes is
practiced de rigeur, reaching its most sophisticated form on
the busiest corners of downtown San Jose.
Bar. This smoking environment may be either open (that
is, of easy access to non-smoker and police) or closed. If
"open," the bar does not provide any security measures for
its customers, so smoking style is much more like street
smoking. If "closed" the bar provides at least enough vigil¬
ance for the clientele to be able to smoke more or less openly.
Pension-brothel. This environment was difficult to dif¬
ferentiate from "home alone" because several subjects live
or have lived in boarding houses similar to those used in the
prostitution trade. The "pension-brothel" category refers
to ad hoc rental of single rooms for relations with prostitutes
and for smoking. Usually the subject describes a situation
where he is alone with his girl, or with one or two companions.
Four per cent of the reported smoking environments were of this
nature.

144
Dance-hall. The dimly lit, pulsating lower-class dance-
hall is an extremely open and therefore risky environment for
smoking marihuana. It was cited by our subjects relatively
few times (1.5 per cent of all citings). We felt it worthy
of some attention as a separate category because of the
extreme openness of the environment and the presence of women,
neither of which are found in most bar smoking contexts.
Prison. By far the smallest category of smoking environ¬
ment in number and percentage of responses (0.6 per cent),
the prison was included because of its uniqueness. The two
kinds of prison cited were the central penitentiary and a
local detention center.
When ranked from most frequently to least frequently
cited, the 13 smoking environments fall into the following
order:
Home alone
22.1%
Street group
18.3%
Workshop alone
11.9%
Countryside group
11.4%
Street alone
8.1%
Home with group
6.1%
Bar
4.3%
Pension-brothel
4.0%
Vehicle
2.4%
Countryside alone
2.2%
Dance hall
1.5%
Prison
0.6%
Cross-tabulation of user type with these smoking environ¬
ments tests and gives considerable reinforcement to the original
typology. Table 8 illustrates in a straightforward manner the

TABLE 8
User Type and Smoking Environment
User
Type
Home
Alone
Work
Alone
Work In
Croup
Home in
Croup
Vehicle
Country-
aide
Alone
Street
Alone
Country¬
side in
Croup
Street
in
Croup
Bar
Pena l«Jn-
Brothel
D&ncp-
ha 11
Pvlnon
Rov
Total
Stable Smoker*
(N-2J)
9'!
47
34
34
.7
2
14
23
10
11
7
2
0
285
Street Movers
(H-1S)
32
21
0
7
7
7
2r-
36
93
14
13
4
3
Fastorsllut-
Etcapiatfl
(N-2)
2
1
1
0
0
4
8
7
3
0
1
2
0
29
Column Totals
126
69
33
41
14
13
47
66
106
26
23
8
3
576
Cranrf
Total
145

146
the proportion of each smoking environment report attributable
to each type of smoker.
Smoking context reports were given in slightly different
frequencies for each user type. Stable smokers mentioned an
average of 12.4 specific smoking contexts, with a range of
six to 25. Street movers spoke of anywhere from seven to 34
different smoking contexts with a mean per subject of 16.5.
Pastoralist-escapists reported a mean of 14.5 smoking contexts.
In order to adjust for the variation in frequency of
smoking environment citations among the three user types, we
have standardized all of the scores in Table 9 using a formula
where the total for Row A is divided by ten times the number
of subjects in Row B or vice versa. Because of the small
size of the pastoralist-escapist group (only two), we were
forced to "lump" these with the street movers, who, as we
mentioned earlier, are similar to the pastoralist-escapists
in their use of "open" smoking environments. Thus, the stan-
29 3
dardization formula for the stable smokers row would read: —T
23x1
which yields a factor of 1.274. The individual scores for
each smoking environment were then multiplied by the stan¬
dardization factor, yielding a standardized score for the
stable smoker row. When a similar operation was performed on
the street mover-pastoralist escapist row, the scores in each
row could then be compared.
Table 9 illustrates the results of this operation. The
"home alone" column holds high scores for the stable smokers,
while the street movers and pastoralist-escapists show low

TABLE 9
User Type arid Smoking Environment Standardized for Statistical Comparison*
User
Type
Standard¬
ization
Factors
Home
A lone
Work
Alone
Work
In
Croup
Home
in
Group
Vehic le
Country¬
side
Alone
Street
A lone
Country¬
side in
Croup
Street
In
Croup
Bar
Pensldn-
Brothel
Dance-
hall
Prison
Standard¬
ized
Tota In
Stable Smokers
01-23 >
1.274
119,7
59.9
43.3
43.3
8.9
2.5
17.8
29. 3
12.7
14.0
8.9
2.5
0.0
362.8
Street Mcvets
plus
Pastoral* st-
E-*caplsts
< N -18)
1.583
57.0
34.8
1.6
u. i
11. 1
17.4
52.3
68. 1
152.0
22.:
25.3
9.5
4.8
467.2
p Scores
p <.001
73
A
O
o
p <. 00 L
p<.001
p<,076
p<.001
p<.001
p<. 001 p<
.0001
p<-053
p< .001
[K.015
pc. 036
^Standardization factor derived by dividing the other row total by 10 N^.

148
scores for that same column. The two latter user types do
at times have access to the home as a smoking environment,
but to a much lesser degree and with much less security than
do the stable smokers. A test of significance shows this
result to be significant at the .001 level.
Other closed environments listed show the same differ¬
ence among the three user typo^. . wi th the exception of the
"vehicle" column. There, the 14 citations are evenly dis¬
tributed between stable smokers and street movers. This
smoking environment is probably more accessible to the street
movers than are the other closed environments. A test of
statistical significance yields a p value of less than .075,
further supporting this conclusion.
Stable smokers obtain low scores in all open environments,
and the difference is marked in all but one column. For the
bar environment, they have a fairly high score, which could be
the result of chance variation, coupled with the fact that the
bar could be in fact a closed environment, depending on the
vigilance measures taken by the manager. The low score that
is most striking for the stable smokers is that for "street
group" environments. Stable smokers are responsible for
only 9 per cent of all described "street group" environments,
while street movers gave nearly 90 per cent of the descrip¬
tions. This difference was found to be statistically signif¬
icant at the .0001 level, and indicated clearly that the
stable smokers tend to avoid these very open and risky smoking
environments.

149
Street movers have strikingly low scores in all of the
columns where the stable smokers have high scores. Only in
the "work alone" column do they approach each other. Thus
we have a clear bi-polar trend. The street mover tends not
to smoke marihuana in the closed secure environments that
seem to be havens for stable smokers. The exception of the
"work alone" environment may bo explained by the fact that the
street mover can have more access to this kind of smoking
environment than to the other environments named so frequently
by stable smokers. Such access does not require much social
dominance or special experience. Why street movers and
pastoralist-escapists have lower scores than do stable smokers
for the "work alone" category may be explained by the fact
that they work less, change jobs more often, and thus would
be less likely to report smoking while on the job. (See
Chapter VI.)
High scores appear for street movers and pastoralist-
escapists in eight of the 13 smoking context columns which
represent the more open environments for smoking marihuana.
The "street group," "bar," "pension-brothel," and "prison"
smoking contexts show high scores that differentiate street
movers and pastoralist-escapists from the stable smokers.
Street movers are the only members of the sample who cite
smoking experiences in prison, probably reflecting the fact
that they have a much more active history of trouble with the
authorities than do the other two types of smokers. Smoking
on the street in groups is the most often described smoking

150
environment for the street movers, and it is also the easiest
way to be identified both by police and by the rest of the
community as a smoker. The following quote from a stable
smoker explains why he avoids open smoking environments:
When I am stoned I don't like any kind of argu¬
ment cr trouble; nothing, because I'm a loner. Along
with that, I'll tel], you something else; I've almost
never been in jail. Only once' they took me from
downtown San Jose, but that was just because I hap¬
pened to be there. I had just gotten here. I was in
a bar with a friend named "Jughead" and with two boys
who "have color" (are known to the police) drinking
beer when somebody said "dragnet." They did a "drag¬
net," but I knew one of the officers in the station
house, and I said "Hey, don't you see who they're
taking in? You know that I'm a worker; I'm no theif;
I'm no bum." And he said "Don't worry. We'll have
you out of there fast." And so it was. They got
me right out of there and that's the way it was.
When they came to get me they said ". . . don't
ever run around with those boys again, because
those two dudes are 1 colored'; they’re punks,
theives, and if you run with hoods like that you'll
get the same 'color'."
Such an attitude is common, especially among the stable smokers
who hold steady, blue-collar jobs.
Gilberto, a young street mover from our sample has a pre¬
ferred smoking environment in his streetcorner gang. He is
unable to smoke at home, because his mother is militantly
anti-marihuana and, if she catches him smoking, is likely to
throw him out of the house. Gilberto resorts to the only
smoking environment in
There is always a tinge
descriptions of smoking
ventions of concealment
which he feels he has some control
of defiance of the authorities in
in the street. He observes the c
assidueus1v. When in his elernent
his
on-
on
the street corner, he exudes a confidence and outspokenness

151
which disappears in the presence of his mother or older
brothers.
Other street movers are even more audacious and skilled,
choosing smoking environments of which Gilberto would be
afraid. They smoke on the street because they have few other
places where they can smoke. Filiberto, a young street mover
with more experience in street ways, describes how he can
bring himself to smoke even with strangers:
Interviewer: Aren't you afraid to smoke with
strangers?
Subject: No, what's to scare you? Almost always
you smoke with other "burners" and if you don't
do it with them, well, you don't smoke. If some¬
body's not from your crowd, how can you be afraid
to smoke with him if he is a "burner"?
Street movers do not seem to be concerned about their iden¬
tification with other smokers, indeed they seem to be resigned
to the risks cf such identification.
Another look at Table 8 will reveal that the pastoralist-
escapist group had only three cells that hinted at a difference
from the street movers. "Country-side alone," "street alone,"
and oddly enough "dance hall" contexts were named in a rela¬
tively high frequency by the pastoralist-escapist. "Country¬
side group" and "street alone" have by far the highest number
of citations.
Generally, pastcralist:--esoapists show' a tendency not to
mention the closed smoking environments in which stable smokers
use marihuana, while eschewing the risky open environments
frequented by the street movers. The single exception is their
frequent mentios of, and therefore high positive score for,

152
the "dance hall" category. The following excerpt from one
pastoralist-escapist's interview illustrates the dance hall's
attraction for this otherwise reclusive variety of Costa
Rican marihuana user:
Interviewer: Where do you dance?
Subject: The Broken Mug is where I generally hang
out. (name several working-class and low-life
dance halls) . . . and, shoot, I don't even go out¬
side. I get the urge to keep dancing, and I'm
blasted and fantastic! I'm a dancing fiend ....
I really like the atmosphere.
Pastoralist-escapists do not smoke in most of the
closed smoking environments. For some reason, the most
risky of the open smoking environments do not attract them
either, with the exception of dance halls, where they seek
female companionship and escape in music and dance. This
leaves them solitary street smoking and the countryside as
viable alternatives.
Paco, the older of the two pastoralist-escapists included
in the sample, once visited our office after hours, and asked
if it would be all right to smoke there. When asked why he
did not want to smoke in the street, he replied that he did
not wish for anyone to be able to identify him as a marihuana
smoker, or, as he put it, "I don't want to be painted that
way." ("No quiero andar con pinta.") We asked Paco if he
would smoke in the house if his in-laws, with whom he lived,
were not there. He replied that he knew smokers who smoked
with their families present, but that they were "A bunch of
mud-faces who respect neither their ladies nor their pups."
("Son un montón de carebarros que no respetan ni a sus donas

FIGURE C
50 r
USER TYPE AND SMOKING ENVIRONMENT
USER TYPE
5fable Smokers
Street MoverS KSSSe
Posíorolisl -Escapists j_
i
i i
mJ
1
!
Pasión
Dorce
Brothel
Hail
n
Prison
SMOKING ENVIRONMENT
Ln
Oj

154
ni a sus cachorros.") This kind of attitude is what separ¬
ates the pastoralist-escapists from the other kinds of users.
Figure C contrasts the smoking environment count propor¬
tions for the three smoker types. During the interview on
marihuana use, stable smokers spent most of their time talking
about closed smoking environments, while the street movers con¬
centrated much more on the open environment. Pastoralist-
escapists showed a marked preference for open, but relatively
low-risk environments, with countryside environments accounting
for nearly 40 per cent of all contexts cited.
This does not mean that these percentages represent the
actual smoking time that the three types of users spend in
each respective smoking environment. It does suggest trends,
however, that reinforce the validity of the basic typology.
Pastoralist-escapists are not totally incapable of smoking
on the street or in other high-risk situations. Street
movers occasionally get to smoke in their own homes or the
homes of others. Stable smokers may occasionally have
smoked marihuana in street groups. But each user types has
certain modal tendencies in selecting his smoking environment.
The answers to several specific questions in marihuana
use interviews reinforce this interpretation. In answer to
the question, "Under what social circumstances do you smoke?"
the subjects reponded in the following manner:
(12.2%) 5 Does not smoke in social circumstances.
(58.5%) 24 Smokes in low-risk circumstances.
(29.3%) 12 Smokes in general social circumstances.
(Parties, bars, in the street, etc.)

155
This might suggest that the pure street movers are slightly
less numerous than indicated by the previous analysis.
However, a check of individual score sheets, taking into
consideration the borderline cases between stable smokers and
pastoralist-escapists revealed no disagreement between these
figures and the previous analysis. Seventy and seven tenths
per cent of the users indicated some uneasiness in smoking
by limiting it to the lowest-risk environments available.
Figures contained in the first eight environment columns
listed in Table 8, represent 71.4 per cent of the total.
Since these eight are the lowest risk smoking environments
listed, their per cent of the total environment citations would
also seem to offer strong reinforcement for the point made
above.
Practically all of the sample said that they at times
meet with friends for the specific purpose of smoking mari¬
huana; only five of the 41 users said that they did not.
When asked with whom they smoked most of the time, the sample
of users responded thus:
(9.8%) 4 with relatives
(48.8%) 20 with friends
(19.5%) 8 with work companions
(21.9%) 9 alone
This datum seems reasonable in light of Table 8 since all
smokers at times choose solitary marihuana-smoking contexts.
Smoking alone is the easiest way to reduce the risk of dis¬
covery. Most users indicate that they care about their
smoking environment enough to often seek low-risk environments;

156
the 44.3 per cent overall total for solitary contexts is thus
not surprising. Yet, the fact that 55.7 per cent of all
contexts mentioned were social where other smokers were
included indicates that, in spite of risks, social contexts
are, when all is said and done, the most preferred.
Nearly 90 per cent of all smokers said that they had
smoked either while on the job, or immediately before, so
as to be under the influence of marihuana during their work.
This leads to the expectation that the percentage of work-
context smoking environment descriptions in the marihuana use
interview material would be much higher than it is in fact.
If everyone smokes at work, then why do they not talk about
it as much as they do about home or other recreational con¬
texts? It may be that the subjects, in attempting to give
the most exciting stories possible about their marihuana
experiences, thought the work contexts too ordinary and hum¬
drum to be worthy of much attention. Effects on work per¬
formance, to be discussed later, will clarify part of this
discrepancy.
The majority of marihuana use appears to be reclusive
and timid, not defiant in nature. At most, 39 per cent of
our sample may be identified as flaunters of Costa Rica's
societal and legal conventions. For the most part, users are
cautious about people and places around which they smoke.
The majority of users take basic precautions to prevent
discovery by the authorities or by hostile relatives. Both
stable smokers and pastoralist-escapists are characterized
by choosing low-risk smoking situations.

157
Subjective Effects of Marihuana Use
The following analysis points out the relationship
between smoking environment and subjective effects. Cross¬
tabulation techniques will be used to couch these relation¬
ships in the quantitative data derived from the life history
materials elicited from each user in the matched-pair sample.
The immediate effects of marihuana smoking would seem
to depend as much on user set and expectation as on sheer
physiological response. Subject and observer reports yield
68 distinguishable effects for which Cannabis was assumed to
be the cause. Although subjective in nature, the large body
of data from which they were culled would suggest that they
strongly represent the effects of marihuana use in the study
population.
From the interview and participant observation materials,
we have been able to extract 527 separate descriptions of
marihuana effects. All but eleven of these could be easily
clustered, and are cross-tabulated with smoking environment
in Table 10. Each deserves a brief description, including
criteria for scoring.
1. Bad for eyes. This effect was cited relatively
few times, and included blurred or distorted vision,
irritation, some combination of the two, or eye red¬
ness .
2. Good for asthma. Subjects naming this effect
either suffered from asthma themselves or had
friends or relatives who used the drug to relieve
asthma symptoms.

158
3. Dry mouth, rough throat. Although one of the
"universal physiological effects," it is mentioned
relatively few times in the interview materials.
All subjects in our experience regularly suffer from
dry mouths and red eyes, yet in our interviews they
seem not to give these effects much importance.
4. Nerves (+ and -). Subjects attributed both a
calming effect and a nervousness effect to marihuana
use. When users attributed greater tranquillity to
marihuana use, this was scored as +. Minus was scored
when subjects said that they had "nervesas a result
of smoking.
5. Sweat, cough. Although these effects could also
be called "universal," they did not receive much
attention from the users either. Because they appear
together in all of the interview materials, they have
been combined in the coding categories.
6. Relieves aches and pains. Users mentioned this
effect only twice, and both times it was associated
with working situations. The back and legs were
the areas relieved.
7. Heat. This effect involved a sensation of heat
coursing through the entire body, but was not neces¬
sarily connected with rapid heart rate. It was
described simply as "heat in the entire body."
8. Bad for lungs. Two users reported that heavy
marihuana use damaged the lungs. Since only two
mentioned this effect, it must be of relatively
little importance to the users.
9. Muerte blanca, "white death." In the life
history interview materials this was the fourth most
frequently-cited effect. In most Cannabis literature
this is called "panic reaction." It represents 7.2
per cent of all effect descriptions. It will be
described in greater detail later in the report.

159
10. General "blahs." A negative reaction to smoking
large quantities of marihuana, this effect is rare.
The users who experienced it claimed not to feel sick,
just mildly sub-normal.
11. Marihuana hangover. Also relatively rare, the
marihuana hangover occurs on the morning after a
night of very heavy indulgence. The symptoms are
much the same as those of an alcohol hangover, with
dry mouth, headache, and queasy stomach.
12. Sleep (+ and -). Most users said that marihuana
helped them sleep more soundly. Some went as far
as to claim that they could not get to sleep unless
they smoked at least one cigarette before bedtime.
Only two claimed that marihuana had a deleterious
effect on their sleep.
13. Sex (+ and -). The third most-cited effect was
sexual performance and enjoyment. This accounted
for 7.8 per cent of all effects described in the
interview materials. A single individual described
one instance of marihuana's negatively affecting
sexual intercourse. The perceived effect of the
drug on sex will be described in more detail.
14. Food appetite and enjoyment (+, -, and 0).
In addition to having positive and negative effects,
in two instances users claimed that marihuana smoking
had no effect at all on appetite or food enjoyment (0).
Since they represent more than 10 per cent of all
described effects, those involving appetite will also
be described in greater detail.
15. Work performance (+ and -). The single most
described effect extracted from the interview materials
was that on work performance. Seventeen reports des¬
cribed a negative effect of marihuana smoking on work
performance, while 38 showed a positive one. The

negative effects were limited to problems with short¬
term memory and concentration, while the positive ones
had to do with endurance, work enjoyment, and care or
concentration on job tasks. A section will later be
devoted to the relationship between work performance
and marihuana smoking.
16. General performance (+ and -). This category of
effects deals with performance situations outside of
institutional settings. Such contexts include street
transactions, card games, police evasion, and sports
activities, especially soccer games. The positive
descriptions are only slightly more numerous than
the negative ones.
17. Sing better. Another rare effect, this was
claimed only by non-professional singers in the sample,
and the singing was always done in the home.
18. Time on the job goes faster. In contrast to the
4
usual claims by North American users that time slows
down while one is smoking marihuana, Costa Rican users
who smoke on the job claim that work time goes faster
if they are intoxicated with marihuana. Although this
effect was reported only rarely, its contrast with the
claims of other smoking traditions makes it of special
interest.
19. Uncontrollable mirth. The participant observation
materials contained references to this effect in far
greater frequency than do the interview materials.
This would indicate that laughter and gaiety were
observed by the field team fairly often, but that the
users did not consider them very important. Goode
(1971) shows this effect to be quite important among
North American users.
20. Passive audience. We scored this effect when the
user described a marihuana-intoxicated state in which

161
he felt more like watching than doing. Television
and movies were the usual objects of interest, but
sometimes users mentioned watching other people
dance in a bar, or watching a sporting event, or
simply watching people pass by on the street.
21. Anti-boredom. Fewer than 1 per cent of the
effects described in the interview materials were
of this nature. Smokers reporting this effect
usually described their "high" as livening up
their approach to an otherwise unstimulating
social environment.
22. Everything rosier. One of the more frequently-
cited effects (5.2 per cent of all described effects),
this one refers to a general feeling of well-being
in everyday situations. Surroundings which would
otherwise be very unpleasant become, after smoking
marihuana, at least bearable. Once the "high" is
achieved, existence in general is less sad and burden¬
some, and prospects are more hopeful.
23. Alcohol comparison (= and -). None of the
marihuana smokers in our sample said that alcohol was
better than marihuana, but a few said that it was about
the same. Most agreed the marihuana intoxication was
better than alcohol intoxication. They based this
judgment on the degree of self-control maintained by
the marihuana user as compared to the drunk, and on
the absence of physical dependency on the part of the
marihuana user which they contrasted with the chronic
alcoholic's constant desperation for a drink. Since
users often had considerable experience with alcohol
use on a very heavy levels, they had a strong exper¬
iential basis for making such comparisons.
24. Behavioral compensation. This smoking effect was
scored when users described social context in which
they had to conceal the fact that they were under the

162
influence of marihuana. According to these users,
an experienced smoker of marihuana can usually dis¬
guise his intoxication well enough to keep those
around him (except perhaps other experienced smokers)
from discovering that he has been smoking. In the
strictest sense, this is not an effect, but rather
a masking of effect. Still behavioral compensa¬
tion helps to define the extent to which the user
feels he has control over his actions, and thus may
help delineate the perceived limits to self-control
as they relate to marihuana use.
25. Fright (susto). This refers to a state similar
to a mild form of shock, brought on by a sudden
frightening experience. It is rare, but usually it
has a direct connection with the appearance of nar¬
cotics police where the user is smoking. In one case,
it was related to the user's nearly having a traffic
accident. This effect was scored only when it was
apparent that the user felt his reaction to fright to
be exaggerated because he was under the influence of
marihuana at the time of the frightening experience.
26. Active participation. This category covers many
recreational contexts; it is the opposite of the pas¬
sive audience category. Effects described in the inter¬
view materials where the smoker felt that marihuana
was the cause for exhuberant and unselfconscious phys¬
ical activities were scored into this category.
Plunging with abandon into a game of soccer or swimming
or dancing tirelessly were the most frequently cited
instances of this effect.
27. Fight. One of the rarer effects mentioned in the
interviews was fighting. The two users who described
this effect claimed that the drug makes them "touchy"
and easy to offend. Both users have bellicose life
histories.

163
28. Act idiotic. This is the opposite of the behav¬
ioral compensation category, and it should be noted
that this effect is mentioned only twice in 516 effect
descriptions. The two individuals reporting this
effect claimed to do stupid (but not necessarily harm¬
ful) things while under the influence of the drug.
29. You isolate yourself socially. In four instances,
users described a reaction to marihuana smoking in which
they did not pay attention to the people around them.
Rather than converse, the users experiencing this effect
remained wrapped in their own thought, not bothering to
make conversation or even to acknowledge the presence
of others around them.
30. You become socially more aggressive. An equal
number of instances were described by users in which
they became more outgoing as a result of marihuana
smoking. Using marihuana to give courage to start
conversations with strangers was the form in which
the users described this effect.
31. Helps to face the day. This effect was recorded
only when users indicated that their normal day was
not properly started unless they smoked marihuana at
first rising. Such an effect is similar to the
everything rosier category, but the user shows special
need for the drug in order to cope with daily problems.
It should be noted that the users who cited this effect
were in extremely difficult situations when they exper¬
ienced this effect. One was, in fact, in prison.
32. Floating sensation. Very few users mention the
floating sensation in their descriptions of marihuana's
effects. This reflects the general impression of the
field team that users in our sample do not have a par¬
ticularly reverent or awe-struck perception of mari¬
huana and its effects. When the floating sensation was

164
cited, the users claimed that their heads felt
strange, and that their steps felt light.
33. Music sounds better. This is not a universally
perceived effect, but it is widespread among our
sample group. Users claimed to enjoy music more
after smoking marihuana; they felt that it helped
them to listen more acutely, and to appreciate
subtleties which they could not hear when not
under the influence of Cannabis.
34. Nothing. Seven instances were described where
the user smoked marihuana, but felt no effect of
any kind. Five of these occurred in the street
group context.
35. Perception altered. Very few of the effects
described were scored into this category. In order
to be so scored, the user had to describe a percep¬
tual distortion of either vision or hearing. Changes
in shapes and sizes, and unusual loudness of noises
were the usual forms of these effect descriptions.
36. Conversation (+ and -). Usually the smokers
said that their conversation improved under the influ¬
ence of marihuana. They considered their manner of
speech to be more fluid and confident while stoned.
They also claimed that they were able to handle com¬
plex conversational topics with greater ease while
intoxicated. Those who thought that marihuana hurt
the quality of their conversation mentioned problems
of remembering the exact topics of conversations and
their tendency, when intoxicated, to speak for long
periods on trivial matters, and thereby to waste time.
37. Thoughts more profound. Many of the smokers in
our sample considered marihuana to be an aid to con¬
centration. When they mentioned improved mental
function as a subjective effect of marihuana, we

TABLE 10
Cross-tabulation of Effects and Smoking Environments
Homo Work- Workshop Home in Country- Street Country- Street Pensión- Dance- Row
Alone shop In Croup Vehicle side Alone side in in Bar Brothel hall Prison Totals
Alone Croup Alone Group Group
Bad for eyes 3
Good Eor asthma 4
Dry mouth, rough throat 7
Nerves (+. calm 6
- aggravate) 3
Sweat, cough 6
Relieve aches & pains
Heat
Bad for lungs 2
"Muerte blanca" 4
General "blahs" 2
Marihuana hangover
Sleep (+ heIps 12
- hinders) 2
Sex ( -t- helps 21
- hinders) 1
Food appetite (+ inc. 11
- decrease 5
0 neutral) 1
Work (+ better 2
- worse)
General performance (+ 1
Sing better 2
Time in job goes faster
Mirth
Passive audience 4
Anti-boredom 2
Everything rosier 9
Alcohol (+ better 8
- equal)
1
1
3 1
2 1 1
1 1
1 1
11 3 3 1
1
3
l
2
2
1
l
8
1
2
2
1
6
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1 1
2
3
1
1
14 4
6
2
6
16
2
1
1
3
3
l
2
11
2
1
2
3
1
3
1
7
3
7
1
2
1
8
4
11
13
6
13
2
5
2
37
2
6
15
2
31
1
42
10
2
45
10
15
13
2
4
10
14
5
27
13
4
Ch
cn

TABLE 10 (continued)
E f fee ts
Horne Work- Workshop
Alone shop in
Alone Group
Home in
Group Vehicle
Country- Street
side Alone
A lone
Country- Street
side in in Bar
Croup Group
Pensión- Dance- Row
Brothel hall Prison Totals
Behavioral compensa-
tion
1
2
1
3
1
8
Susto (fright)
1
2
3
Active participation
2
2
4
4
3
15
Fight
1
2
3
You act idiotic
1
1
2
You isolate yourself
social ly
1
1
1
1
4
Socially more aggressi
ve
2
2
4
Helps face the day
3
1 4
Floating sensation
1
1
1
3
Mothing
1
1
5
7
Music bee ter
4
1
1
1
1
3
1
1
13
Perception altered
l
1
2
4
Conversation (+â–  better
2
3
5
1
3
4
18
- worse)
2
2
4
Thoughts jnre profound
10
7
3
1
1
3
2
1
1
29
One becomes creative
4
1
1
6
Hurts memory
1
4
1
1
7
Column Totals
147
90
31
13 8
4
30
107
13
18
7
1 516
Grand Total
166

TABLE 11
SImplitied Tabulación of Effeccs and smoking Environments
Effect Types
Home
Alone
Work¬
shop
Alone
Workshop
in
Group
Home in
Group
Vehicle
Country-
s ide
Alone
S tree t
A lone
Country¬
side
Group
Street
in
Group
Bar
Pensidn-
Brothel
Dance-
Hall
Prison
Row
Totals
Physio logical
31
8
4
0
2
0
6
2
9
1
1
0
0
64
Bat! crip
6
1
1
3
3
1
2
2
20
4
2
0
0
45
Appetites
53
5
l
0
0
0
11
1
27
0
13
0
0
111
Work & Performance
5
57
10
0
2
0
4
1
7
0
1
2
0
89
Behavior it Sensation
31
7
7
2
1
1
17
15
26
7
0
4
1
119
Cognitive & Perception
21
12
8
8
0
2
7
9
18
1
1
1
0
88
Column Totals
147
90
31
13
8
4
47
30
107
13
18
7
1
516
167

168
scored it in this category. Some users said that
they used marihuana to help them to concentrate on
a single problem. Others said that they derived
more reading enjoyment when stoned.
38. One becomes creative. A few of our users,
despite their working class status, claim that mari¬
huana causes them to become more creative, either
in writing or in painting. They say that some of
their leisure smoking time is occupied with design¬
ing a house, or writing an autobiography or painting
a picture.
39. Bad for memory. Some marihuana users mention
the deleterious effect that marihuana has on memory,
both short-term and long-term. This effect is
cited in a workshop setting, and usually involves
losing count in some repetitive task. User's per¬
ceptions of long-term memory problems are less
specific and well defined.
These 39 effect categories include practically all sorts
of smoking experiences given more than once, with the excep¬
tion of those instances when the effect was attributed to
the mixing of alcohol with marihuana. Such mixing will be
treated in greater detail later. Nine effects were mentioned
only once, and have been left out in order to make the analy¬
sis less cumbersome.
As it appears in Table 10 the relationship between smoking
environment and effects could seem to be very obscure. In
an effort to simplify the readability of the cross-tabulation
and to clarify the relationship between environment and
effect, the 39 major effects have been grouped into categories
in Table 11. Effects 1-8 were grouped into the physical

TABLE 12
Cross-Tabulatlun of Environments and Effect Types
Standardized for Comparison Within Columns
Effect Types
Home
Alone
Work¬
shop
Alone
Workshop
In
Group
Home In
Croup
Vchlcle
Country¬
side
A lone
Street
Alone
Country¬
side
Group
Street
in
Group
Bar
Pensión-
Brothel
Dance-
Hall
Prison
Standard¬
ization
Factor**
Physiological
(¡Tí)*
18.6
9.3
0
4.7
0
14.0
4.7
20.9
2.3
2.3
0
0
2.33
Bad Trip
19.9
3.3
3.3
9.9
&
3.3
6.6
6.6
&)
6.6
0
0
3. M
Appetites
©
6.7
‘ 1.3
0
0
0
14.8
1.3
36.2
0
&
0
0
1.34
Work S Performance
8.4

16.7
0
3.3
0
6.7
1.7
11.7
0
1.7
3.3
0
1.67
Behavior & Sensation
38.8
8.8
8.8
2,5
1.3
1.3
(T¡T¡)
32.5
8.3
0
5.0
1.3
1.25
Cognitive & Perception
35.6
20.3
13.5
CiiD
0
3.4
11.9
c¿¡yp
30.5
1.7
1.7
1.7
0
1.65
♦Circled score» are markedly higher for a given environment than acotes of other effect».
•♦Obtained by dividing the multiple of all other row total» by 2 x 10®.

170
effects category, and included all effects which users per¬
ceived as in some way changing their bodies. Effects 9-11
were placed in the "bad trip" category, since they refer to
the three kinds of bad experiences connected with use of the
drug. Effects 12-14 comprise the influence described by
consumers on the appetites. Effects 15-18 are related to
work and performance. Effects 19-31 include all effects
which involve a change in behavior or general state of mind.
Effects 32-39 cover marihuana-induced changes in specific
senses and in cognitive processes.
In Table 11 the cells contain the number of cited
effects as they correspond with each environment type.
In Table 12 a standardization process similar to that
used in Table 9 was employed to make the scores in each cell
comparable from one effect to another. To derive the stan¬
dardization factor for a given row, the multiple of all other
8
rows was divided by 2 x 10 . For example, to derive the
standardization factor for the physiological effects row,
8
45 x 111 x 89 x 119 x 8 was divided by 2 x 10 , which yielded
8
a factor of 2.33. The number 2 x 10 was used in order to
make the standardization factor easy to use, because the
multiplication of row totals yield numbers in the billions
which are entirely too unwieldy for tabular purposes. Each
cell in the physiological effects row was then multiplied
by this factor to produce a standardized score. When a
similar operation was performed for each effects type, the
scores in each column could be compared with each other.

171
Looking at the first column in Table 12, we see that
the physiological and appetites effects occur in relatively
high frequency in the "home alone" smoking environment. In
contrast, the work and performance effects occur in a
markedly high frequency in the "workshop alone" environment.
The general pattern, then, is that users tend to match
subjective effects with elements that are characteristic of
the environments in which they smoke. In other words, the
marihuana smoker builds his effect experience on what he
finds at hand. We find, for example, that "physiological"
effects are mentioned for solitary or closed smoking environ¬
ments more than for open or social environments. The user,
when alone, takes what is within reach, in this case his own
body functions, and associates that with the effect exper¬
ienced from the smoking of marihuana.
Table 13 contains standardized scores which make compari¬
sons between rows and columns possible. The circled scores
in this table are those which are notably high. The symbols
placed below the circled scores indicate whether they are
high in comparison to the other scores in that row or the
other scores in that column, or both. We can see that the
effect types that occur in high frequency relative to their
respective column in the home alone environment are also
high relative to their respective rows. This means that
physiological and appetites effects occur more often in the
home alone environment than the other kinds of effects, and
that they make up a high percentage of all of the physiological

TABLE 13
Cross-TabuLation of Environments and Effect Types Standardized
for Both Columnar and Row Comparisons
E ffee t Types
Home
A lone
Work¬
shop
Alone
Workshop
in
Group
Home in
Croup
Vehicle
Physio logical
-r
43. 6
63. 2
0
(TpT?)
Bad Trip
28. 5
7. 7
22.4
(TfSOj)
1
(¿60J))
Appetites
(hkTo)
t
15.7
8.8
0
0
Work c* Performance
12.0
-1-
(hJ
1
0
87.0
behavior & Sensation
55.6
20.6
59.8
40.5
34. 3
Cognitive & Perception
51. 1
47.6
91.8
(nsTj)
-t-
0
Country¬
side
Alone
Street
Alone
Country¬
side
Croup
S tree t
in Bar
Croup
Pensidn-
Bro Che 1
Dance-
hall
Prison
0
62.8
33.0
41.2
37. 3
26.9
0
0
(S3
1
29.6
<4 b. 4 ,
(uoTa) (jmTo)
1 +
77.3
0
0
0
66.4
9.1
71.3
0
(203J^)
+
0
0
0
30. 1
11. 9
23. 1
0
19.9
99.4
0
68.5
©
(niTj)
64.0
0
(J5o7$)
4*
(S)
T
(jJ9?2)
53 A
(lÓ6?8)
1
60. 1
27.6
19.9
51.2
0
Leger-4
O means that the score is nutably high.
— means that the score is notably high relative to other scores in the same row.
I means that the score is notably high relative to other scores in the same column,
“h means chat die score is notably high relative to other row and column scores.
172

173
and appetites effects for all environments. The same may
be said for the work and performance effects group and its
correlation with the "workshop alone" environment.
The "bad trip" group of marihuana smoking effects shows
very marked high frequency in the most open and risky smoking
contexts (cf. circled scores in Table 13). The only closed
environment which shows a markedly high standardized score
for this effect group is the "home group" smoking environment,
and this is relative only to the other effects types in that
environment, rather than to other environments. Since the "home
in group" column is one of the smaller columns, this may be
due in part to the presence of three zeroes in the home in
group column. Otherwise, "open" or "risky" environments show
a high frequency of "white death."
Given the fact that more than 80 per cent of bad trip
descriptions are muerte blanca, or "white death," we may
hypothesize that such a reaction may derive, in large part,
from the insecurity and fear associated with these open
smoking environments. White death is the Costa Rican equi¬
valent of what is known in the United States as "panic reac¬
tion" (cf. Tart 1971). The Costa Rican term is colorful and
very hyperbolic, since no user lives in terror of white death.
Most users treat it as a completely routine and ordinary
phenomenon, curable with a cold soft drink or a glass of
sugar water.
Marihuana users in our sample have had widely varying
experiences with white death during their long smoking

174
careers. Fifteen individuals, or 36.6 per cent of the matched
pair sample, claim never to have experienced this unpleasant
effect. The rest had white death four times or less in their
entire smoking careers. Only one user claims to have exper¬
ienced white death more than eight times.
At the onset of white death the user begins to feel
dizzy and cold, breaking into cold sweats, and feeling the
need to defecate and urinate. One subject describes the
symptoms as follows:
You kind of feel faint. Maybe you're sitting
and you feel dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, and you see some
things backwards and everything begins to spin,
and you often begin to vomit, and other times,
well almost always you feel like vomiting. But
many times you feel faint and you play strongman
and you sit for a while and it passes.
Interviewer: How long does it last?
Subject: Well, now, it varies; it's quick. It
could last at most an hour, maybe a half-hour--
at most an hour.
Interviewer: How does one feel? Is there pain?
Subject: No, no pain, but you're out of control,
like everything's spinning like dizzy. Everything
spins a lot, you know, spinning, spinning, spinning.
It gets you like that.
There is no holy dread reflected in these observations,
simply distaste for the experience. The subject continues
to describe an onset situation:
Once I was lame in this foot, and I went to
my brother-in-law's who smokes. ... We bought a
roll and we smoked it between the two of us, twelve
each, but because I was hurting in this foot, right
(I had the foot infected) I was lame and surely all
that didn't agree with me. . . . There I went, walk¬
ing or hobbling to the bus stop. I was all right up
to there, but when my foot heated up, and when I got
to the bus stop, I had to grab a post; I saw every¬
thing spinning, and you begin to sweat icy streams,
and you stay that way, soaked and see everything
spinning, dizzy. Then that passes, and you stay

175
white, white, white.
Interviewer: White death.
Subject: Laughs.
Finally he offers his own theory on the causes of that onset:
. . . Well, the white death many times . . . happens
to you because you're weak. There's no need to smoke
50, or even two or three. If you're weak somehow,
it can disagree with you . . . although you may not
feel it, or even realize, but many times you have a
weakness in the body and then it (marihuana) dis¬
agrees with you.
Although the above description is characteristic, there
is great disagreement among the users in our sample about the
cause of white death. Some believe that smoking marihuana
in excess will cause it. Others find that smoking after
alcohol consumption, a phenomenon to be discussed later in
greater detail, causes them to suffer white death. Most
users think that some physical or mental weakness, when
combined with marihuana smoking, can cause it. "You must
get your mind right before smoking," said one informant of
long experience. "If you're depressed or sick, the white
death grabs you."
The observed appearance of a user who is going through
white death is very similar to that of a victim of mild shock.
The subject's face becomes pale, and he usually rests his
head in his hands. If he is given a soft drink at this
point, he will be back to normal in a few minutes. If not,
he may vomit or rush off to relieve himself. His companions
joke about his weakness and lack of resistance while they go
about the mundane business of securing a soft drink or other
curing preparation. If none of these are found, the white

176
death victim is escorted home to where he can lie down and
"sleep it off." This is very different from the North Ameri¬
can pattern of elaborate supportive companionship, which is
intended to help the panic reaction victim to cope with his
reaction psychologically. Although Costa Rican users think
that the cause of white death may be either psychological or
physiological, the cure they offer is physiological and very
direct.
The reported distribution of the effects which we have
called "Appetites," encompassing food, sex, and sleep, seems
to reinforce the idea that whatever is at hand commands the
most attention among users. Table 12 and 13 show that the
"home alone" and the "pension-brothel" contexts have strong
correlation with appetite-related effects. At home, users
have direct access to resources that may be used to satisfy
the need for either food, sex, or sleep. Some go to pension-
brothels for food or sex. Others, if this interpretation
is valid, would seem to search for appetite satisfaction in
the context of "countryside groups" and "street groups."
Users generally claim that both their sex appetites and
their food appetites are increased as a result of smoking
marihuana. Twenty-nine, or 70.7 per cent of the sample
responded that marihuana increased food appetite, while only
nine said that it had no effect, and two that it had a nega¬
tive effect. Among those who perceive an increase of appe¬
tite, Gilberto, a young street-mover mentioned earlier, says
that his mother can tell when he has been smoking by the
quantity of food he eats at home:

177
. . . and I arrive home stoned, and she (subject's
mother) keeps looking at my face, but she doesn't
say anything.
Interviewer: Do you think that she knows when
you're stoned?
Subject: It seems to me that she must suspect it,
especially when I come home stoned to eat and I
get there, and she says, "You're going to eat?"
and sure, I eat heartily, and she says "hmmmmm."
Stable smokers also note increased appetite for food when
they are under the influence of marihuana. One stable smoker
claims that he is actually gaining weight as a consequence of
his increased consumption of marihuana.
One pastoralist-escapist, however, claims that he
prefers not to smoke before, but only after eating, since he
considers the high more important than his eating pleasure.
He believes that eating after smoking reduces the effect of
the marihuana. He expresses this belief in the following
excerpt:
Interviewer: You like smoking after eating?
Subject: Right, first eating. If it's time for
me to feed, first the feed and then the weed. If
I get stoned and then feed, sure I feed sharp, like
a guillotine, but I de-stone myself, understand?
It takes away the weed. It's like getting stoned
and downing a soft drink or a beer or something
like that. Who knows what causes that .... On
the other hand, if I feed and afterwards I get
stoned, you should see what a hit! I'm stoned
just fine.
This subject's avoidance of food in order to maximize the
psychotropic effect of the drug testifies to the high value
he places on sensation effects of marihuana smoking.
Only among the very heaviest users do we find that there
is no perceived effect on food appetite. Often these individ¬
uals began their smoking careers with increased appetite

178
effects, but later they found that marihuana smoking no
longer affected their appetites. Negative effect on appetite
is rarely seen among the users even though several have defi¬
cient diets. Lalo is one of the two users who report negative
effects on appetite as a result of smoking marihuana.
. . . I caught, how should I say it? Like a mania
that dried up my hunger. No. How is it? Like
indigestion . . . I . . . well, began not to eat
except at night .... I drink coffee and smoke
marihuana and I smoke white (tobacco) cigarettes
in quantity ... I drink coffee and smoke mari¬
huana, nothing else. . . . The only thing that
bothered me was that I got indigestion at normal
eating times during the day. . . . Like today, I
haven't eaten anything, only I drank coffee six
times.
Lalo's loss of appetite for food is very unusual. His unhappy
life situation, both presently and during his childhood, must
have had a strong influence on his dietary habits. Even
though he attributes his loss of appetite to marihuana smoking,
his rather bizarre life experiences seem to have also influ¬
enced his eating habits. Since his mother was a prostitute
and marihuana vendor during his childhood, Lalo was usually
left to his own devices for dietary selection and eating
schedule. This resulted in irregular meals of poor quality
with sporadic periods of no food at all. As Lalo's mother
continued her pattern of neglect, Lalo's eating habits became
set in such a way that his present day eating style, with its
poor nutritional quality and irregularity, strongly resembles
that of his childhood. It comes as no surprise that Lalo now
has dietary and digestive problems; it is doubtful that they
could be due simply to his marihuana smoking.

179
Thirty-four users claim that sexual appetite and per¬
formance are positively influenced by marihuana. Six claim
that marihuana has a neutral effect on sex, and only one says
that the effect is negative. Users say that marihuana increases
their desire for sexual contact, even if it does not necessarily
lead to orgasm. In many of their accounts, they emphasize
tactile stimuli. One user claims that he prefers not to have
sex when he is intoxicated with marihuana because he tends
simply to lie snuggled next to the sexual partner and not do
anything.
The most frequently-cited effect of marihuana smoking
on sex is increased endurance. Users claim that erections
are maintained longer, and that they are easier to obtain
while under the influence of the drug. Paco provides a
colorful description of the combination of marihuana and sex:
But the best thing is to be mounted on top (in the
sex act) because you get a sensation that's so
strange and so delicious that really, I think
everything trembles, and it's delicious. That
stuff's strange because with weed your member thick¬
ens, who knows why? You get harder, stiffer when
you're stoned, because the chicks that I've had
when there's weed, well they say, "What a brute!"
On the other hand, when I'm not stoned and I'm
doing it, they don't make as much noise, but when
I'm stoned, they can't endure it.
The idea that women prefer men to be "high" during sexual
contact is very common among users. A stable smoker des¬
cribes it similarly:
Interviewer: What effect does it have on sex?
Subject: Well, marihuana gives you more resistance,
that is, you last longer, ehhh! You dilate. Well,
I dilate. On the other hand, without it, it's less;
with it you last long. Normally, it's not the same.
f

180
There are women who like to be with a man like that.
There are women who get stoned and they like to be
with a man who's stoned so they last longer.
This subject considers sex his favorite activity while under
the influence of marihuana.
Although the above accounts are typical of user's assess¬
ments of marihuana's effects on sex, a lone'user says that
excessive use can be deleterious to both sex appetite and
performance. He finds erection difficult with heavy doses
of the drug:
Interviewer: Would you have more or fewer sexual
relations when you've smoked more than you usually
do?
Subject: Well, about the same. . . . Actually,
when I smoke very much I can't get anything up,
because when you're well-toasted . . . you're
hopeless (literally, "in the street"). You can't
get it up.
This subject smokes with his wife, often attaining very
heavy dosage levels. He finds that lighter dosages of mari¬
huana can be stimulating sexually, just as do the other users
cited above.
Six users claim that marihuana has a neutral effect on
sex. They tend to be heavy users, and most often stable
smokers. Tonio, one of these stable smokers, is a case in
point:
Interviewer: Do you think marihuana has effects
on sex?
Subject: Well, many people say that it does,
but I think it's normal.
Interviewer: There aren't changes?
Subject: There aren't changes for me personally.
Interviewer: No more pleasure or anything?
Subject: No.
Whether stoned or sober, Tonio was not very active sexually,

181
but the user who provided the following quote is extremely
active:
Interviewer; What in your opinion are the effects
that marihuana has on sex?
Subject: Well, I never paid much attention to any
of that. It's the same to me with or without
marihuana.
This individual's use is so heavy and so constant that it
is difficult to decide whether or not he has an adequate
basis for comparison between sexual experience during mari¬
huana intoxication and marihuana-free sexual contact. Never¬
theless, his indifference to the drug in combination with
sex provides sharp contrast to the testimony of the first
two users cited.
Sleep has been included in the appetites category because
it is an everyday experience which takes on a special pleasure¬
ful sense when combined with the psychotropic effects of
marihuana. Being a need almost as undeniable as food, its
universality cannot be questioned. In review materials there
were 17 citations of effects on sleep. Generally, the users
testified that marihuana smoking has a positive effect on
sleep, and one even claimed that he has to smoke before going
to bed. In the overall sample, a slightly but not significantly
higher number of users said that they sleep well and soundly
all of the time. Thirty one users claimed not to have any
sleep disturbance at all, while nine had occasional sleep
disturbance, and one claimed to be an insomniac. Interview
materials contain only two citations of negative effects of
marihuana on sleep, both of these in connection with occasional

182
sleep disturbance. Other sleep disruptions among marihuana
users occur often in connection with alcohol use.
Generally, the "appetites" effects strongly reinforce
the idea that users take advantage of available resources
from which to derive individual pleasure. Poor appetite
is the most environmentally generalized of the three effects,
occurring in both private and social contexts. Opportunities
to satisfy these appetites occur in all of these environments.
In contrast, sex is limited to private contexts, as is
sleep, and therefore citations of these effects tend to be
clustered in the "home alone" and "pension-brothel" smoking
environments. Again, users in our sample tend not to use
marihuana to prime themselves for intensive pleasure seeking
activity, but rather to enhance the sources of stimuli that
are most readily accessible.
The "Work and Performance" effects category reinforces
this idea still further. In Table 13 we find that the only
circled cells for this category are in the "work alone,"
"work with group" smoking environments. These are both
environments in which the user is likely to form opinions
based on both objective and subjective observations from his
companions as well as from himself. They are environments
in which the user must perform some action which is judged
for its efficiency or rapidity or aesthetic quality.
Marihuana smokers are slightly less in agreement about
the effects of smoking on work performance than they are for
effects on sex or food hunger or sleep. Although in Chapter VI

183
we shall discuss the matter in greater detail, here we can
say that users generally consider the effect of marihuana
smoking on work and performance to be positive. In response
to our question, "Has marihuana ever impeded your working
at full capacity?" Only eleven of the 41 users say that
at one time or another this has happened. To another ques¬
tion, phrased differently to read, "Has marihuana ever
helped you work better?" only nine replied negatively
whereas 32 replied positively.
It may seem circular to argue that marihuana smokers
mention work-related effects most frequently in connection
with work-related environments, but this is necessary in
view of existing beliefs about the drug, particularly in
Costa Rica. It is commonly believed in Costa Rica that
smokers of marihuana are moved by the effects of the drug
to go out and commit criminal acts, such as rape, robbery,
and assault. We have seen that, far from doing that, Costa
Rican users tend to emphasize what they have at hand while
under the influence of Cannabis. If a user works, he either
smokes on the job, or smokes just before work, and in this
way passes his work day more tranquilly.
If this interpretative approach is correct, then it
would appear that some crimes may be committed under the
influence of marihuana, but that they simply represent the
everyday activity of the criminal who happens to smoke mari¬
huana. The criminal is not driven by the drug to commit
crime; rather, his marihuana smoking is incidental to it.

184
The behavior and sensation category or effects includes
a large number of effects which were grouped together for
analytic purposes. Among others, they include active partici¬
pation, uncontrollable mirth, behavioral compensation, fighting
(rare) and social isolation. These effects have a higher
citation frequency for the open smoking environments. Again,
this reinforces the idea that users perceive the available
resources for enjoyment or entertainment as the most important
in a given smoking environment. It is surprising that the
"street group" smoking environment does not show strong posi¬
tive correlations with the category of behavior and sensation
scores as do "bar," "countryside group" and "prison" contexts.
This may be explained, however, by the wide range of effects
included in this category, including some diametrically
opposed, such as passive audience and active participation.
To understand the nature of the behavior and sensation
effects category, users' descriptions of some of the more
frequently-cited effects can be useful. Active participation
effects are mentioned 15 times in the user texts, and are
aptly illustrated by this stable smoker's account:
. . . In Puntarenas, I got there and got stoned
on the beach, and I jumped into the water, and
when I finally realized what was happening, I
found I was under the pier, swimming like an idiot,
. . . Luckily, there was a little boat, a fisher¬
man there and they pulled me out, because if it
had been up to me, I would have kept on going.
Swimming with all his might in such a manner is not an unusual
example of the exuberance which many users feel for physical
activity under the influence of marihuana. Dancing, playing

185
soccer, and walking in the country are some of the other
activities in the same vein mentioned by.smokers.
The effect which we have called "everything rosier" was
mentioned 27 times in our interview tests. The majority of
these citations occurred in connection with the most heavily-
cited environments: "Street alone," "home alone," and "street
group." This effect is very general, and as a result, does
not show any marked pattern of specificity to a limited range
of smoking environments. Paco's comments illustrate the
euphoria which users often attribute to marihuana smoking:
Interviewer: Why do you think you've kept smoking
marihuana so long?
Subject: Well, because I dig it. In every sense,
it sends the mind in so many directions, right.
You feel more "pure life," as if you'd taken some
super nourishment.
Interviewer: Does it help you in some way?
Subject: Only in the sense that I'm inspired. I
feel like another person, in another world. Sure,
you feel like somebody else, man. Like right now,
I'm bored, well, without weed, without anything,
noodling it out (referring to the interview situa¬
tion) but now if I should get hold of a reefer,
I get stoned. Now I'm somebody else, understand.
Everything is groovier, you get into another wave¬
length .
The "other world" spoken of here does not imply fantasy, but
a change in the tone in which Paco perceives his surroundings.
Uncontrollable mirth, so often described by other user
populations especially in the United States, is not cited very
frequently by the Costa Rican users in our sample. Only ten
citations of uncontrollable laughter were cited among 516
total effect citations, roughly 2 per cent. They all occur
in open group smoking situations in the country or in the city

186
streets. In these situations, the users often tell jokes,
and clown with the explicit purpose of provoking laughter.
Field observations repeatedly associate uncontrollable mirth
with the "street group" and the "countryside group" smoking
environments. Costa Rican users do not associate marihuana
use strictly with recreational contexts, and we believe that
this is the reason why mirth is not cited as frequently by
them as by their North American or Western European counter¬
parts .
This and other differences between North American and
lower-class Costa Rican marihuana users in the kinds of
subjective effects reported implies differences in the values
attached to marihuana use. Brecher's (1975) and Rubin and
Comitas1 (1975) warnings about the influence of cultural
factors on marihuana and its effects apply to the analysis of
the Costa Rican data. We are obviously dealing with a
tradition which is quite different from the patterns of
Cannabis use found in North America in the kinds of meaning
attached to marihuana smoking by users of the drug. Attempts
to test the attributes of amotivational syndrome against
Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use should take value
differences into account.
"Passive audience" is an effect cited by some of the
users in our sample, although it occurs in a relatively low
frequency. Even though North American users often cite
this and closely related effects (Goode 1970: 153-155),
references to it by our Costa Rican user sample accounted

187
for only 2.8 per cent of their total number of citations.
Again, the more recreational attitude toward marihuana use
prevalent among the North American users probably accounts
for the difference.
When the users in our sample responded to the question,
"What do you like to do best while smoking?" we found that
27 preferred active recreations or work, while only seven
named passive recreations and a like number, seven, preferred
to be with friends. These figures at first do not seem to
match with the data from the effects citation sheet, which
show that active participation was cited only once more than
was passive audience behavior. This could be because "active
recreations" in the coded response sheet includes a broader
range of activities than does "active participation."
Active recreations include sex, attendance at sporting events
and other matters which, in the tabulation of specific effects,
were placed in categories other than active participation.
In terms of user preferences, the juxtaposition of active
and passive recreations is plain, with an overall tendency
to emphasize activeness rather than passiveness in the
behavior of smokers under the influence of marihuana.
On 17 occasions in the interview material, marihuana and
alcohol were compared.- Marihuana was judged superior to
alcohol on 13 of these measures, and more or less the same
in the remaining four. In no interview did a subject assess
marihuana as worse than alcohol. Generally, the tone of the
comments was that users feel that they are in greater control

188
of their faculties and actions when intoxicated with marihuana
than when intoxicated with alcohol. One of the younger users
puts it this way:
Well, you know that I have several friends in
the barrio .... (Names friends) . . . with guaro
(liquor) they get the urge to raise a fuss, to
punch it out with somebody. Even I, when I down a
few drinks, and I'm with them, I also get the urge
. . . . Well, why should I let somebody hit them?
On the other hand, when I'm stoned ... at least
I don't go around raising a fuss with anybody.
The theme of not enjoying the company of drunks is often
heard in talking to users. Even though they drink them¬
selves, they find the characteristic, numbed intractability
of the drunk unpleasant.
Users also speak of the after-effects of alcohol, and
how they do not compare favorably with those of marihuana.
One stable smoker is very effusive in his description of the
physiological effects of alcohol on the body:
I tell many people: "Smoke marihuana, don't
drink guaro. Don't you see that with guaro you
don't wake up well? You even vomit blood. I've
seen him, and he heaves and Wha! Wha! and he
wakes up still Ay! Ay! On the other hand, mari¬
huana- doesn't do any of that.
Vomiting blood and very sick hangovers follow heavy bouts
with guaro, the government-produced can liquor. Still, the
strongest objections that smokers have against liquor are
put in terms of behavior and self-control.
Those who think of alcohol and marihuana as equal do
not partake in great quantities of either drug. They think
of each as a vicio, or vice, and this to some extent controls
their actions. Even though they use both, they view both with

189
mild disapproval. Such users are not given to excesses in
anything, and often claim that they would like to give up
marihuana for economic and legal reasons.
The effects that we have designated as "Cognitive and
Perceptive" form a medium-sized cluster, and account for
14.6 per cent of the total number of effects citations. We
can see in Table 13 that cognitive and perceptive effects
have strong positive correlations with "home with group,"
"countryside with group," and "countryside alone" smoking
environments, but only for the column percentages. This means
that the cognitive and perceptive effects group tend to have
greater than expected frequencies in certain smoking environ¬
ments as a group, but that they do not account for an unexpec¬
tedly large percentage of effects for any single environment
comprising the group. The specific environments where high
correlations do exist are for the most part social in nature
and relatively free of risk.
Musical enjoyment is one of the cognitive and perceptive
effects. In general, users find that listening to music is
more enjoyable after smoking marihuana. "Rides," in the
country and gatherings on the street corner are often accom¬
panied by a small radio. Smokers often resort to the company
of the radio during solitary marihuana smoking sessions, as
in the case of Lalo:
Interviewer: What do you like to do best when
you're stoned?
Subject: When I'm stoned, you know what I like?
To go to bed with the radio by the bed, and listen
to music, like classical® because I like music like

190
that, and also youth music (rock). And I turn
on the radio, hopefully I'm alone, just me, and
I do that every night.
His simple enjoyment of music while intoxicated with marihuana
is another example of the principle that users take advantage
of available resources from which to derive individual sensual
pleasure. The effect of enhanced musical enjoyment spreads
evenly across the various smoking environments because it is
a stimulus which is available in many different social contexts.
The two most often-cited cognitive and perceptive effects
are "conversation" and "thoughts more profound." Of the 22
total references to the conversation-altering effect, 18
cited improved conversation, while four described a loss of
conversational ability. Those who find improvement emphasize
the facility with which they express their ideas. One notes
that he prefers to be stoned when talking to officials or
to his lawyer because he finds technical conversations more
manageable. In some of our first experiences in the field,
users would demonstrate their linguistic dexterity and main¬
tenance of control by performing difficult feats of recall
and diction, using several forms of Costa Rican "pig Latin."
Some users maintain that the effects of marihuana cause
a deterioration in the quality of conversation. The usual
complaint is that users cannot remember what they are saying,
or that they do not bother to talk at all when they are stoned.
One stable smoker discusses some conversation ills in the
course of his marihuana use interview:

191
. . . They (marihuana smokers) seem a little like
parakeets or parrots. They all want to talk at
the same time . . . maybe you're saying something
and they don't give you time to finish.
"Chattiness" as described above is often associated with
reduced work effectiveness, but more frequently the smokers
find improved facility in both conversation and work.
Twenty-nine citations of the "thoughts more profound"
effect appear in the life history and marihuana use inter¬
view materials. They tend to appear most frequently in (17
out of 29 citations) connection with the "home alone" and
"workshop alone" smoking environments. Users believe that
marihuana affects concentration, memory, and free association
so as to allow them to think more clearly with important
insights. One stable smoker expresses this increased facility
in the following passage:
It (marihuana) nourishes my thoughts for the
things I do . . . be it a benefit . . . be it a
way to get things done ... I have a big thought.
It provokes big thought . . . for example it makes
me wiser. ... I think everything out better.
The phrase "I concentrate better" was heard also in connec¬
tion with both work and other kinds of evaluable performance.
Some users claim, much as the Jamaican ganja smokers quoted
by Rubin and Comitas (1975) that they can sit down with a
difficult problem, smoke marihuana to concentrate, and reach
a solution. One user, a stable smoker, claims that he is
able to read more effectively with marihuana:
. . . I have my room where I live. I start to read
magazines. I like to read many magazines. I like
to concentrate on a magazine that is attractive and
good. There are police magazines on the F.B.I. and
I particularly like them.

192
Although this subject's reading matter consists of comic
books and pulp novels, other subjects have demonstrated good
reading skills based on little educational opportunity, often
surprising the field team with their conversation on world
news events and political issues.
User Types and Subjective Effects
Table 14 contains a cross-tabulation of user types with
the effects list presented earlier in this Chapter. Stable
smokers cited an average of 12.5 different types of effects
while the street movers cited 13.3 and pastoralist-escapists
13.0.
The six physical effects all were cited in high fre¬
quencies by the stable smokers. In Table 15, which shows
only significant or near-significant differences, we can
see that when standardized scores are compared for the physio¬
logical effects, relatively few differences between stable
smokers and the street-mover-pastoralist-escapist conglomerate
(again these two user types were combined due to statistical
necessity as in Table 9) approach statistical significance.
When all of the physiological effects are compared for the
two user types, as in Table 16, we see that the difference
in citations approaches significance at the .07 level of
confidence. This may be interpreted as a tendency on the
part of the stable smokers to cite physiological effects.
We have noted earlier that stable smokers tend to smoke in
closed and often solitary environments, and that these

TABLE 14
Smoking Effects and User Types
Effects
Pastoralist-
Escapis t
Street
Movers
S tab le
Smokers
Total
Bad for eyes
0
2
6
8
Cood for asthma
0
0
4
4
Dry mouth, rough throat
0
5
6
11
Nerves (+ calms
0
4
9
13
- worsens)
0
3
3
6
Sweat, cough
2.
3
8
13
Relieves aches, pains
0
0
2
2
Heat
0
2
3
5
Bad for lungs
0
0
2
2
"Muerte blanca"
1
20
16
37
Ceneral "blahs"
0
0
2
2
Marihuana hangover
0
. 6
0
6
Sleep (+ helps
0
7
8
15
- hinders)
0
0
2
2
Sex (+ better
2
18
19
39
- worse)
0
0
1
1
Hunger (+ increases
1
24
18
41
- decreases
0
4
6
10
0 neutral)
0
1
1
2
Work (+ helps
0
13
32
45
- hinders
2
3
5
10
General performance
(+ he lps
0
6
9
15
- hinders)
0
6
7
13
Sing better
0
2
0
2
Time in job goes faster
0
0
4
4
Mirth
1
8
1
10
Passive audience
1
5
8
14
Anti-boredom
0
2
3
5
Everything rosier
2
11
14
27
Alcohol (+ better
1
3
9
13
â–  equal)
0
0
4
4
Behavioral compensation
0
4
4
8
Susto (fright)
2
0
1
3
Active participation
1
5
9
15
Fight
0
3
0
3
You act idiotic
1
1
0
2
You isolate socially
0
0
4
4
Socially more aggressive
0
1
3
4
Helps face the day
0
1
3
4
Floating sensation
1
1
1
3
Music better
2
7
4
13
Nothing
l
2
4
7
Perception altered
0
3
1
4
Conversation (+ better
0
6
12
18
- worse)
2
2
0
4
Thoughts more prolound
2
7
20
29
One becomes creative
0
2
4
6
Hurts memory
1
4
2
7
Totals
26
206
284
51b

TABLE 15
Significant Differences in Standardized Scores*
For User Type and Smoking Effects
Effects
Street mover-
Pastoral.ist-
Escapist
Stable
Smoker
Total
P
-
score
Bad for eyes
4.7
6.1
10.8
P
-
.12
Good for asthma
0
4.0
4.0
P
-
.06
Nerves (+ calms)
6.3
9.1
15.4
P
-
.12
Muerta Blanca
33.1
16.1
49.2
P
-
.005
Marihuana hangover
9.5
0
9.5
P
-
.001
Sex (+ better)
31.6
19.2
50.8
P
-
.02
Work (+ helps)
20.5
32.3
52.8
P
-
.019
Time on job goes
faster
0
4.0
4.0
P
-
.06
Mirth
14.2
1.0
15.2
P
-
.0004
Alcohol (= equal)
0
4.0
4.0
P
-
.06
Fight
4.7
0
4.7
P
-
.04
You isolate socially
0
4.0
4.0
P
-
.06
Music better
14.2
4.0
18.2
P
-
.01
Conversation (- wor
se)
6.3
0
6.3
P
-
.01
Hurts memory
7.9
2.0
9.9
P
-
.05
*Standardizati on
factor derived
by dividing
the other
column
total by 10 n^.

195
TABLE 16
Effects Types and User Types: A Comparison
of Standardized Scores*
Effects Types
Pastoralist-
Escapist and
Street Movers
Stable
Smokers
p-scores
Physiological
17.4
21.7
p - .073
Bad Trip
21. 3
9.1
p - .011
Appetite
43.4
27.7
p - .009
Work
25.2
28.7
p - .08
Behavior and
Sensation
43.4
32.3
p - . 03
Cognition and
Perception
32.3
23.7
p - .03
*Standardization factor derived by dividing other
column total by 20 n^.

196
environments account for a high percentage of all physiological
effects cited. It would seem, then, that stable smokers tend
to experience more physiological effects, and they smoke in
environments which are conducive to those kinds of effects.
Although the smoking environment may not "cause" the onset
of a specific effect, it would seem to heighten the likeli¬
hood of such an effect.
A characteristic scenario of the marihuana use pattern
which results in the user's experiencing physical effects
is as follows: Mario, a stable smoker who lives with his
wife and two children takes the bus home from his job as a
construction worker at about 5:00 p.m. Since yesterday was
payday, on his way home from work he is able to buy a roll
of 25 marihuana cigarettes with what was left over from house¬
hold expenses and rent. After a light evening meal of rice
and beans with a small salad, Mario excuses himself to go to
the bathroom. He often chooses this place in which to smoke,
because he does not like to smoke in front of the children.
As he relieves himself, he lights a marihuana cigarette made
of the contents of two that he has bought. Mario's own words
describe how he manages to smoke his marihuana in his home
without the knowledge of his children:
Interviewer: Now in the house, you smoke alone?
That is, is the wife there?
Subject: I actually catch them off-guard, my child¬
ren and my wife, so that they don't realize. I
send them off to watch television, to the living
room. Then I go into the bathroom, and while I'm
defecating I'm getting stoned.
He notices shortly after inhaling the first toques, or "touches"

197
of his marihuana cigarette that his heart is beating faster
and that some of the physical aches caused by his strenous
work are beginning to disappear. His nerves, somewhat tense
from the risky business of procuring his marihuana and trans¬
porting it to his house, now begin to calm. He finishes his
cigarette and his hygienic functions, and returns to the
front of the house. There he may watch television or listen
to the radio for an hour or so before retiring for the night.
Since Mario averages only two or three marihuana cigar- .
ettes per day, this may be his only instance of use during
the day. Typically his effect accounts of marihuana dwell
on the physiological, including appetite, with very little
emphasis on other effect kinds.
In contrast to such generally soothing effects, "bad
trips" are frequently mentioned by street movers. Both
marihuana hang-over and white death are cited in significantly
higher frequencies by the street-mover-pastoralist-escapist
group, with p values in Table 15 of .001 and .005 respectively
The statistical significance of the combined bad trip effects
category is only slightly less impressive at the .011 level
as seen in Table 16. Stable smokers, except for the "blahs"
effect, which they mentioned only twice, tend not to cite
bad trips. It would seem that the open street smoking environ
ment, more heavily populated by the street movers than by
stable smokers, and conducive to uneasiness and insecurity,
is what triggers most bad trips. Unlike the situation with
closed environments, the use of marihuana in the street

198
requires constant vigilance and preoccupation with police.
This would seem to be a factor in explaining why nearly half
of all white death, or bad trips reports are for the "street
group" smoking environments. One suspects, in fact, that
street movers may prefer the street precisely because it adds
a touch of excitement to their marihuana consumption.
Street movers also mentioned "appetites" effects signif¬
icantly (p - .009) more frequently than did stable smokers.
The only appetite effect that does not conform to this
pattern is "sleep."
The difference in emphasis between street movers and
stable smokers may be linked to a difference in the basic
approach to use taken by these two types of users. Street
movers see marihuana as a source of pleasure that takes them
out of the ordinary routine, whereas the stable smokers,
having established a way of life which includes the drug in
their everyday regimen, see marihuana as an amenity which
makes the routine itself somewhat more bearable.
We noted earlier that the appetites effects are mentioned
in higher frequencies in the home alone and the pension-
brothel smoking contexts, where opportunities to satisfy
appetites are most abundant. Using the scenario descrip¬
tive approach again, let us examine a hypothetical case of
street mover's use which emphasizes such effects: Filiberto,
after a day of shining shoes in the downtown area, finds he
has 50 colones in his pocket. He had arranged earlier in
the day to smoke together with a friend that night, so he

199
hurries out to a place where he knows he can buy two rolls
of marihuana cigarettes for 40 colones. Having made the
purchase, he meets his friend at a soda near the center of
town, and discovers that the friend has invited two women to
smoke with them. The group's main problem now is finding
a place in which to smoke. One of the women offers her
boarding house room, and they agree to smoke there, also
agreeing on a fee for the women's sexual services, since
both are prostitutes. The fee will be low, because the men
also share their marihuana. Filiberto opens one of the
rolls, hands out single cigarettes to the women, and appor¬
tions three each to himself and his friend. He combines the
contents of his three cigarettes and smokes the resulting
puro as he jokes with his companions and listens to the
cumbia music blaring from the transistor radio which belongs
to one of the prostitutes. Once Filiberto has finished his
puro, he begins to feel the marihuana in his head, and the
jokes become so funny that he can barely stop laughing. He
rolls another puro, and as he smokes he notices that the
prostitutes are becoming more affectionate. During sexual
contact with his female companion, Filiberto finds that
ejaculation is delightfully delayed, and when it comes, it
is excruciating. Filiberto now rolls another puro, this
time with the contents of six street-size cigarettes, smoking
without a word. One of the prostitutes says she is hungry,
and so Filiberto dresses to go to a corner soda. He gets
7
several gallos and as many sweets as his remaining funds will

200
buy. All four eat hungrily, but silently, sometimes commenting
on the deliciousness of their food. The gallos taste wonderful
to Filiberto. He feels that he can describe each separate
flavor in great detail. The food has caused the effects of
the marihuana to wear off, so Filiberto and his friend each
light up a puro of six. The prostitutes are now both asleep,
so Filiberto and his friend divide up the remaining eight
cigarettes of the 50 which they brought to the room. Five
or six hours have elapsed since they met in the soda, and in
that time the four have consumed 42 marihuana cigarettes.
Filiberto saves his remaining four for the morning after
and walks to his own boarding house, not very far from the
center of San Jose.
The above account is based on a combination of various
user's descriptions of the pension-brothel smoking environ¬
ment, and the kinds of effects they feel during smoking sessions
in such places. There are several features in the account
which are common to the more hedonistic marihuana usage styles.
First, a male smoking companion is present, and at times there
may be as many as three or four. Second, the quantities of
marihuana smoked are relatively high, as in this case, where
each of the men smoked 18 cigarettes apiece. Third, the
women involved are usually prostitutes. Fourth, the food
is always in the form of snacks and treats, rather than a
stable meal. These factors, in combination, give the overall
impression of concentrated pleasure-seeking on the part of
the users.

201
Positive or at the most neutral effects on "work and
performance" appear in low frequencies in the interview
materials of street movers and pastoralist-escapists, and
in correspondingly high frequency in the interviews of
stable smokers.
These differences may reflect the contrast between
the pleasure-seeking and the daily regimen approaches to
using the drug. The stable smoker uses marihuana to help
him get through a workday or to help him recover from every¬
day stress, while the street mover and the pastoralist-
escapist assigns recreational and pleasure-seeking values
to his marihuana smoking. Detailed discussion of this point
will be presented in Chapter VI.
"Behavior and sensation" effects do not show as clear-
cut differences among user types. Perhaps this is because
"behavior and sensation" emerged as a "catch-all" residual
category and contains some diametrically opposed effects (cf.
the left-hand column in Table 14). Many of these effects
have few total citations, so chance skewedness could also be
the cause of the variation observed. Stable smokers may be
reflecting self-confidence about their marihuana-related
social behavior in their high positive scores for social
aggressiveness and social isolation.
The final group of effects, "cognitive and perceptive,"
contains two with fairly large number of citations: The
first, "conversation," has both positive and negative com¬
ponents. Table 14 shows that both pastoralist-escapists

202
and street movers cite negative effects of marihuana smoking
on conversation more than stable smokers. Most stable smokers
indicate that their marihuana smoking increases their facility
with words and spoken ideas. Yet when these scores are
standardized, the differences are not statistically significant.
Emphasis on thought processes and verbal communication
among the stable smokers clearly differentiates them from the
street movers, who seek rather the sensual and grosser behav¬
ioral effects of the drug. The strongly positive emphasis
of street mover and pastoralist-escapist on music apprecia¬
tion, also a sensual matter, lends support to this interpre¬
tation. An analysis of the final two effects further rein¬
forces this argument by yielding a positive score for stable
smokers in the "creativity effect" and a negative score for
that group in the "memory impairment" effect.
In Tables 15 and 16, the configurations of effect prefer¬
ence between the user type paradigm groups becomes discernible.
The preference of stable smokers for physiological and work-
related effects of the drug approaches statistical significance
in Table 16 at the .07 and .08 levels of confidence. Their
preference for work improvement effects is significant at
the .019 level. Pastoralist-escapists and street movers sig¬
nificantly prefer appetite and the behavioral and cognitive
effects, and they tend to talk about "bad trip" effects more
than do the stable smokers.
In Table 17, we have encapsulated the marihuana use
characteristic of each user type in terms of smoking environment

203
TABLE 17
User Type, Effect and Smoking Environment
User Types Smoking Environments Smoking Effects
Pastoralist-
Escapists
Limited repertoire,
choosing low-risk open
environments. Favored
environments are
"countryside alone"
"street alone"
"countryside group"
"dance-hall."
Few clear emphases,
but appetites and
behavioral effects
seem to be favored.
Share lack of con¬
fidence in perform¬
ance while under
marihuana effects.
Street
Movers
All open environments
and some close environ¬
ments when available.
Often seem to be flaunt¬
ing the law. Favored
environments include
"street group"
"pension-brothel"
"bar."
Appetite effects
clearly emphasized,
with minor emphasis
on behavioral ef¬
fects. Striking
preponderance of
"bad trip" effects
in general and
"white death" in
particular. Lack
confidence in work
performance while
stoned.
Stable
Smokers
Closed environments,
heavily favoring the
user's home, and
shunning the risky
and open environments.
Favored environments
are
"home alone"
"work alone"
"work in group"
"home in group."
Emphasis placed on
practical and
everyday nature of
use, containing
more accounts of
purely physical
effects and posi¬
tive effects on
work performance.
Thought and con¬
versation are also
claimed to improve
under the influ¬
ence of marihuana.

204
and frequent experienced effects. Pastoralist-escapists
appear to be the most reclusive and self-conscious of the
three types. They tend to avoid the open sorts of smoking
environments frequented by the street movers, and to have
little access to the secure closed environments which the
stable smokers prefer. Effects reported by the pastoralist-
escapists do not show strong tendencies for specific areas
of emphasis.
Table 17 also reveals the basic contrast between stable
smokers and street movers in terms of the perceived utility
of the drug. Street movers see marihuana as a drug of enjoy¬
ment and recreation. Their conversation about the drug is
heavily loaded with sexual exploits, feasts, scrapes with
the law, and other adventures, all recounted with a savor
which contrasts with the comparatively bland stable smoker's
accounts. Compare the following stable smokers' account of
sexual function under the influence of marihuana with Paco's
vivid description cited earlier:
Interviewer: What effect does it have on sex?
Subject: Effect? Well, yes, that, yes.
Interviewer: Is it good?
Subject: Yes.
Interviewer: How?
Subject: Gee, well, normally . . . yes, it works
as one wants, see. At times you feel, let's say
. . . . How should I tell you? A lack of spirit
see. Because at times you get nerves, see. But
that (marihuana) gets rid of them. ... It comes
out well; you work well.
The everyday flavor of this subject's description of marihuana's
effect on sex typifies the stable smoker's approach to mari¬
huana itself. To the stable smoker, marihuana is an ordinary

205
part of everyday life which has several functions which he
considers pleasant and useful. These include work efficiency
and enthusiasm, physical well being, and skill in conversation
and thought processes. Appetites and thrills receive some
attention from the stable smoker, but they are not his most
important topics in discussing marihuana.
Stable smokers use marihuana where they feel it is safe:
in their own homes, at work, or in familiar closed environ¬
ments. Street movers smoke the drug in much more risky and
often dangerous environments, and they emphasize the sensual
and adventuresome qualities of their smoking. As a result of
constant vigilance, and in many cases real fear, they also
more frequently suffer panic reactions. Pastoralist-escapists
reject the street movers' choice of smoking environment, but
they share a basically recreational approach to using marihuana
To illustrate these points further, we shall now present
three marihuana use scenarios, one for each type of user, in
which each type will be participating in preferred environments
These scenarios have been constructed from combinations of
various field experiences and personal accounts, and do not
correspond to any single user in the sample.
Guille, a pastoralist-escapist, finds that it is now
afternoon, and he still has not had the opportunity to smoke
marihuana all day. With only five colones in his pocket,
he has little chance of buying enough marihuana for what he
considers to be an effective dose; prices of individual cigar¬
ettes are between 1.25 and 1.50 colones. He searches the

206
streets of his barrio, and eventually manages to find three
other boys who all have roughly the same amount of money as
he. Together they are able to make what they call a puesto,
or "bank" of 25 colones, which is sufficient to buy a roll.
Since Guille is the oldest and most experienced of the group,
he is chosen to procure the marihuana. They all agree to meet
in a deserted coffee grove nearby, where they can smoke in
peace. Guille buys the marihuana and hurries through the
streets of the barrio to the edge of the coffee grove where
his smoking companions are waiting. They cross a stream and
climb the wall of a ravine to where there is a small clearing,
and there they sit down to smoke. Guille passes three cig¬
arettes each to his companions, and keeps the rest of the roll,
making for himself a puro of his three. The others, being
less experienced with the drug and therefore more cautious,
smoke single cigarettes. As they smoke, all comment on the
quality of the material, coughing intermittently and cracking
jokes. By the end of the first round of smoking, all are
laughing and coughing. Guille rolls himself another puro
of three as his companions begin smoking their second cigar¬
ette. All inhale deeply, and continue to keep the smoke
in the lungs longer. About half-way through the second puro,
Guille begins to feel that his head is floating, and he
realizes that he has reached his effective dose level. The
group has settled down to story-telling, and Guille gives an
account of a film called "Joe" in which many of the actors
use drugs. He describes in particular detail how the

207
protagonist smokes his first marihuana through a hookah,
noting that the actor inhaled just like one of the younger
of the present smoking companions, who is duly embarrassed
and kidded about the comparison. Suddenly they hear a figure
moving through the grove and all start and visibly tremble,
but the figure moves on without stopping. Conversation
now breaks off, and each user continues to smoke in silence.
By now, Guille has finished eight cigarettes, more than his
share. The others have had half that amount, but show no
desire for any more after finishing their fourth each. After
offering the remaining cigarettes around and being refused,
Guille pockets them. At the beginning of the afternoon he
had financial prospects for only three or four cigarettes,
but he ends up through the "bank" arrangement consuming 13.
The other boys, who all live at home, now are beginning to
feel hungry, and they get up to leave. They separate at the
edge of the coffee grove two hours after they met there, and
walk silently to their individual homes.
Guille says that he prefers to smoke alone, but financial
necessity forces him to smoke with a group. He seems to enjoy
the company of these younger smokers, and participates actively
in their joking and conversation. Later, as he achieves
heavier dosage, Guille's chatter and joking break off, and he
becomes more pensive. Finally, he goes home to eat, an action
that often ends the effects of smoking. Given the resources
at their disposal, the group hide themselves as well as
possible when a stranger appears; the fear that passes through

208
all of them is apparent. When they return to their homes,
their families may or may not notice that they have been
smoking marihuana, or they may search for subtle clues such
as eye redness and unusually hearty appetites.
Gilberto, a street mover, has been out of a job for
about two weeks, but today he managed to find a half-day's
hauling work in the market. His earnings were twelve colones,
of which he gave half to his mother as a contribution to the
household food budget, keeping the other half for his own
use. By 7:00 p.m. it is dark; Gilberto leaves the house
after his evening meal, ostensibly on a minor errand. He
climbs the hill to a corner toward one extreme of the barrio
where his friends are gathered. One of these is currently
selling marihuana on a small scale, and he tends to sell
individual cigarettes at low prices because Gilberto helps
serve the customers who come by. There are about ten people
on the corner tonight, including one woman and males ranging
in age from 43 down to 13. As Gilberto approaches, he smells
the aroma of burning marihuana in the air around the group.
He exclaims in a manner of salutation that when he was four
blocks away he said to himself, "Those mud-faces are smoking
marihuana! I can smell the stuff from here'" He is greeted
by the group not warmly, but with profuse jocular knowledge-
ments of his presence. He approaches Yogui, the friend who
is now selling marihuana and askes if he can buy five mari¬
huana cigarettes with his five colones. Yogui begins to
object, saying that they cost him more than that, but Gilberto

209
reminds him of earlier galeta, or "runner," services rendered
and eventually obtains Yogui's consent to the low price.
Because they are among long-time smoking companions, Yogui
makes the sale right there on the street corner without any
complicated exchange procedures. Gilberto immediately wraps
three into a ball covered with cellophane and puts them into
his pocket. He unrolls the other two and combines their con¬
tents into a single paper, first removing seeds, which he
believes causes headaches. The extra paper is burned as it
is discarded because the narcotics police believe the presence
of yellow paper sufficient evidence to justify a 24-hour jail
term for "suspicion." Gilberto lights up his puro of two
and inhales very deeply. He does not exhale for a long time,
periodically sipping small gulps of air to help him maintain
the marihuana smoke in his lungs. He holds the cigarette
inside his cupped hand, so that the glow from the ash may not
be seen from a distance. Not many vehicles pass this corner
in the barrio, but any pair of headlights that approaches
elicits a readying of defenses. These include preparation
to swallow or discard each individual's marihuana, depending
on the tightness of the situation. Most headlamps are false
alarms, and business goes on as usual.
As Gilberto finishes his puro, he begins to notice that
he is feeling "toasted," warm and glowing. The dingy surround¬
ings begin to look softer and more appealing. A group of three
girls pass by the corner on the far side of the street, and
the smoking group shouts minor flirtations across to them.

¿10
Gilberto shouts, "Turn around and look at me, so I can die
happy." After the girls are gone, one of the older users
in the group begins to describe in lurid detail what he would
do if he were alone right now with one of those girls. Gil¬
berto listens. He thinks to himself that none of them except
Alberto would have the courage even to walk up and talk to
those girls, and Alberto does that only with girls he already
knows. Still, Gilberto feels very good; he removes another
cigarette from his cellophane ball and prepares it for
smoking. He had used his last tobacco cigarette, making a
taco (see Chapter IV) to finish off his first marihuana cig¬
arette; after re-rolling his marihuana cigarette, he steps
into a nearby corner store to buy five more tobacco cigarettes
with his last colon. Gilberto rounds the corner to rejoin
the smoking group just as he hears a flat voice say, "Narcotic
police, don't move!" The faces of his companions blanche
and assume a look of abject terror. One of the boys swallows
the cigarette he is smoking. Then, the voice laughs and says,
"It's only Lefty, fellows." The whole group laughs weakly
at the joke, but when one of them says that he swallowed a
cigarette in reaction to Lefty's prank everyone explodes in
gales of laughter. Gilberto returns to his marihuana, noting
that this cigarette is barely getting him back to the feeling
that he had achieved at the end of the first puro. He makes
another taco to finish his marihuana butt; the transition from
the harsh, acrid taste of the marihuana to. the smoother qualities
of the tobacco is always pleasureful. Since it is now 9:30,

211
and he has an appointment in the morning to talk to a foreman
about working in construction, he decides that it is time to
go home. He says goodbye to his companions and moves down
the hill to his house. He has smoked three marihuana cigar¬
ettes during the past two-and-a-half hours.
Alejandro is a stable smoker who specializes in interior
carpentry for house builders. He awakes at 5:00 a.m., just
before sunup, and smokes two marihuana cigarettes he had pre¬
pared the night before for this purpose. He feels that
smoking helps him to endure the cold of the shower he takes
every morning, and prepares him for the day's work. After
a breakfast of bread and coffee, he leaves the house by 6:00
to be at the construction site by 6:30. He carries five
marihuana cigarettes with him to work. At 11:30 while his
companions at work are eating, he finds a secluded spot at
the site where he can quickly fashion a puro of two and smoke
it. He begins working before the others are finished eating,
because he says that marihuana makes him feel like working.
He continues vigorously until mid-afternoon, when he finds
himself slowing down. Saying that he wants to investigate
something under the house, as he crawls beneath the floor
boards to look at the location of some concrete supports, he
re-rolls and smokes another marihuana cigarette. Since it
is now 3:00 p.m., he estimates that this last dose will make
the remaining hour-and-half of his workday pass more rapidly.
Alejandro leaves work at 4:30 and arrives home by 5:00.
His wife has a large meal waiting for him. He eats what is

212
effectively his only meal of the day, and rests at home until
his cousin comes by the house at 6:30. This cousin is Ale¬
jandro's most regular smoking companion. According to the
cousin, the local marihuana dealer has just received a good
batch of Limonese variety, so they decide to go and buy a
small pouch. They must walk two miles to this dealer's
house, where they are able to purchase a half-ounce with their
50 colones. The cousin has some rolling paper, so they go to
his house to smoke. Alejandro decides to make a super puro
from a whole sheet-width (8 1/2 inches) of paper. He rolls
the puro into roughly the thickness of a soda straw, using
for this purpose the amount of picadura normally used for eight
street cigarettes. He smokes and smokes, always inhaling
deeply and exhaling as little marihuana smoke as possible.
His cousin rolls a puro of more modest size and smokes in
the same way. The radio is tuned to a station which special¬
izes in soft boleros, the music which Alejandro calls "classi¬
cal." They both listen and experience a soothing and restful
sensation. The two smokers talk quietly of the day's activ¬
ities, and Alejandro speaks of the additions he plans to make
on his house and several plans for future employment when
his present contract expires. His cousin listens and nods.
At 9:00, the cousin is almost asleep, and so Alejandro leaves
for his own home to watch television for an hour before
joining his wife in bed. He is finishing a day in which he
smoked perhaps more marihuana than usual because of the large
purchase. The rest of his share of the purchase, which was

213
divided evenly, will last him two or three days.
The above account emphasizes the kinds of effects and
smoking environments found in the stable smokers' self-
reports on marihuana use. The generally closed and secure
atmosphere in which Alejandro smokes marihuana contrasts
sharply with Gilberto's edgy and constantly vigilant street
situation. While Gilberto risks arrest with every smoking
session, the process of procuring marihuana and using it is
routine and calm for Alejandro. Alejandro has specific
uses for his marihuana both as a work enhancer and as a relaxer
at the end of the day. Gilberto has the general purpose of
getting stoned in a social recreational setting. Both know
what they want their marihuana to do for them, and they sel¬
dom are disappointed. One stable smoker explains this approach
to the use of marihuana.
Interviewer; Do you get more inspired when you
smoke?
Subj ect: Yes
Interviewer: How?
Subj ect: Let's say you haven't smoked for a while
and then you smoke. You feel different ....
For me, marihuana, for whatever purpose you want
it, if you set the tone and concentrate on what
you're doing, it works for anything. ... If I
want not to sleep, with marihuana I don't sleep.
Summary
The complex relationship between marihuana users and
their drug becomes more manageable when a typology of users
is employed for descriptive purposes. We identified three
types of marihuana smokers among Costa Rican working class
males, the stable smoker, the street mover and the pastoralist-

214
escapist. The three types were identified on the basis of
continued observation of individual smoking styles over a
period of more than a year. Life history and marihuana use
interview materials were then analyzed quantitatively to
check the validity of the types with special attention to
the kinds of smoking environments described by each subject,
and the kinds of effects experienced. These interview mat¬
erials bear out the original typology, showing that stable
smokers tend to smoke in closed, safe environments such as
their own homes or places of work. Street movers tend to
mention open environments where they often risk arrest for
their marihuana smoking. Pastoralist-escapists tend not
to smoke in open environments, as do the street movers, but,
having no access to secure, closed environments, they choose
countryside settings to minimize their smoking risks.
Smoking environment and subjective effects of smoking
were found to be related so that certain commonly-cited
effects occurred in one or two specific environments. The
most striking example of this is the occurrence of the white
death reaction in very open smoking environments, such as the
streetcorner or a bar. Cross-tabulation of user type and
citations of subjective effects also point out that the
street-movers, those who most often frequent the open smoking
environments, tend to experience white death with the greatest
frequency.
Once the relationship between user and environment,
environment and effect, and effect and user had been defined

215
through our method of cross-tabulation, it was possible not
only to characterize each type of user by his qualitative
style of use, but to name the specific kinds of environments
in which he was most likely to smoke, and the kinds of effects
he was most likely to experience. Stable smokers tend to
concentrate on purely physical effects, work effects, and
effects which improve cognitive function. Pastoralist-
escapists and street movers seem to be most interested in,
and therefore experience, sensuous and appetite-related
effects.
The relation of amotivational syndrome to the Costa
Rican patterns of marihuana use is simplified by the user
typology described above. Among the Costa Rican marihuana
smokers studied, there is a sub-group who associate marihuana
with work and normal activity, and another subgroup who
associate their use with more hedonistic experiences. This
difference in value systems must be considered as a key
variable in assessing the data presented in the following
two chapters.

216
NOTES
â– *"As compared to a mean age of 2 8.1 and a range of 20
to 41 years for street movers.
2
Cross-tabulations were made in a manner similar to
that used for user type and smoking environment, running
user type and smoking environment against effects mentioned.
Field notes again provided a baseline for defining the range
of effects to be listed. Then, the life history and mari¬
huana use interview transcriptions were sifted one by one
to extract the number of times each effect was mentioned
by the subject, and to add any effect that had not yet been
recorded. An internal check for accuracy in recording was
provided by the fact that each effect was recorded twice,
once in the effects-versus-user type tabulation and once
in the effects-versus-smoking environment tabulation.
3
"Nerves," or nervios refers to a whole spectrum of
psychological or physiological nervous disorders recognized
by the Costa Rican lower class.
4
Goode (1970) and Grinspoon (1971) describe the North
American patterns of Cannabis use which have become popular
within the last ten years. Further reference to North
American Cannabis use may be taken to mean the patterns
described by these authors.
5
This activity, because of what happens in the grand¬
stand, requires such activeness on the part of the spectator
that we felt that it should be included in active recreation.
g
On the basis of many interviews and conversations, we
find that, for most working-class Costa Ricans, "classical"
music really means the traditional latin romantic ballads,
or boleros.
Gallos are tortillas topped with shredded cabbage
and hard-boiled egg or a piece of meat or sausage or fried
bologna. They cost about 75 céntimos apiece ($.09).

CHAPTER VI
MARIHUANA AND THE LIFE CYCLE
The relationship between marihuana and the user is
best understood in terms of the interaction between crucial
points in the user's life and the individual's adoption
of Cannabis consumption. The Costa Rican data indicate
that childhood socialization leads up to a critical period
in adolescence when marihuana use is either adopted or
rejected. The. cultural variables surrounding this decision
must be taken into account. Performance criteria (such
as school records and adolescent and adult work histories)
will then be evaluated to determine the presence or absence
of the "loss of desire to work or maintain business, loss
of productivity" attributes of amotivational syndrome
among Costa Rican users.
v
Initiation into Cannabis Use
Most chronic marihuana smokers in Costa Rican begin
their use of the drug during either adolescence or late
childhood. The mean age of initiation of "regular" mari¬
huana use for our sample was 15.2 years, with a range of
from nine to 26 years, with 12, 14,and 17 as the most
often named ages for starting everyday consumption. The
overall distribution of these ages is shown below. This
217

218
differs slightly from the age distributions for "first
taste" of the drug, which shows a mean initiation age of
14.2 years, a full year less than the mean age for begin¬
ning regular use. The distribution of first taste shows
a more unimodal tendency, with a cluster of high frequencies
between ages 13 and 16 as seen below. For the user sub¬
sample as a whole, first exposure to marihuana tends to
take place most often during the middle years of adolescence.
Many users then delay their adoption of everyday marihuana
smoking habits for a year, or sometimes longer.
TABLE 18
Age of First Regular Marihuana Use
Age at first regular use
Number of individuals
9
2
11
2
12
6
13
3
14
6
15
4
16
4
17
6
18
3
20
2
21
1
25
1
26
1
The reasons for this delay are varied, including initial
bad or neutral impressions of the drug during the first taste
experience. The 41 users, when questioned on their impressions

219
TABLE 19
Age of First Taste of Marihuana
Age of first taste
Number of Individuals
8
1
9
3
10
1
11
3
12
4
13
5
14
5
14
7
16
5
17
2
18
1
19
1
20
1
21
1
25
1
of the first taste experience, reported more disagreeable
than agreeable experiences by 14 to 13. Twelve reported
no effect at all, and two were indecisive. Many of the
users were very definite in their negative descriptions
of the first taste experience. One claims that he exper¬
ienced white death the first nine times he tried marihuana:
Subject-: Nine times I had the "white death." Nine.
Interviewer: And those were one after another?
Subject: All. One after another.
Interviewer: Over how long a period between the
first time and the ninth?
Subject: Gee . . . Let's say tv/o months . . . but
then you see my head, how hard-headed about some¬
thing I am, see . . . Any other person after three
times says, "No more" but I kept on until I domin¬
ated it. And I dominated it so that now . . . gee
. . . we smoke a roll between two of us and I have
great capacity.

220
His perseverance in spite of repeated unpleasant effects
must indicate something stronger than the allure of the
drug itself brought him to continue until he could achieve
an agreeable psychotropic effect.
We find that many cases are similar in their initial
bad impression of the drug, although few have gone through
such an exaggerated string of negative reactions. Other
informants claim not to have felt anything upon first
trying the drug. Still, all repeated marihuana smoking
until they did achieve an acceptable "high," and all con¬
tinued a pattern of everyday use thereafter.
Since marihuana is not presently considered to carry
physical dependence, especially in dosages of first taste
use, it seems important to explore other possible influ¬
ences which lead potential users to continue trying the
drug until they decide that they like it. One of these is
the exposure to street culture. As explained in the earlier
chapter on study setting, most working class children and
young adolescents who end up chronically smoking marihuana
seem to pass through a period in their lives where they are
in intensive contact with the culture of San Jose's streets.
There they are exposed to the influence of older and more
experienced people who exert influence on them both by
example and by active counselling and inclusion in street-
type activity. Under such tutelage, young potential users
constantly hear that marihuana smoking is an experience
which can be excruciatingly pleasureful, and that it is not

221
at all harmful to the body. They also are offered marihuana
repeatedly by these older, experienced people thus receiving
ample opportunity for first taste experience and later con¬
tinued use. We find that, among our final subsample of
users, 72.5 per cent were introduced to marihuana by people
older than they. Almost half were offered their first
marihuana by a person older by five years or less, while
nearly one quarter of the subsample had their first mari¬
huana under the tutelage of a person more than five years
older. This illustrates the pervasiveness of the influence
of older acquaintances as young smokers begin to use mari¬
huana .
Becker's (cf. Chapter I: 33) analysis of marihuana
use adoption is useful in defining the influence of estab¬
lished physiological and subjective effects, such as
increased heart rate, dry mouth and throat, and the impres¬
sion of rapid mental activity which are more or less univer¬
sal to marihuana smoking. Unless the experienced user helps
the novice to interpret these and other possible effects
as positive ones, the novice is not likely to continue
marihuana smoking to the point of establishing chronic use
(Ibid.; 239). This interpretative tutelage process appar¬
ently also happens among Costa Rican marihuana users.
Another important factor leading to marihuana use
among young people seems to be the desire for new and/or
defiant experiences. Besides refering to the influence
of older people, many users' life histories tell of strong

222
motivation to achieve psychotropic states on the individ¬
ual's own initiative. One user claims that he began
marihuana use "for the luxury of calling myself a marihuana-
user. " Others go through periods of experimentation with
heavy alochol use at the same time that they begin mari¬
huana use. One user claims to have forced a vendor of
marihuana to sell him his earliest supplies by threatening
to report him:
. . . I said to him, "what is that you're smoking?"
"Ah, ..." he said, "they're cigarettes but I'm
not giving you any because that stuff can cause
you harm." I said, "Give me some so I can try one."
"Well, I'll give you one, but don't tell." I smoked
some and I liked it. After that I often came by
and said, "Don't you have one of those? Give it
to me or sell it to me." And so I began. . . .
Later I would say . . ."If you don't sell it to me,
I'll tell the police you have some."
The point in early or middle adolescence at which use
is initiated must have some common characteristics for
users which also contribute to the adoption of some pattern
of drug use.
Krauskopf and Doughty (1976a) in a detailed analysis
of a small subsample of ten matched pairs of users and non¬
users, find that adolescence is the most crucial point in
distinguishing between the life histories of users and non¬
users. The users cited in their discussion share basic
insecurity and low self-esteem due to their lack of success
in establishing their own independent adult status (Ibid.:
VI-47). The two most striking corroborations of this
finding for the user matched pair sample of 41 on which the
special tests were made come from the computative analysis

223
of life history materials. Users in the matched pair
sample experienced significantly more (p - .01) social and
economic decline of status during adolescence than did non¬
users. They also were significantly (p - .002) less likely
to have had full-time jobs during this period. We do not
believe that the above two conditions were caused by the
initiation of marihuana smoking. Rather the conditions and
the initiation of marihuana smoking would seem both to
derive from other important aspects of the users' adolescent
situation, and would tend to reinforce one another. To
illustrate, True (1976b) finds a striking difference between
users and non-users in their respective familial socializa¬
tion environments. Users tended to find themselves, either
by force or by their own choice, out of the care of the
household at an earlier age than did non-users. However,
such movements toward independence at an early age were
fraught with problems, given little support from family and
possibly inadequate independence socialization during
childhood. The young adolescent trying to make his own
way without help and perhaps without even a proper idea of
how to survive has more reason to be seeking a psychotropic
state, simply as an escape from a very unpleasant existence.
Significantly more (p - .01) users than non-users left
their families of orientation before marriage, even though
in Costa Rica marriage is considered the natural time for
a son to leave the house. Marihuana provided a respite
for many of these who found their new environments hostile.

224
Coupled with the existence of a social environment where
opportunities and encouragement to smoke marihuana were
numerous, this susceptibility to, or need for, an "escape"
of some kind made adolescence a particularly crucial time
for the initiation of marihuana use.
Further insight regarding the combination of street
social environment and psychotropic needs may be gained from
the marihuana use interview materials. A cross-tabulation
of the description of the first taste experience against the
person who introduced marihuana shows that the majority
of chronic smokers who had either a bad or indifferent
impression of the drug were introduced to it by someone
older than they. Despite an unsuccessful first experience
with marihuana, these individuals all became chronic users,
and this must be due at least in part to the influence of
the older introducers of the drug. The cross-tabulation
below shows the described differences:
TABLE 20
Introducer's Age Relative to Ego*
First Experience Impression
Older
Younger
Good
10
4
Bad, Indifferent
19
7
*One individual does not remember clearly.
2
X is .02; not significant.

225
As already inferred in the previous chapter on effects and
environment in marihuana smoking, part of the above distri¬
bution of first taste impressions may be related to smoking
environment. Again, Becker's analysis (1953) seems also to
be confirmed by the users' own memories of their first use
experiences coupled with the experienced users' role. This
could explain the predominance of indifferent or negative
reactions during the first taste experience. One user who
had a negative first taste reaction describes the persis¬
tence of the introducer:
(After smoking) I was so crazy that well, you
should have seen how crazy. . . . Now I was in
another sense dizzy. Then the guy (introducer)
brought me a soft drink and I drank that. . . .
Well, from that day, I didn't do it again and
well, after almost exactly a month, the guy
invited me again. And the third time I had the
"white death."
He goes on to say that, after that third experience, he
never had white death again, and decided that he liked
the effects of marihuana experiences.
Another indicator of the strength of the social environ
ment and psychotropic need may be found in the time lapses
between first taste use and the beginning of regular use.
The mean time lapse for the whole sample was one year, but
there were individuals who began regular smoking immediately
after the first taste experience. All but three of 17
smokers who waited before initiating regular use delayed no
more than three years. These remaining three delayed the
beginning of everyday marihuana consumption four, five, and

226
seven years. Thus, the one-year average time lapse may be
inflated due to a relatively small number of subjects with
long time lapses. In fact, 33 of the entire subsample of
41 delayed the initiation of regular marihuana use by one
year or less. The cross-tabulation below illustrates the
relationship between time-lapse and first taste impression.
TABLE 21
Time Between "First Taste" and Regular Use*
First Taste Impression
Lapse
No Lapse
Good
5
9
Bad, Indifferent
12
15
*The unsure individual was lumped with the "bad, indifferent"
group in this table.
2
X is .29; not significant
Here we see that the individuals who had bad or indifferent
first taste experiences with marihuana actually were not
any more likely to delay initiation of regular use than those
who had good experiences. Surprisingly the 15 users who
had bad or indifferent first taste experiences with marihuana
did not delay at all in beginning regular use of the drug.
It would be totally unreasonable to say that the allure
of marihuana's psychotropic effects alone was sufficient
to lead to chronic use pal terns among young potential users.

227
Initiation to chronic use has not been the result of the
innate attraction of marihuana to its users, but rather
stems from other social and psychological factors which
impinge on the lives of these individuals at crucial points
in the life cycle, especially adolescence.
During their life history interviews, all of the users
in the matched pair subsample were asked if marihuana use
made some sort of difference in their lives. Their replies
were scored positively, negatively, or neutrally. Thirteen .
users indicated that marihuana use had somehow improved
their quality of life, while none said that the net effect
of marihuana on their lives had been harmful. Eighteen
showed no effect, either positive or negative, on their
lives, and one was so ambivalent that he could not be scored
in any of the above categories.
An overall assessment of the effect of marihuana on
a person's life is at best problematical, especially in
light of the strong evidence that marihuana usually does
what the user wants it to do for him. Nevertheless, these
assessments, combined with the other information we have
about the lives of the users at time of first use, give a
perspective on the impact at time of entry into the individ¬
ual user's lives. Most (over 70 per cent) note either a
positive or neutral influence. Some of those who noted a
negative influence reported a simultaneous general decline
in social and economic status; others who reported such a
decline did not see marihuana as affecting their lives

228
negatively, however. In a number of cases, although the
subjects did not blame marihuana use as a direct cause of
their lowering quality of life, they did think that
marihuana use led to more intense contact with criminal
elements, which in turn led to problems with the police,
jail, and continued lowering of social status and self¬
esteem. The following passage typifies this view:
. . . Suspicion, nothing more. The only thing
about suspicion is that they grab you. Now and
then when I'm coming home from the movies,
straight home, and I'm with some other companions,
what do they do? They search everyone and send
us to jail. . . . Then what they do is give us a
bad night.
To become identified with the underworld, or chusma
as it is called in the subjects' colloquial Spanish, is an
important step toward developing a police record. A person
who is known to the police as an underworld character always
runs more risk of marihuana searches and 24-hour incarcer¬
ations for "suspicion," and vagrancy.
Still, there is no clear pattern that emerges from
detailed analysis of the individual subject's interview
materials. Of the users who said that marihuana had a
deleterious effect on their general quality of life, only
three actually had records of adolescent delinquency, a
somewhat lower percentage than that of the matched subsample
user group as a whole. Even though marihuana use often does
lead to more arrests and incarceration, this does not nec¬
essarily determine that the user will perceive marihuana
smoking to be the cause of his lower life quality. Some

229
individuals with the very worst records of arrest and incar¬
ceration perceive marihuana to be a positive influence on
their lives.
. . . I think that marihuana hasn't affected me
at all.. . . because I believe that the only
thing is that all the time I've been able to
buy it, but I think that . . . sure, it may be
that I don't notice, but other people who know
me and now know what I am, well, it could be that
they see that it has affected me, but I think not,
at least as far as I know. Morally, it has never
affected me and physically either. . . . I've
never gotten desperate to smoke.
Marihuana users' perceptions of the drug's general influence
on their lives are apparently too idosyncratic and sub¬
jective to connect them in any cause-effect relationship
with either marihuana use itself or any other single factor.
Of the 13 users who were experiencing descending social
mobility during adolescence, only three thought that mari¬
huana use contributed to that descent. Five of these
people said that marihuana made no difference, and five
claimed that marihuana smoking helped things change for the
better.
At this point, it is appropriate to return to the user
typology outlined in Chapter V. We alluded to a possibly
cyclical pattern among the types related to individuals'
life cycles. Generally, the users in the sample tended to
gravitate toward stable smoker patterns, shifting use pat¬
terns more than once during their lifetimes. Practically
all users went through an initial period of street mover-
style smoking during their first few years of use. Some

230
never adopted the atable smoker style during their entire
lives, and others went through only brief associations
with stable smoker patterns before returning to their
street mover pattern. Such young street movers would be
very much like Gilberto, still living at home and smoking
with a street gang. Others would be like Antonio, living
alternately in reformatory, jail and pensiones when they
have enough money, and smoking wherever they can get away
with it.
The life histories of the older stable smokers show
clearly that they all went through periods in their lives
when their smoking styles were closer to street mover, or
in some cases pastoralist-escapist style. For example,
José began, his smoking in a pastoralist-escapist style,
because he met many of his first smoking companions at
the swimming holes which he frequented as a young adolescent,
many of his first smoking experiences were in these secluded
pastoral environments, as he describes in the following
passage:
I would go to the rivers and with a gang of four
or five, kids too, but more "with it" street
wise, you know ... I had been submissive m
the house, but after I made these friends I
became libertine, street-oriented, only in the
street, the pastures, the coffee groves, that
is, I. spent more time in the coffee groves.
He later married and adopted a pattern of seldom smoking
around the house, confining his marihuana consumption to his
workshop environment. Smoking terihuana serves now to help
Jose get through the day's wcr. x, and very little else. He

231
has maintained his stable smoker consumption patterns for
more than 15 years.
Martin is a stable smoker who began his smoking career
very much in the street mover style. In fact, he still
associates with street movers, even though he seldom smokes
with them. His first experiences with marihuana occurred
before he was married, and his life style was that of a
young street mover without family. Martin at first lived
in boarding houses (pensiones) and cheap hotel rooms when
he could get them, and he smoked wherever he could, usually
with street groups. As he grew older and experienced a
few suspicion arrests, he came to decide that smoking alone
in coffee groves (cafetales) vías a safer policy:
I do it alone because as they say, "A soli¬
tary ox grazes better." I go alone, and if they
(the police) should grab me in a coffee grove,
well, I was defecating. But if there are two of
us, they say we're either smoking marihuana or
performing acts of sodomy. That's why I go alone.
Finally, when Martin married, he took to smoking in his
own heme, out of sight of his family. (His account of this
smoking pattern appears earlier in the section on smoking
environment and effects.) He has smoked primarily in a
"home alone" environment for more than twelve years.
Some users never get out of the patfern set during
their first years of smoking. Roberto, who is now 43,
negan to smoke marihuana comparatively late, at age 24.
Before that, he had a history of heavy drinking which con¬
tinues to a slightly lesser degree up to the present.

232
Roberto's immersion in the street ambience of San José
began during late childhood and early adolescence, but
instead of embracing marihuana use at that stage in life,
he began to use alcohol. We may be certain that Roberto
had opportunities to try marihuana before age 24, but for
reasons known only to him, he did not pursue the drug.
When he finally did taste marihuana for the first time,
he continued despite repeated negative reactions until he
achieved an acceptable psychotropic effect. Roberto had
by then established a street oriented life style which has
continued with only brief interruptions up to the present.
He smokes marihuana just about anywhere, in street groups,
coffee groves, pension-brothels, whenever marihuana is
available. Roberto has remained a street mover during his
entire smoking career, and at this point a change in that
pattern cannot be foreseen. In his case, the initial
drug of choice was alcohol; only later did he add marihuana
to his drug use repertoire. The drug use pattern itself
was set during the crucial adolescent period, and the
adoption of marihuana was only a continuation of that pattern.
Marihuana and School Performance
True (1976b) establishes that many socialization fac¬
tors contribute to eventual adoption of drug use. School
records were collected for the members of our sample where
possible to determine if the subjects showed any tendencies
toward low achievement or unruly behavior in the structured

233
classroom environment before or during the adoption of
marihuana use. Most of the sample attended some school,
although few advanced to the secondary level. Due to des¬
troyed records and various retrieval problems, we were able
to obtain complete elementary school records on only a
total of seven matched pairs of subjects. Partial records
were available for some additional individuals.
The Costa Rican educational system has been a source
of national pride for its people. The extravagant claims
of 90 per cent literacy notwithstanding, this system has
achieved a high level of success compared with other
Central American countries, and it offers educational oppor¬
tunities to all Costa Ricans who desire them. Children
begin school usually at age seven and attendance up to age
12 is required for all. Enforcement of this law is rarely
carried out, but the vast majority of Costa Rican children
do attend at least part of the required six years. In many
cases, children begin a primary school class with the teacher
who will instruct them until they graduate to the secondary
level. Because some teachers had been in charge of our
subjects for several years, they could remember them accur¬
ately, providing added insight into that period of the
subjects' lives.
The relationship between marihuana and the users'
school records becomes clearer when we examine the school
records in light of the ages at which the users began smoking
marihuana. For the subsample studied, the average age of

234
initiation into marihuana smoking was exactly the same
as the age of beginning regular use, 12.4 years. This is
somewhat younger than the sample as a whole, and there was
no time lapse between first taste experience and initia¬
tion of regular use. Of this group, three individuals began
smoking marihuana regularly before terminating their
schooling. The school records of the users and their
matched controls show a difference in performance that is
almost statistically significant when they are compared
for number of years failed or lost before sixth grade.
Cross-tabulation the users and non-user groups with one
year or less lost and two or more years lost out of the
first six grades, we find that the difference does not
approach significance. Data were gathered for the sample
as a whole on number of grades attended and number of grades
actually passed, and no differences appeared between the
two groups.
Close scrutiny of the school records for the users who
began smoking marihuana while still in school shows that
there is no difference in their performance before and
after beginning to use the drug. Copa, for example, began
using marihuana at age eleven, which is the year after he
failed fourth grade, the only failure on his school record.
His teacher for fourth and fifth grade reports that he was
at times unruly and ill-spoken, but that he was not a bad
student, and he produced work that was slightly above
average for the grades in which she taught him. This teacher

235
knew Copa when he was initiating marihuana use, the year
after his failure in fourth grade. Javier began to use
marihuana at age nine, due to his very early immersion in
street life selling empanadas (fried meat pastries) to
earn money for his family. He managed to continue school
through sixth grade, and his performance as evaluated by
his teacher remained almost rigidly consistent for his
entire school career. Javier describes the effect of
smoking marihuana on his performance in the following
passage:
I went to school well-stoned all the time. I
would take along two or three joints. I'd
smoke them in the bathrooms. All the time I
was on top of the teacher, watching her and
listening to what she was saying. I concen¬
trated when I was stoned in class; I was inter¬
ested. The proof is that I was one of the
most efficient students, because I was always
concentrating. My examinations almost always
turned out well.
The opinion that marihuana actually helps in school work
is not unusual among our sample of users. Another user whose
school records were unfortunately unavailable gave similar
testimony:
Interviewer: That thing about the mind, you said
that marihuana gives you more activity.
Subject: Yes, more activity of the mind. That
was at first. I saw that I was studying with
enthusiasm and I remember that I studied enthusias¬
tically and it got to be more and I'd get up in the
morning to study and I would go to the dealer's . . .
and I bought one for the morning and I would learn
everything and my mind opened up. It gave me
capacity.
The school records of the users who used marihuana while
still in school do not really substantiate these claims,

236
but neither do they indicate appreciably decrease in per¬
formance after marihuana smoking began.
Amoldo began smoking marihuana at age twelve, also
after failing a grade. His performance evaluations show
no before and after differences either positive or negative,
and he continued school until he finished sixth grade.
None of the three individuals who began smoking while still
in school show records of change in performance levels
after initiating marihuana use. All finished their first
six years of school, and absence records are within normal
limits, as may be seen in Table 22. In fact, when the
absence records of users and non-users are compared, we
find that the mean number of absences per year of school
attended is generally higher among the non-users than among
the users.
Four of the users in the group for which we have school
records began smoking marihuana after leaving school. Tito,
for example, failed third grade, and began smoking- mari¬
huana a year later. The factors in his life which led to
poor performance and termination of school apparently had
an effect before he began using marihuana. One of these
factors may have been parental over-supervision. Tito claims
that when he did his homework, his parents would stand over
him and hit him every time he made a mistake.
Carlos began marihuana use two years after discontinuing
his primary studies. He had successfully completed five
grades with one failure at the third grade level. His

237
TABLE 22
Mean Absences Per Year
Pairs of
Subj ects
Excused
Users
Nonexcused
Non
Excused
-Users
Nonexcused
1
4
1
9
3.6
2
1.5
0
15.8
0
3
2.7
2
4.3
. 5
4
4. 3
1.5
8.2
0
5
7.7
. 5
9.6
. 6
6
1.5
1
0
0
7
10.6
2
7.2
7.7
X is
l—1
•
l—1
X is
7.7, 1.7

238
performance records show that he maintained a barely
passing average for those grades which he passed and dropped
slightly below that level during his failing year. The
principal of his school, after giving an accurate descrip¬
tion of him and his early life history, said that Carlos
was a discipline problem while attending school, and was
considered by his teachers to be a bad boy. Carlos' problems
in school clearly preceded his marihuana use.
Of all of the users for whom complete records were
found, Heriberto had the fewest years of school. He attended
and passed the first and second years, and then discontinued
in the third year, never to return to school again. We
were fortunate to be able to speak with Heriberto's teacher
for those two years, and her familiarity with his home sit¬
uation was notable. Heriberto's school work was never
sufficiently good for him to have passed on the basis of
merit. His work did not meet average criteria for grade
promotion, and he was irregular in turning in assignments.
The teacher says that she allowed Heriberto to advance
because she knew about his difficulties in the home, which
included many fights between parents and heavy drinking-
on the part of his father and his paternal uncle. She
noticed often that he was listless in class and dozed from
lack of sleep during the night. On the playground, Heri¬
berto 's manner of play was very rough and physical in com¬
parison to that of the other children. Finally the teacher
noted that Heriberto was not as affectionate as Costa Rican

239
school children at that age usually are towards their
teachers. In sum, this teacher was reporting the symptoms
of what she assessed to be an unfavorable childhood environ¬
ment in the home. He did not begin to smoke mairhuana until
six years later, when he was 15 years old, and an estab¬
lished street-adolescent with a growing police record.
Betoel also began smoking marihuana during adolescence
after leaving school. In a situation very similar to that
of Heriberto, Betoel failed second and third grades and
finally dropped out after passing to fourth. The principal
of the school remembered him and his brother, noting that
both were extremely unruly and difficult to control. She
was familiar enough with Betoel's home situation to describe
the severe alcohol problem which existed when Betoel was
a child. In her own words, "Those boys slept as often in
the streets or coffee-groves as they did in their own home."
Betoel did not begin marihuana use until two years after
he left school. By then, his experience in the street was
considerable, and his independence fully established.
It is of no value to compare the seven users' school
records with those of the non-users on a one-to-one basis,
but we should include brief descriptions of the control
group's school careers in order to obtain some idea of
differences and similarities between the two groups. Gen¬
erally, the non-user group experienced slightly more success
in their primary school careers than did the user group.
More of them progressed straight through their first six

240
grades without failures. Nevertheless, Roberto, a non-user,
had the single most ignominious record of three consecutive
failures of second grade. His first grade instructor noted
that Roberto was sickly and introverted. The principal of
the school said that the grading system at the time Roberto
attended was harsh and often unjust, and that similar child¬
ren do not receive that kind of treatment today. After
failing third grade, Roberto stopped attending.
Roger., another non-user, went through all six grades
of elementary school in an orphanage, where his attendance
was naturally perfect, but his performance was consistently
mediocre. His teacher describes him a docile and well-
behaved, with no outstanding qualities, either bad or good.
He and all of the other non-users except Roberto managed
to finish elementary school, while only three of their
seven user counterparts achieved this. Even so, marihuana
use during the school years cannot be blamed for this dis¬
crepancy between the two groups, because the three users
who completed elementary school were the only ones who
began using marihuana before leaving school.
We hinted earlier that familial problems were probably
the strongest factors which led to incomplete primary schooling
in the cases of individual marihuana users. Similar problems
existed in the families of some of the non-users who even¬
tually finished sixth grade. Roger, for example, was very
neglected during his first six years of life, and his mother
decided to place him in an orphanage so that he could

241
receive more attention and socialization than she was able
to give him. Being an illegitimate child, and left to
his own resources most of the time, he had become an unruly
child who roamed the streets and often did not come home
at all. Roger's years in the orphanage were apparently
sufficient to prevent his embracing the street way of life,
and to force him to complete his basic schooling.
Trinidad and Enrique both lived in households where
the father was an alcoholic with a problem serious enough
to make everyone in the household suffer as a consequence.
Even so, they both finished elementary school. Trinidad
and Enrique might have had more opportunity to resort to
a street education due to the unattractiveness of their
home lives, but they were being raised in an environment
which was nearly rural. As a result, they maintained a
pattern of school attendance for lack of alternatives. For
all non-users, the termination of required schooling was
replaced by the alternative activity of working to earn a
living. Even in the case of Roberto, he had been in school
six years before he finally left to begin working.
The alternatives to school attendance for the marihuana
smokers appeared at an earlier age, and especially in Heri-
berto's case, were closely associated with the street ambience
of urban San Jose. Javier, whose exposure to street life
and marihuana was very early, had other reasons for remaining
in school. First, his mother exercised a very strong influ¬
ence because Javier continued to live at home. Also, Javier

242
had established strong friendship ties with several of his
street gang companions, and they all continued school
together in the same class throughout the primary grades.
Of the seven marihuana users for whom we found complete
school records, all abandoned their homes at least tempor¬
arily by age twelve. Non-users who served as the users'
matched controls did not have this experience at all. The
only non-user who did not spend his childhood with his
nuclear family of orientation was Roger, who spent it in
an orphanage, but that institution acted in loco parentis
and cared for him perhaps more effectively than his own
mother could have done under the circumstances. True's
analysis of childhood socialization for the study sample
(1976b) asserts that the family -plays an important part
in determining whether an individual will be exposed to
the street ways of life. School attendance and eventual
success in completing a basic education are also strongly
influenced by home and family. In fact, those marihuana
smokers in our small subsample of seven who managed to finish
primary school seem to have done it in spite of deficiencies
in familial influence.
Conduct in school among the matched sample also reflects
an early established difference between users and non-users
in perception of social behavior. Self-report for school
conduct was significantly different between users and non¬
users for the overall matched pair sample of 82. To a
significant degree (p - .03), more users tended to say that

243
they were rowdy or mischievous in school than did non-users.
This might lead to a suspicion that there was a difference
in performance between the two groups, but this is not true.
When the two groups are compared for number of years com¬
pleted and number of years attempted, we find that there is
no significant difference between users and non-users. In
Table 23 we divided the number of years attended by the
number of years completed and separated those individuals
for whom that quotient was greater than one from those whose
quotient was equal to, or in some cases of precocious advance¬
ment, less than one. No significant difference resulted
from this comparison. This indicates that the subsample
of seven matched pairs for whom we found school records is
skewed to disfavor the users in that group, because their
success in school is markedly lower than that of the non¬
users. Nevertheless, examination of individual cases shows
that there is no relationship between marihuana use and this
difference in performance even in these extreme instances.
TABLE 23
Quotients of Number of Years in School
Divided by Number of Grades Completed
<1
>1
No School
Users (N -
40)
16
19
5
Non-users
(N - 40)
12
25
3
2
X is 3.67; not significant.

The preceding discussion suggests that problems in
the life cycle of the marihuana user often show up in a
discernible pattern before initiation of marihuana use.
Problems in school conduct and performance are often symp¬
tomatic of problems in the potential user's home and family
life and general living environment. Exposure to the urban
street culture is important both in presenting opportunities
for marihuana use and providing encouragement for beginning
and continuation of such use. In some cases, this street
culture becomes an alternative to school attendance before
the potential user completes his primary education. On
the other hand, non-users do not have such alternatives
during school years. Those users who began marihuana use
before leaving school show that their performance was not
hindered by such use, and some actually claim that it helped
them to perform better. Thus, marihuana use at the point
of entry into the life cycle of the user does not necessarily
have a negative influence which can be separated from patterns
of social adjustment and performance difficulties already
set before initiation of that use.
"Loss of desire to work" and "loss of productivity"
therefore cannot be confirmed as behaviors connected with
the initiation of marihuana use, according to the information
available on school work for the matched pair sample. Taking
into account factors of adverse childhood socialization
environment, we find that poor performance in school is
much more easily explained by this kind of environment than

245
by initiation of marihuana use while in school. This finding
conflicts with Robins, et al. (1970) analysis of black
marihuana users in the United States. It was pointed out
in Chapter I that more minute examination of adolescence
is needed for proper study of the initiation of drug use.
The evidence for Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use adop¬
tion underline this need.
Marihuana and Work
The ongoing habit of marihuana use in adult life seems
at first glance to have an influence on certain areas of
adult behavior. According to comparisons in the life his¬
tory material scoresheet between users and non-users (N - 82),
there are marked differences in the realm of work history
and economic activity. During adolescence, the difference
in type and frequency of work between users and non-users
is highly significant (p - .002), with non-users entering
full-time employment more than the users, who tended to
have part-time or sporadic work. This difference apparently
extends into the work patterns of adult life, because users
tend to have significantly more frequent job changes (p - .01)
than the non-users. Users also tend to have less than full¬
time employment as adults, and this differentiates their
working records from those of the non-users to a highly
significant degree (p - .001). Periods of unemployment,
both in frequency and in duration, differ for users and
non-users at a level which approaches statistical significance.

246
Users are more frequently unemployed than non-users (p - .03)
and they tend to have longer periods of unemployment (p - .06).
These data are so close to statistical significance that
they should not be ignored, especially when they are con¬
sidered along with the comparative figures on job change
frequency and full-time versus part-time work. On the
basis of these user-non-user comparisons, it would be very
easy to conclude that the user group tends to be more
sporadic and unstable in its employment patterns.
The patterns of other economic activity also seem to
point to a greater disorder and marginality among the users
than among the non-users. In the category of income and
expenditures, the users spend either as much as or more than
they earn to a significantly higher degree (p - .005)
than the non-users. Users also tend to lack material goods
whereas the non-users own houses and appliances and some¬
times even motor vehicles. Non-users, probably due to their
participation in installment buying, are more likely to
be in debt than their user counterparts (p - .002). In
all, non-users appear to connect more strongly with working
class economic activity than do the users with whom they
are matched. They work full-time and buy material goods
which accumulate, and they incur ongoing installment pay¬
ment debts, which usually are payable within their income's
means. Users, on the other hand, are more likely to work
part-time or not at all, and some of them also resort to
illegal means of obtaining income either from time to time

247
or on a regular basis, an economic activity which is com¬
pletely absent from the non-user group.
The above comparison between marihuana users and non¬
users would appear to corroborate the amotivational syndrome
effects attributed to chronic marihuana use by McGlothlin
(1968), Smith (1970), and Kolansky and Moore (1972), but
experience with the group of subjects for two years led
the field researchers to suspect that this was not the whole
story. First, in order to test whether marihuana use might
be a cause of these differences between the two groups,
a dosage comparison was conducted using mean daily dosage
figures collected for all the users, and comparing those
figures with the results of the interview materials score-
sheet. Our reasoning was based on the assumption that if
marihuana use were the cause of sporadic work histories
and marginal economic activity for the users, then the
heaviest users would have the most sporadic work histories
and the most questionable economic backgrounds.
The dosage levels elicited by three separate investi¬
gative operations were used to provide a mean daily dose
level per individual, and the results did not at all support
the hypothesis that higher dose levels are correlated with
the poorest work records or the shadiest financial dealings.
In fact, the reverse was found to be true on several of the
key variables which were found to differentiate significantly'
between users and non-users. Beginning with adolescence,
we find that it is the heaviest users who had full-time work

248
during that period. Users whose present average daily dose
of marihuana is 10.7 cigarettes per day worked full-time
during adolescence. Those who worked part-time as adoles¬
cents now smoke an average of 7.8 cigarettes of marihuana
a day. Those who worked only occasionally and according
to necessity now smoke an average of 7.9 cigarettes per day.
The difference between full-time and part-time workers
during adolescence coincides with the difference between
moderate and heavy smokers for the study group. Job changes
for the various levels of marihuana use results in similar
contrasts. The following table shows how the levels of
usage compare with job change frequency.
TABLE 24
Job Changes and Use Level
Job Changes
Use Level (in cigs. per day)
Does not work 6.2
Frequent (several times a year) 7.6
Occasional (yearly or less) 5.7
None 15.4
Those with steady jobs or who are self-employed smoke more
than twice as many marihuana cigarettes per day as those
with more frequent job changes or those who do not work for
a living.

249
TABLE 25
Nature of Work and Use Level
Nature of Work
Use Level Number of Subjects
Full-time
10.0
24
Part-time
11.0
9
Seasonal
10.1
3
Does not work
5.4
5
The comparison between dosage level and nature of employ¬
ment does not give a sharp contrast between dosage levels,
but it does give the impression that marihuana use is not
related to employment record in another way. Those who do
work smoke nearly twice as many cigarettes per day as those
who do not, and we can see by the numbers of subjects repre¬
sented in each category that the full-time workers are in
the majority. In frequency of unemployment, the heaviest
users are still the most reliable workers, with a mean cig¬
arettes per day figure of 12.4:
TABLE 26
Periods of Unemployment and Use Level
Periods of Unemployment Use
Level
Number of Subjects
Frequent (several times a year)
8.2
16
Occasional (yearly or less)
8.6
12
None
12.4
13

250
The gradation between the Frequent and Occasional groups is
not significant, but the difference between those who are
unemployed and those who are never unemployed is very signifi¬
cant, since it coincides with the difference between moderate
and heavy levels of marihuana use in the user sample.
Length of unemployment periods is based on.the field
worker's estimates of unemployment periods for each subject
combined with the subject's own estimate of time spent with¬
out work. We find that the differences among the users
closely parallels the differences for frequency of unemployment.
TABLE 27
Duration of Unemployment and Level of Use
Duration of Unemployment
Periods
Use Levels
Number of Subjects
Long (more than 1/4 of the
time)
8.3
8
Short (less than 1/4 of
the time)
8.5
19
None (absent, or inter¬
spersed with activity
in pursuit of new
employment)
12.0
14
Again, those who spend the least time unemployed are the
users with the highest levels of marihuana consumption.
Such figures lead us to suspect that differences in work
history between users and non-users cannot be directly
attributed to marihuana use, because the heaviest users

251
seem to be the steadiest workers. Perhaps cultural factors
should be explored in greater detail to ferret out causes
for these differences.
Economic activity among the various levels of users
is on the whole less easy to interpret than the data for
work history. The patterns of income and expenditures for
the various levels of users shows that those who smoke the
most tend to overextend their expenditures more than those
who smoke less. The mean daily consumption for those who
spend more than they earn is 11.0 cigarettes per day of
marihuana, while those who spend the same amount than they
earn smoke 9.7 cigarettes per day. The users who spend
less than they earn smoke 7.5 cigarettes per day. These
figures may in part be explained by the economic pressures
which marihuana consumption places on those who smoke it
heavily. Use of this drug is expensive by Costa Rican
standards, and those who use it most are most likely to be
overextended financially, especially if they are earning
working-class wages. At an average cost of one colon per
cigarette, those who smoke eleven per day spend nearly 80
colones a week on the drug. If they earn no more than 900
colones per month, then they are spending not less than 25
per cent of their incomes on marihuana. Such users may
easily find themselves owing rent or some other payment at
the end of each month.
The picture of users' economic activity seems to be
confused further by the criterion of material goods and

252
property ownership. Those users who have accumulated some
material wealth smoke an average of 14.3 marihuana cigarettes
per day, contrasted with those who do not have material goods
or property, who smoke 7.7 per day. This may be interpreted
to parallel the income versus expenditures figures given
above, because those who overextend their expenditures
would also be most likely to maintain installment debts,
while those who spend what they earn or less tend not to
incur those kinds of debts, spending what extra money they
have on marihuana. Passages from the interview materials
support this view, as in the case of one individual who
smokes relatively little:
What I earn each week is for the home. From that
money I set apart, like something really personal,
what's mine for the vice (marihuana smoking).
That is, from my salary I take out money for food
and other necessities of the kids, and what's
left over I take for the vice. Let's say I earn
35 colones, then I take five and give 30 to the
home.
Providing for his family is the primary financial objective,
and what he reserves for himself is usually reserved for
marihuana and tobacco. In the case of a very heavy user,
who averages more than 20 marihuana cigarettes per day, the
story is different:
The truth is that on marihuana I ... I have
a problem that's a little bit beneficial for me,
because on marihuana I hardly spend anything. I
get it through friends. But at times I've had a
situation when I've had to spend in times of scar¬
city. I economize. I buy a roll.
He has access to large quantities of cheap marihuana, and so
his overextension of expenditures known to the research team

253
is more due to consumer goods accumulation than to mari¬
huana .
Economic activity outside the law probably indicates
the access to supplies of marihuana enjoyed by the heaviest
users. Among the users, those whose dominant economic
activity is illegal or extra-legal in nature smoke an aver¬
age of 14.5 marihuana cigarettes per day. Those users who
participate in this kind of economic activity to supplement
their incomes smoke 7.4 per day. Those who do not have any
illegal or extra-legal economic activity smoke 8.2 cigarettes
per day. Here, we see that the users who tend to have steady
jobs from which they derive all of their income smoke
slightly more than those who supplement their incomes with
illegal or extra-legal activity. The marihuana smokers who
have the most access to cheap and abundant sources of the
drug are those who are most immersed in the ambience of
illegal goings-on. They may be involved in retailing them¬
selves, or they may simply be closer to sources by their
association with the San Jose underworld, which is the
supplier and distributor of the drug.
At best, comparisons of levels of marihuana use confuse
the question as to whether that drug is directly correlated
with poor work records and disordered finances. The users
with the heaviest levels of marihuana consumption seem to
change jobs less frequently than moderate or light smokers
and to hold full-time rather than part-time jobs. They are
more likely to own material goods and overextend their incomes.

254
Paradoxically, heavier smokers also are more involved in
illegal or extra-legal economic activity than are those who
smoke smaller amounts of marihuana. The problem of sorting
out these phenomena into a more manageable form requires
that we place quantity of marihuana use in question as a
differentiating factor for analytical purposes. Individual
consumption of marihuana is dictated by relative access to
the drug, rather than individual preference in most cases.
The user typology we described in Chapter V based on styles
of marihuana consumption, may be a more effective way of
dealing with the influence of marihuana on adult life.
For the sake of economy in our internal comparisons
among the user sample, the pastoralist-escapist and the
street mover groups have been combined into a single group
because of their similar social positions and stages in
life. We observed earlier that the pastoralist-escapist
and street mover groups were difficult to study because of
the mercurial and disordered lifestyles, and that the stable
smokers were relatively easy to locate because they seemed
more regular and sedentary. Statistical comparisons between
these groups bear out these impressions.
The term street-mover implies that the individual so
described is street-wise and very familiar with the street
ambience of San Jose. We find that all but one of the street
movers in the sample spent their childhoods in the urban
atmosphere of that city. Of the stable smokers, 13 were
raised in San Jose, while ten grew up either in the rural

255
areas or in provincial towns. This difference approaches
statistical significance (p - .10) and ties in with the
concept that the street movers had opportunity for immersion
in urban street culture at an early age. Significantly
(ten to three, or p - .05) more street movers were much
more likely to have been left to their own devices in the
urban environment during childhood.
The smokers' assessment of their childhood behavior
provides an evocative comparison between street movers and
stable smokers. Most subjects judged their behavior to
be neither particularly bad nor particularly good during
childhood. Using only the extremes, more stable smokers
assessed their childhood conduct as good and more street
movers assessed their childhood conduct as bad (four to
one). This difference also approaches statistical signif¬
icance (p - .10). School comportment, when added to the
general childhood assessment, makes a stronger case for
the difference between stable smokers and street movers.
Street movers claimed that they were rowdy in school more
than the stable smokers to a highly significant (fifteen
to seven, or p - .001) degree.
A pattern is beginning to emerge here which clarifies
a fundamental difference between the two user types. The
degree to which users as children embraced the street cul¬
ture, which provides alternatives to education and the
polite behavior which accompanies good classroom manners,
determines the extent to which they are able to embrace the

256
behavior patterns generally accepted by Costa Rican society
as normal and correct. Street movers indicate that they
had problems with societal standards of behavior very early on.
Childhood delinquency is a powerful differentiating
factor between street movers and stable smokers, adding
more weight to the argument that the street movers began
very early to have difficulties with societal standards for
behavior. Street movers tended to have early history of
vandalism and thievery to a significantly (thirteen to
five, or p - .01) greater extent than did the stable smokers
at the same age. Even while still in school, many of the
street movers were beginning to attract the attention of
police and other societal enforcers of proper conduct codes.
Work during adolescence indicates still another factor
which sets stable smokers apart from street movers. Signifi¬
cantly (nineteen to seven, or p - .05) more stable smokers
than street movers held steady jobs during adolescence. The
way of life in the streets does not require that one work
for a living, but rather than one spend time jugándosela, or
"playing it out." This means that the true street mover
avoids work, as long as he has an "angle" or a scheme to
make something out of nothing and obtain life's necessities
using unconventional methods which cannot be called work,
even though they may be strenuous. For some, this may be
shellgame gambling. For others, it may be "watching" parked
cars or shining shoes or dealing in small amounts of mari¬
huana. Street movers have usually embraced this way of life
by the time they reach adolescence.

257
We described the street movers as having less stable
eating habits than the stable smokers. The degree to which
street movers tend to be dissatisfied with their food
approaches statistical significance (eight to two, or p - .10).
This is yet another important reflection of the disordered
and mercurial lifestyle which is the way of the street mover.
An important indicator of the order with which an
individual manages his adult life is the presence or absence
of economic ascent during work history. The difference
between street movers and stable smokers in this indicator,
based on a combination of life history materials and obser¬
vation of the subjects at work during two years of the
study, is statistically significant at the .05 level of
confidence. Stable smokers tend to experience increasing
levels of income during their adult work histories, while
street movers tend either to remain at the same income
level or to drop in earning power as adults. This statis¬
tic seems to be the logical consequence of the stable
smokers' steadier work history dating from adolescence
combined with adult employment patterns, because the worker
who establishes a skill and continues to work in that skill
will tend to increase his earning power. Stable smokers seem
to apply themselves to that pattern of labor advancement,
while street movers, who tended to work sporadically or
part-time during adolescence, find themselves as adults
without a skill and dependent on "playing it out" tactics
to earn a living. Continuation of that style of life leads

258
to stagnation or fluctuation of income which sums out to
absence of economic ascent during adult work history.
Full-time versus part-time and other forms of work
as an adult also serves to differentiate strongly between
street movers and stable smokers. Most stable smokers,
19 of 23, work full-time'. Only five of 18 street movers
work full-time. This difference is statistically signifi¬
cant at the .02 level of confidence. The pattern to which
we alluded earlier now becomes clear. The street mover
way of life, whose tendencies to disregard societal stan¬
dards for behavior began during childhood and adolescence,
becomes more marked during adult life, and in many cases
is set. Some of the younger street movers may eventually
become stable smokers, but others, like Roberto who was
mentioned earlier, will remain in that pattern of life indef¬
initely .
Unemployment frequency and duration both show that the
stable smokers are significantly different from the street
movers in their approach to work responsibility. Thirteen
of the 23 stable smokers have experienced no periods of
unemployment during their adult work histories, while only
one street mover can make that claim. Street movers tend
to be frequently unemployed significantly more than the
stable smokers (p - .01) and periods of unemployment are
significantly (p - .02) longer for street movers than for
stable smokers. This shows that street movers tend to be
unemployed more often than stable smokers, and that they

259
spend longer periods of time without jobs than stable
smokers.
Returning to the final parts of Chapter V, we described
the street mover and pastoralist-escapist user types in
terms of their recreational approach to using marihuana.
This contrasts sharply with the comparatively mundane style
of marihuana use which characterizes the stable smokers.
This contrast was particularly evident in the users' des¬
criptions of marihuana's effects on work. Stable smokers
as a group believe that marihuana smoking has a positive
effect on how they function at their jobs. One stable
smoker's story of marihuana's effect on work evokes memories
of Popeye and his spinach:
Sometimes I'm doing a job in construction
and all the time the boss comes by and says to
me, "Look, what's wrong with you today that you're
so clumsy and you can't mix cement?"
I say "sonofabitch, here comes that billy-
goat around to bug me." And one time as he's
coming around again, I say "I!11 be right back.
I'm going to the bathroom." . . . And don't you
see I was upset because I couldn't do the work.
And I head for a little coffee grove nearby and
I smoke three apparati and after a while I've
done the work.
And the boss comes by and says "Man, now
you did it. You spent a long time at lunch,
but that's okay 'cause you got the work done."
This statement is unreserved, and it seems exaggerated, but
such claims are not really unusual among the stable smokers.
Street movers and pastoralist-escapists also claim that
marihuana has a positive effect on work performance, but
not as consistently as do the stable smokers nor with as

260
great a frequency. They also describe negative effects of
marihuana smoking on the job more often than do the stable
smokers. One pastoralist-escapist is emphatic in his opinion
that marihuana is no good for work:
Interviewer: Do you think that it (marihuana)
screws up work or does it come out the same or
what?
Subject: No, you draw into yourself. You get
into this trip of drawing into yourself. Sure,
don't you see that you're into your own trip
and if you have to, well, you seem like a zombie.
Really it's ugly to work like that. I don't
like to work stoned. I like to work straight.
After, I'm pooped, then yes. That stuff tastes
better.
This individual had a total of six different jobs in the
two years during which we maintained contact with him.
Those two years also included extended periods of unemploy¬
ment totalling at least six months. Since his level of
marihuana use is somewhat lower than that of the stable
smoker cited earlier, we must conclude that something other
than the marihuana use is responsible for the contrast
between these two individuals' work records.
Summary
In this chapter, we have presented a view of the impact
of marihuana use on the lives of the users on the basis
of various data collected during the study. First, we see
that during the times at which marihuana use begins for the
chronic user, he is likely to be at a point in life of par¬
ticular transition and stress, usually adolescence. Pres¬
sures and encouragement from his social surroundings coupled

261
with a strong desire to achieve a psychotropic state with
marihuana carry the potential user into a pattern of chronic
use. The allure of the drug itself is not a significant
factor in this process, as many of the first taste exper¬
iences with marihuana smoking are negative or neutral. School
records taken for a limited number of subjects do not show
a negative influence of marihuana on school performance, but
rather point out that eventual chronic users had adjustment
problems long before they began to use marihuana. Finally,
work history data show that it is not possible to demonstrate
a relationship between marihuana use and poof work history,
because use level figures seem to show that heavy users are
steadier workers than light users. There are social and
cultural factors that are of greater importance in deter¬
mining whether an individual will be a good, reliable worker.
In contrasting street movers versus stable smokers, we see
that the differences which appeared between user and non¬
user groups in the crucial v/ork record and economic activity
variables may be explained by the presence of the street
movers in the user sample. For example, the comparison
between stable smokers and non-users for economic trajectory
during work history,-a life history factor v/hich yielded a
significant (p - .005) difference between users and non-users
in the overall sample, shows that stable smokers and non-users
are essentially alike in economic ascent or descent during
2
their work histories (X is 1.311; not significant). Like¬
wise, no significant difference shows up in a comparison of

262
stable smokers and non-users for full-time versus part-time
2
work (X is 1.548; not significant). Further, the majority
of the user sample is not at all different from the non¬
user control group in those crucial variables.
The common image of the marihuana smoker known to most
Costa Ricans is very close to our description of the street
mover. He is uncouth and street-wise. He is given to the
vices in general, and will do many things that decent
people will not do for money to satisfy those vices. Working
is not usually part of his daily activity. This kind of
marihuana smoker does exist, and because he is so notice¬
able, he dominates the average Costa Rican's conception of
a marihuana smoker. Such a conception does not take users
like Hector into account. Hector is a laborer in a bakery
where he has worked for the last three and a half years.
He has a wife and two children for whom he is the only means
of support. Hector never smokes at home or in the street
or in public places. He smokes in the restroom at the
bakery, where he works from five in the afternoon until
three in the morning. He makes periodic visits to the
restroom to smoke marihuana because he claims that he
works faster under its effects, and he feels that the night
goes by more rapidly. Hector represents the majority of
marihuana smokers in our matched pair sample, 23 to 18.

CHAPTER VII
OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME:
AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT
The two preceding chapters present the relationship
between subjective effects of marihuana smoking and the
contexts in which the drug is used. The frame of mind of
the user at the time he smokes, and the nature of his
physical location can strongly influence the kinds of sub¬
jective effects obtained. We have seen that marihuana
users who wish to control their reaction to the drug in
such a way that they can work while under its influence do
so, with the result that these workers feel that they are
performing more effectively. Nevertheless, work is not the
only behavior supposedly affected by chronic marihuana use,
and the preceding chapter's argument cannot stand alone
to deal with the notion of amotivational syndrome. In the
following presentation, the other six attributes of amoti¬
vational syndrome will now be examined against the data
gathered in Costa Rica to assess the applicability of these
attributes to the Costa Rican case.
Psychological testing results for the matched pair
sample yielded no essential differences between users and
non-users in any of the measures used, including the Cattell
16 Personality Factors (Satz 1976). Some of the 16 factors
indicate tendencies which are related to the attributes of
263

264
amotivational syndrome. The E factor results, which des¬
cribe aggressiveness and competitiveness, versus qualities
of being docile, easily led, and mild show that the user
and non-user groups had average scores which were very
close to each other. Average scores for both groups tended
to be slightly on the "dominant" side of the E factor scale.
This means that a specific measure of passivity versus
dominance finds the matched pair sample of Costa Rican
marihuana users and non-users to be essentially equal for
this personality variable, and that both groups indicate
a slight tendency toward aggressiveness, rather than pas¬
sivity. The L factor of the 16 Personality Factors, which
evaluates for trusting versus suspicious personality qual¬
ities, also shows no difference between average scores for
the user and non-user groups. Both groups indicate a ten¬
dency to be more suspicious than the average adult taking
the test.
If apathy and passivity were in fact qualities which
necessarily accompanied chronic marihuana use, as part of
an amotivational syndrome caused by that use, the above-
described personality factors would be expected to yield
markedly different scores for the user group as opposed to
the non-user group. The evidence points to an entirely
different conclusion. It may be argued that the difference
between the two groups is not brought out by comparing
group average scores for each individual factor, and that
analysis of the whole group of 16 factors might reveal

265
differences. Satz performed a multivariate test for all
16 factors, and found no significant difference between user
and control groups (Ibid.: XVI-44). The evidence that the
group of marihuana smokers are in no way different from the
non-users regarding qualities of dominance versus docility
and trustingness versus suspiciousness casts serious doubt
on the "passivity and apathy" attribute of amotivational
syndrome. In fact, the absence of any difference between
the two groups in the whole test questions the existence
of any "subtle" qualitative personality changes as a result
of chronic marihuana use.
Further study of the question of "passivity and apathy"
among marihuana users was made during the socio-cultural
research. Life history materials contain some material on
attitudes which reflect passive versus active approaches
to life. When subjects were asked what role destiny played
in their lives, the difference between users and non-users
in response was not statistically significant. Slightly
more non-users (13 to 9) said that "everything is written,"
meaning that their destinies are already decided by some
greater power. Slightly more non-users (19 to 16) said that
a man forms his own destiny. Users preferred (12 to 6)
to reserve some other opinion in response to this question.
Such opinions included "Some things are controlled by fate;
others are not" (two users and two controls) "you can't
know" (Two users and one control) "God has all the power to
decide" (two users) and "you ask for God's help" (two non-users).

266
The users and non-users demonstrate roughly the same kinds
of ambivalences and qualifications toward statements of
determinism. In sum, users and non-users do not have markedly
different attitudes concerning the influence of fate or
destiny in their lives. If this question is taken as an
indicator of passivity, it may be concluded that users and
non-users claim both to control their own destinies and to
be controlled by a higher power at the same rates. There
is no differential in determinism between the two groups,
so it is not possible to discern different rates of passivity
on this basis.
Another kind of information regarding "passivity and
apathy" among marihuana users as opposed to non-users was
collected by interviewing. Walter Serrano, the project
hospital liaison administrator, who ushered the subjects
through the medical and psychological segments of the
screening and intensive study. Serrano was interviewed
at the end of the. study in order to obtain his impressions
of all 82 subjects. These interviews were open-ended,
and impressions in the aiea of intelligence, promptness
and responsibility, business energy, appearance, and degree
of pestering for money were elicited for each of the 82
subjects in the study. Serrano's impressions are important,
because his contact with the subjects gave him the oppor¬
tunity to form his own impressions of them based on his
middle-class Costa Rican world view. He also had certain
contact experiences with the subjects which were unique,
because he had to pick these individuals up for hospital

267
testing at hours when the team anthropologists were not
likely to have ever seen the subjects. Early morning and
mid-evening testing appointments led Serrano to encounters
with the subjects which sometimes brought out qualities
or bits of information which might otherwise have been
missed. Analysis of Serrano's testimony will be used sev¬
eral times as supplementary information for considering
various attributes of amotivational syndrome.
Serrano's ratings for promptness and responsibility
in meeting appointments yields an unfavorable comparison
between users and non-users. Table 28 shows that signifi¬
cantly more users than non-users received "bad" ratings for
TABLE 28
Ratings for Promptness and Responsibility,
Including the User Typology
Good
Bad
Totals
Non-Users
38
3
41
Stable Smokers
20
3
23
Street movers and
Pastoralist-escapists
7
11
18
Totals
65
17
82
2
For users versus non-users X is 8.979; p < .01
2
For stable smokers versus street movers X is 10.359; p < .01
2 ...
For stable smokers versus non-users X is 0.563; not significant
For stable smokers versus street movers versus non-users
X2 is 13.996; p < .005

268
appointment keeping, a result that might lead to the conclu¬
sion that users are in some ways more apathetic than non¬
users. Still, there must be some control for factors other
than marihuana use, and the user typology developed in
Chapter V is helpful to that purpose. When users are com¬
pared with each other, we find that the difference between
stable smokers and street mover-pastoralist escapists in
Serrano's ratings is parallel to that between users and non¬
users. Table 28 shows a significant difference between
stable smokers and street movers for the same rating
variable. When stable smokers are compared with non-users,
there is no significant difference, but when all three
groups are compared together, the difference is highly sig¬
nificant. This result implies that the loose, sporadic
lifestyle of the street movers is responsible for the
apparent difference between users and non-users. Given the
street movers' already described unattached way of life,
it is reasonable to expect that they miss more appointments
than the more stable non-users and stable smokers. There¬
fore, Serrano's ratings may point out a difference between
the user and non-user groups, but this difference is not
due to marihuana use.
Serrano noted passivity in an equal number of users and
non-users (seven and seven) during the course of the inter¬
views , but he pointed out that there were five users who
all seemed to have a "far away" look. These individuals
all impressed Serrano similarly, because of their "lowered

269
gaze, unclear thinking, and passiveness," He found this
group, who all came from roughly the same part of the San
Jose metropolitan area, puzzling in light of his marihuana
smoking acquaintances in other parts of the city. Most of
the other users known to Serrano were, in his words "alert"
and "energetic," "People who answered when you talked to
them." Many of the users were described as having chispa
(literally, "a spark") and some of the most aggressive
characters with whom Serrano worked were marihuana users.
It is difficult to account for Serrano's impression
by means of the other data collected on the subjects in
question. Four of the five have been termed stable smokers
based on their smoking patterns, but only one has a steady
work history. Serrano speculates that they "must be smoking
a different brand of weed," but this is unlikely, because
they depend on different dealers for their supply. No other
similarities among these five can be found to explain the
phenomenon noted by Serrano. Marihuana is not likely to be
the cause of these users' "glassy-eyed" demeanor, because
most users in the sample do not share this attribute. Levels
of use are unlikely to be a factor in this phenomenon,
because the levels of use for the five "far away" individuals
cover a wide range (from 2.5 to 20 200 mg. cigarettes per
day). Because these impressions are very much in contrast
with the other findings of this study, they are worth men¬
tion. They appear to confirm one of the attributes of
amotivational syndrome. Nevertheless, the overall analysis

270
of these individuals' behavior does not point out any glaring
differences from the behavior of the rest of the users and
non-users. The neurophysiological examinations and life
history materials do not reveal any notable abnormalities
among these five subjects. The "glassy-eyed" demeanor noted
by Serrano therefore is not likely to be more than a super¬
ficial characteristic of these particular users.
The sentence completion attitudes test administered and
analyzed by Krauskopf (1976) for the matched pair sample
contains one section which is related to the question of
apathy and passivity among Costa Rican marihuana users.
In the area of personal image, attitudes toward frustration
appear to be no different for the user and non-user groups
(Ibid.: XVII-43). Both groups have predominantly passive
responses to items that involve ongoing, or constant sources
of frustration. In response to immediate sources of frus¬
tration, both users and non-users responded in more active
and assertive ways. In no case was there a statistically
significant difference between the two groups in their
reactions to frustration (Ibid.: XVII-45). This result
supports most of the other data presented regarding "passivity
and apathy" among Costa Rican marihuana users, pointing toward
the conclusion that these attributes do not apply to our
sample of users.
The marihuana users in San José did not at all resemble
the "semi-zombies" described elsewhere. Far from being
"passive and apathetic," most users are alert and active,

271
even when they are not necessarily engaged in honest labor.
One subject had a capacity for marihuana smoking which has
become legendary among Josefino consumers of the drug, at
the same time maintaining a wide range of business activities
and a hectic sexual life. Another is a trucking entre¬
preneur whose business often has him working literally night
and day. A heavy-smoking informant too crippled to qualify
for the study decided to take a trip on foot in his wheel¬
chair to Mexico. He and his companions managed to reach
El Salvador before police problems caused them to turn back.
These are not examples of passivity or apathy, yet all of
these individuals are, compared to other Costa Rican mari¬
huana smokers, relatively heavy consumers.
"Loss of energy and general state of tiredness" is
often attributed to chronic Cannabis users. Chapter VI
presents evidence that many Costa Rican users regard mari¬
huana as a source of extra energy. Chapter V illustrated
that marihuana's effects have a strong relationship to the
values and expectations of the users and the setting in
which the drug is used. Given a set of expectations whereby
users anticipate an increase in energy upon using Cannabis,
it is reasonable that the subjective effects of marihuana
use should include increased vigor, rather than lethargy.
This does not agree at all with the amotivational syndrome's
attribute of lethargy.
Serrano's observations support this interpretation of
the Costa Rican pattern of marihuana use. In rating the

272
users and non-users individually for business energy, Serrano
indicates no difference between the two groups. He rated
all subjects as' either high or low in business energy, and
the comparison of the two groups in Table 29 shows no signif¬
icant difference.
TABLE 29
Comparison of Users and Non-users for Business Energy
High
Low
Total
Non-users
15
26
41
Users
16
25
41
Total
31
51
82
2 .
X is 0.052; not significant
Only those subjects who in Serrano's opinion v/ere
"constantly busy" trying to "get ahead" either through
honest work, or by illegal or extra-legal dealings received
a high rating. Subjects whom Serrano judged to be "indif¬
ferent" or "lazy" in their approach to work and achievement
were given a low rating. The failure of this subjective
evaluation to differentiate between users and non-users
underlines the conclusions in Chapter VI. The user group,
even v/hen it includes those with weak work histories, does
not differ from the non-user group in terms of the "lack
of energy" attribute.

273
Chronic tiredness and loss of energy may be related
to sleep disorders, so some of Karacan's (1976) analyses
of the sleep electroencephalogram data supplied by our
subjects may have an application to the "tiredness" attribute
of amotivational syndrome. All but four of the matched
pairs of subjects slept in the Hospital Mexico for eight
consecutive nights, during which their brain activity was
monitored by means of an electroencephalographic recording
device. Of these 37 pairs, 32 provided data of sufficient
quality for analysis of sleep patterns. Karacan's analysis
reveals no major disturbances of sleep patterns among users
of marihuana (Ibid.: XII-49). The differences between
users and non-users on the whole were not judged to have
major influence on how well the users rested during night¬
time sleep as compared with non-users. These results,
coupled with the fact that actually more non-users report
serious sleep disturbance than do non-users suggest that
if marihuana users are characteristically tired, they do
not become tired from lack of restful sleep. Many users,
as we saw in Chapter V, believe that marihuana has a posi¬
tive effect on sleep, and Karacan's results do not negate
their subjective view.
During two years of observing Costa Rican chronic
marihuana smokers in their natural habitats did not leave
the field research team with the impression that these
individuals chronically lack energy. Many users were
observed playing soccer at full tilt while they were under

274
the influence of marihuana. Others were accompanied on
frenetic, night-long stints of dancing, bar-hopping, and
drinking while "stoned." Still other marihuana smokers
took field anthropologists on strenuous hikes during which
marihuana was smoked. Laborers in heavy construction were
seen to work nonstop-while under the influence of the drug.
These observations were borne out further by the marihuana
use interview materials, where users, when asked what they
like to do most while "stoned," said that they preferred
active, rather than passive activities 27 to seven (cf.
Chapter V). The evidence found among Costa Rican long¬
term users clearly and emphatically negates the "loss of
energy, general state of tiredness" attribute of amotiva-
tional syndrome.
We return to the 16 Personality Factors to investigate
the presence or absence of "depressed, moody state of mind"
among the group of Costa Rican chronic marihuana smokers.
Factor C, "emotionally stable" versus "directed by feelings"
is most applicable to the "depression" attribute. There is
no significant difference between the two groups' average
scores for this factor, and both groups have average scores
which tend toward the "emotionally stable" end of the C
factor continuum. According to the theory of amotivational
syndrome, marihuana use brings on "personality changes,"
but the scores for closely-matched users and non-users
lead to the conclusion that neither group is particularly
governed by emotions. The "personality changes" due to

275
marihuana smoking are difficult indeed to discern in light
of the evidence afforded by a personality defining instru¬
ment.
Krauskopf's work with a sentence completion attitude
test (1976) administered to the 82 matched subjects in our
study is also helpful in assessing the "depression" attri¬
bute. The personal identity area of Krauskopf's test
elicited attitudes which are indirectly related to depres¬
sion. Self concept is the most important of these attitudes
and Krauskopf found that a comparison of users and control
group responses showed no significant difference between
the two groups in how they think of themselves. Slightly
more than half of the subjects gave neutral responses to
self-image-related items, and users and controls were within
five percentage points of each other. Nearly equal numbers
of users and non-users gave negative responses for the self
image items (about one-third of the sample), and users had
positive answers for these items slightly more often than
did non-users, 19.8 percent to 17.1 percent (Ibid.: XVII-47)
If depression were a reliable characteristic of chronic
users, we might reasonably expect that users would demon¬
strate more negative or neutral self-concept attitudes than
their closely-matched controls. Krauskopf finds this not
to be true for the Costa Rican test group, and in fact,
the users show a slight tendency to look at themselves more
in a positive light than the non-users.

276
Knowing many of the test group for up to two years has
led to strong personal impressions about them on the part
of the field investigative team. One of the differences
noted between chronic users and their controls is sense of
humor. Generally, the non-users seem more dour and sedate
than the users. Far from being chronically "depressed and
moody" the users are able to derive laughter from intrinsi¬
cally dismal situations more readily than the non-users.
Both groups, in an atmosphere of rising prices and low
wages, share an economic situation which at times can only
be described as desperate. Nevertheless, the user group
approaches this and other problems with a verve and acute
sense of satire which was generally lacking in the non-user
group. One street mover, for example, had this to say
about being arrested:
Interviewer: Do you ever pray?
Subject: The last time I prayed, I said, "Dear God,
deliver me from this ugly policeman!"
It would be difficult to characterize this individual as
chronically "depressed and moody," even though he and his
fellow users have much justification for depression or
moodiness.
Perhaps our observation of users in a natural environ¬
ment is partly the reason for our failure to find "depression
and moodiness" among the users studied. This attribute has
been in other studies observed among users in institution¬
alized environments. At best, the "depressed" users were
clinical outpatients, and at worst, they were mental institution

277
or prison inmates. Our subjects were approached as normal
people, rather than people who were considered either socially
or mentally deviant. As normal people, they did not demon¬
strate notable "depressed" or "moody" states of mind, as
would be expected of individuals under the influence of
amotivational syndrome.
According to the collected attributes of amotivational
syndrome outlined in Chapter I, chronic marihuana users are
supposed to suffer from "inability to concentrate, and a
decrease in ability to master new material or organize
multiple ideas, and an impairment of verbal facility." The
work of Satz (1976) in the context of the Costa Rican study
of chronic Cannabis use addresses this attribute with
several specific testing procedures. Users and non-users
were tested for several different varieties of memory,
including digit span (series of numbers), story content,
figure recognition, form recognition, and facial memory.
An abbreviated form of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence
Scales (WAIS) was also administered to the matched pair
sample, accompanied by other tests designed to detect small
decrements in motor function. None of these tests showed
significant differences between users and non-users (Ibid.:
XVI-33-35). If chronic use of marihuana caused impairment
of concentration and the ability to learn new material,
a Satz' battery of tests would be expected to pick up a
significant difference or two between users of the drug and
their closely-matched controls. Some of the sub-tests place

278
the subjects in learning situations where their performance
is scored. The absence of significant differences between
the two test groups is a particularly strong negation for
the amotivational syndrome attribute of "inability to con¬
centrate, and decrease in intellectual and verbal capacities
Factor B of the 16 PF test is also related to the
relative mental powers of the subject group, and the scores
of users compared with those of non-users for factor B also
show no difference between the two groups (Ibid.: XVI-44).
Factor B places individuals' scores on a continuum between
low intellectual ability or orientation and high intellec¬
tual ability or orientation. The Costa Rican matched pair
sample have very nearly equal mean scores for both user
and non-user groups. This result underlines other testing
results, because not only are testable intellectual apti¬
tudes and abilities equal for users and non-users, but orien
tations and personality tendencies are also equal.
Besides the various psychological tests for intelli¬
gence and other mental functions, observational data also
are helpful in assessing how an individual users intelli¬
gence to cope with living situations in the real world.
Serrano rated each subject either "intelligent," "average,"
or "not very bright" during his interview. When these
ratings are compared, we find no significant difference
between the user and non-user groups, shown in Table 30.
Serrano's evaluations of the subjects are important, because
as a fellow Costa Rican he has a perspective on operating

279
TABLE 30
Intelligence
Ratings
for Matched Pair
Sample
High
Average
Low
Totals
Users
16
20
5
41
Non-users
14
19
8
41
Totals
30
39
13
82
2
X is 0.159; not significant
in society which is close to that of the subjects themselves.
As the person in charge of ushering the subjects through
the hospital testing, Serrano saw them in living situations
to which the field anthropological team also had exposure.
Although the above impressions did not vary appreciably
from ours, they still provide another perspective to the
problem of relative intelligence in the user and non-user
groups.
Decreased verbal capacity has often been the foremost
argument in support of the existence of amotivational syn¬
drome among chronic users (cf. Kolansky and Moore 1971;
McGlothlin and West 1968). Eliciting life history interview
materials from 41 users in Costa Rican has led us to reject
this argument altogether. Not only were the users more
verbose than the non-users, they were more artful and crea¬
tive in verbal presentation than their non-smoking counter¬
parts. Included in the rich volumes of personal information

280
of the transcribed life histories, there is a fascinating
contribution of idiomatic Spanish lexicon. Pachuco, the
street argot used by street movers and others familiar
with street life, is a colorful and inventive example of
the marihuana users' verbal facility. A dictionary of
pachuco expressions containing 1500 items has been compiled
on the basis of the life history materials alone, but this
collection only scratches the surface of the rich and varied
patterns of Josefino street talk.
Street slang is not the only verbal medium used by
marihuana smokers. Most are capable of expressing them¬
selves in polite, literary standard Spanish, and they demon¬
strate no impairment of this facility. Very early in the
study, users would "show off" their ability to mask the
effects of marihuana by talking backwards, or in the Costa
Rican varieties of "pig latin" (cf. Chapter V). Talking
backwards involves reversing syllabic order for all words
of more than two syllables, a process which some marihuana
smokers employ when they wish to exclude an outsider from
private conversation. For example, the utterance, "Los
valuchas en el quepar tralcen se la maque," which means,
"The boys in the Central Park smoke dope" is the pachuco
equivalent of the regular Spanish utterance, "Los chavalos
en el Parque Central se la quema." The bantering quality
of conversation among Costa Rican marihuana users clearly
contrasts with the sullen, taciturn impression of verbal
communication often described for North American users.

281
The Costa Rican evidence emphatically rejects "impairment
of verbal capacity" as an attribute of chronic marihuana
use.
"Slovenliness and lack of concern for personal hygiene
have been attributed to chronic Cannabis use by researchers
both in the United States and in more ancient use tradi¬
tions. Walsh in India (1894) and Warnock in Egypt (1903)
both describe slovenliness among chronic Cannabis users.
Williams, et al. (1946) also note this behavior in the
context of their hospital experiment. Costa Ricans gen¬
erally are notably clean and fastidious and the matched pair
sample is no exception to the national tendency. Many of
these working class men take a bath, which consists of
an icy cold shower in the morning, every day. Under such
conditions, many of the North Americans who bathe daily
might not be so regular in showering. A comparison of
bathing habits as reported in the life history materials
between users and non-users shows no significant differ¬
ence between the two groups.
Personal appearance is important to Costa Ricans in
general, and the crowds of San Jose, compared with those
of Guatemala City or San Salvador, give strong visual
testimony to that fact. There were few "fashion plates"
among our matched pair sample, but practically all were
clean, and most were neatly dressed. We asked Serrano,
whose Costa Rican tastes would be useful in evaluating
this topic, to rate each of the matched pair subjects for

282
personal appearance. Table 31 shows the results of this
rating process. No significant difference between users
and non-users can be discerned by this comparison.
TABLE 31
Rating of Personal Appearance for Users and Non-Users
Good
Average
Poor
Totals
Non-users
14
20
7
41
Users
16
17
8
41
Total
30
37
15
82
2 .
X is 0.443; not significant
The data for evaluating the neatness of living-space
for the matched pair sample are difficult to evaluate, as
the matched pair sample differs substantially in the kinds
of housing they occupy. Seventy-eight percent of the non¬
users live in single family houses, while 63 percent of
the users occupy comparable facilities. On the other hand,
more than seven percent of the non-users live in squatter
shacks, compared with two-and-a-half percent of the users.
The housing units, then, are not entirely comparable for
the two groups, and the tidiness of a dwelling depends
in part on its quality of construction and ease of upkeep.
No significant difference appears in a comparison
of users and non-users for living-space neatness, but this

283
does not mean that users and non-users keep equally tidy
houses. Some of the younger subjects who live at home
really have no control over the state of neatness where they
live, because that is their mothers' concern. Subjects
who live with a woman may also be relatively ineffective
in matters of housekeeping, and many complain that their
women are not very neat housekeepers. The only subjects
who have any control over the neatness of their living-
space are those who live alone, and in this category user
and non-user alike have unkempt rooms. Neatness of living
space, therefore, is not good criterion for judging whether
or not users of Cannabis in Costa Rica are more slovenly
than non-users, as home upkeep is clearly out of the hands
of males in Costa Rican society. In fact, only one subject
in the entire group of 82 reported that he cooked or cleaned
the house.
Finally, the seventh attribute of amotivational syn¬
drome as described in the existing literature is "dedication
of all available resources to procuring more Cannabis."
Serrano's interview materials contain reports on the degree
to which each subject pestered him for extra money during
the course of the various medical and psychological tests,
for which each subject was paid in compensation for lost
working time. Serrano was in charge of many of the minor
payments, and he also had some other financial dealings
with the subjects. He rated each subject either as "bother¬
some in money matters" or "not bothersome in money matters."

28 4
The former rating was given to those subjects who constantly
pestered Serrano for small loans or extra compensation for
their participation in the project. Trióse who required
extra compensation in order for their earnings to approach
what they would normally make at their work were not given
a "bothersome" rating. The results are shown in Table 32.
TABLE 32
Racing of Subjects in Money Matters, Including User Typology
Bothersome
Not bothersome
Total
Non-users 11
30
41
Stable, smokers 9
14
O *3
Street movers-
Pastoralist-escapists
5
is
Totals 33
4 9
82
â– c1
or
For
•or
users
stable
X2 is
stab.1 e
cant..'
versus non-users X2 is 6.135; p < .02.
smokers versus street movers-pastoralist-escapists
4.443; p < .05.
2 ...
smokers versus non-users X is 1.035; not sigr.if.v-
For
stable smokers versus street-raovers-pastoralis t-escapists
versus non-users X2 is 13.146; p < .01.
mis represents a sv
ucant
difference between users; and
non-users which may imply that users do
available resources to marihuana; twice
in face dedica fe more
as many as the non-
users were bothersome in rronev matters.

¿52
Before concl’uding that the seventh attribute of araeti-
vational syndrome applies tc the Costa Rican case, we shall
compare the user types to investigate the role of life style
in the unfavorable comparison of users ana controls'. The
two pastora.list--escap.ists will be "lumped" with the street
movers for the purpose of comparison,. Table 32 also shows
chat Serrano’s ratings for the stable smokers differ signif¬
icantly from those given for street, mover-pastoralist-
escapists in money matters. This outcome mirrors other
comparisons between user types presented in the preceding
chapter. Stable smokers are steadier workers than the
street movers, and they are less likely to pester outside
sources for extra money. 3e+urring ho the comparison between
users and non-users for Serrano's ratings, we cannot attri¬
bute the financia1 difficulties of the users as a group
to their marihuana use, because other cultural factors
influence trie economic behavior of a recognizeable subgroup
among the users metre strongly thin the marihuana use itself.
Street movers pester for money because they learned, while
still children to exploit ever! possible resource in order
to survive. During the course of the marihuana study,
Serrano became one of the exploitable resources.
In order to solidify the conclusion that life style
factors are more important than marihuana use in determining
differences in money matters ratings, Table 33 was devised
to compare marihuana dosage levels with those ratings. The.
dosage .levels emolía rae.tehed-pair users were broken into

286
three categories: low (2.5 to 4.4 cigarettes per day),
medium (4.4 to 9.2 cigarettes per day) and high (10.0 to
40.0 cigarettes per day). We find that there is no signif¬
icant difference among the three levels of marihuana intake
in money matters ratings. Therefore, marihuana consump¬
tion probably was not the factor which caused Serrano to
arrive at his impressions regarding financial "peskiness"
and the user group.
TABLE 33
Marihuana Dosage
Levels
Versus Money
Matters
Ratings
High
Medium
Low
Totals
Bothersome
6
6
6
18
Not bothersome
7
7
9
23
Totals
13
13
15
41
2 .
X is .144; not significant
Long observation of users in the field demonstrated
repeatedly to the anthropological team that lack of marihuana,
even to the heaviest smokers, did not cause undue distress
or desperation among the users. Many times, users who had
unsuccessfully canvassed the neighborhood suppliers of mari¬
huana were seen to shrug and say, "Well, there doesn't seem
to be any around. I guess I'll go home to bed." Only three
of the 41 users in the final sample reported any adverse

287
reactions to not having marihuana. One relatively light
user reported leg cramps. The heaviest user in the sample
reported "chills." A moderate smoker claimed to have night¬
mares when no marihuana was available. Overall, the user
group does not give the impression of crazed "addicts"
who think constantly about where they will obtain their
next moto ("joint").
On the basis of the Costa Rican evidence, we must reject
"dedication of all available resources to procuring more
Cannabis" as an attribute of users in that country. Costa
Rican users do not necessarily deplete their economic
resources in order to obtain marihuana, and they do not
react notably when marihuana is not available.
The seven attributes of "amotivational syndrome" with
the minor exception of five smokers with a "far away" look
in their eyes as described by Serrano, are rejected by data
on the Costa Rican chronic users in our study sample. The
reasons for this rejection are apparent in the research
design. The collection of a large and varied body of medi¬
cal and psychological data on each subject allows for many
possible influencing factors, such as general state of
health and presence or absence of sleep disorders, to be
taken into consideration in comparing user and non-user
groups. The influence of cultural factors, such as socio¬
economic status, family environment, and educational level
is minimized by the matching process used to select the
final sample. Other drug use by the subjects was also taken

288
into account, either by control in the matching process,
as with alcohol and tobacco, or by elicitation of other
drug use data. The sample was not an institutionalized
one, and they were treated as normal people throughout the
study, thereby eliminating the prejudices that can occur
in studying stigmatized groups. Finally, the use of
anthropological field researchers led to achieving sufficient
grasp of the cultural patterns of Costa Rican marihuana use
to detect important nuances and variations which are likely
to escape other kinds of research designs. When all of the
possible influencing factors are taken into account, and
the data are analyzed, marihuana use itself cannot be seen
as directly responsible for any of the problems in social
and psychological adjustment found among Costa Rican users.
Combined with the absence of measurable differences between
users and non-users as shown by other phases of the overall
Cannabis use study, this fact provides very strong evidence
refuting the existence of amotivational syndrome among
Costa Rican marihuana users.
The cultural values attached to any pattern of psycho¬
tropic drug use are extremely important in determining the
consequences of that use for the society in which it is
found. Wilbert (1973) reports that tobacco use among South
American Indians is largely ritual in nature, and regarded
as unpleasant, but necessary. For these Indians, the con¬
vulsions and comatose state brought on by powerful infusions
of concentrated tobacco syrup are a step toward achieving

289
a ritual psychotropic state of sufficient intensity for
divination and spirit communication. Similarly, Castaneda
(1968) describes a Yaqui shaman's use of datura, mescaline,
and psilocibin mushrooms for the purpose of achieving
ritual psychotropic states. Both the South American and the
Yaqui patterns of drug use employ drugs far stronger than
marihuana, yet their users, instead of being considered
as social deviants, are honored as especially wise and use¬
ful to their society.
The above examples of drug use describe patterns that
are not accessible to the population at large, because
shamans are specialists in ritual. Burchard (1973) des¬
cribes a pattern of coca use which is practiced by a large
segment of the Andes population. Coca, a relatively mild
psychotropic chewed throughout the Andes, is part of a
cultural system in which food and coca interact as compli¬
mentary media of exchange. In addition to its function in
social and economic contexts, coca may also serve to aid
in the digestion of complex carbohydrates (Ibid.). Coca
leaf chewing is an example of a generalized societal prac¬
tice which has positive values attached to it, such as the
leaf's exchange worth when it accompanies food exchange,
and its reputed effects of helping to withstand Andean cold
and giving work stamina. When positive cultural values are
attributed to use of a mild drug by society at large, then
the negative consequences become difficult to find, and this
is particularly true of Andean coca chewing.

290
Tobacco in the United States is an example of general¬
ized drug use to which mixed positive and negative values
are attached. It has been found conclusively to be physiolog¬
ically harmful to the user, and this is a definite negative
value. Even so, values of sexual attraction, social inter¬
change, and narcissim, connected to tobacco by its promoters,
manage to maintain a broad segment of the American popula¬
tion as regular customers. Easy access to this mild psycho¬
tropic has made the social consequences of tobacco use
negligible, even though health consequences are increasingly
noticeable.
Costa Rican marihuana use also has mixed cultural
values attached to it, but unlike North American (or for
that matter, Costa Rican) tobacco use, social difficulties
plague the Costa Rican marihuana smoker. He is forced
by societal sanctions either to hide his use or to be
identified as a deviant and assumed criminal if he smokes
openly. Until March of 1974 when the health statute govern¬
ing marihuana was changed, the Costa Rican smoker maintained
his habit at the risk of arrest and a six-month jail sen¬
tence. He is still largely at the mercy of the poorly-
trained and sometimes brutal squad of narcotics police.
The Costa Rican users pay high prices for their drug of
preference, because its sale and distribution are in the
hands of dishonest traffickers. All of these problems are
consequences of negative values imposed on a pattern of
drug use by the greater, non-marihuana-using society.

291
Positive values assigned to marihuana consumption by
the users themselves help to maintain the pattern of mari¬
huana smoking in Costa Rican society. These values vary
somewhat among the various kinds of users who comprise the
majority of the illegal drug using population. Street
movers, as we saw in Chapter V, approach marihuana use as
a pleasure-giving respite from an existence full of frus¬
tration in which they are set apart from the rest of society.
Marihuana is also a shared experience which contributes to
the cohesiveness of informal social contacts and gives
individuals who otherwise lack familial social connections
needed group membership. Stable smokers attach positive
values to marihuana use which allow them to practice some
of the responsibility expected of non-deviant Costa Ricans.
Marihuana helps work performance, according to the stable
smokers, and otherwise makes daily work routines more
bearable. The fact that the heaviest smokers are also the
steadiest workers attests to the validity of this positive
value for those who believe it.
Researchers studying other cultural patterns of mari¬
huana use which may be related historically to that of Costa
Rica arrive at similar conclusions about the connection
between marihuana use and work. Partridge (1974) found the
smoking of marihuana to be an integral part of work party
cohesion among rural Colombian workers. Schaeffer's (1973)
elaborate videotape analysis of Jamaican fieldworkers'
behavior led to the same conclusions about Jamaican ganja

292
use and work. In both the Jamaican and Colombian settings,
societal imposition of negative values on Cannabis use is
beginning to create problems similar to those found in
Costa Rica.
Marihuana effects, as demonstrated in Chapter V, are
particularly susceptible to the contexts, both mental
and physical, in which the drug is smoked. The expecta¬
tions of marihuana users often mold the subjective effects
derived from the smoking experience. Costa Rican, Jamaican,
Colombian, Indian, and Moroccan Cannabis users have expec¬
tations of their drug which are very different from those
of the new wave of North American users. The latter .also
smoke marihuana in a distinct cultural context, but in
their case, the expectations of intensified sensation,
expanded mental powers, and ritualistic social interaction
replace those of respite from a dreary existence or increased
working capacity or complete oblivion. The values attached
by young North American Cannabis users to their drug con¬
sumption are closely tied to the value system of the sub¬
culture which led them to adopt marihuana use. This sub¬
cultural value system includes a negation of achievement
and industry values held by the society at large.
Researchers have often mistaken the subcultural negation
of achievement values as an amotivational syndrome caused
by marihuana use. Analysis of Costa Rican patterns of
marihuana use, taking into account subcultural variations
in work values and life styles, fails to find apathy and

293
passivity, loss of productivity, chronic tiredness, depres¬
sion and moodiness, impairment of intellectual function,
sloth and slovenliness, or dedication of all available
resources to Cannabis procurement, among the user sample
studied. This evidence points out that marihuana is not
the cause of failures to adjust to the values of the society.
Rather, its use is a symptom of more profound difficulties
in the process of becoming a part of that society.

GLOSSARY
ANDAR CON PINTA (go around with paint) To be identified
as an "antisocial" person.
BARRA (bar) Gang.
BARRIO City neighborhood.
BOLEROS Soft, rhythmic Latin songs, usually with romantic
themes.
CABLE (wire) Message delivered to the outside on behalf
of a prison inmate.
CACHIMBA Pipe used to smoke marihuana.
CAFETAL Coffee plantation.
CAJA DE FOSFOROS (matchbox) Device used to smoke marihuana
cigarettes.
CAMARONEAR (to "shrimp") To find part-time work on an ad
hoc basis.
CANCHAC Corruption of the Indian-Jamaican word ganja meaning
Cannabis. (See also: ganja.)
CAREBARRO (actually "cara de barro," meaning literally "mud-
face") Scoundrel, rascal, shameless person.
CHAPAS (bottle caps) Pachuco term for a gambling fraud akin
to the shell game, using a small wad of paper and three
bottle caps. Two confederates work together to convince
a stranger to bet on the outcome of cap-shifting maneuvers.
CHISPA (spark) Verve, personality, vivacity.
CHUSMA Underworld, the unsavory element of society, a gang.
294

295
COCO SECO (dry coconut) Implement used to test marihuana.
CUMBIA A variety of dancing music originating in Colombia
which usually has an emphatic four-beat metre.
DATURA A strong variety of psychotropic plant found in
abundance in Costa Rica, but seldom used by Costa Rican
drug consumers. (Called locally "Queen of the night.")
DESCUIDO (unguarded object) Euphemism for stolen goods.
EMPANADAS Small, fried turnover-style pies filled with meat
or cheese, often sold on the streets by ambulatory
vendors.
EN LA CALLE (in the street) Hopeless, without a chance of
success.
GALETA Runner who serves a drug vendor.
GALLO (rooster) Snack food consisting of a tortilla topped
with cabbage, tomato, and either a hard-boiled egg or
some kind of sausage.
GANJA 'Indian term for a Cannabis preparation consisting of
compressed resin and plant material. In Jamaica,
ganja is the generic term for Cannabis. (See also:
canchac.)
HACHIS (hashish) Term for stronger preparations of Cannabis.
HONDA (wave) Term for the marihuana-derived state of intox¬
ication .
JOSEFINO Resident of San Jose, Costa Rica.
JUGARSELA (to play it out) To make a living by one's wife,
or to maximize one's resources by astute business prac¬
tices .
LA LLEVO EN LA JUPA (I carry her in my head.) Rather than
carrying marihuana on their person, many users prefer
to smoke in a safe place and carry only the effects of
the drug around in their heads.

296
LA NEGRA (the black) Name of a dark variety of marihuana
reportedly grown in the province of Limón.
LA RUBIA (the blonde) Name of a light-colored variety of
marihuana reportedly grown in the province of Limón.
MATAR LA TOCOLA (to kill the touch) To finish a marihuana
cigarette butt.
MOTA Mexican term for marihuana material.
MOTO Marihuana cigarette.
MUERTE BLANCA (white death) Stereotyped adverse reaction
to marihuana smoking, involving dizziness, nausea,
cold chills, and a sense of panic.
MULETA (crutch) Matchstick, or piece of wood used to hold
the last remnants of a marihuana cigarette. (See
Figure B.)
NERVIOS (nerves) Generic term used in Costa Rica for a
wide range of nervous or emotional disorders.
PAMBELE Name of the current world light welterweight boxing
champion given by Costa Rican smokers to a strong var¬
iety of marihuana reputed to come from Colombia.
PICADURA Chopped, dried material of the marihuana plant.
PINTA (paint) Identification as an unsavory element of
society.
PIPA DE AGUA Water pipe used to smoke marihuana. (See
Figure B.)
PIPA DE PAZ (peace pipe) Wooden marihuana cigarette-
holder. (See Figure 2.)
PUESTO (booth) A "bank" formed by a group of young mari¬
huana smokers in order to buy greater quantity at a
lower price.
PURA VIDA (pure life) "Great," "groovy."

297
PURO (cigar) Large marihuana cigarette made from the contents
of several street-sized cigarettes.
ROLLO (roll) Unit of 25 marihuana cigarettes commonly sold
on the street in a tightly-packed roll.
*
SAMOLEON Peeping tom.
SAN MIGUELITO A strong, brown variety of marihuana reputed
to come from the Panamanian island of San Miguel.
SON UN MONTÓN DE CAREBARROS QUE NO RESPETAN NI A SUS DONAS
NI A SUS CACHORROS They are a bunch of mud-faces who
don't respect either their ladies or their pups.
SUSTO A strong state of fright, akin to shock.
TACO Use of a tobacco cigarette to finish the end of a
marihuana cigarette. (See Figure B.)
TOQUE (touch) A "drag" from a cigarette (either marihuana
or tobacco).
TUANIS Groovy.
VARA (bar) Unit of measurement used in Costa Rica to give
directions, measuring 33 inches, or 1/100 of a city
block.
VICIO Vice, bad habit.
VINO Voyeur, "nosey" person.

APPENDIX
Two different tests of significance are used in Chapters
V and VI. For simple four- and six-cell cross tabulations,
Chi-squares were calculated using the formula:
n (fo-fe)2
X = fe
Scores for p were then found on a standard chi-square table.
Chapters VI and VII contain p-scores obtained in this manner.
Tables 9 and 15 in Chapter V contain p-scores that are
exactly computed using the formula:
P [rN]
N!
r![N-rN]!
X
r N-r
p q
The p-scores, in this case, do not assume a normal distribu¬
tion of outcomes, but rather express the actual probability
of the occurrence of the distributions found in Table 9 and 15.
Only very low probabilities are selected for comment in the
text.
Because of a general absence of low p-scores in the com¬
parison of Cannabis users and non-users, all of the p-scores
which approached the .05 tolerance level are also mentioned
in the text. None of the other 300 items in the sociocul¬
tural cross-tabulations came anywhere near the .05 level.
298

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Livingstone: 90-104.
Redfield, Robert
1947 The Folk Society. American Journal of Sociology
52 (4): 293-308.
Robins, Lee N., et al.
1970 The Long-term Outcome for Adolescent Drug Users:
A Follow-up Study of 76 Users and 146 Non-Users.
In Proceedings of the American Psychopathological
Association 59: 159-179.
Rodríguez-Vega, Eugenio
1953 Apuntes Para una Sociología Costarricense. San
José: Editorial Universitaria Centroamericana,
Sección de Tésis de Grado y Ensayos, No. 4.
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1975 Ganja in Jamaica. The Hague: Mouton.
Sadava, S. W.
1973 Initiation to Cannabis Use: A Longitudinal
Social Psychological Study of College Freshman.
Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science 5: 371-384.
Satz, Paul
1976 Neuropsychological, Intellectual, and Personality
Correlates. In Chronic Cannabis Use in Costa
Rica, W. E. Carter, W. J. Coggins, P. L. Doughty.
Report presented to NIDA in fulfillment of Con¬
tract No. NO1-MH3-0233(ND): Chapter XVI.
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1973 Marihuana and Health. Third annual report to
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able through the National Institute of Mental
Health.
Schaeffer, Joseph H.
1973 The Significance of Marihuana in a Small Agri¬
cultural Community in Jamaica. Paper presented
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1973 Psychiatric Aspects of the Marihuana Problem.
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Prentice-Ha11.
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1967 Hashish Consumption in Egypt, with Special
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146-155.
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1971 On Drive State and Cannabis. Canadian Psychia¬
tric Association Journal 16 (2): 181-182.
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1972 Spirits and Demons at Work: Alcohol and Other
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1973 Magico-Religious Use of Tobacco among South
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1946 Studies of Marijuana and Pyrahexyl Compound.
Public Health Reports 61: 1059-1083.
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1956 Aspects of Group Relations in a Complex Society.
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tions 16 (4): 26-43.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Born on October 10, 1947, Bryan Page has spent much
of his life travelling. His father's work as a special
agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation necessitated
frequent moves during Page's first six years. After living
in Charlotte, Baltimore, Chicago, San Juan, and Miami,
the Page family settled in St. Augustine, Florida, where
Bryan graduated from high school. He then attended the
University of Florida from 1965 to 1969, majoring in
anthropology. During that time, travel to Latin America
was made possible by Page's participation in choral groups
and his family's residence in Mexico City.
Page graduated from the University with high honors,
also being elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta
Kappa. After a six-week pleasure tour of Europe, he entered
graduate school at the University of North Carolina with
the help of a Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship. He
earned his Master's degree in anthropology by early 1971.
A teaching assistantship helped to finance Page's last
months at the University of North Carolina. The decision
to become a Latinamericanist led him to re-apply to the
University of Florida for doctoral work in anthropology.
Before returning to the University, he spent three months in
308

309
Europe on a concert tour with the North Carolina Chamber
Singers.
In 1972, Page was hired by the Urban and Regional
Development Center at the University to work as the assis¬
tant to Carl Feiss. At the end of the summer of 1973, he
became part of the University's study on chronic Cannabis
use, in San Jose, Costa Rica. His experience in the field
yielded the data which is the basis for his doctoral
dissertation.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences
and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial ful¬
fillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy.
June, 1976
Dean, Graduate School

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
William E. Carter, Chairman
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
\fU>' _
Paul L. Doughty j
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
fl/duj C¿íii;(Q fttaéw
Maryanna Baden
Assistant Professor Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Wilmer
Professor
Community Health




PAGE 1

COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS BY JOHN BRYAN PAGE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1976

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 08666 402 5

PAGE 3

Copyright 1976 John Bryan Page

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many individuals, both here and in Costa Rica, deserve my profuse thanks for their help in assembling and analyzing the information contained herein, but foremost among them are William E. Carter and Paul L. Doughty. Carter's badgerlike editorial supervision of the writing process, demanding clarification and refinement of otherwise turgid prose and byzantine explanations, gave this dissertation a degree of readability that would never have been achieved without him. He also piloted me through several false starts in my research, eventually leading to the choice of amotivational syndrome as a study topic. Doughty should be credited especially with having enough confidence in my ability to do research as part of a transdisciplinary team to select me as one of the anthropological field workers in the Costa Rican Project. I am also indebted to him for his patient supervision of the data collection and coding process. The third co-principal investigator in the Costa Rican Cannabis Use Study, Wilmer R. Coggins also contributed to my work with his perspective as a medical doctor. Maryanna Baden, the Project sociologist made several valuable contributions to my work, including subject matching and the formulation of personal information questionnaires and life history iii

PAGE 5

interview schedules. T. A. Nunez and Otto Von Mering both made worthy editorial inputs as readers of the dissertation who had not participated directly in the transdisciplinary project from which ray material comes. My co-field worker, William R. True, made more direct and indirect contributions to my research than I can possibly recount in this brief space. From introducing me to a key' informant to discovering the representativeness of our sample, he has been a constant positive influence. Other co-workers, Claudine de Frenkel and Dina Krauskopf, also were helpful in collecting needed information on some of the most valuable subjects in the study sample. Richard Chiofolo, the Project statistician, merits special thanks for ironing out some computative problems in Chapter V. The Project secretaries also deserve hearty thanks for their help in making this dissertation possible. They freed True and me from many administrative worries which might have detracted from our research effort. Olga Fallas Vardiman was instrumental in making our office as attractive and efficient as possible during the early months of the study. Zulema Villalta de Brenes , with her incredible transcription speed, was largely responsible for the volume of sociocultural data with which we were able to work. Her administrative contributions to the Project during its last months were also prodigious. Other members, Gerardo Erak, Gerardo Valderrama, Martin Brenes, Marta Villalta, and Elena Fallas all helped to keep the office running IV

PAGE 6

smoothly. Lie. Virginia de Barquero, head of the Office of Stupifying Drugs in the Ministry of Health, was a constant resource during my two years of field work. Her moral support and administrative connections helped not only with pursuing research goals, but also with mundane necessities of personal comfort. Without Dona Virginia's help in the field, the study would not even have begun. Walter Serrano, the Project administrator in charge of delivering subjects to the medical and psychological tests, should also be thanked for his participation connected with this dissertation. His energetic contact with the subjects saved the day more than once when they turned skiddish through misunderstandings. He consented to be interviewed regarding his impressions of the informants after he was no longer on the project payroll, and the information so obtained was beneficial. Finally, I should thank the subjects who participated in the Project. Many did not "make the cut" to the final matched pair sample, but all had an influence on the final outcome. They cannot be mentioned by name, for obvious reasons, but these participants deserve credit for accepting us into their confidence. Many expressed the hope that our studies would lead to sufficient public understanding and tolerance of their Cannabis use so that one day, they would no longer have to hide. Hopefully, the following presentation will add to that understanding.

PAGE 7

PREFACE Selecting a site for the study of long term marihuana use in Latin America poses three questions which must have close attention. First of all, will the host government give full cooperation to the investigators? Second, will there be proper medical facilities and local personnal resources to carry out the study? Oddly enough, the third and last question is, does a chronic marihuana using population exist in the host country? William E. Carter, Ph.D. and Wilmer R. Coggins, M.D. found in their efforts to locate a Latin American site for a field study of Cannabis use that this was indeed the order of importance for the main considerations in designating a study site. They encountered a situation in Costa Rica where the government was anxious to have a study of chronic marihuana use done there, the local Social Security medical system had ample hospital facilities and well-trained personnel to carry out the study, and a population of long-term marihuana users existed in the urban setting of San Jose in sufficient numbers to make the study possible. Such a combination of advantages could not be found in any of the other Latin American countries which were considered as possible study sites. Through an agreement with the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Health, the Cannabis use study gained the cooperation vi

PAGE 8

of the Office of Stupifying Drugs and the assistance of the Social Security medical care system. We were given office space in the Ministry building, and Ministry staff aided us in getting the office furnished and a secretary hired. Setting up the administrative environment necessary to carry out the study of an illegal activity had to involve local police cooperation. The Costa Rican Minister of Security arranged for contact between the local narcotics police and the Project field workers wherein it was agreed that we would not be arrested or harrassed during the course of our studies. Identification cards were issued to aid implementing this policy. Similar cards were also to be issued to subjects in the study so that arrest for marihuana possession would not interfere with their participation. These arrangements did not always function ideally, but they were sufficient for us to carry out the study with only minor difficulties. The transdisciplinary design of the Costa Rican Cannabis Use Study included biomedical, sociocultural , and psychological phases which needed a central point of communications with the co-principal investigators, Drs . Carter and Coggins, and Paul L. Doughty, Ph.D. The Project office in the Ministry of Health Building became the center from which project operations were supervised. William R. True, Ph.D. and I worked out of the Project office, carrying out sociocultural studies of marihuana use as well as helping to coordinate other phases of the transdisciplinary study. This contact with all vii

PAGE 9

phases of the study provided a perspective on its overall progress and quality which was useful in finally analyzing the data related to amotivational syndrome. A wide variety of data is utilized in this treatment of chronic marihuana use, including psychomotor, intellectual function, personality, and attitude test results, biomedical data, and, most heavily, sociocultural data. Of the sociocultural data, the most important body of material comes from the life history interviews elicited from each of the 82 matched subjects. Consistency of data collection was assured by the use of an interview schedule developed by the collaboration of the field team with the help of Drs. Doughty and Carter, as well as Maryanna Baden, Ph.D. The 15,000 pages of transcribed interview materials which resulted will continue to provide valuable information and insights on urban Costa Rican life. Vlll

PAGE 10

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . iii PREFACE vi ABSTRACT xi CHAPTER I PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING ON "AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME" 1 Clinical Studies 6 Surveys and Quantitative Studies 24 Composite and Field Research Tactics 33 Overview Authors . 19 Synthesis of the Existing Literature 45 CHAPTER II THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY 54 CHAPTER III THE STUDY SAMPLE 70 CHAPTER IV MARIHUANA IN COSTA RICA 89 Preparations 96 Production 101 Forms of Use 105 Types 114 Medicinal Preparations 117 Pharmacological Content of Costa Rican Cannabis 119 Content of Marihuana 120 Daily Levels of Marihuana Use 122 CHAPTER V SMOKING "SET" AND EFFECTS 129 The User Typology 129 Analysis of Smoking Environment Descriptions by the Users 138 Subjective Effects of Marihuana Use 157 User Types and Subjective Effects 192 Summary 213 CHAPTER VI MARIHUANA AND THE LIFE CYCLE 217 Initiation into Cannabis Use 217 Marihuana and School Performance 232 Marihuana and Work 245 Summary 2 60 IX

PAGE 11

Page CHAPTER VII OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME: AN OVERALL ASSESSMENT 263 GLOSSARY 2 94 APPENDIX 2 98 BIBLIOGRAPHY 299 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 3 08 X

PAGE 12

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy COSTA RICAN MARIHUANA SMOKERS AND THE AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME HYPOTHESIS By John Bryan Page June, 1976 Chairman: William E. Carter Major Department: Anthropology Seven behavioral attributes of amotivational syndrome are derived from a survey of the existing literature on chronic Cannabis use. These attributes are tested for a working class population in San Jose, Costa Rica's, using intensive life history data from 41 chronic Cannabis users and 41 non-using closely matched controls. Data on smoking environments and subjectively perceived effects for this population yield a user typology. When this user typology is taken into account, comparison of school performance and work histories between users and non-users yields no evidence of the amotivational syndrome. Social adjustment difficulties, where they exist, precede the initiation of marihuana use and lead directly xi

PAGE 13

to documented variations in user type. This is corroborated further by natural history observations. Additional measures, such as psychological tests, electroencephalographs, and detailed medical studies also fail to show evidence of the seven behavioral attributes commonly associated with the amotivational syndrome. XI 1

PAGE 14

CHAPTER I PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND WRITING ON "AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME" The behavioral and social ills which have been attributed to Cannabis use are widely varied, and each seems to have a corresponding negation elsewhere in the literature. Kolansky and Moore (1972), Warnock (1903), Walsh (1894), McGlothlin and West (1968) , and others all find that users of Cannabis become lazy and apathetic. Miles et al. (1975), Mendelson and Meyer (1972), Rubin and Comitas (1975), and Hochman (1972) see no laziness among Cannabis users, and some (Rubin and Comitas 1975) even say that Cannabis use increases energy. Bloomquist (1971), Williams et al. (1946), Warnock (1903), and Kolansky and Moore (1972) say that Cannabis users are slovenly and neglectful of personal hygiene. Kaplan (1970), and Miles et al . (1975) find users to be no neater or dirtier than non-users. Soueif (1967, 1971), Kolansky and Moore (1971, 1972, 1975), Bindelglas (1973), and Brill et al. (1970) consider learning and memory functions to be diminished among chronic Cannabis smokers, while Beaubrun and Knight (1973) do not see such a diminution of functions among their sample of users. Soueif (1967), Kolansky and Moore (1972), Robins et al. (1970) , and Smith (1970) say that users of Cannabis cannot work effectively at everyday jobs, but Rubin

PAGE 15

e. o I. a c n u

PAGE 16

and Comitas (1975) , Trice and Roman (1972) , and Miles et al. (197 5) argue that users can and do. Users suffer from inability to make and carry out long-term plans, according to McGlothlin and West (1968) , and Bindelglas (1973) , but Hochman (1972) , and Melinger et al. (1976) do not find this to be true for their sample of users. Table 1 illustrates the positions taken by several of the most prominent researchers who have dealt with some aspects of the "amotivational syndrome." We can see that there is no unanimity among them regarding any single attribute of the syndrome, and roughly half disagree with the other half in finding symptoms of amotivational syndrome among the Cannabis users studied. This situation of diammetrical disagreement among Cannabis researchers leads to an atmosphere of mutual sniping in which the scientific thrust of contributing to the body knowledge about a still misunderstood drug is lost in interdisciplinary squabbling. The reviews which follow will treat these and other researchers' work as even-handedly as possible, with the ultimate objective of using their experience to build a theoretical position from which to assess the validity of amotivational syndrome. The term amotivational syndrome has been used loosely in connection with all of the above-named social and behavioral problems and their corresponding negations. Because amotivational syndrome is generally considered a "subtle" or "insidious" kind of psycho-social disorder, those who write about it have avoided naming a comprehensive set of

PAGE 17

symptoms, or more accurately, behavioral attributes for it, and relatively few authors have ventured to use the term amotivational syndrome to encompass those behavioral attributes, This chapter will attempt to review the existing literature on Cannabis use which deals most directly with behavioral and social disorders sometimes called amotivational syndrome, and to derive a set of behavioral attributes suitable for comparison with the data gathered in Costa Rica. Early writing and research reports on the use of Cannabis do not use the term amotivational syndrome, even though the India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains some testimony linking "laziness" and "sloth" to Cannabis use. The term first appeared in modern scholarly writing in an article by McGlothlin and West, "The Marihuana Problem: An Overview" (1968). Both authors were experienced in the hippie-based mind-expanding drug revolution of the mid-sixties. They describe, in the manner of clinical psychiatry, a condition they had observed among marihuana users with whom they had come in contact in California clinical settings. McGlothlin and West do not present amotivational syndrome in a tone which implies that they invented it, but they also do not refer to another source for the term. They carefully qualify their own use of the term, applying it only to "middle class students' or "impressionable young persons." Their description of the syndrome to which the term refers is brief: . . . subtly progressive change from conforming, achievement-oriented behavior to a state of relaxed and careless drifting has followed their use of significant amounts of marihuana.

PAGE 18

. . . Such changes include apathy, loss of effectiveness, and diminished capacity or willingness to carry out complex, long-term plans, endure frustration, concentrate for long periods, follow routines, or successfully master new material. Verbal facility is often impaired, both in speaking and writing (372) . The authors readily admit that they have not controlled for such factors as LSD use and social background, but they still suspect marihuana use as a causative agent ( Ibid . ) . Both directly and indirectly, much of the work on marihuana use which followed this article was influenced by it. Some authors were not as cautious in their use of the term amotivational syndrome as those who first used it. There have been basically three approaches to study and discussion of amotivational syndrome as related to Cannabis use. Clinical studies represent an approach which occurs frequently, encompassing user populations both in the United States and in other Cannabis using cultures. Impressionistic accounts of direct personal contact with marihuana users, an approach that the archaic literature contains in abundance, appears as part of many comprehensive accounts of the drug and its use. The quantitative analysis approach is the newest of the three approaches, using questionnaires and often large samples to obtain data on the consequences of Cannabis use. Some researchers combine clinical and quantitative methods to study these consequences. Authors who attempt to offer an overview of Cannabis use usually include a mixture of all of the above described approaches in their presentation. The following series of brief reviews will deal with

PAGE 19

clinical approaches first, followed by quantitative approaches, and then mixed clinical, survey, and field research approaches. Overview authors will be reviewed last, including some examples of ancedotal writing on amotivational syndrome. Clinical Studies Studies of Cannabis use which involve chronic users in either a clinical psychiatric treatment setting (both inpatient and outpatient) or a hospital experimental setting will be called clinical studies in this review. We shall begin with psychiatrists' assessments of the behavioral consequences of Cannabis use, both in its North American setting and in its other cultural settings. Kolansky and Moore's clinical studies of marihuana use form the basis for three prominent articles on the amotivational syndrome, also sometimes called "marihuana toxicity" (1971, 1972, 1975). They find that there is a marked causal relationship between marihuana use and what most writers would call amotivational syndrome. During the past six years, we have seen a clinical entity different from the routine syndromes seen in adolescents and young adults. Long and careful diagnostic evaluation convinced us that this entity is a toxic reaction in the central nervous system due to regular use of marihuana and hashish. Contrary to what is frequently reported, we have found the effect of marihuana not to be that of a mild intoxicant which causes slight exaggeration of usual adolescent behavior, but a specific and separate clinical syndrome unlike any other variation of the abnormal raainifestations of adolescence (Kolansky and Moore 1972: 35). They continue to list the salient traits of this "syndrome"

PAGE 20

which include tiredness, mental confusion, slowed time sense, difficulty with recent memory, incapability of completing verbal thoughts, lack of concern for work or personal appearance, and outbreaks of petulance and irrational anger (35-36) , The 1973 NIMH report on the current state of marihuana research criticizes the Kolansky and Moore study because the authors do not specify whether or not the patients were, or had the opportunity to be, intoxicated with marihuana during the interviews on which the authors reported (V-33) . The reviewers raise this question, because several of the symptoms enumerated by Kolansky and Moore resemble commonly named symptoms of acute marihuana intoxication, e.g., slowed time sense, incapability of completing verbal thoughts, and difficulty with recent memory. This may not be a legitimate criticism, because chronic use of marihuana may in fact entail states of intoxication that occupy many of the user's waking hours. Thus, if serious behavioral aberrations characterize the intoxicated state, then the chronic marihuana user would have constant difficulty functioning in normal daily activities. The NIMH critique also points out that the clinical method used by Kolansky and Moore, although very efficacious in discovering complexes of pathological symptoms that are of clinical interest, is not good for indicating causal relationships between symptoms and other facets of the individual patients' lives (V-34). This view is underlined in Rathod's assessment of Kolansky and Moore's work, noting that the claimed "toxic reaction" was not buttressed by any biochemical research (1975: 95).

PAGE 21

Kolansky and Moore's 1971 article deals specifically with adolescent behavior, and the concept of amotivational syndrome therein was rightly rebutted because of the difficulty in separating the effects of smoking marihuana from the embracing of counter-culture precepts of non-achievement and altered social consciousness. In their 1972 article, Kolansky and Moore assiduously avoid adolescence in the case histories presented in order to connection amotivational syndrome more definitively to smoking marihuana. Adolescence is only one of several possible crucial transitional periods to which man in the course of life span is subject. By avoiding adolescence in their discussion, Kolansky and Moore did not necessarily avoid analogous transitional periods in the case histories of individual subjects. For example, in group 1 case 1 in the 1972 article (37) the 41-year-old male studied could easily have been approaching a transitional period before his introduction to marihuana. This took place while he, a married man, was dating a younger woman. The symptoms which follow his adoption to the drug include "confusion, distortion of time sense, apathy, f orgetf ulness , suspiciousness, and poor reality testing" ( Ibid . ) . His personal situation also deteriorated, both in his family and in his business. To attribute the above sets of symptoms to marihuana use alone may be too simplistic. The precipitating factor in their onset may just as easily by the middle-age panic often seen in North American males. A 28-year-old woman also cited in Kolansky and Moore's

PAGE 22

case histories experienced deterioration in job performance and general attitudes toward efficiency and personal grooming after initiation of marihuana use ( Ibid . ) . It is noted also that her attitude toward her marriage changed, and several love affairs resulted. This particular case points out the error in unifactorial reasoning in the search for any kind of psychological disorder. It appears the researchers wished to find marihuana as the sole cause of this woman's ills, when actually the situation was entirely too complex to attribute her problems to marihuana smoking and nothing more. This does not mean that marihuana could not have been a contributing factor in her case. It simply allows for the consideration of other equally important sources of upset as contributory factors. Crucial transitional periods analogous to that of adolescence may be contributing factors in all of the cases cited by Kolansky and Moore. Even more importantly, all of these cases have been referred for psychological care and treatment. A distorted, one-sided image of marihuana use results from dealing only with cases whose recognized aberrance has brought them to seek treatment. A clinical population by definition represents only the segment of the total population that is seen (or sees itself) as outside the normal range of accepted behavior. Furthermore, the 13 cases cited involve people whose marihuana use is of short duration (no more than 2 years) and their levels of consumption are not well-documented. It does not follow that since light marihuana use

PAGE 23

10 accompanies psychological problems among some psychiatric patients, marihuana necessarily causes the psychological problems . Clinical reports on the effects of Cannabis smoking are by no means new to the psychiatric literature. The British India Hemp Commission Report (1893) contains in its huge volume of testimony a sizeable representation of psychiatrists who had practiced in India. Walsh (1894) recognizes that some people who use Cannabis put their mental health in jeopardy. . . . In a certain proportion, too, it is not very improbable that, owing to the fact that these persons are of a neuropathic diathesis, and in them a tendency to insanity exists , and has always been latent, hemp drugs in excess, or even quantities which would not damage a man of robust nervous constitution, have acted as an exciting cause, making manifest mental weakness which might not have shown itself in the absence of such indulgence ( 35) . This is the testimony of a clinician who had experience with Cannabis toxicity in its most ancient cultural context. Walsh recognizes that cases of pathological reaction to Cannabis use probably have a close relationship with some pre-existing tendency to mental disturbance. One of the syndromes connected with such toxicity reactions is described in the following symptomology : . . . The vice grows in him [the user] ; he neglects his family and his business, falls into irregular and disorderly habits, which alternate with periods of self-reproach and mental depression (Walsh 1894: 32) . The above set of behavioral characteristics strikingly resemble

PAGE 24

11 the current concept of the amotivational syndrome, yet they are used by Walsh to describe one of the toxic reactions suffered by users with a pre-existing tendency toward mental problems . Walsh's concept of the relationship between mental disturbance and Cannabis use is very difficult to dispute, because patients suffering from Cannabis toxicity psychoses often have no previous history of mental disturbance. Kolansky and Moore (1972) include only cases with no psychiatric antecedents in their case history accounts. This is their justification for claiming that Cannabis is the cause of their patients' problems. It would be insufficient argument to point out that stories of maniacal homicide appear constantly in the news involving people with no history of psychiatric disturbance. Rather, it is preferable to study a non-institutionalized population of chronic Cannabis users to see if the amotivational symptomology holds for them. In this way, we avoid prejudicing conclusions on the basis of a sample that is already recognized as behaviorally aberrant. Another early clinical study of the consequences of Cannabis use appeared in the Journal of Mental Science (1903) written by John Warnock , another Englishman of long experience in dealing with an ancient Cannabis-using tradition. He finds that the India Hemp Commission's findings do not agree with his experience in Egypt with kif , a strong Egyptian Cannabis preparation, and hashish. According to Warnock, kif was sufficient cause of psychiatric problems among a high percentage

PAGE 25

12 of the patients in the Cairo Sanitarium (103). He goes so far as to name this Cannabis-caused syndrome "cannabinomania" : The term cannabinomania may be employed to desscribe the mental condition of many hasheesh users between the above forms [acute cannabis-caused psychoses, including temporary intoxication, delirium from hasheesh, mania from hasheesh, chronic mania from hasheesh, and chronic dementia from hasheesh]. The individual is a good-for-nothing lazy fellow, who lives by begging and stealing, and pesters his relations for money to buy hasheesh, often assaulting them when they refuse his demands. The moral degradation of these cases is their most salient symptom; loss of social position, shamelessness , addiction to lying and theft, and a loose, irregular life make them a curse to their families (103) . The above description is not unlike many of the more recent clinical and impressionistic accounts of amotivational syndrome. One major difference is that certain types of aggression are incorporated in the description, a characteristic which contrasts sharply with the passivity usually attributed to long-term Cannabis users. The characteristics contained in the above account which are most generalizable among those cited for the user suffering from the amotivational syndrome are laziness, lack of order, and dedication of all available resources to drug consumption. Warnock indicates great familiarity with the cultural differences between Indian and Egyptian Cannabis use tradition. As Drake (1971: 88) also suggests, the difference in frequency of Cannabis-precipitated mental illness between India and Egypt may be due in part to the exclusive use of stronger, resin-based preparations by the Egyptian users. Cultural standards of use in India urge the Cannabis user to eschew

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13 charas , the Indian equivalent of hashish, in favor of the less concentrated preparations , bhang and ganja . The Egyptian user typically seeks the depressant effects of heavy dosage and strong preparations. Finally, Warnock addresses the epidemiological problem of "hasheesh mania:" . . . Probably only excessive users, or persons peculiarly susceptible to its toxic effects, become so insane as to need asylum treatment. Whether the moderate use of hasheesh has ill effects, I have no means of judging. . . (109) . As he sees it. Cannabis use is responsible for mental illness in Egypt, but still Warnock allows for the pre-existing tendency toward mental illness in these cases. It is interesting to note that, when addressing the problem of alcohol use as opposed to hashish use, Warnock is not willing to make the latter illegal and replace it with the former (105) . The authors cited above all attempt to generalize to the population at large on the basis of clinical populations, taking the basic position that Cannabis brings about increased mental difficulties. Walsh and Warnock modify this position by allowing for pre-existing tendencies toward psychological disturbance, while Kolansky and Moore do not. Prince et al. (1972), on the basis of a parallel data gathering situation, attempt to reverse the generalization process by arriving at exactly opposite conclusions. Extrapolating from the data gathered inside the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, Prince, Greenfield, and Marriott concluded that ganja (the Jamaican term for the form of Cannabis smoked there) is in fact an alternative to alcohol, and, as such, is less likely

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14 to lead to psychological distrubance (9) . This kind of clinical generalization is no more acceptable than those mentioned earlier. All of the above mentioned studies lack the perspective gained by familarity with the normal, at-large Cannabis-using population. In the above account, it may seem that we slip into discussion of mental disturbance in general while addressing the problem of amotivational syndrome. This is no accident, because Walsh and Warnock name the symptoms of amotivational syndrome among many other symptoms of mental disorder which are also associated with Cannabis use. Kolansky and Moore's work is more tightly associated with the specific characteristics of the amotivational syndrome, which they are instrumental in describing, but these other works which name parallel symptoms in the context of a broader symptomology bring up the central question in the amotivational syndrome argument: Does Cannabis use lead to patterns of behavior which are considered outside the normal range of accepted behavior? Kolansky and Moore say yes, Warnock says maybe, Walsh says not without pre-existing dispositions or tendencies, and Prince, et al. say not at all. Among the existing clinical papers and treatises on Cannabis use, the Chopras' of India (R.N.G.S., and E.C., 1942; I.e. and R.N., 1957; G.S. and P.S., 1965; G.S., 1969) have by far the most time depth. Their writing is based on years of clinical experience in dealing with patients who have used Cannabis in the complex and baroquely elaborate Cannabis using

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15 tradition found in India. The clinical point of view, as stated earlier, may distort the researcher's perception of the consequences of Cannabis use, but the Chopras seem to be an exception. They know something about the general population of Cannabis users in India, and they temper their conclusions on that basis. The following user typology developed by I.C. and N.R. Chopra (1957) shows that they have a much more finely-tuned sensitivity to the nuances of dosage level and usage set than their North American counterparts: Group I . This group consists of persons belonging to the poorer classes, such as labourers, domestic servants, etc. These people are the principal consumers of ganja (and also charas , if they can get it). They take these as food accessories in order to relieve fatigue after their work and for mild euphoric effects to relieve the monotony of their daily vocations and existence. They necessarily stick to small doses as a rule they are able to carry on with their ordinary work. They suffer little or no injury to their general health from the habitual use of the drug. Group II . This is composed of those individuals who use Cannabis in the same way as opium for its narcotic effects. The members of this group are idlers and persons mentally below average who take to the habitual use of Cannabis in order to induce a state of oblivion or to overcome feelings of inferiority and the sense of inhibition. Ganja and Charas are mostly used by this group and the damage to their health is more perceptible than in the case of Group I . Group III . This includes individuals who use Cannabis in order to obtain stimulant effects combined with intoxicating effects, in the same way as alcohol. This practice exists mostly amongst the idle and the rich who wish to seek pleasure and new sensations, often of a sexual nature. Such a use, prolonged and carried to excess, is apt to cause injury to the gastro-intestinal tract resulting in dyspepsia and impairment of vitality and general health, and later in damage to their nervous system. Sometimes other potent drugs

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16 such as nux vomica and dhatura are also mixed by addicts to fortify themselves to perpetrate acts of violence. Group IV . This group consists mostly of religious mendicants (sadhis and fakirs) and the priestly classes. Cannabis drugs are used in all forms by them in order to overcome the feeling of hunger and to help them to concentrate on religious and meditational objectives (15). Low dosage levels among poor laborers correspond with the use of Cannabis preparations for their fatigue-reducing properties, Other low-dosage users consume Cannabis preparations for specific religious ends. Those users among Group II are by far the most problematic Cannabis users, but the Chopras describe them as often being mentally deficient. Their dosage levels are far beyond those of the Group I users, further evidenced by their preference for the stronger Cannabis preparations and their concentration on what the authors call "narcotic" effects. Group III and Group IV, the pleasureseekers and the meditators, most closely resemble the Cannabisusing patterns of North American users. North American drug use by seekers of new stimuli and experience is well known (cf. Goode 1970, 1972). Drug-connected religious mysticism in the U.S. in both sacred religious and secular social consciousness spheres, seems to parallel the Group IV pattern closely. Group I , as I shall show in more detail, has a parallel among Costa Rican marihuana users. Group II has parallels in the Egyptian Cannabis use patterns described by Warnock (1903) and Soueif (1967 and 1971) and also among some Costa Rican marihuana smokers.

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17 Asuni, an African psychiatrist who also writes on clinical observation of chronic marihuana users in Nigeria, suggests that people who occupy marginal places in society are prone to use marihuana, as well as certain occupational groups, such as taxi drivers, truck drivers, prostitutes and musicians (1964: 20, 25). He seems to recognize some of the limitations of clinical research, and does not attempt to establish marihuana as a cause of the frequent unemployment, loss of efficiency, and tardiness seen in his subjects. Still, Asuni sees some connection between marihuana use and these traits (27). Perhaps further examination of the socio-cultural aspects of Cannabis use would be useful in sorting out the influences on the behavior of this particular group of Nigerian users. Up to this point, discussion has been limited to the various analyses of psychiatric observations in clinical settings. Another variety of clinical study addressing the problem of amotivational syndrome has become numerous in recent years, where subjects are placed in a closed laboratory and given marihuana or some preparation of its psychotropic derivatives to consume in that closed environment. This does not really address the question of long-term use, since the experimental subjects are either marihuana naive or have relatively limited experience with the drug. However, the closed laboratory method does afford the investigator with assurance regarding the dosages of Cannabis administered and the settings in which it is smoked. The first study of this kind was done under the auspices of the La Guardia administration

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18 in 1944, and users of long-term experience were studied. Some psychological testing was done, but the investigators were concentrating on acute rather than chornic effects, and so, little difference between user and non-user groups was reported, Williams, et al. carried out a similar experiment in 1946, where six subjects were given marihunaa to smoke over a 30day period in a closed hospital setting. Psychological tests were administered during and after the smoking period. Results suggest that, during the acute period, the subjects experienced a diminution of precision in motor and intellectual function, as well as a lack of motivation and increased carelessness. General clinical observations noted increased sleeping time, general lassitude, social deterioration, and lack of personal hygiene, but they also indicated lack of anti-social behavior or psychotic reactions during the smoking period, even though dosage ranged from nine to 26 cigarettes per day. All of the above-named symptoms, some of which are identical to those described for amotivational syndrome, disappeared after the end of the acute smoking period. This particular study points out the danger of claiming, as do Kolansky and Moore, that Cannabis use results in a lasting toxic reaction in the users' nervous system. A complex of symptoms very close to the ones named by Kolansky and Moore are, in Williams' et al. research, apparently linked with the acute smoking experience, vindicating the NIDA criticism of the Kolansky and Moore study mentioned earlier. A more recent example of the procedure carried out by

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19 Williams et al. was performed by Lord (1971) on 37 studentage subjects. Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Lord attempted to measure change in personality as a result of marihuana administration. He found that scores (anxiety and repression, respectively) for the subjects who were given marihuana indicated lower levels of excitement, energy, and enterprise (94). He makes the following statement on the relationship between marihuana and amotivational syndrome: . . . The present findings support both the LaGuardia study and current clinical beliefs that marihuana does cause a reduction of responsibility in individuals. While the clinical statements regarding this trait are stated in terms of long-term use of marijuana, both the LaGuardia study and the present research imply that these characteristics may also be manifested in shortterm use — even in single experiences with marijuana (49) . Lord has fallen into the trap of making unqualified generalizations on the basis of very limited and specific data. His testing population was made up of young short-term users, and they were tested after a single administration of the drug. Lord indicates that he is aware of cultural influences that impinge on the effects of marihuana (25-26) and yet he does not bother to give any background information on his user population other than to state age and sex. This failure to define the user population in even minimal cultural terms renders Lord's results nearly useless. In seemingly a direct approach toward the amotivational syndrome problem Mendelson and Meyer (1972) placed 20 multiple drug-using males in a hospital setting for 31 days. During

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20 the entire period, the subjects were able to earn money for tobacco and marihuana by manipulating an operant press-bar. All subjects earned the maximum (an equivalent of $10 per day) during the smoking period, and so, no direct relationship between marihuana and decrease in work output was found. Miles suggests (1975) that the $10 per day limit may have been unrealistic, yielding an effect whereby even the least motivated subjects could complete the output maximum without discriminating the levels of achievement in the group. Also, the task at hand was so simple that it could not be impaired by marihuana consumption. Both of these arguments are legitimate, and they point out the limitations of over-simplified laboratory-style experiments such as these. The rewards to be had in the real world for industriousness are limited by factors that are very different from the artificial ceiling seen here. Practically all human tasks, even the most menial, are too complex to be represented adequately by press-bar performance. Miles et al. (1975) performed an experiment in a hospital setting which comes somewhat closer to replicating real world conditions than did the Mendelson and Meyer study. Six "healthy young marihuana smokers" were placed in a special laboratory situation for 70 days during which they were given a "job" that entailed the construction of wooden stools. The subjects were paid for piece work, and after the first week of the study, they took unanimous action to secure a "raise" in pay. Miles notes that during a 28-day period in the study

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21 when each subject was required to smoke 17 mg . of THC , production and savings declined. The subjects had begun to spend more time in passive entertainment, and they claimed that the compulsory smoking was impeding their work output. Nevertheless, when a further increase in the piecework rate was instituted, production increased dramatically in spite of the continued compulsory marihuana smoking. Miles also notes with regard to the amotivational syndrome that efficiency was not altered even when production had dropped. That is, the subjects produced stools at the same rate per unit of working time during the period of low productivity, but they spent less time working until their wages were increased. He also found that, contrary to the Williams (1946) findings, the carefully monitored behavior of the subject group indicated no change in personal hygiene activities during the experimental period, and no increase in sleep time. Even though this laboratory study comes much closer than its predecessors to simulating a real world situation, it still fails to reflect several important factors which must be assessed adequately in order to make a definitive statement concerning amotivational syndrome. A short-term study of 70 days cannot yield conclusions about the consequences of a lifetime of smoking marihuana, because performance findings, no matter how closely-monitored, do not reflect how steadily an individual has worked during his lifetime, nor how faithfully he fulfills his other social obligations. Enthusiasm for a new job could account for the rises in production during so brief a period. Nevertheless, Miles'

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22 et al . results hint that perhaps users who are smoking moderate amounts of Cannabis can function adequately and even show signs of motivation while under a daily smoking regimen. Several other authors have presented clinical-style reports of their research on marihuana use which will be encapsulated below. David Kupfer (1973) did an out-patient clinical study of a small number of light marihuana smokers in which some psychological testing was administered. His most important conclusion regarding amotivational syndrome is that depression due to passage through a life crisis is an important factor among patients exhibiting symptoms of that syndrome (1322). Based on clinical examination alone of five marihuana users, John Thurlow (1971) offers three hypotheses for future consideration and research: 1) That lack of initiative is a long-term effect of Cannabis use, 2) That other drugs used to adulterate marihuana caused this lack of initiative, 3) That the connection between amotivational state and drug use is coincidental (182). Hendin (1973) bases his article on clinical examination of 15 marihuana using students, finding that the student population examined uses marihuana to curb aggression, or, in his own words, a "surcease from competition" (270). Allen and West (1968) write of their experience manning a clinic in the Haight-Ashbury district, and they warn that chronic use of marihuana could lead to "apathy, enervation, and psychological immobilization" (125). R. A. Shellow (1973) finds that the chronically "stoned" person can be depressive in

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23 character, with intolerance to pain and frustration, basing his conclusion on limited clinical experience with chronic users (32) . The clinical treatises on amotivational syndrome which have been reviewed in the preceding pages encompass two basic kinds of Cannabis research experience. The first, exemplified by Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), and the Chopras (1942, 1957, 1969, 1971) involves long experience with Cannabis users in mental institutions. The second, as in the work of. Miles, et al. (1975), and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) involves relatively short-term clinical contact with users in an experimental setting. Some clinicians, particularly Kolansky and Moore (1971, 1972, 1975) are willing to state that Cannabis use is a direct cause of the apathy, loss of productivity, decrease of intellectual ability, and moodiness and irritability which they have observed among chronic marihuana users. Others, including Walsh (1894), Warnock (1903), Asuni (1964), and the Chopras (1942, 1957, 1969, 1971) prefer to allow for consideration of other psychological and cultural factors in determining the etiology of the aberrant behavior observed. Still other clinical researchers, such as Miles, et al. (1975) and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) do not observe the aberrant behavior noted by other clinically-oriented researchers. Clinical observations have listed and corroborated several behavioral attributes of amotivational syndrome which deserve further attention. Apathy, lack of energy, loss of productivity, decrease in intellectual abilities, moodiness

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24 and irritability, sloth and disregard for personal hygiene, and dedication of all available resources toward Cannabis procurement all appear in clinical treatises on marihuana use. The work of the experimental authors makes an indirect contribution to further Cannabis use research by warning that drug use should be studied and assessed in its natural setting and in chronic, long-term forms in order to form valid conclusions about the impact of the drug use on the users' lives. Many experienced clinicians provide important perspectives on the cultural or psychological factors which impinge on the behavior of Cannabis users. All of these contributions will be carried into further analysis of the impact of Cannabis use on the individual's accommodation in society . Surveys and Quantitative Studies Methods for measuring the influence of long-term Cannabis use have often been quantitative in nature, especially in the study of users in the United States. McGlothlin, Rowan and Arnold (1970) managed to identify a sample of 51 adults who had tried marihuana during adolescence. The mean age of this group was 40, and their first experience with the drug took place at least nine and sometimes as many as 20 years before the beginning of the study. This group was broken down into those who did not continue marihuana use for a significant period of time and those who had continued use for a period of at least two years at a rate of at least two times a week (434). These groups of 29 and 22 subjects, respectively.

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25 were contacted by mail and interviewed for points of personal information. Several psychological scales including measures of sensation seeking and social desirability were administered. The authors found that the group which had experienced continued use of marihuana were much more unstructured and mercurial in their lifestyles than the other two groups (440) . The main indicators of this were in the frequent changes of work and residence. The chronic user group also showed a strong tendency to seek psychotropic states by other means, ranging from the practice of Zen Buddhism to heroin use. McGlothlin et al. recognize the difficulties in generalizing on the basis of this kind of sample. The method of procuring the sample immediately prejudiced it somewhat, since the subjects were recruited from a group that had been administered LSD either experimentally or therapeutically during the early sixties (433). Such a subject group did not form the kind of data base from which generalizations of any validity could be made about the ultimate consequences of chronic Cannabis use. Many were already psychiatric patients, and the rest had at least subjected themselves to administrations of LSD. Neither was there scientific control for problem drug use areas, such as alcoholism and other addictions. A much more reasonably conceived sample was procured by Robins, Darvish and Murphy (1970) in their follow-up quantitative study of lower class blacks in St. Louis. Choosing from public school rolls, they identified a sample which contained 146 non-users and 76 users of marihuana. This population

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26 was broken down further into those who used (or had used during adolescence) marihuana alone and those who participated (or had participated) in multiple drug use and finally, those who did not use marihuana at all. Using a personal interview and access to several varieties of public record, including police records, the authors made a comparison of the groups. They found that, even though the groups were matched for distribution of what they considered to be crucial home environment variables (presence of parents, father's job level, etc.) the user groups appeared to have performed less successfully in society than the non-user group. The users were less likely to have graduated from high school than the non-users (164). Users tended to achieve lower job levels than the non-users, whether or not they had dropped out of school (166). Arrest frequencies for non-drug related offenses were higher for the user groups. Robins et al. attempted to control for other factors which might have influenced the comparisons, first by matching the subject groups at their starting points as children, and then by controlling for varieties of drug use history. The problem with the first controlling strategy is that the situations described by the school records which were used for matching purposes may have changed radically by the time these children reached adolescence, the time of drug use onset. The authors could not guarantee, or even be fairly certain, that the same home situation existed for their subjects as adolescents as did for their subjects as children. The

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27 second controlling strategy, for some reason, did not include alcohol among the psychotropics which the authors called "drugs," thereby removing from consideration a drug of known influence on social adjustment. If those with heavy drinking or alcoholic problems were compared with those who did not have such problems, the authors might also have found an equally striking difference between the two groups. Furthermore, when the user groups were re-distributed according to duration of marihuana use (those using fewer than five years and those using more than five years) there was not a clear-cut progression in the frequency of the social ills mentioned earlier. Some variables such as number of arrests were more frequent for the group with less smoking experience than for those with more smoking experience (175). If there were a causal relationship between marihuana use and failure to graduate from high school or to secure a decent job, for example, then we might reasonably expect for those tendencies to increase with increased experience and dosage. This did not occur consistently when the authors tested for duration of use. Problems in control factors and causal statements thus mark the generalizeability of Robins, Darvish and Murphy's otherwise wellthought-out study. That use of control factors to eliminate possible nondrug influences on performance and productivity can yield other results, is shown in Mellinger, Somers , Davidson, and Manheimer's study of University of California students (1975). Robins, et al. found evidence supporting part of the .

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28 amotivational syndrome hypothesis by controlling for childhood home environment; Mellinger, et al. found evidence which rejected amotivational syndrome when they controlled for parents' level of education and several academic motivation variables. This study's methodology was relatively impersonal, relying on non-contact modes of data elicitation, especially mailed questionnaires which were self-administered. Even though the response rate was fairly high, thereby eliminating bias factors due to non-participation (12) such a method is problematic in other ways, such as definition of the relative levels of marihuana use and the use of other drugs. These levels are difficult to establish using direct observation and interview techniques; the chances are small indeed that a mailed questionnaire could achieve real accuracy on drug consumption questions. Still, Mellinger, et al. report that drug use of any kind could not be singled out as a significant factor in college drop-out rate (34). Much more important in predicting dropout rate were the predisposing factors of family background, relationships with parents in high school, and social values (35). The statistical reasoning in this study is very sound, and it is one of the few studies of amotivational syndrome that attempt to place the blame for poor performance or low motivation levels on the socialization process of the individual, rather than the use of a drug. The authors' arguments are robbed of impact by the comparative superficiality of their data-gathering procedures .

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29 Soueif (1967, 1971) has attempted by large-scale psychological testing of subject populations to establish the consequences of long term Cannabis use among Egyptian kif smokers. His first study in 1967 certainly is not lacking in rigor of test design or execution, utilizing a user population procured by means of key informants who led the researchers through networks of personal interaction to identify a subject population (6). In this way, Soueif had a stratified sample in a natural setting for his study purposes. The main data-, gathering instruments in Soueif 's study were interview schedules which underwent extensive and rigorous pre-administration testing for reliability and translation into colloquial Arabic. These schedules were administered to three different sample groups, one consisting of 204 urban hashish users from Cairo, another of 49 semi-urban and rural hashish users from upper Egypt, 115 controls from Cairo, and 40 controls from upper Egypt. The study provides a wide range of data, including some epidemiological inference on the extent of hashish consumption in Cairo, and relative popularity of the various methods of smoking the drug (7). Correlation coefficients of contingency were estimated for some of the data elicited-, and it was found that positive correlations appeared between monthly frequency of hashish use and the number of hours worked per day. The author hints at some negative correlation between quality of working conditions and amount of hashish consumed (8). He is unwilling to make a statement about the correlation between amount of hashish consumed and marital

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30 status, because of inconsistencies between urban and rural smokers in this regard. Soueif's statement on productivity is vague and difficult to interpret; he states that users claim lower quantity and quality of production while under the influence of hashish and he attempts to correlate it with specific cognitive and perceptual changes reported by the users. He found that a fairly high correlation could be estimated between productivity decline and disturbance in time perception, and also to distortion of auditory perception (10). Still, Soueif's work hovers very close to the question of amotivational syndrome without really addressing it. His research (1967) design and user population are both among the best to appear in the literature. Within the data gathered, he may even supply sufficient information to make a much more definitive statement on amotivational syndrome, but he does not go any further than to analyze the users' reports of acute effects of the drug on productivity. As we have already seen, this question is also in doubt. The interview schedule used with Soueif's subjects contains a section on family background and on work conditions, and these may have yielded some work history information for the purpose of studying chronic consequences of hashish use. For some reason, Soueif's discussion does not enter this area. Another Soueif study, completed in 1971, is less promising because of its use of a prison population, but still is impressive because of the size of the sample. The research involved nearly 1700 subjects, including users and controls (17). This

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31 time, both an interview schedule and a battery of largely non-verbal psychological tests were administered. The problem of amotivational syndrome was again side-stepped by Soueif, as he concentrated on comparing the results of the test battery, and on pointing out social behavior variation within the sub-groups of the user population. Nevertheless, Soueif does report one difference between user and control groups which might support part of the amotivational syndrome argument. He found that the users on the whole were slower learners than the controls (27) and that the controls scored consistently higher on the test battery which included digit span, tool matching, and other tests than did the users (28). One of the often-cited symptoms of amotivational syndrome is the inability to learn new material or to concentrate, so the results might be interpreted to exemplify this symptom in Soueif 's population. Sampling problems here may have prejudiced this particular study in favor of the non-users. Soueif specifies that the users were incarcerated exclusively for Cannabis-related violations (17). Since hashish smoking is a widespread, and often socially (if not governmentally ) accepted custom, the population of users from which the test population was drawn by the method of arrest may be assumed to be large. Perhaps the segment of the user population which at the time of the study was not incarcerated can be said to be more astute in avoiding detection than the segment in jail. This prejudice might not work to the same extent on the population of other

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32 criminals. For comparative purposes, it would be interesting to have administered the 1971 tests on the 1967 user sample. Two basic conclusions from Souief s work are of interest and concern regarding amotivational syndrome: first, that users consider their work output to be diminished while under the influence of hashish or craving for hashish (1967: 10) and second, that users seem to be slower learners than controls (1971: 27). The first conclusion disagrees with other research already cited (Miles et al . 1975; Mendelson and Meyer 1972) but is based on a much more solidly established user population and therefore must be taken seriously. The second may be due to sampling bias, but is worthy of further investigation. Other researchers who have used statistical analysis of psychological data to study the consequences of ongoing marihuana use are reviewed below. Mirin et al. (1971) did comparisons between heavy and casual users on the basis of a psychological test battery. They found that heavy users (not controlled for other drug use) tended to have higher scores on a hostility scale of a moods test, but otherwise no significant difference between the two groups in psychological test variables (57). Student users were the subjects in Hogan ' s study of marihuana use, and he found no significant differences among frequent users, occasional users and non-users in school performance , and only minor nuance differences in personality test scores (1970). Shean and Fechtman (1971), in a comparatively superficial attempt to study the relation

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33 between marihuana use and purpose in life, found that users scored lower on this test than do non-users. Composite and Field Research Tactics Some researchers have a composite research tactic to elicit several kinds of data on marihuana use. Hochman (1972) , for example, in addition to extensive clinical experience, used a large-scale questionnaire to investigate some of the consequences of marihuana use among students. A total of 2200 questionnaires were mailed out, which produced 64 percent response. Roughly 90 of the subjects eventually submitted to further interviews and testing. Hochman 's interpretation of his own results is possibly different from the interpretations that might have been given by Kolansky and Moore of the same research data. Users and non-users differed significantly in interruptions of their academic careers and frequency of job quitting because the job was "dull," and in indecision about long-range plans, but Hochman finds no evidence supporting amotivational syndrome. His reasons for this interpretation are that users and non-users do not differ in feelings of life direction, age of first job, number of jobs, age at marriage, number of times married, and number of times divorced. These are only "halfway point" results of a study which is not yet complete, so Hochman ' s statement are not final conclusions. Nevertheless, Hochman 's methods deserve further comment. The mailing technique in this case was favorably modified to include some face-to-face contact with some of

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34 the subjects, and, if the dosages reported by the users in the sample were accurate, it could conceivably yield acceptable results. The problem, as in the Mellinger et al. study, is that the author does not have enough assurance that the reported levels and varieties of drug are accurate. Hochman has taken the position that marihuana use in the North American subcultural context represents a new movement in social sensitivity, and perhaps a "buffer" against increased stress resulting from living in a fast-paced, urban environment (61). This position may at times supercede in importance the evidence produced by his studies. He argues that the users he has studied do not demonstrate the lassitude described by other researchers, but he does not convince the reader that he was dealing with a genuine chronic marihuana user. If they were in fact long-term users the job or academic instability and inability to make long-range plans remain questions of marihuana use that are difficult to answer on the basis of Hochman ' s research. An author who supplies some cross-cultural perspective using a mix of research tactics is T. A. Lambo of Nigeria (1965). He has used both clinical and survey methods of obtaining data on the consequences of marihuana use. He concludes that the cause-effect relationship between marihuana use and low productivity or poor social adjustment cannot be established on the basis of his research (9). As Warnock and Walsh before him, Lambo does not rule out the possibility

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35 of pre-existing psychological disorder in cases of mental illness among Cannabis users (9). His survey results show that crime. Cannabis use, absenteeism, and dismissal rate are parts of a larger complex of social problems often resulting from failure on the part of the individual to integrate his personality sufficiently to "get along" in a changing social environment (8). This concept, used by Hochman (1972: 61) to illustrate his own "buffer" view, is important in considering cultural settings of marihuana use other than the North American setting so prominent in the literature. Those areas where marihuana use is considered deviant would tend to have a population of socially marginal users, much like the ones described in Lambo ' s work. Hochman assumes that marihuana use in fact assuages the social pressures experienced by its users, an assumption which would be contested by Lambo. Lambo' s description of Nigerian patterns of marihuana use suggests that there exist among users several complementary factors which constribute to that use, including participation in a cultural ambience of societal raarginality. The signifi.cance of this concept will be amply illustrated in the description of Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use. Lambo also addresses another issue which is implicit in much of the research on the use of marihuana and other drugs. He doubts seriously that there exists in scientifically generalizable form a "drug using personality" archetype. "Drug use proneness" has been another way of wording this idea. Lambo does not see among the Nigerian marihuana smokers he has

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36 studied a set of personality characteristics which distinguish the people most likely to abuse drugs from those who are not (9). Sadava (1973) came to a similar conclusion in a longitudinal study of college freshmen when he recognized that personality scale characteristics alone failed to predict adequately whether or not an individual would end up using drugs. He found that social environment also played an important part in this outcome. The study of amotivational syndrome's validity leads to this question of the personality which is predisposed to drug use. If there exist in the individual drug user's personality certain elements or characteristics which make him prone to use drugs, then these characteristics may be part of a configuration which includes the tendency to show amotivational syndrome symptoms. The question of "which came first?" is partially answered by Lambo and Sadava when they suggest that beginning and continuing drug use often depends heavily on conditions of social nurturance of that use. Becker (1953) in a pioneering study of the process of becoming a marihuana user, describes these conditions as he negates the drug use proneness hypothesis (236). The central message of Becker's study is that the people who instruct the prospective user in Cannabis use must successfully redefine the novice's first experience for him in good or beneficial terms, regardless of his own first impression of that experience (240). If this does not happen, the novice is much less likely to continue to smoke marihuana. With this principal in mind, the drug use proneness hypothesis becomes

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37 less credible for marihuana smokers, and the question of amotivational syndrome cannot be applied to this hypothesis. Re-stated in cultural rather than purely psychological terms, drug use proneness may still be useful as a concept, although its definition would become infinitely more complex than the previous one. The recently completed study of chronic marihuana users in Jamaica (Rubin and Comitas 1975) also utilized a variety of approaches to deal with the consequences of long term Cannabis use, including psychological and medical testing and extensive socio-cultural research. Beaubrun and Knight (1973) state in an article based on the Jamaican research that a comparison of 30 users' work histories with those of 30 matched non-users showed no difference between the two groups (311) . They go on to suggest that perhaps the lowerclass level of workers used in their study did not yield the same results as would white-collar workers, whose complex work tasks would be more affected by the drug than the tasks of simple day-laborers, Beaubrun and Knight indicate that they are not very familiar with the daily work schedules of their subjects, who were hospitalized especially for the testing period. This kind of perspective on the work habits of the subjects would have been useful to add depth to the conclusions of this phase of the Jamaican study. Bowman and Pihl (1973) administered projective technique formats to a sample of rural Jamaican users and non-users (Beaubrun and Knight's sample was both urban and rural) also

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38 in connection with the Jamaica study of chronic Cannabis use. No essential difference was noted by the authors between users and non-users, underlining the normality of ganja smoking in Jamaica. Bowman and Pihl found also that the users were able to compensate behaviorally for the effects of the drug at increased dosages (169) . The most unusual branch of the Rubin and Comitas study was the videotape sociocultural study on work, efficiency and Cannabis use done by Schaeffer. Carefully measuring amounts of food and Cannabis consumed by rural agricultural workers , and analyzing the videotapes of work party activity for kinetic efficiency and speed, Schaeffer was able to determine that workers under the influence of marihuana were working less rapidly than when not smoking marihuana. The degree to which wot. r, -^peed was reduced seemed to vary directly with the heaviness of the dose. Users justified this drop in speed by saying that their work was more thorough when under the influence of marihuana. The tapes reveal that workers after smoking performed significantly more movements per minute, even though their work progressed more slowly. Nevertheless, Schaeffer found that these significant differences were outweighed by the social importance of smoking Cannabis together in a work party. Obviously, the Jamaican marihuana smoker's approach to use of that drug is very different from the essentially recreational approach of the North American user. Schaeffer found that the drug does, in fact, reduce working speed, but it is regarded by the workers as necessary to do

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39 the job correctly and to maintaining a harmonious work group. The latter values are so important that they eclipse the former objective disadvantage. Schaeffer also found that in the course of the yearly round of cultivating activities, the difference in work speed caused by the Cannabis could not otherwise go toward increased production because of the limited landholdings of the farmers studied. In the present situation, time that might have been saved by not smoking ganja on the job would not have a productive outlet because of limited land resources. These findings confirm the idea that Cannabis and work can mix in some situations. Even so, the tasks performed by the farm workers are rudimentary, and such conclusions may not apply to an urban environment, where worker's tasks are often more complex. Further evidence regarding the urban user and his work is provided by the Costa Rican study on chronic marihuana use. Overview Authors Some treatises on Cannabis use are written by authors who have not conducted original research themselves, but draw from the results of several researchers to synthesize their own insights on the use of that drug. The following segment of this review of the literature covers some of the authors who have had something to say about amotivational syndrome . Anecdotal descriptions of long term marihuana users , appeared often in the volumes of the India Hemp Commission's

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40 (1893) massive inquiry, but as the evidence was carefully weighed, the Commission could not attribute directly to Cannabis use any of the dire consequences described by their witnesses. More recently, in the avalanche of publications on marihuana and marihuana users, authors still employ the ancedotal case as an illustration. Kaplan (1970) provides the example of Bill, the marihuana smoking mailman: If you were to follow Bill around on his job, it would be difficult if not impossible to discover if he was stoned. He walks steadily and talks coherently — he controls his high. Two things might give him away: he looks a little blank in the eyes and he tends to stare at a bird, a tree, a crack in the sidewalk a bit too long. Just for a second, he is not quite there (166). The rest of this passage depicts a successful adaptation of daily marihuana use to a working lifestyle, but such descriptions must be couched in a broad data base of established validity before they can be accepted as generalizable to some population of marihuana users. The body of data provided for Kaplan by G. Lewis Scott is not sufficiently analyzed to justify this anecdote. Even more unsatisfactory because of its source and its inflammatory nature is a letter from the mother of an 18-yearold dropout cited by Bloomquist (1971) : As a mother of an eighteen-year-old boy charged with possession of marihuana, I most emphatically say that I do not need scientific proof to see what damage it can do. I watched my son travel the typical road to ruin. . . from a student who enjoyed music, drama, and sports to a useless filthy college dropout with no other aim in life than to live in a carefree dream of distortion. He went all the way . ... loss of appetite, long deep sleeps after the drug wore off, short attention

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41 span, poor memory, inability to read, talk, or even communicate for more than a few minutes. His continued defiance is a definite hindrance to his return to normal, as he had come to enjoy it so much (160) . It is unfortunate than anecdotes such as this find their way into print much more often than do objective scientific statements. Testimony of the family members can be usefulin analyzing the social outcomes of marihuana use, but this testimony cannot be accepted as it appears above in a definitive causal statement. Other authors attempting to present an overview of marihuana use avoid the anecdotal description of the individual user. Grinspoon (1971) uses anecdotal material, but only to illustrate points about subjective effects reported by historical and literary figures, and never to depict lifestyles of users. Goode (1970) devotes a chapter to the profile of the North American user, also avoiding the anecdotal account of user lifestyle by dividing the profile into discreet factors such as age, sex, religion, education, etc. Both of these authors are skeptical about the validity of amotivational syndrome, because of subcultural differences between the user groups they have studied and the rest of North American society (Goode 1972: 92-93; Grinspoon 1971: 289) . A conference at UCLA in which various marihuana researchers on that campus participated, including two of the inventors of the term amotivational syndrome, produced some statements on marihuana and its use. Louis Jolyon West, while at the

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42 same time arguing against the existing marihuana laws, made this statement: . . . But the experienced clinician observes in many of these individuals personality changes which seem to grow subtly over long periods of time : diminished drive, lessened ambition, decreased motivation, apathy, shortened attention span, distractability , poor judgment, impaired communication skills, loss of effectiveness, introversion, magical thinking, derealization and depersonalization, diminished capacity to carry out complex plans or prepare realistically for the future, a peculiar fragmentation in the flow of thought, habit deterioration and progressive loss of insight (Brill, et al. 1970: 461). Clinical impressions such as these form a qualitative symptomology of amotivational syndrome much like the ones seen in other works, but West is careful to say that he does not consider his work to be definitive on the subject, pointing out that further study of chronic marihuana use is needed. The summary statement of the conference concentrated on West's observations, but also presented Hochman's social evolution theory of marihuana use among middle-class youth in the United States. Here, the clinical and mixed statistical approaches of marihuana research are juxtaposed, with the former attracting somewhat more attention than the latter. Another overview article worthy of some attention is Bindelglas' "Conclusive Evidence and Marihuana" (1973). He gives the testimony of non-Western clinical experts considerable weight as he outlines a symptomology of amotivational syndrome. The main symptoms of this condition, according to Bindelglas, are "loss of interest and drive, sense of apathy and tiredness, often accompanied by an unhappy, discontented

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43 mood" (53), Along with these symptoms, Bindelglas enumerates a number of "other clinical signs" including subtle decrease in the ability to organize and to integrate multiple ideas, impairment of the ability to develop new ideas and to think creatively, gradual impairment of ability to discuss abstract thought seriously, and deterioration of conversation (53). This constellation of symptoms and "clinical signs" was culled from West (1970) , McGlothlin and West (1968) , Kolansky and Moore (1972), Bouquet (1951) and Benbud . (1957 ) . All of these are decidedly clinical sources, but their combined corroborative symptomologies help to remove some of the qualitative and impressionistic aura which the individual studies cannot avoid. Rathod (1975) criticizes clinical reports which, either singly or in combination, attempt to present marihuana as a cause of aberrant behavior because the clinicians often begin with the presupposition that the claimed use of Cannabis on the part of the patient is valid, and that it is the only drug involved (96). Even though, as Bindelglas points out, all of the clinicians corroborate each other, they may have started their chain of inference on the very shaky footing of assuming that marihuana was the only drug used by their patients . Brecher , in an article written for Consumer Reports (1975), reviews some of the latest research on marihuana, including recent statements on amotivational syndrome by Kolansky and Moore (1975) and Nahas (1975). Citing Schaeffer's Jamaican research, he suggests that the term for discussion should

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44 be "motivational syndrome," since those results show marihuana use to be a necessary ingredient in the work party situation (146). This comment may seem almost flippant, but it successfully expresses the need for some degree of cultural relativism in the discussion of amotivational syndrome. The cultural values which the Jamaicans connect with marihuana smoking must be very different from those of North American users who find difficulty working at all under the influence of the drug. Variations in the values attached to marihuana smoking should be an important consideration in the study of amotivational syndrome. Among the authors who survey the literature on marihuana use. Trice and Roman (1972) have by far the most to say about the relationship between marihuana and work. They introduce their discussion by describing the difficulties in obtaining truly objective information on this particular drug because of the "armed camp" division between the proand the contramarihuana researchers (50) . The lack of research on the influence of marihuana on quality control in industry has been, according to the authors, a major handicap in assessing the relationship between that drug and work patterns (139). From the evidence now available, they surmise that an experienced user is not likely to have problems in compensating for the acute effects of marihuana on the job (145). Absenteeism is a possible detriment to the users' work performance due to physical disorders, such as head colds, which seem to accompany marihuana use (138). An on-the-job difficulty encountered by

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45 by users is the energy expenditure necessary to conceal the smoking process itself (134). On the whole. Trice and Roman do not consider moderate marihuana use to be a problem for the worker of any greater or lesser magnitude than that of moderate alcohol use (62) . Synthesis of the Existing Literature In this review of the literature on amotivational syndrome, we have examined a wide variety of research strategies with samples ranging from tiny hospitalized samples of six people (Williams, et al. 1946) to 1700 in Soueif's prison sample (1971) Many of the clinical studies concluded that they have detected a degree of organic toxicity manifested in the amotivational syndrome which is a consequence of chronic marihuana use (West 1970; Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Chopra 1942; Warnock 1903). Others (Walsh 1894; Lambo 1965; Kupfer 1973; Thurlow 1971) looked for explanations other than Cannabis use for observed symptoms. The authors of the closed environment hospital studies (Mendelson and Meyers 1972; Miles 1975; Williams, et al. 1946) were not totally in agreement on their findings, but they considered marihuana not to produce lasting symptoms of amotivational syndrome among users. Large-scale studies often found that Cannabis use alone could not be blamed for the symptoms of amotivational syndrome among users (Mellinger, et al. 1975; Rubin and Comitas 1975; Hochman 1972; Hogan 1970). However, Soueif (1967, 1971) found some evidence that might be construed as supporting amotivational syndrome

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46 among Egyptian Cannabis users, and Robins, et al. (1970) argued with some success that black adults who use Cannabis during adolescence tended to have problems in adulthood which could be attributable to their history of Cannabis use. Researchers of all types were finding evidence supporting amotivational syndrome and evidence refuting it, both with equal frequency. Overview writers on marihuana also expressed both points of view regarding amotivational syndrome. Goode (1971), Grinspoon (1971) , Barber (1970) , Trice and Roman (1972) , Rubin and Comitas (1973) , and Kaplan (1970) all considered amotivational syndrome to be a part of a larger set of symptoms that are not necessarily caused by marihuana use. Bindelglas (1973) , McGlothlin and West (1968) , Bloomquist (1971) and Smith (1970) interpreted the evidence in favor of marihuana as a causative agent for amotivational syndrome. The behavioral attributes listed below are derived from many authors' research and thinking on the characteristics of amotivational syndrome. Not all of the behavioral attributes in all of the discussed works are included in this list. It is rather a distillation of all of the attributes which have sufficient corroboration throughout the literature to justify inclusion in a master list. If this list has any cross-cultural applicability, then the Costa Rican evidence will corroborate its behavioral attributes still further. Confirming the existence of the same attributes in a different cultural setting would support the hypothesis that Cannabis

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47 use is a cause of those attributes. The behavioral attributes of the amotivational syndrome as they appear in the existing literature are the following: 1) loss of interest and general apathy and passivity (Bindelglas 1973; Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; McGlothlin and West 1968; Brill, et al. 1970; Smith 1970), 2) Loss of desire to work or maintain business, loss of productivity (Walsh 1894; McGlothlin and West 1968; Brill, et al. 1970; Smith 1970; Soueif 1967; Robbins, et al. 1970), 3) Loss of energy, general state of tiredness (Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Brill, et al. 1970; Bindelglas 1973), 4) Depressed, moody state of mind, inability to handle frustration (Kolansky and Moore 1971, 1972, 1975; Bindelglas 1973; Smith 1970; Walsh 1894; Brill, et al. 1970), 5) Inability to concentrate, decrease in ability to master new material or organize multiple ideas, and impairment of verbal facility (McGlothlin and West 1968; Bindelglas 1973; Soueif 1971; Bloomquist 1970), 6) Slovenliness in habits and appearance, including hygiene deterioration (Walsh 1894; Kolansky and Moore 1972; Williams, et al. 1946; Smith 1970), 7) Dedication of all available resources to procuring more Cannabis (Warnock 1903; Kolansky and Moore 1972; Smith 1970). Inability to make long-range plans and carry them out was not included in this list of attributes, because it is not necessarily absent among individuals who otherwise show a high level of achievement. Many presidents of the United States might be accused of suffering this same "disorder . "

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48 01 o a; i E M I 1/1 CO I c •M O O -rC 4-> =! « O 4-" -o ,— -^ 01 E 1/1 — n3 C .— U1 N(O c o • — c < —

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49 The authors and researchers who refute amotivational syndrome also contribute valuable perspectives for the researcher who would investigate this complex of phenomena. Grinspoon (1969), Goode (1970, 1972), Barber (1970, Hochman (1972), Mellinger et al . (1975), Brecher (1974) and Rubin and Comitas (1973) unanimously warn that cultural factors including multiple drug use and values of the sub-cultural group with which marihuana use is connected may cloud the cause and effect relationship between amotivational syndrome and marihuana use. Miles (1975) and Mendelson and Meyer (1972) suggest that dosage levels should be well checked and behavior observed closely. They also suspect that experienced users can compensate for the effects of marihuana while performing everyday tasks. Rathod (1975) recommends more field work in order to avoid the errors common to clinical investigations of such questions. In Table 2 , the prominent researchers in Cannabis who have dealt with amotivational syndrome and related phenomena are cross-tabulated with positive features of the various Cannabis research efforts to date. The material tabulated here shows that relatively few research designs employ more than four of the six features. All of these features have been noted as beneficial to the purpose of developing a balanced perspective on Cannabis use during the preceding reviews of individual studies. For example, the knowledge that the researchers are in fact dealing with true chronic users for whom other kinds of drug use was controlled

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50 strengthens their inferences accordingly, as in the Mellinger et al . study. On the other hand, McGlothlin's (1970) sample selection procedure weakens his final conclusions by not controlling adequately for LSD use. Dosage documentation is an important weakness in many of the studies shown in Table 2, as is knowledge of cultural Cannabis use patterns. When the Cannabis researchers do not demonstrate an adequate grasp of these two basic points of information, they have difficulty making their conclusions convincing . One of the most striking gaps in the accumulating body of knowledge on Cannabis use is the lack of studies on noninstitutionalized populations. Of the 17 researchers cited here, only six deal with Cannabis users in their natural settings. The others have based their inferences on study of prison inmates, psychiatric hospital patients, or users in other special clinical settings. Availability of medical and basic personal data on the user samples is a relatively strong design feature in most of the research cited in Table 2. Nevertheless, these studies suffer generally from a lack of supporting evidence with which to rule out other influencing factors. Kolansky and Moore's intensive clinical study, for this reason, can be dismissed too easily because of their not being able to specify whether or not their subjects were "stoned" during clinical sessions (cf. Chapter 1). Even the Jamaica study (Rubin and Comitas 1975) which pioneered new socio-cultural approaches to the

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51 study of Cannabis use, is diffuse with regard to the various rural and urban ganja smokers who were tested medically and psychologically and studied anthropologically. At the bottom of Table 2, the Costa Rican study of chronic, long term Cannabis use is included and evaluated. Not only is this the first study of its kind to include so many different kinds of intensive data gathering on such a large user sample and their rigorously matched controls, but it is the only Cannabis use study to gather all of these different kinds of data on the same set of subjects. For any given individual in the matched pair sample the study files contain the results of a basic physical exam and lab work-up, chest X-rays, EKG, intensive visual function studies, lung function studies, a medical history, basic personal information, sleep pattern information, psychological testing results for motor function, intellectual function, personality, and attitudes, and an average of 150 pages of transcribed life history materials. Inferences based on this wide range of information are likely to be stronger than those based on only one or two varieties of information. With the above data base at the disposal of the researcher, verification or rejection of amotivational syndrome's specific attributes should be possible in an almost definitive sense. The chapters which follow will utilize the body of data gathered during the two years of research on chornic marihuana use in Costa Rica directed by Carter, Coggins , and Doughty.

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52 In order to establish the relationship between the Costa Rican setting of the chronic marihuana study and the data which will be analyzed, we shall begin in Chapter II with a description of the urban environment from which the subject population came, followed by a description of the subject selection process. Patterns and levels of Cannabis consumption will then be provided to document the subjects' status as chronic users. A systematic study of subjective effects of marihuana use will provide a heuristic means of determining the impact of that use on the lives of the users. Once this background and development materials have been presented, the relationship between marihuana use and the specific behavioral attributes: apathy, loss of productivity, lethargy, irritability, decrease of intellectual abilities, slovenliness, and dedication of all available resources to Cannabis procurement, may be examined for applicability to the Costa Rican case. An entire chapter will be devoted to the impact of marihuana use in the life cycle, dealing specifically with the presence or absence of "loss of desire to maintain business, loss of productivity" among the users when compared with a closely-matched non-user group. Because it causes the most concern for the individual's adjustment in society, work and school performance and life history data will be used to assess this particular aspect of amotivational syndrome for the Costa Rican case.

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53 "Loss of energy and tiredness" as well as "apathy and passivity" will be compared to the Costa Rican research evidence using socio-cultural data and also interpretation of personality measures administered to the sample group by the psychological investigators on the transdisciplinary research team. "Depression, and moodiness" will be discussed in light of psychological and socio-cultural data on the subject sample, combined with some natural history-style observations. The psychological battery administered to the sample of Costa Rican users provides ample evidence for the assessment of "inability to concentrate, memory loss, and decrease in verbal ability." This will be combined with some sociocultural data and individual user testimony. The discussion of "slovenliness" as an attribute of amotivational syndrome will bring in testimony by field staff other than the anthropologists, as socio-cultural data. "Dedication of all available resources to procuring more Cannabis" will be tested against the Costa Rican evidence field staff testimony, sociocultural data from the life history materials, and natural history observations.

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CHAPTER II THE URBAN SETTING OF THE STUDY San Josd occupies the gently undulating space between two rivers, the Virilla to the north and the Maria Aquilar to the south, which cut through the central intramontain valley of Costa Rica. This rain-soaked valley, called the me seta central , is the home of 55 percent of the Costa Rican population. The original handful of Spanish settlers v/ho came to Costa Rica beginning in 1561 were attracted to the rich soils of the region, as well as its temperate climate. Nevertheless, Spanish colonial interest in Costa Rica was not great, and the white population there did not attain 8000 by 1750 (Stone, 1975; 55). Costa Rica's rate of growth remained slow during and after the colonial period. San Jose's population in 1864 v/as still only 9000, even though coffee had begun to take hold as a major cash crop, and some efforts had been made to maintain contact with the international coffee markets (Stone, 1975; 82-87). International coffee trade was eventually an influential factor in San Jose's accelerated growth during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is little cartographic record of the patterns of urban growth during the earliest stages of San Jose's history, but the history is clear enough to indicate that the early 54

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55 settlement which later became the city began small and grew very slowly. The hamlet of San Josd" was founded in 17 37 when its population was only a handful of families (Academia de Geografia e Historia, 1952). At that time, it occupied little more than the central hill on which are now found the Central Park, the National Cathedral, the National Bank, and the Union Club. The spurts of growth which brought big city status to this country village are relatively recent in the city's history. The population is still becoming accustomed to that status . The local pattern of addresses and directions reflects the recentness of San Jose's transition into urban importance. Natives of the city, who will be called Josef inos for the sake of brevity, use a system of directions which resembles that of a country town. The system uses known points of reference from which the inquiring party is instructed to measure approximate distances in the direction of one of the four co-ordinates of the compass. In order to find a house in barrio Mexico , for example, a Josef ino will tell you to go 200 varas (one vara is 33 inches) to the north of the barrio church and 25 varas east. This system is such a pervasive survival that mail and other deliveries are still made according to varas (or in deference to metric internationalism, in meters; which for direction purposes are used interchangeably) . A Josef ino is usually hard-pressed to give directions to an address across town to a stranger who does not know the local points of reference, using his momentary position as a reference

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56 point. Neighborhood points of reference sometimes retain their original place names for direction purposes long after they have disappeared. Thus, the "old library," although still used as a reference point, is now a large parking lot. The township ( municipalidad ) of San Jose was officially chartered in 1848, more than a century after the hamlet v/as established. Forty-four years later in 1892, one of the first censuses of good quality in Costa Rica recorded the population of the city as less than 20,000 (Direccidn General de Estad-. istica, 1974; XIX) . San Jose's first major growth spurt took place during the 1920 's, reflected in a 1927 census figure of 89,000 population for the metropolitan area (Cuevas 1973: 5). New lower-class settlement spread to the south of the central business and residential districts. These southern barrios extended to, and across, the banks of the Maria Aguilar River. Their population developed a reputation for marihuana use which became important to our earliest attempts to identify a group of chronic users. A second growth spurt took place in San Jos^ during the late thirties and early forties, resulting in the expansion of outlying towns to the south and east of central San Jose, and doubling the 1927 metropolitan area population by 1950 (Cuevas 1973: 5). Many of the users and non users who entered the marihuana study during its later stages came from these outlying zones. Present-day San Jose has a metropolitan area population of 436,862, according to the 1973 Census (Cuevas 1973: 7).

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57 It is the center of a cluster of nearly-continguous cities and towns with a total population of nearly 700,000. In a very direct sense, San Jose is the hub of governmental, industrial, and commercial activity for the busiest and most populous zone of Costa Rica. Roads from fair to excellent in quality connect the central metropolitan area to the major surrounding towns, none of which is more than twenty miles distant. Buses from all over the country roll into San Jose bringing people who must carry out their various transactions with the market or the government there. Bus service to the city center from other parts of the immediate metropolitan area and its satellite cities is regular and affordable. In fact, all bus service leads ultimately to San Jose, and no destination is important enough to bypass that central hub. There is no direct bus communication, for example, between Heredia and Cartago, the third and second-largest cities in Costa Rica. Even within the metropolitan area, all bus routes lead to the city center, with no direct intercommunication among outlying areas unless they lie along a single bus route, Public railroad lines also terminate and originate in the capital's center. Transportation, then, is very centralized in San Jose, and this gives the city an extremely dense concentration of social interaction in its main business district. Central San Jose crackles with vigorous commercial activity and the administration of governmental services.

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58 Banks and large department stores dominate the area immediately north of the central park. West of this shopping area, the large markets dealing in wholesale and retail farm products and cheap consumer goods cram the streets with commercial activity. Hotels and government ministerial buildings are the most imposing architectural features of the southern and eastern sectors of the city, and three major government-run hospitals occupy the area due west of the central park. Little industry is in evidence in downtown San Jose, but the architecturally dominant buildings reflect the importance of this central area in the daily lives of the inhabitants not only of the metropolitan area, but of the entire meseta central . One must come to the city center for a driver's license, to buy a money order, to hospitalize a sick child or to get a health certificate or a VD injection. One should go to the city center in order to get the best price on avocadoes or fabrics or ready-made clothes. Hard-bound books are sold only in downtown San Josd". Small businesses and residences occupy the spaces between the more imposing structures in the downtov/n area. Shops, bars, and restaurants present a jumble of storefronts on the busiest streets in the main shopping zone to the North. The market zone to the northwest is interspersed with shops of lower quality as well as cheap boarding houses and hotels. Here also are numerous handcraft shops where tailoring, shoemaking, and myriad repair services are performed by artisans who may live in the back of the shop. The southwest sector

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59 of the city has a high concentration of low-life bars and brothels, mingled with residences and more artisan shops and artisan supply stores. The northeast and southeast sectors of San Jose are the most residential, the former containing some very upper-class housing, and the latter mainly middle-class housing with some artisan shops, bars and restaurants. All of these zones exist within a radius of one mile from the central park. San Jose's downtown area is the single most important feature of the city for the purpose of studying marihuana use. The reasons for this are twofold. First, as was intimated earlier in the description of transportation networks and centralization of institutional and communication functions, the downtown area is a communication switching point with connections to all parts of the metropolitan area and ultimately the entire country. Messages left with key people in the city arrive reliably to recipients in the penitentiary, any outlying residential neighborhood, and in one case, even in the port city of Limon, 100 miles away. Second, the downtown area of San Jose is important because its intense activity has spawned a group of what are often called "street people," who manage to make a living providing marginal services for, or swindling or stealing from the hordes of people who transact their business in San Jose each day. "Street people" is a phrase often used to describe hippie-like vagrants who often populate college towns (Partridge, 1973), but they bear little resemblance to the

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60 street people of San Jose. The gently predatory urban denizen, whom Ramos (1956) calls the "urban sub-proletarian" occupies himself in San Josd" shining shoes, "guarding" automobiles, perpetrating minor gambling frauds, or committing petty larceny. Often, a street person will engage in more than one of these occupations concurrently. Such individuals have a wide range of acquaintances in the city, and they are often key figures in informal communications network among fellow "urban subproletarians." They are also marginal to "decent" Josef ino society, and this quality makes them more immediately accessible to anthropological research. The openness of the street people has well-defined limits, and getting to know them takes as long as for any other individuals in the subject sample. Nevertheless, they were the first to give our study team any idea that a chronic marihuana using population existed in San Josd'. Further description of this fascinating group of inner city inhabitants will be offered later, including its crucial effect on the intiation of chronic marihuana use. Living in San Jos^ and its environs is a constant exercise in maintaining social distance. Even though dv/ellings are almost always contiguous, the city's inhabitants do not always associate with their immediate neighbors, and they often prefer to keep interaction on a formal and superficial level with the family or individual next door (Rodrxguez-Vega 1953: 29). Despite the fact that Josefina families usually share their neighbors' business involuntarily because of thin walls, they prefer to form their strong social relations with people known

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61 through family ties or other formal and informal associations. Interviews with Costa Rican city dwellers in the study sample showed that many desired a house v/ith a private entrance where they could "live tranquilly" (True 1976a: III-ll) . This ideal living situation is seldom attained by Josef inos, so they must maintain social distance in other ways. Private houses in the city center and in the residential barrios characteristically have a narrow front four to six meters wide. The living space in these houses comprises a single story which extends back from the entrance toward the middle of the city block, ending in a garden or patio for laundry purposes. Such a house may be occupied by one family, or up to four different nuclear families. With similar structures and living situations on either side of the house, and only thin walls separating them, city dv/ellers cannot expect to maintain a high degree of privacy. Contiguous neighbors in San Jos^ seem to compensate for this problem by maintenance of social distance. They hear, but do not listen to, the affairs of their neighbors. It was found during early surveystyle work in one residential barrio that people living next door to each other are likely to know less about each other than a door-to-door interviewer can find out in a brief interview. Maintenance of social distance in this way protects the individual's sense of privacy in a crowded situation. Those neighbors in San Jose who demonstrate a tendency to pay attention to their neighbor's business are called disparagingly vino, which has the same sense as voyeur , and is

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62 considered little better than the samolecTn , or "peeping torn." Propinquity, then, and a sense of community with one's neighbors cannot be considered realistically to form an important part of the social fabric for urban life in San Jose. Most Josef inos attach more importance to alternative frameworks for social interaction, specifically, family ties and informal personalistic associations. In either of these frameworks, the individual associates with others because he has chosen to do so, rather than being forced into social relations by virtue of some accident of rental rates or nearness to work locations. Family ties seem to center on the individual's parents among Josef inos, and sibling ties are less emphasized. The individuals who participated in the chronic marihuana study testified that the strength of the bond between mother and son is particularly strong. More than half of those questioned in the final sample indicated that they preferred their mothers over their fathers, compared v/ith 13 percent who preferred their fathers and 21 percent who liked both parents equally. Costa Rican mothers react negatively to spatial separation from their sons, and many of our subjects reported that their mothers were plunged into a deep depression by their final departure from the parental household. Some Costa Rican sons maintain daily contact with their mothers even though they live on opposite sides of town. Informal associations may be formed among Josefinos in a wide variety of ways. Workshop companions are often included

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63 in an individual's circle of friends and acquaintances. The clientele of a favorite bar or pool hall may also provide lasting friendships and social contacts. Some informal social ties are the product of going through grammar school or reformatory together. Still others are formed in the course of trying to deal with institutional structures such as the social registry or the courts which are too complex or otherwise impenetrable to handle without the benefit of such associations. The individual city dweller in San Jose uses his familial and informal social relations as part of his strategy to cope with an urban environment laden with intimidating impersonal agencies and intrusive stimuli. Wolf (1956) writes that the anthropologist's job in an urban setting is to study human behavior in the intersticial realms between institutional structures. This concept applies very well to the situation of urban Costa Ricans. San Josd' is the center for the institutional activity in Costa Rica, and as a result, institutional transactions take place in bewilderingly large-scale settings. A person who approaches such transactions on a totally impersonal level is likely to be faced with endless queues, confusing and seemingly contradictory instructions, continuous retracing of steps, and ultimately a low likelihood of success. However, if he has a cousin who is a bank teller, or an old schoolmate who works in the Ministry of Transportation, he utilizes these social ties to facilitate the taking out of a loan or the renewal of a driver's license. Even a person who has no

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64 direct familial or personalistic ties with the institution in question may have recourse to a friend who has friends or family in helpful positions. In this way, the establishment and maintenance of informal social relations is important to the relative success with which the Josefino manages his affairs in an environment dominated by large institutions. Wolf aptly named the task of the anthropological team in Costa Rica, because informal association networks were important urban features which eventually led us to find a group of long-term marihuana users. Among even the most deviant segments of Josefino society, personalistic social networks form the medium through which their participants deal with the institutions that impinge on their lives. In the case of the street people, their informal associations are at best poorly connected with important institutions, and they depend on the internal cohesiveness of their networks for effectiveness. For example, some participants in a street network are regularly picked up by police for "vagrancy." When this happens, the prisoner sends word through the network that he needs someone to sign an affidavit to certify that he is not a vagrant. A participant in the same network with sufficient respectability to sign the affidavit is then summoned to the courthouse for this purpose. The research team found that a wide variety of cheap legal services could be obtained by participating in one particular system of informal association among street people. Participants in such systems often bemoan the fate that led them to associate with such "bad

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65 company," but they exploit their networks constantly. Responses to living in San Jose confuse the interpretation of Redfield's (1947) folk-urban hypothesis. San Jos€ is the center of activity for all of Costa Rica's large institutions, which operate ostensibly on an impersonal basis, and this is in keeping with the concept presented in the continuum of increased impersonal interaction in an urban setting. On the other hand, Josef inos cope with impersonal institutional structures by means of familial an.d personal ties, or the kinds of ties that, according to the continuum, are supposed to be strong in a rural village setting, but not in an urban setting. Urbanists are finding this contradiction to be true for most urban Latin Americans, as well as many other varieties of city dwellers around the world. We had first-hand experience of the workings of the familial and personal networks among the poorest inhabitants of San Jose, but the same kinds of social relations may be dominant at much higher levels of Costa Rican society. Stone (1975) argues that the Costa Rican elite infrastructure is based on strong family ties which originated during the sixteenth century. According to Stone, the descendants of as few as six original families have supplied most of the high governmental officials throughout the history of Costa Rica. Possibly, the governmental institutions themselves may originally have been formed on the basis of familial relationships. In the lowest strata of San JosS society, interpersonal networks depend apparently very little on family relationships.

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66 Since they are systems of interaction among people who are considered deviant by most Josef inos, these networks are usually based on fluid, informal ties which have less stability than family ties. Nevertheless, some families are widelyknown and connected among street people. The courtesies, services, and goods that flow among participants in a given network vary according to the means and station of those participants. For example, the interchange among elite Josef inos may take the form of government. jobs or banking advantages, while street people pass messages into and out of prison or dispose of stolen articles through personalistically-activated channels. Reciprocity governs the manner of exchange in both of the above cases, sometimes in the form of direct reciprocity, and som.etimes generalized reciprocity. Often, a good or favor corresponds to a similar good or favor on the part of beneficiary, in which case the reciprocity is direct. Generalized reciprocity is particularly important in networks where communication activity is intense. For delivered messages or privileged information, the favor is offered with the generalized expectation of some equal favor to be extended at an unspecified time in the future. A man in the penitentiary who scribbles an urgent message for aid to be taken by a lottery salesman to a contact downtown is not in a position to offer any immediate reward for the service, yet he may be expected to do the same thing for someone else when he is able. Members of the marihuana study research team received

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67 many emergency messages from jail, called "cables," in which were handwritten requests for money or legal aid. The downtown points where these messages were delivered was found to be a useful place to send messages to participants in the street people's interpersonal networks. Such messages were usually delivered and answered within 24 hours, and they sometimes managed to reach people who were many miles from the San Jose area. The street people's interpersonal association systems deal with more than communication, and the goods and services which flow through these systems include marihuana and stolen objects. The latter items are euphemistically called descuidos or "unguarded things," and they are constantly being bought and sold or passed along for sale by members of street people networks. Each participant in the chain of circulation for stolen objects can expect some small share in the profit. Marihuana distribution occurs only on a relatively small scale among street people, but it also carries some profit for participants in the chain of circulation. The anthropological research team found early in our study of street people and their networks that people who occupied crucial positions in the chains of distribution for information, marihuana, and descuidos were likely to be key people for making contact with chronic, long term marihuana users. Some of these key people, called "brokers" by True (1976a) dealt only in marihuana and information, while others were central in the distribution system of all three items.

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68 Those who specialized in information were found in a part of the inner city where many people interact constantly such as the Central Park. This is a particularly active area because buses from all over the metropolitan area load and unload there. Some of our first contacts were made among information brokers of the Central Park. Other brokers have an operations setting which is outside the center of San Jos^ in a residential barrio. The overall interaction density in this kind of operations setting is very low, compared to the bustle of downtown San Josd', but the workings of the broker and his network remain brisk. We v;ere fortunate to gain the confidence of several brokers and eventually to learn something of their operations and the participants in their networks. These participants later took part in our study of long term marihuana use . San Jos^ provides a compact urban environment in which to study a specific deviant behavior. Since it has not been a major city for very long, its urban qualities are blended with some survivals of "country town" behavior. Josef inos give directions in terms of varas and compass coordinates despite the existence of an orderly system of street numbers, but, in urban fashion, they seem to know very little about their immediate next-door neighbors. However, Josef inos do not deal with impersonal institutional structures, such as governmental ministries, hospitals, and banks in an impersonal manner. Interpersonal ties between friends and family become the agencies through which the individual Josefino makes sense

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69 out an otherwise bewildering array of necessary transactions, These ties exist on all levels of society in San Jose'. At the lowest of these levels, the network of functional social interaction consists of individuals who may be called street people. Low-life street networks of informal association provided initial contacts which led to further contacts in our search for chronic marihuana smokers. The chapter which follows will describe the process of following chains of interaction in this social setting and the eventual procure-, ment of a group of long term smokers for our intensive study of marihuana use and its effects.

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CHAPTER III THE STUDY SAr4PLE As part of a trans-disciplinary team of researchers with specific contractually stated study objectives, the socio-cultural segment comprising three anthropologists began with a clear idea of the number of people to be studied, and the basic kinds of information to be gathered. We were to locate 80 users of marihuana who had a minimum of ten years' experience with the drug, and minimal experience with other kinds of drug use. The subjects were to be males between the ages of 18 and 50 who were willing to participate in a series of medical, psychological, and sociocultural studies spanning a two-year period. Concurrently, we were also to find 160 non-marihuana-smokers v;ho were otherwise as identical to our user group as possible. VJe went into the field with tightly defined numbers and cultural qualities in mind, and we were held to them by contract. Scheduling of study activities was also tight from the beginning, with a set timetable for completion of the various researcli phases. July, 1973, marked the beginning of the study with the first attempts on the part of the sociocultural team to make contact with a user population. By the beginning of January, 1974, we were to have identified marihuana users 70

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71 and suitable controls in sufficient numbers to begin the initial medical screening phase. This phase entailed passing all subjects through a medical examination which included electrocardiogram, opthamological examination, chest X-ray, comprehensive blood, urine, and fecal analysis, neurological examination, and general physical examination. Medical history questionnaires and initial socio-cultural questionnaires were also administered on the same day that each subject underwent the medical examinations. The end of June, 1974, would see, according to the study timetable, the end of the initial medical screening process for all 240 selected subjects and the completion of initial socio-cultural studies. From this pool of 240 screened subjects, those who had not been eliminated for medical or other reasons would be selected to form 40 matched pairs of users and non-users. These were to be selected for the purpose of intensive medical and psychological testing, as well as in-depth elicitation of socio-cultural information from each of the final 80 participants. The intensive studies were to begin about July of 1974, and to end about March, 1975. Termination of the project, which had a planned ending date of June, 1975, was to be completed during the concluding three months. The actual execution of the study schedule did not vary radically from the initial plans, except that the intensive medical testing continued sporadically until August, 1975. It was decided at the time of the selection of the matched

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72 pairs that some 12 medical screen test slots would be held open for contingency purposes. These slots were later filled with subjects who were considered to have characteristics which matched them with other subjects who had already passed through the initial medical screen. When the medical screening process was finally tallied, 84 users and 156 non-users had been given the initial tests. Selection of the subjects who would participate in the intensive studies was done on the basis of data elicited during the initial medical screening period. The medical data were assessed by Wilmer Coggins , the co-principal investigator of the project in charge of medical studies, while the socio-cultural criteria for matching were evaluated by Paul Doughty and William Carter, in collaboration with Maryanna Baden, and with NIDA contract officers Eleanor Carrol, Jean-Paul Smith, and Stephen Szara. Many subjects were eliminated from intensive participation in the second phase of the study because of medical problems, for which they were subsequently referred to appropriate branches of the Costa Rican health care system for treatment. Among these problems the commonest were positive serological test for syphilis, pulmonary lesion shown in chest X-ray, and non-correctable visual abnormalities. There were also 12 cases of serious disease diagnosed for which those subjects were excluded from further testing. Table 3 shows the frequencies of the various medical criteria used to eliminate subjects from the selection process for the final group. Most of the

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73 Table 3 Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study For Medical Reasons Users

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74 Table 4 Subjects Excluded from Matched-Pair Study for Reasons Other Than Medical Ones Cause User Control Total N-84 N-156 N-240 History of absention from marihuana found to be N/A 2 2 inaccurate History of marihuana use ^ found to be inaccurate Alcohol abuse interferes with participation in 1 testing N/A Failure to keep appointments 2 1 3 2 2 Failure to cooperate with medical test procedure Totals 6 5 11 (after Coggins , 1976; X-10) as shown in Table 4. The first two criteria in Table 4 represent people who managed to slip by the pre-screening and cross-checking done by the anthropological team before testing was begun. The final group of subjects comprised those whose smoking or non-smoking reputations had stood up under extensive cross-checking. Difficulties encountered during the medical screen procedures account for the other three non-medical criteria for elimination from the study. The matched group was selected from a final pool of qualified subjects which contained 41 marihuana smokers and 95 non-users. The matching procedure was complex, involving a close match for each of six different variables. These variables, taken from the results of medical history questionnaires and personal information elicited during the medical

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75 screening process, were age, marital status, educational level, employment level, alcohol use and tobacco use. Age, alcohol use, and tobacco use were all reduceable to numerical equivalents. This was done for tobacco use by expressing it in pack years , or the number of years during which the subject has smoked one pack of cigarettes per day. Alcohol use was scored on the basis of a modified version of the alcohol use questionnaire designed by the Costa Rican Center for Studies on Alcoholism, which has a to 17 scale. For age, tobacco, and alcohol, all pairs had to be within four points of each other in order to qualify as a matched pair. Marital status, educational level, and occupation were matched according to the meanings of these attributes in Costa Rican society. For example, marital status has a broad definition among lower-class Costa Ricans , including stable free unions and serial free unions, as well as long and short-term formal marriage. Therefore, stable free union and long-term formal marriage were equated for matching purposes, while experience with serial free unions was differentiated from pure bachelorhood. The marital status matching criterion had to be flexible, because of the shifting status of many of the study participants. Education for matching purposes was broken into five categories, none, primary incomplete, primary complete, secondary incomplete, and secondary complete. Other institutional socialization such as reformatory, orphanage, or seminary was also taken into account. Matches could be made

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76 between individuals within one "step" of each other. A marihuana smoker who had completed four years of primary school, for example, could be matched with a non-consumer who had finished sixth grade. Matching for occupation was done by using equatable levels of employment, rather than exact job pairing. Lowerclass workers move interchangeably among jobs within their level of employment, and the jobs within a given level were deemed appropriate for matching purposes. Artisans who work, in construction, shoemaking, or tailoring were, all considered matchable with each other. Similar employment levels were also recognized for skilled blue-collar jobs and for whitecollar jobs, although there were very few subjects in the latter category. The anthropological team began to seek contacts among the user population in San Jos^ with the assumption that long-term use of marihuana was pervasive in all levels of Costa Rican society. After an initial sortie into the University atmosphere, it was discovered that marihuana use at the level of ten years or longer in that context was almost unheard-of, and that the general drug use ambience in the University was in fact very similar to multi-drug use in North America. This led to the suspicion that the lowerclass patterns of marihuana use described by early contacts among street people were really the only patterns which would ultimately become a source of long-term users who could qualify for participation in our study. Musicians were at

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77 first expected also to be a group which might produce suitable long-term users, but their drug of preference turned out to be alcohol, and the musicians indicated very little interest in or consumption of marihuana. Abortive attempts to find qualified long-term users of marihuana among other strata of Costa Rican society led to our eventual concentration on the working class as a source of users and of controls. Contacts with street people were the anthropological team's first breakthrough in learning something about chronic, long term marihuana use in Costa Rica, and they came very early in the study. In fact, Carter first spoke to some eventually central informants in the street ambience during a feasibility study two years before the full-scale study actually began. These informants began by appearing very open about their marihuana use, but they seemed to limit their comments to aspects of use in their own social group, demurring when asked about other people who might smoke marihuana. The sequence of behavior on the part of the street people, first openness, up to a point, and then reluctance to introduce us to other long term users, was frustrating to the anthropological team, but it was also understandable. At the time our study was begun, it was punishable by law to possess marihuana for either sale or personal use, with a minimum term of six months (cf. Chapter IV). The street people themselves had little to lose by revealing that they smoked marihuana, because they were already well-known to the general public as smokers. Other users of the drug, as

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78 we shall see later, have much more to lose by imprudent contact with unknown outsiders. Faced with this impasse in the street people's networks, the anthropological team began to formulate other means of gaining entry into the social circles of other groups of long term users. One of our tactics for attaining contact with other long term users was a survey of cobbler shops, because we understood from several sources that shoemakers were often marihuana users. After mapping these artisan shops for much of San Jos^, we attempted to administer a vague health questionnaire as a device to lead into conversation about drug use. This was very unproductive, because most shoemakers were too busy during work hours to take time for answering questions. Another tactic which was only slightly more successful entailed administering a "health" questionnaire house-to-house in neighborhoods which were known to have marihuana users among their residents. This tactic led to the discovery, ironically, of a shoemakers' shop where there were several qualified users. Otherwise, the daytime door-to-door method did not produce sufficient contacts with the user population to warrant its continuation. The door-to-door tactic had its rewards, despite its failure in the explicit task of finding chronic marihuana smokers. The field workers were impressed by the lack of community spirit in the neighborhoods surveyed. This impression led to the hypothesis that social ties were not formed on the basis of propinquity. We also developed a feeling for

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79 the natural gathering-places in the neighborhoods surveyed, and this helped in carrying out other, more successful research strategies. Finally, on the advice of Carter, the anthropological team selected bars, and other gathering-places in the barrios where marihuana users were reputed to live. We frequented these places, picking up whatever information possible. It was felt that in these contexts, we would be encountering prospective informants at a time when they would have a moment to relax and talk, and in a place where they were likely to be surrounded by friends, or trustworthy acquaintances. We used a straightforward manner of introducing ourselves, in which we explained the objectives of our study to whoever volunteered conversation. Initial reactions were tentative in this atmosphere, but progress toward the needed contacts was made steadily and encouragingly. The clientele of the low-life bars in which we absorbed large amounts of alcohol and moderate quantities of information were not usually eligible to participate in the study because of alcoholism. However, these individuals eventually managed to supply sufficient information to lead us to make contact either with qualified marihuana users, or with people who knew qualified users. In this way, we began to exploit the social networks among marihuana users , discovering both a source of the needed study participants and a useful communications system.

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80 Key people in the fabric of social interaction among marihuana users eventually were indispensible in the establishment and maintenance of contact with users who participated in our study. Called "brokers" by True (1976c) these key people are at the hub of some phases of interpersonal rela-tions among the participants in their respective networks of interaction. They may, as outlined in the preceding chapter, be brokers of information because they operate in a part of the city where many people pass by. Brokers may also distribute marihuana on a small scale, and in that way, they have developed extensive contacts with consumers and distributors of that drug. They may also be key people in other kinds of illegal or extralegal business through which they have dealings with people throughout the city. Often, brokers handle both information and some combination of other economic activities . Methods of contacting key people were varied, and in retrospect, seem almost haphazard. One key individual was , contacted through regular shoeshines in the central park. Another was contacted when one of the anthropological researchers stumbled on his base of operations during a door-to-door survey. Another was approached at his streetcorner position on the basis of a description by the drunken clientele of a nearby bar. Another key person approached the author during an impromptu street concert. All told, there were no more than seven key people, or brokers, who contributed their contacts in the search for chronic marihuana users . We were

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81 able to find all 84 of the users who participated in the study through the social connections of this handful of key people. The field research team made the acquaintance of an estimated 1500 people during the course of the study, and most of these people were introduced to us through key people. These brokers were also instrumental in screening prospective study subjects in both the user and the non-user categories, because their knowledge of use or abstinence patterns among the prospective subjects recruited from outside their immediate circles of influence was extensive. We found repeatedly that although they almost never associated with each other, people in the various marihuana user social networks seemed to know each other. This was true for individuals coming from widely separated sectors of San Jose. The following is a brief description of the beginnings of a relationship with one key informant, and the mechanics of continuing this relationship. After hearing from local bar clientele about a "very intelligent" marihuana dealer who operated nearby, one of the field researchers approached this individual, whom we shall call Loqui , at his streetcorner base of operations. A week of standing on the streetcorner with Loqui yielded introduction to two or three users among those who were constantly around the marihuana dealer, but the researcher decided that he was not relating to this particular social grouping. He could see that association with Loqui was potentially productive, but he did not feel comfortable working with Loqui ' s social group. He introduced

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82 the author to Loqui in the hope that better relations with this social group would result. The plan worked, and the eventual contribution of Loqui ' s network of friends and acquaintances was large. Through either direct or indirect connections, Loqui was instrumental in introducing us to roughly 40 of the 240 subjects who passed through the initial medical screen, 15 of whom (seven controls and eight users) became part of the matched pair participant group. The process of winning Loqui ' s confidence was gradual. A pair of special glasses for his mother, rides throughout the city in an automobile, a serenade for his girlfriend, and other minor favors contributed to confidence building. Encounters with the police were probably the most important factors in achieving the confidence of key informants, because these confrontations removed suspicion that we were somehow in league with the authorities, a suspicion that appeared repeatedly in our early contacts. In spite of our previous agreement with the police, they still saw fit to cause minor incidents in our presence, fortunately also in the presence of key informants. After two or three such incidents, Loqui was convinced that we were not part of any police effort. Simple day-to-day participation in Loqui ' s streetcorner group, where he dealt in marihuana and information, was sufficient to get to know a large number of users and even some non-users. However, many of the steadiest participants in his immediate network were too young to be included in the

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83 marihuana study, so Loqui eventually was asked if he knew of more experienced users. He knew more long term users than we had imagined, and through his own system of communications, Loqui was able to arrange meetings which allowed us to explain the project to these "old timers" and solicit their participation. Key informants from other networks were often consulted at this point to ascertain the accuracy of Loqui ' s marihuana use report for these prospective informants, His reports were found to be correct so consistantly that we eventually decided that cross-checking was no longer necessary for Loqui 's contacts. The only case of elimination of one of Loqui ' s contacts for non-medical reasons was for other drug use not reported in the medical history (recorded in Table 4 as "failure to cooperate with medical testing procedures") . Our relationship to Loqui and his social network was by no means exploitative. It was reciprocal in the sense that our investigative team was able to offer services and sometimes goods in the context of the same interpersonal net through which we were receiving information. When Loqui ' s brother was arrested for marihuana dealing, we were able to offer legal aid, and we eventually managed to free him. When we needed to buy marihuana samples to submit for analysis, he sometimes sold us the samples, thereby giving our relationship to him direct reciprocality . Loqui ' s interpersonal relations were most intense in his own neighborhood, although they did not generally involve

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84 Spatial Distribution of Participants in Loqui's Network 7b <^e >on c '•On c/ OS ^/'os SCO ^o i:n. <9r, ^<^n Loqui's Corner Figure A

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85 his immediate neighbors. This may be illustrated by mapping Loqui ' s informal associations with respect to residence location, as in Figure A. We can see that there is a "nesting" effect, whereby most of the relations are within a short distance from Loqui ' s own residence. In spite of the relative narrowness of Loqui ' s associational net, some of the lines of direct or indirect association extend to distant parts of San Jose, and these led to contacts with other users and controls who participated in the project. Other associational networks tapped by the anthropological team had much wider ranges throughout the city, and this quality had favorable consequences for the eventual configuration of the project sample. True (1976a) found that, compared with recent analyses of the metropolitan area's more than 500 different neighborhoods, the zones from which the subjectparticipants in our study came were fairly representative in terms of socio-economic level and housing quality. Although our sampling technique was not at all random, we managed to identify a group of people whose general socio-economic characteristics were quite comparable to those of much of the rest of San Jose's working class population. The ecological distribution of the subjects in the final participant group was also fairly representative of the San Jose metropolitan area. True and Doughty (1976a) collaborated to develop a typology of community from which the subject population came, including central city zones, residential zones contiguous to the city center, housing projects

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86 near the city, transitional peripheral zones, satellite towns, squatter settlements, rural communities, and provincial towns outside the San Jos^ metropolitan area (III-16-32). According to their analyses of the 240 subjects for the initial medical screen, and the 82 matched pair subjects. True and Doughty found that both groups have roughly equal proportions of users and non-users who reside in the various neighborhood types. Nearly half of the subjects in both groups come from either central city or residential contiguous zones, and all other zones are represented in the sample. Analysis of personal income information for the sample of users and non-users, when compared to 197 3 Census data for the zones in which the subjects live, shows that the earnings of the study sample are representative of working class earnings of their neighborhoods (III-36) . We did not begin the process of finding qualified participants for the chronic marihuana use study project with any set of criteria for making group representative of San Jose's population. Indeed, we did not have any assurance that marihuana users were not completely deviant from the normal Josef ino pattern of life. If that had been the case, we would not have selected a group that was at all representative of the working class life style. Expedient methods had to be used to identify and get to know individuals whose behavior could at any time cause them to be jailed. Retrospective analysis of the study sample allows us to say with confidence that it was, in fact, representative of the Costa Rican working

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87 class in the most crucial social and economic aspects. Nevertheless, we must say that this representativeness was serendipitous. Later chapters will present further perspectives on the relationship of the subject procurement procedure to the formulation of the research problem of amotivational syndrome .

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NOTES The use of the term "ecological" here is derived from the usage of urban sociologists, implying spatial distribution of a city's component parts (Dotson and Dotson 1954). 88

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CHAPTER IV MARIHUANA IN COSTA RICA Earliest Spanish colonial documents do not reveal the origin of psychotropic Cannabis use in Latin America. The plant itself is not native to the new world, but it arrived in Mexico practically with the arrival of Cortez. Cannabis was an important 16th century source of cordage, but the passage in Mexico of an ordinance in 1550 forbidding its cultivation hints that psychotropic use of the drug may have begun early (Carter 1976: 3). Elsewhere in Latin America, Cannabis sativa was grown for cordage in relatively few places, and Chile became the only exporter of hemp products to Spain (Partridge 1974: 39). Costa Rica apparently had to import hemp products as late as 1864, when an import tax exemption was enacted for sacks made of that fiber (Carter 1976: II-3). Cannabis cultivation for fiber and for psychotropic purposes are very different, and they can exist independently of each other. The absence of solid evidence to confirm the existence of a psychotropic Cannabis using tradition during the colonial period leads to the suspicion that Cannabis as a psychotropic was introduced to Latin America considerably later than the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Probably the oldest tradition of psychotropic Cannabis use in the 89

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90 New World is the Brazilian tradition. Partridge concludes that the adoption of ritual marihuana use by remote indigenous tribes in Brazil may mean that the drug's arrival in Brazil was relatively early (1974: 40). The lexicon of Cannabis use in Brazil apparently contains evidence of a West African origin for Cannabis use in Brazil ( Ibid . ) . If so, the arrival of Cannabis as a psychotropic drug in that region may have been as early as the first half of the seventeenth century. Costa Rican users themselves sometimes tell stories of Indians using marihuana before Spanish conquest. It is popular to claim that the Indian "peace pipe" held marihuana instead of tobacco. Neither of these claims has any historical or botanical supporting evidence. A more likely time for Cannabis' arrival in Costa Rican is roughly the four decades bracketing the turn of the century. During that period, a railroad from San Jos^ to Costa Rican 's Atlantic port of Limdn was under construction, and foreign laborers were being hired to clear the right-of-way and lay the roadbed. Psychotropic Cannabis use was apparently first observed in Costa Rican among railroad workers in the 1880 's by Adolf Tonduz, assistant to the famous botanist, Henri Francois Pittier (Carter 1976: II-4). It is not specified in Tonduz' account whether he saw blacks or Chinese smoking and cultivating Cannabis, since he referred only to "coolies," which could be taken at that time to mean either race. Nevertheless, the workers on the San Jos^-Limdn railroad are the most likely carriers of marihuana use into Costa Rica.

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91 The knotty problem of sorting out which group actually brought marihuana into Costa Rica is partially solved by examining the drug-using backgrounds of both the Chinese and the African-descended railroad workers. The first large contingent of Chinese railroad workers arrived in 1888 following de Lesseps ' abandoning a canal building project in Panama. China began using Cannabis for fiber very early in its history, but the preferred psychotropic in China is opium. Generally, Chinese railroad workers imported to the New World during the nineteenth century brought opium, not Cannabis, with them. On the other hand, the African-descended Jamaican railroad workers have a direct historical link with the venerable Indian tradition of Cannabis use. Indian indentured servants shipped to Jamaica in 184 brought a rich and varied tradition of psychotropic Cannabis use to their new Caribbean home. Although there is no real documentation of the diffusion process, it seems most likely that the black Jamaicans adopted some of the most fundamental patterns of Cannabis smoking and "cultivation, which they brought along when they were hired to build the railroad to the Atlantic in Costa Rica. Supporting evidence for this explanation is found in the marihuana lexicons of Jamaica and Costa Rica. Jamaicans call their Cannabis preparation ganja , and one of the slang words for marihuana used in San Jos^ is canchac , apparently a direct cognate. LimcDn and its environs are presently a center for marihuana production, and it is also the place of origin for all Jamaican-descended Costa Ricans. Marihuana

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92 use is also reputed to be more widespread in the Limon area than in other parts of Costa Rica. In sum, Jamaican-descended black Costa Ricans probably played an important role in bringing a psychotropic Cannabis use tradition to Costa Rica. There are other opinions about the arrival of Cannabis in Costa Rica which also have some factual grounds. Mexico may have had some influence on early patterns of Costa Rican marihuana consumption, because a tradition of use was established there by the late nineteenth century, and it may have diffused to Central America. The evidence for this lies in the current use of the Mexican term, mota for marihuana among Costa Rican users. Volunteers from Costa Rican who fought in World War I may have learned to smoke marihuana overseas and returned with the habit (Carter 1976: II-6). Probably all of the above described theories on the arrival of psychotropic Cannabis use in Costa Rica are true to some extent, although the Jamaican influence is strongest in present-day patterns of marihuana smoking. The limited cultural elaboration of Costa Rican Cannabis (described later in this Chapter) use implies a fairly recent arrival, as well as a fragmented diffusion process, where only the barest essentials of marihuana smoking were brought to Costa Rica. The first indication that the Costa Rican government was concerned about psychotropic drug use was in 1913, when a delegate was sent to the Second International Conference on Opium (Carter 1976: II-7). Although no mention was made of Cannabis at the conference, Costa Rica signed an international

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93 drug treaty shortly thereafter. Ten years later, the first drug control laws were passed in Costa Rica, and four years after that, in 1927, a drug advisory board was established. By 1928, laws had been passed regulating import, export, and sale of opiates and marihuana ( Ibid . ) . A 1929 anti-drug campaign yielded the first evidence of marihuana use in San Jose among its lower-class inhabitants ( Ibid . ; 9). This "dragnet," intended to establish control of drug traffic and to provide treatment for users, also produced a number of arrests for use and sale of opiates, including heroin. The connection between addictive opiate drugs and marihuana remains implicit in the formation of governmental policy during later stages of the official history of Cannabis in Costa Rica. The Sanitary Code of 1949 treats marihuana, cocaine, and the opiates equally, stiffening penalties for cultivation, sale, or simple possession of all these drugs (Ibid. : 10) . A Single Convention on Drugs and Narcotics issued by the United Nations in 1961 was approved by the Costa Rican government in 1972. Costa Rica was thereby accepting international responsibility for controlling the production of and trade in marihuana and a number of other drugs. The establishment of a police Department of Narcotics some two years before also indicates a growing official concern about drug use. Survey of newspaper back issues shows that the flare-up of official and public concern about Cannabis and other drugs around 1972 is sudden, and the first since the

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94 time of the 1929 drug law enactments (Doughty 1976: 11-59 and 60) . In 1972, one of San Jose's newspapers, La Prensa Libre , carried out a campaign against drug use, mainly aimed at marihuana (Ibid.: 11-51). The reason for growing concern, according to the newspaper's editors, was the increase in Cannabis use among young people of the middle and upper classes ( Ibid . ) . Whereas earlier in its history, marihuana had caused little worry (except for a brief initial period of establishing control mechanisms) because its use was confined to a segment of the lower class, now marihuana was regarded as a threat to the "cream" of Costa Rican youth. The Prensa Libre campaign, producing hundreds of articles on the ill effects of marihuana use, set a tone of newspaper writing on the subject which has been consistantly negative in Costa Rican newspapers ever since. Lurid reports of marihuana users abounded during the initial campaign, to be replaced later by scientific reports on the negative effects of the drug. Krauskopf's attitude test results (1976) provide evidence of La Prensa Libre ' s campaign. One of the most significant differences between users and non-users in the entire attitude test was in attitudes concerning marihuana (XVII-24). Nonusers almost unanimously rejected marihuana in all items involving the drug, despite the fact that some had neighbors or even relatives who were chronic users. This result, of course, is not totally the consequence of a single newspaper

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95 campaign. Lower class Costa Rican mothers probably also have an influence on the formation of these attitudes as they attempt to keep their sons away from the low-life ambience where marihuana use thrives. Nevertheless, reinforcement in newsprint of mothers' opinions must have some role in maintaining negative views on marihuana and its use. It might be inferred that a ray of understanding amidst all of the public anti-drug zeal appeared in March of 1974 in the form of a revised Sanitary Code. According to the new code, traffic and cultivation of marihuana are to be punished more severely than before, but possession for personal consumption is to be handled by referring users for medical treatment (Ministerio de Salubridad 1974: articles 371-372, 126, 127). As yet, there is no treatment facility for this purpose, and police still arrest users for possession of relatively small amounts on suspicion of trafficking. Nevertheless, instead of risking six months in jail, users now can count on being free, usually in a couple of weeks. United States influence has been crucial on both sides of the emergence of marihuana as a publicly recognized social problem. Imitation of the highly fashionable patterns of drug use which originated in the United States during the middle and late 1960 's is probably responsible for the adoption among Costa Rican middleand upper-class youth of marihuana use. This facet of the drug situation in Costa Rica is apparent in the observed similarity of youthful Costa Rican marihuana smoking practices and those of

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96 youthful smokers in the United States. Limited dosage, ritualistic sharing of a single cigarette, and selection of identical use settings are common to both the Costa Rican youth and North American youth styles of Cannabis consumption. On the other hand, the United States has had an active part in forming government agencies in Costa Rica for drug control enforcement. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offered consultant services to the Costa Rican government for the purpose of setting up a special police force to enforce drug control. It is particularly ironic that the Cannabis use patterns described below are not directly related to United States influence, yet they are forced to withstand the main thrust of two opposed influences which did, in fact, emanate from that country. Preparations Among Costa Ricans most aware that marihuana has been with their people for at least several generations are members of the urban lower class. Such individuals, making up the bulk of our base sample of 240, are familiar with a very limited variety of psychotropic drugs. The two most commonly used are marihuana and alcohol. In our matched pair subsample of 82, some men admit to having used barbiturates on one or two occasions, and among younger users there are isolated cases of glue-sniffing. A single individual in the subsample had tried LSD and psilocibin mushrooms. None mentioned previous use of amphetamines, although the field researchers

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97 noted streetside mention of benzadrine. Opiates in the form of low-grade morphine were tried by two of the individuals in the subsample on isolated occasions, never to be used again after a single experience. However, the majority of users in our matched pair subsample adhered to marihuana and alcohol as their principal drugs. Other sectors of the population, including university students and some upper-middle-class professionals, have access to a much wider range of drugs, from cocaine to synthetic mescaline. Their social and economic means have allowed them to secure these drugs at prices that would be exorbitant in the United States, and that are certainly out of the reach of lower-class drug users. University student and upper-middleclass drug use is modeled after the "Age of Aquarius" ethos which was popular in the United States in the late 1960 's i.e., the search for expanded consciousness and social awareness by means of LSD, cocaine, mushrooms and marihuana. Such a use pattern is imitated to some extent by the youngest of the lower-class marihuana users (usually too young to qualify for our sample) who, for economic reasons, must replace acid "trips" and cocaine snorting with glue sniffing and pill-popping. Older lower-class marihuana users do not find these activities appealing. Cannabis use among the long-term users in our Costa Rican sample is relatively devoid of variety. The staple of use is picadura, the chopped-up tops and flowers of the female Cannabis sativa plant. This is consumed most commonly in the

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98 form of wheat paper cigarette, which contains not less than 175 rag. and not more than 300 mg . of marihuana according to repeated weighings of net contents of street-sold cigarettes. Occasionally the contents of several of these cigarettes will be combined to form cigars. Costa Rican users almost exclusively consume marihuana by smoking it. Preparations other than picadura are extremely rare. Field workers' reports include three other preparations observed or described. The first of these is a black liquid, called caldito claimed by users to be the result of prolonged boiling of picadura. The process does not resemble any Indian bhang recipes (Chopra and Chopra 1957), but its product could have psychotropic effects if it retained diffused particles of the picadura. The liquid was observed only once. A second special preparation known to some Costa Rican Cannabis users is pambel^ . It bears a close resemblance to the Indian ganja, as described by Chopra (1957: 19). Pambel^ apparently is imported from Colombia in the form of flat leaf-shaped blocks, composed of compressed resin and plant material of Cannabis plants grown near the Colombian coast. Among users in Costa Rica, it is considered a delicacy. A small amount is scraped from the edge of the block into a cigarette paper, and is then rolled and smoked in the same way as picadura. We were unable to secure any pambel^ for analysis, but users claim that a cigarette of this material is worth ten of any Costa Rican grown marihuana. A third special Cannabis preparation in use in Costa

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99 Rica is hachis . This is apparently a generic term used to designate any concentrated form of Cannabis. It has not actually been observed in use by the field research team, but descriptions of its use and preparation are vivid enough to assure that it does exist in Costa Rican Cannabis use contexts. The descriptions come from older users, all with 25 or more years of experience. One of them claims to be able to manufacture two of the three varieties of hachfs. The first of these is a solid block of what appears basically to be resin. The informant describes pounding the dried plant with a Coca-Cola bottle, collecting the residue from this pounding, and compressing it into a rectangular box, which is then buried and allowed to harden. It is not specified if the plant material itself is included, because the informant in this case is remembering a process that he witnessed 20 years ago. If the plant material is not included, the process would resemble the Egyptian process of manufacturing hashish described in Drake (1971: 72) . When the block has aged sufficiently (over a period of four weeks or longer) it is removed from the ground, and shavings from the block may be smoked. The informant remembers being able to smoke this preparation anywhere in the city without worry. The other two Cannabis preparations given the name hachis require an involved chemical process and special technical expertise. Because psilocibin mushrooms are used, it is not a pure Cannabis preparation in the strictest sense. The process of manufacture is as follows:

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100 Ingredients 4 oz. marihuana in picadura 6 oz. 95% alcohol 1 oz . honey 2 oz. psilocibin mushrooms Place marihuana, alcohol, and honey in a jar (a 16 oz. mayonnaise jar) and mix ingredients thoroughly. Bury the jar in a safe, shady spot, and allow ingredients to steep for a week. Open and add mushrooms. (At this point the process observed was left off because the materials had been stolen. The remaining steps are as described by the informant.) Allow materials to mingle another week, then remove from the ground. Strain the liquid from the marihuana and place in a distillation retort. The distillation apparatus should have two collection chambers placed along the vapor-carrying tube. The first collects the condensed esencia (essence) of marihuana (what is known in the United States as "hash oil"). The yield will be 1-2 grams, depending on the quality of the marihuana used. The preferred manner of using the oil is to add one or two drops to a shot of brandy. The same informant who described the above recipe is the reputed source of another preparation, also called hachis, which takes the form of a powder. We were unable to obtain the recipe, but we did obtain a description of its nature and use from another informant. . . . they said that it was hachis . . . they gave my brother five packets and three to me . . .1 took one in a half a glass of water . . . afterwards a whole blessed day . . . and the following day I was high . . . but it was very strange ... I don't know, but I wasn't hungry ... It was a very white powder . . . and I couldn't figure out how they got it ... It must be a process.

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101 The powder may be drunk, as described above, or either it or the oil may be combined with tobacco and smoked in a pipe. Such special, strong preparations represent but a tiny percentage of Cannabis use by our sample. For daily use, even in the cases of those who are familiar with the stronger preparations, picadura rolled into cigarettes is the overwhelming preference. Production Because it would have exposed our informants to too much risk of arrest, the anthropological field team did not visit a professionally run marihuana plantation. One amateur operation was visited, but it was so poorly cared for that its potential yield was in doubt. We were able to elicit two excellent detailed descriptions of cultivation, however, which appear accurate and corroborate each other. The two informants who supplied these descriptions do not know each other; yet they seem to agree on all of the details of marihuana planting except for the time needed for maturing before the plant may be cut for drying. The following sequence is based mainly on these descriptions. Costa Rica has many zones where cultivation of Cannabis is possible. Users generally cite the area around Lim6n on the Atlantic coast, and Buenos Aires, south of and within the Talamanca Mountain range, as the areas where the best domestic Cannabis is grown. For potent Cannabis, the informants say that one must search for a hot climate with sufficient, but

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102 not over-abundant rainfall. They do not describe exact water tolerances of the plant, but given the high temperatures of these areas, the water needs must be great. The first step in Cannabis planting is preparation of the plot. For this, standard slash-and-burn is used; i.e., the vegetation is cut and dried, and the area burned. Burning must take place just before the beginning of the rainy season. One corner of the plot is set aside as a seedling nursery, and the seeds are planted two by two, six inches apart. They must be carefully watched during the first six weeks of growth, because during this period they are especially vulnerable to insects and competition from other plants. When the seedlings have reached a height of 6-8 inches, they may be transplanted to the larger plot. For transplanting, female plants are considered the most worthwhile. Furrows must be made in the larger plot, and the seedlings set one vara apart along the furrows. The plants may now be left to their own, except for occasional spraying for insects or watering as deemed necessary. At this point, the informants differed on how long the plants should grow before harvesting. One claimed that four months are sufficient, while the other claimed that six months is the minimal growth time for acceptable psychotropic strength, and that seven to eight months would be ideal. The difference of opinion may represent a difference of growing areas in their respective experiences. Harvesting is begun by peeling the bottom of the plant

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103 stalk near the root. The plant is then left another week to dry before breaking it off at the bottom for stripping. The lower, thicker leaves and branches are ignored by the harvester, who uses a curved pruning knife to strip off the upper leaves, flowers, and seed heads. These parts are then placed in the shade for drying, which takes 15 to 20 days. Once the material has dried sufficiently, it is chopped into very fine particles, using a very sharp knife and cutting board or scissors. This process is sometimes delayed, however, until the material reaches the vendor. Seeds may be saved for re-planting or they may be left in the picadura to increase its weight and volume. Sometimes the thick stems are also chopped finely and included in the picadura to increase weight and volume. The above description does not indicate expertise in the area of resin production. Costa Rican users and growers seem not to be sophisticated in their perceptions of the capabilities of the Cannabis plant. Growers seem to know that the plants must be cared for intensively during the first six weeks of life, but they do not go further in stimulating resin production or in collecting the natural high-potency substances that occur naturally during the plant's growth. They are aware of Cannabis' dioecious nature, recognizing the morphological differences and the great suitability of the female to marihuana production, but this perception seems based on the greater leaf production of the female plant, 2 rather than an awareness of her resin-producing qualities.

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104 Users are vaguely aware of the existence of more potent Cannabis preparations, but they do not really know, except for a few individuals, what they are nor how they are made. Cannabis planting and growing technology in India, Egypt, and even Mexico has developed over the centuries into an exact art of resin stimulation and careful manufacture of specialized potent forms. Costa Rican Cannabis production rarely goes beyond cutting and chopping of the dried plant material. Evidence of the lack of concentrated preparation in Costa Rica is abundant in newspaper reports of police confiscations of Cannabis. In our files which date to 1970, there are only a handful of references to high-potency Cannabis preparations. Such materials are usually in the possession of foreigners. The overwhelming majority of reported confiscations made by police range in size from a few ounces to shipments of one hundred pounds, usually in the form of picadura, although occasionally in the form of whole, uncut plants. The relative crudity of Cannabis production in Costa Rica may in part be due to the constant efforts of police to capture quantities of the drug and to arrest shippers and growers. Plantations must be relatively isolated and inaccessible in order to be safe from the Narcotics agents ' periodic sorties into the growing areas. Intensive cultivation of the plants, necessary for resin production and collection, is made less feasible by this isolation and

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105 secrecy. Large scale cultivation would multiply the number of people who know the location of the planted field, a risk that no grower is willing to take. Fields are often left completely untended from just after transplanting until harvest time. Forms of Use By far the predominant smoking vehicle for marihuana is the cigarette rolled in wheat paper, the mildest tasting paper available at a low price. The paper is bought by individual marihuana vendors in 8 1/2" by 11 1/2" sheets at 00.50 per sheet ($.06). One sheet makes 32 cigarettes, so that, to roll one pound of picadura into roughly 1800 cigarettes, a vendor will buy 60 sheets. The wheat paper used to roll the street cigarette is characteristically yellow in color. This color stains the hands of both users and rollers, and it may be removed only by hard rubbing of whetstone or rough brick. Even though many people still smoke tobacco cigarettes that are also home-rolled with this paper, yellow stains on thumb and forefinger of the right hand are considered identifying signs of marihuana users, both by their fellow users, and by the police. The oldest users in the sample often achieve an almost mahogany-like hue on their fingers as a result of years of use. The rolling process is quick and unceremonious, with an emphasis on rapidity and efficiency. Often especially skilled

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106 rollers are employed, although many vendors do not deal in a volume that makes this necessary. Practically anyone can role 500-600 cigarettes in a day. Skilled workers can roll twice that amount in a day. Such people are paid 0150 to 0200 per week ($17 to $23). However, very few reach this level of specialization. Most rolling is done on an informal basis, where two or three trusted friends help in the rolling of four ounces or a half-pound. The participants sometimes receive marihuana for their own use in return for such services, but the relationship between vendor and his rolling party can also involve complex reciprocity which may go beyond both monetary compensation and payment in kind. Once rolled into cigarettes, the marihuana is packaged into "rolls" of 25 cigarettes, and it reaches the consumers in either this form, or an individual cigarettes. The "roll" is tightly packed and easily concealable in a sock or pocket. Users often wad loose cigarettes into a ball and wrap them in plastic or cellophane so that they may be hidden in the mouth and even swallowed during police search and questioning. According to the users in our sample, eating of Cannabis does not result in a psychotropic effect. They cite instances of having to swallow quantities of the drug when arrest seemed certain, and of feeling no psychotropic effect. Marihuana has not yet invaded Costa Rican pastries or sweetmeats. Some cooking with Cannabis was noted in our brief exposure to university-related "Age of Aquarius" ethos groups, but it has not penetrated the older tradition of marihuana use as it exists in Costa Rica.

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107 Rough handling on the part of users is possible because the cigarette has much more paper than normally would be needed to hold such a small amount of picadura for immediate smoking purposes. The cigarettes are long and thin with a double or triple lateral overlap and closure at both ends. They are made to take punishment in the street. When a user is about to smoke his cigarette, he never simply lights up. The cigarette must first be opened and the tightly packed contents loosened. The material is often carefully examined for color, smell, twig content and seeds. Twigs are discarded, and seeds are either crushed or discarded because they do not burn evenly. Even so, most regular users have tiny burned holes in their shirts caused by hot seeds that have dropped out of the cigarette while smoking. If the picadura has no smell, it is considered too old to be of much potency. Color is used to identify roughly where the material is grown, a system of classification which will be described in more detail in the following pages . Often vendors will keep a quantity of marihuana hidden in the ground before it is sold. Users have a special test to discover whether this has occurred. If marihuana remains in the ground for more than a few days, the picadura can be infested with insects that spin webs in the material. When the user passes a pencil tip through material that has been subjected to these conditions, the picadura "beards" on the end of the pencil and hangs there. Good picadura always falls away from the pencil tip.

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108 Costa Rican marihuana smokers do not pass the lighted cigarette from one smoking companion to another. Individual users smoke their own cigarette from beginning to end, without offering a single puff to those around them. Exceptions occasionally occur among the youngest consumers in our study population who sometimes pass around the last cigarette of the roll possibly in imitation of marihuana useage styles seen in movies made in the United States. However, the general pattern is of non-sharing, and seems to be a function of the volume in use. It simply would not be practical for users to share individual cigarettes when each user smokes several "joints" in a single session. Individual consumption, as seen through field observation, ranges up to 40 4 cigarettes in a session of smoking. In order to minimize paper consumption, Costa Rican users often combine the contents of several street-size cigarettes, which as explained above have an excess of paper. The resulting puro (literally, "cigar") may contain the pica5 dura of as many as six or seven street-size cigarettes. Other stylistic variations on smoking are worthy of individual descriptions : Pipa de paz (peace pipe) A wooden tube two to three inches long which is closed at one end and has a hole in the side for insertion of the bicho ("joint"). It is used by younger consumers who often hang it around their necks on a long leather thong. The peace pipe enables the smoker to finish the joint without touching it. Cachimba (name given to any tobacco pipe used to smoke Cannabis) Sometimes cigarettes are inserted into the bowl of the pipe, and sometimes

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109 loose picadura is placed in the bowl, either by itself or mixed with tobacco. The mixture is made in this order: one layer of tobacco, one layer of marihuana, and one layer of tobacco. In comparison with cigarette smoking, pipe use is relatively rare. Users claim that it is practical to use pipes for smoking marihuana only when the material is available in abundance, because more waste accompanies pipe smoking than cigarette smoking. The advantage of pipe use is the elimination of paper from the smoking process. Coco seco (dried coconut) This is a rare style said to be used in Limon by the blacks to test batches of freshly cured marihuana for potency. A coconut is perforated at one end and the meat cleaned out through the hole. It is then dried, and when the drying is completed another hole is made in the other end. Dried marihuana tops and flowers (not yet chopped) are inserted in the first hole. Hot charcoal is then inserted through the first hole, and the smoker inhales through the second hole in the coconut. Pipa de agua (water pipe) Another rare form of smoking. The only two designs observed by field workers were a composite wine bottle-straw-bowl design and a one-piece bamboo pipe. The smoke is drawn through the water, and thereby cooled, reducing harshness. Caja de fosforos (matchbox) The user perforates the top of a wooden matchbox, making a hole just big enough to insert a single cigarette. He then tears out one end of the tray section. The cigarette is lit and inserted in the hole, and the user inhales through the open end of the box. The wide opening and the mixing of air and smoke that results is said to give a more powerful initial "rush." The above descriptions deal with variations on cigarette and picadura smoking, and they often assume an abundance of marihuana. The dregs are also important. Costa Rican users are similar to North American marihuana users in their careful consumption of the very last shreds of marihuana and paper that remain when the cigarette is nearly finished. The

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110 FIGURE B IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA PiP£__de_paz_ (peace pipe) hole in which cigarette is inserted ^^hollow center ^T^rrr closed end open end Cachimbg (pipe) picodura or cigarette placed here ii*i»i.AJ *y Stem Coco Seco (dried coconut) mouth placed around ii^^'^'^f^:^^ small hole marihuana marihuana and live coals placed in large hole

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Ill FIGURE B IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA Pipg de aqua (water pipe) stem mouthpiece stem cigarette inserted here smoke water Cajg de fos foros (matchbox) hole into which cigarette is inserted jacket tray inserted into box ^^ZIl5^ end to be removed mouth placed here, and cigarette inhaled through box

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112 FIGURE B IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA Taco marihuana butt SSD tobacco cigarette 1 ) tobacco removed from cigarette tip marihuana butt placed in tobacco cigarette 1~~) II . II toco Muleta (crutch) wood motchsticl< ^ 13 K^^J SL butt paper match 9 V. 1i butt m twig W^v^/ r?-' #&" butt

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113 FIGURE B IMPLEMENTS USED FOR SMOKING MARIHUANA La Bandera (flag) marihuana cigarette unrolled picadura paper excess paper used as handle picadura re-rolled with loss pope

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114 following are Costa Rican methods to matar la tocola ("kill the roach") : ^u^ ^"^^^r ^^J^^ th^ "^ost frequently used method, the taco IS made by emptying the tobacco from the end of a regular tobacco cigarette and placing, in the space that is opened up, the final piece of the marihuana cigarette. This end is then twisted and moistened, so that the roach will remain secure. The cigar is then lighted, and the entire tandem cigarette is smoked. Muleta (literally "crutch") Costa Rican users make muletas put of the handiest material available This can include any kind of twig, a broomstraw, matchsticks (either wooden or cardboard) , a bobby pin, or a paper clip. Twigs and wooden matchsticks are broken, and the roach is placed in the broken notch. The two ends are then pressed against each other so that the roach is held in between. Broomstraws and cardboard matchsticks are split, and the roach is pressed between the two split ends. Bobby pins and paper clips are used in the same way as cardboard matchsticks. La Bandera (the flag) Because most street ^i??''^^^^^ ^^""^ ^" excess of paper, the user may reroll the cigarette using only 1/3 of the paper. The tn':t^^ IS used as a handle for the marihuana cigarette, enabling the user to hold the cigarette without staining the fingers, and to finish the entire cigarette without having to resort to a taco or a muleta. (It might be noted here that excess paper, if not smoked, is never thrown away carelessly. it is either burned, chewed into a little gray ball, or saved for future use. Narcotics police identify this paper with marihuana use, and become suspicious of the places where It IS seen lying around.) The above items are part of everyday use of marihuana in Costa Rica, because cigarette smoking is the preponderant use style. Types There is little concensus among the Costa Rican users in our sample regarding local typologies or taxonomies of

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115 marihuana as they use it. Color and place of origin appear to be the principal identifying factors. For consumers, place of origin usually refers to place from which the material was brought directly to San Jose, i.e., usually Limon or San Isidro del General. Thus, marihuana that is produced in Talamanca and shipped through San Isidro, becomes San Isidran. According to users, Limon produces two varieties. One is almost black in color, with an earthy aroma and a harsh taste which irritates the throat. Its effects are strong, and they are felt very quickly after smoking is begun. The other, la rubia or "the blonde," is almost yellow in color, is less fusty in aroma and much less harsh in taste. It is also strong, but the effects delay ten to 15 minutes after smoking begins. San Miguelito , a variety which comes from Panama, is one of the more controversial marihuanas recognized by Costa Rican users. The dried leaves have been described as yellow and curly, brown and straight, and many variations in between. It usually has many more seeds than the other varieties, and it is recognized unanimously as one of the strongest marihuana available to the Costa Rican consumer. According to Cannabis users in our sample, San Isidro del General produces a marihuana that is passable, but that does not receive as high overall ratings as la negra from Limon and San Miguelito from Panama. Table 5 lists the characteristics attributed to the four most often named varieties by Costa Rican users.

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TABLE 5 Common Marihuana Types 116 Marihuana

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117 Medicinal Preparations As compared to reports described by Rubin and Comitas (1975) for Jamaica, Cannabis in Costa Rica does not have a wide variety of medicinal applications. Only three medicinal preparations were noted by the field research team, and all were specifically used for alleviating either coughing or asthma symptoms. Possibly the concentration on asthma remedies is related to the higher frequency of acute asthma attacks in San Jose. The city has an extremely damp climate where asthma is more of a problem than it is in most temperate areas. The informant responsible for the hachis recipes also supplied us with a cough medicine recipe. The same initial procedure of soaking marihuana in pure cane alcohol makes up. the first step. Instead of distilling the drained-off alcohol after a two-week soaking period, this liquid is mixed with honey and sugar base soft drink syrup. Two tablespoons are guaranteed to clear up the most stubborn, persistent cough. The most mentioned asthma remedy is a tea made from the boiled root of the Cannabis plant. This preparation is known to people outside the marihuana-smoking social networks and is often used by people of respectable social position for relieving asthma symptoms. Less frequently mentioned is another boiled preparation, using the seeds of the plant. Cannabis seeds are first placed in a thin cloth and crushed by beating the cloth with a heavy object. The cloth is then placed in water and boiled with the seeds inside. Both the root tea and the seed tea are to be drunk by the asthma sufferer.

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118 There is some historical evidence that the medicinal properties of Cannabis were beginning to be recognized during roughly the same era when the first laws controlling the drug were enacted. The Costa Rican Synopsis of Vegetable Medicines (Perez-Cabrera 1938) , contains a section on Cannabis sativa. The initial comment in this section is of interest to the question of amotivational syndrome, because it attributes "lethargy and idiocy" to the habitual use of the drug. The account continues to name a wide range of maladies for which Cannabis is therapeutic, including cancer pain, madness, whooping cough, and asthma ( Ibid . : 87). However, the testimony of users in our study sample does not reflect a widespread practice of this kind of medicinal Cannabis use in San Jose. One informant who suffered from severe asthma gave us a very strong testimonial to the effectiveness of marihuana in alleviating the symptoms of this disease. He and his two brothers all suffered from asthma since they were small children, occasionally experiencing acute attacks. Along with the older of his two younger brothers, he began smoking marihuana at an early age; except for occasional wheezing, neither have suffered from asthma since they began regular smoking of the drug. The youngest of the three never took up marihuana smoking, and died at the age of 20 in an acute asthma attack. This younger brother's physical constitution was claimed to be abnormally weak, but no weaker than that of his brothers. The informant believes that his younger

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119 brother's refusal to use marihuana was in part responsible for his early death. Smoking marihuana in the normal manner is claimed by users to have a number of additional minor medicinal uses. Normal smoking is said to cure headaches, hangover, insomnia, loss of appetite, impotence, depression and general malaise. Pharmacological Content of Costa Rican Cannabis A major difficulty with much of the research on amotivational syndrome is the question of dosage. Only in the artificial environment of hospital testing as practiced by Miles, et al . (1975) or Mendelson and Meyer (1972) do the studies reviewed in Chapter I achieve exactitude in dosage documentation, and even then, only for relatively brief periods of use. Studies of chronic, long term use are even more difficult in this respect, because the researcher must assume a degree of uniformity both in the habits of the subject, and in the quality of his drug during the period of use. The two-year study in Costa Rican benefitted greatly from the recent advances in analyzing Cannabis' psychotropic ingredient. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to have most of the same physiological and subjective effects on humans in laboratory administrations as natural marihuana material . We do not assume that the marihuana samples collected over the two-year period which comprised the field study are completely representative of the marihuana smoked by the users

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120 for ten or more years; the users' experience of up to 30 years makes such an assumption difficult. Nevertheless, samples were collected at varied times of year, so that the two-year tt-^riod itself was evenly represented. Most of the variations in the pharmacological makeup of Costa Rican marihuana, related to seasonal variations in Delta 9 THC content or to different methods of harvesting and processing the plants, should be reflected in these samples. Content of Marihuana Thirteen separate samples of marihuana were obtained from study participants, over a two-year period of time between 1973 and 1975 for analysis in laboratories designated by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the United States. Marihuana samples were obtained by the field team in the forms in which the drug is sold to consumers, dried and chopped into picadura and usually rolled into cigarettes. We found through repeated weighings of confiscated street rolls of marihuana that these rolls of 25 cigarettes always weighed very close to 5 grams. Thus, a ten-gram sample usually consisted of two street rolls of marihuana cigarettes. The street-sized marihuana cigarette is so uniform that it is a basic unit of reference for determining the individual dosage levels among the users in the study sample. Analyses were done in triplicate using thin-layer chromatography and gas chromatography. Table 6 shows the per cent by weight of the ingredients in the Costa Rican marihuana samples as indicated.

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121 TABLE 6 (After Coggins 1976: 11-46) Analysis of Marihuana Mean Per Cent by Weight Sample Number

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122 The extremely small amounts of Cannabidiol (CBD) in these samples is noteworthy since there is evidence that CBD interferes with the effects of Delta 9 THC in man (Coggins 1976: 11-47). Daily Levels of Marihuana Use Two different methods were employed to elicit use level data for the study sample during the course of our investigation. With the first, the subjects provided reports on their daily use patterns by 24-hour recall, giving as exact information as possible, including precise number of cigarettes and the times at which they were smoked. With the second, subjects were asked to estimate their average level of use over time. Twenty-four hour recall information was obtained in conjunction with the dietary survey and the sleep EEG studies. During the course of the dietary study in which daily food intakes were recorded by the field investigation team, users were asked to recall how much marihuana they had smoked over the previous 24 hours. This information was gathered for three consecutive days. Users undergoing the sleep EEG study supplied similar use figures based on 24-hour recall to the hospital liason personnel prior to their entry into the sleep laboratory. These figures were collected on all eight nights of the sleep EEG participation, and of course were not made available at any time to the sleep study technicians. All of the 24-hour recall data for each user was averaged, and then the mean marihuana consumption per day was computed for the entire sample of 41 users. This mean was 9.6 marihuana cigarettes per day.

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123 with a median of seven and a range of from 2.5 to 40 cigarettes per day. Intensive use-history interviews in which the subjects were asked to estimate their daily average consumption rates comprised the second method of use level elicitation. The consistency between the general self estimate in the life history interviews and 24-hour recall data was very close. The general estimate ranged from 2.5 to 25 cigarettes per day, with a sample-wide mean of 11.8 marihuana cigarettes per day, and a median of 10. We can see from this that the users' general estimates of average daily marihuana intake tend to be slightly higher than the 24-hour recall reports, but this difference is not great enough to be given any real importance in the study of chronic marihuana -use . We should emphasize that the level of marihuana consumption was dependent on access to the drug, and some users who demonstrated apparently unlimited capacity for smoking marihuana were prevented by their financial situation from smoking to their capacity. Some subjects reported or were observed smoking up to 80 marihuana cigarettes in a single day, when they were financially able. Such levels of consumption were achieved only rarely, and none were recorded in the 24-hour recall data. Nevertheless, the investigative team feels that it is important to include this information in qualitative form during any discussion of marihuana dosage levels among Costa Rican users. In order to compare the daily marihuana consumption averages for the Costa Rican sample used in this study with use

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124 data that are available from other cultural traditions of marihuana use, we computed the mean Delta 9 THC content for all samples analyzed during two years in the field. This mean is 2.1 per cent by weight. The comparable figures available are expressed in Delta 9 THC content of Cannabis material consumed. In order to make our estimates comparable, we multiplied the mean THC content for all samples by the amount of material consumed in milligrams. The figures that result are similar to the approximate figures for participants in other studies of chronic Cannabis users. The light Costa Rican user from our sample who smoked 2.5 cigarettes per day is likely to be exposed to about 10 mg. of Delta 9 THC per day. This makes his THC exposure comparable to that of the typical chronic user in the United States, according to Rubin and Comitas (1975: 192). The average Costa Rican user, who smokes about ten cigarettes per day is exposed to somewhat less Delta 9 THC, about 4 mg . , than his Indian or Egyptian counterparts, who consume 60 to 90 mg . of this substance. The heaviest user in our sample, who smokes an average of 40 marihuana cigarettes per day, has a level of Delta 9 THC exposure which is on par with heavy hashish smokers in India and among United States armed forces in Germany, at 160 mg . per day. Figures for the heavy Egyptian hashish smoker are somewhat higher, at 200 mg. per day (Rubin and Comitas 1975: 192 or Ibid.). Yet, the user who may on occasion consume 80 to 100 cigarettes in a single day, probably is exposed to over 350 mg. of Delta 9 THC.

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125 Thus, the users in the Costa Rican sample represent a range of Cannabis use which is quite comparable to that reported in other studies where careful attempts to establish daily usage patterns have been made. Considering the absence of concentrated Cannabis preparations in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican smokers are actually doing much more smoking than their Indian or Moroccan counterparts, who are almost exclusively hashish smokers, to achieve similar dosage levels. The standard marihuana cigarettes sold on the street, singly, or in rolls of 25, contain approximately 200 mgm. of marihuana. Assuming that approximately 50 per cent of the THC content of marihuana is lost to the air or destroyed in the burning cigarette (Manno , et al. 1970), the average daily dose of Delta 9 THC taken in by these subjects would range from 3.18 mgm. for the lowest level of daily use (2.5 cigarettes) and the lowest potency of marihuana samples (1.27 per cent) , to 149 mg . of THC for the highest level of daily use (40 cigarettes) and the highest potency of THC content measured (3.7 per cent). The mean daily use of the 41 subjects (9.6 cigarettes) would provide a range of Delta 9 THC of 12.1 mg . per day for the least potent samples to 35.3 mg . per day for the most potent samples.* This conservatively estimated range of daily intake of Delta 9 THC would categorize these subjects as "typical" *For exposure figures cf. Table 7. The figures in that table should be multiplied by .50 to obtain estimated dosage levels.

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126 users in the scheme of comparative usage exposure levels presented by Rubin and Comitas (1975). Therefore, it may be said with confidence that the dosage levels of the matched pair sample of users places them in good standing among Cannabis users worldwide. Given the condition of dealing with marihuana use over long periods of time and a natural, uncontrolled setting, the data on Costa Rican Cannabis consumption are as good as can be expected, and they are much better than those available for any other study dealing with amotivational syndrome. Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use have cloudy historical origins, but their comparative simplicity testifies to a relatively recent arrival in that country. Cigarettes made of chopped, dried plant material are the staple of marihuana users who are apparently ignorant of the elaborate possibilities of Cannabis use. Concealment strategies dictate the form of the marihuana cigarettes used in San Jose , because a governmental policy of repressing Cannabis use has dominated use patterns for most of this century. Levels of consumption among Costa Rican marihuana smokers are comparable to worldwide figures for Cannabis use, and therefore, assessment of Costa Rican use patterns regarding the presence or absence of amotivational syndrome should have some relevance to the study of Cannabis use effects in other cultural settings,

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127 TABLE 7 Extrapolations of Degree of Exposure to Delta 9 THC Based on Cross-Tabulation of Sample Analysis Results and Average Daily Consumption Levels.* Delta 9 THC Content in mg./lOO mg. {% by weight) Marihuana Smoked Low Mean High per day in mg. 1.27 2.11 3.72 Low (2 5 cig./day) g 35 ^q_55 ^8.60 mg. 500 mg. ^ as "^^'^ ionn '^9-/^^>') 24.13 mg. 40.09 mg. 70.68 mg, 1900 mg. ^ as H^'9h (JO ^^'a-Zday) 101.60 mg. 168.80 mg. 297.60 mg, 8000 mg. ^ a ^ *Since we cannot assume that the user absorbs all of the Delta 9 THC when he smokes, we must emphasize that these amounts indicate levels of exposure . An approximate dosage level may be obtained by multiplying the cell amounts by .50.

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NOTES Pambel^ is also the name of a Colombian prizefighter who is now holder of the world welterweight title, a fact which suggests the perceived potency of this material. 2 The female Cannabis sativa plant excretes a resin which is particularly rich in Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , the main psychotropic ingredient in Cannabis preparations. Hashish and other strong Cannabis preparations are composed of resin from the female plant. 3 The users may have this impression either because the doses swallowed are relatively small, or because by the time the slower effect of Cannabis ingestion arrive, they have already smoked again, thereby masking the ingestion effects. 4 Smoked over a period of about 2 1/2 hours. 5 The precise manner in which puros and street cigarettes were smoked will be discussed in Chapter V. 128

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CHAPTER V SMOKING "SET" AND EFFECTS One approach to the development of a theoretical basis for interpreting the role of marihuana use in the lives of Costa Rican users is to begin with a systematic inventory of the drug's subjective effects. This chapter defines how the user's physical location and state of mind at the time of use interact with the physical and mind-altering effects of the drug to produce marihuana's effects. Ultimately the concepts presented here are intended to aid in assessing the applicability of amotivational syndrome to the smoking patterns of Costa Rican marihuana users. The User Typology It is normal for people of similar habits to be drawn together in the course of their social activities. In certain contexts, even crowds act uniformly, as in the cheers shouted at football games, or the unison olg of the bull ring. In the case of marihuana smokers, a user typology can be built based on similarities and differences in social status, the smoking environment, nature and level of use, and reported and perceived effects. Chopra (1957) has already done this for India by identifying four different varieties of users. 129

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130 In his typology, Chopra does not go far toward an analysis of specific effects. He sees basically three kinds of Cannabis intoxication: euphoric, hungerand fatigue-relieving, and "narcotic." The first two are associated with relatively light dosages , and the last with very heavy use of concentrated, resin-based preparations. Since he is dealing with large differences in dosage level, Chopra's gross characterizations of Cannabis' effects seem adequate for his definitions of varying styles of Indian Cannabis use. His development of stylistic typologies simplifies what otherwise would be an undifferentiated continuum of extremely complex and varied factors. Typologies such as Chopra's are useful in helping delineate the boundaries between clusterings of complex cultural phenomena. To be operationalized , they must take the approach of the ideal type. Such an approach allows for variability and nuance when applied to individual cases , at the same time that it employs a broad, cross-cutting principle to simplify the handling of otherwise unmanageable masses of data. Ideal types may be derived from religious beliefs, and ethical and symbolic systems , as did the types used by the German sociologist. Max Weber, in his analyses of the world's great civilizations (1958). Ours will be based on varieties of marihuana use and their relationship to the users' social environment. Users in our sample fall into two broad categories: those who exercise readily discernible control over their immediate social environment, and those who, rather than

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131 controlling such environment, must adapt quixotically to it. The former group leads a much calmer, more patterned and stable life. Because this stability permeates all activities of members of this group, including marihuana use, we shall call them "stable smokers." The latter group leads a much less secure existence. Its members find that they must hide their marihuana use from family and usually from fellow workers and supervisors as well. Because of their streetside pattern of use, we shall call them "street movers" or, if they are at-all-costs-clandestine smokers, "pastoralistescapists . " The stable smoker is typically either the head of his household, or has made enough peace with the other adults in the house to be able to smoke at home. With the home as a basic refuge, the stable smoker has little need to expose himself to the risks of community sanction and possible arrest in order to pursue his habit. Stable smokers often succeed in finding work in situations where fellow workers also smoke marihuana, especially in occupations such as shoemaking, baking, tailoring, trucking or taxi driving. Shoemakers have a particularly strong reputation for marihuana use on the job. Usually other adults in the home (wife, in-laws, parents, etc.) are tolerant but disapproving. Only in rare cases do these adults actively share marihuana use. The stable smoker generally eschews social contexts for smoking outside of this controlled environments. He considers running with a barra (crowd) too risky, and so, on those rare

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132 occasions when he smokes on the street, he is likely to smoke alone. This does not mean that he is necessarily anti-social in his smoking behavior. There are bars in San Jos^ where certain people may smoke with relative impunity, because sufficient vigilance and precautions are maintained by the management to insure the security of their clientele. The marihuana smoked in these places is usually brought to the bar by the user himself. If he is well known in the bar, however, the bartender himself may provide him with material. Other smoking environments used by the stable smoker will be described in greater detail later. Stable smokers contrast more sharply with fellow smokers of the pastoralist-escapist and street mover types than they do with their matched, non-user controls (see Chapter VI: 212-222) . To a much higher degree than members of the other user types, they have steady jobs. Their families approximate those of the non-users much more closely than those of the other two types of smokers. They usually have a woman in the household to prepare regular meals. They tend to be older than the other groups, with a mean age of 33.9 and a range of 22 to 48. During the study, they proved easier to find at home, more responsible, and on the whole more cooperative than were the street movers or pastoralist-escapists . Street movers, who represent the group called street people in Chapter II and III, are constantly active in the street life of San Jos^, and are highly skilled in the street language and bustling economic activity found there. Usually

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133 they enter street networks during early or middle childhood, propelled by unstable home situations. Street movers may live in a family household, but may not smoke there. Many, however, live alone in cheap rented rooms in the boarding houses which surround the central market area and red-light district. There they may find a precarious peace with management willing to tolerate smoking in their room, but only so long as the rent is paid. When landlords do not approve of such activities, street movers tend to smoke in the city streets or the coffee groves that surround San Jose. The style of life of street movers contrasts sharply with that of stable smokersHome and family life are at best spotty, and often nonexistent. The street mover lacks a steady job, although he may have worked sporadically on an ad hoc basis (a pattern which is called camaronear , or "to shrimp" in the local street argot). The street mover's diet is similar to the rest of his life style: sporadic and uneven. Often lacking a household to which to resort for steady meals, he takes what he can get in the street, which is often neither nutritious nor satisfying. His pattern is one which has antecedents which reach back long before first marihuana use. Street movers tend to be younger than the stable smokers, with a mean age of 28.1 and a range of 20-43 years of age. Because of their disordered and mercurial life style, street movers are difficult to locate in their urban environment. The smoker type with the smallest representation in our

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134 sample is the pastoralist-escapists . Only two were selected for the matched pair sample for intensive testing and data gathering, yet they are important in the typology. Pastoralist-escapists represent a strong trend today among younger lower-class users of marihuana to embrace certain parts of the "Age of Aquarius" ethos of North America. Most pastoralist-escapists known to the research team were too young to qualify for the user sample. Those who were old enough had begun smoking before the arrival of stylish drug use in Costa Rica, but had taken up some of the superficial characteristics of this ethos after their traditional Costa Rican pattern of use had already been established. For some reason, pastoralist-escapists are unwilling to risk the danger of arrest. This differentiates them from the street movers, and, since they are otherwise similar to the street movers in their dependency on open smoking environments outside of the home or closed workshops, pastoralist-escapists resort to the surrounding coffee plantations and countryside for their marihuana smoking activities. Being younger on the whole than the other two user types, pastoralist-escapists usually still live with their family of orientation. Otherwise, they are similar to the street movers in the general mercurial quality of their life styles. Pastoralist-escapists do not hold steady jobs, or at best, change jobs frequently. They have spent time participating in street culture activities, often after exposure to street culture at an early age, but they do not demonstrate the same

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135 skill in street survival as their street mover counterparts. Pastoralist-escapists have some home and family life. Of the 41 marihuana users chosen for the matched pair sample, 23 were stable smokers, 16 street movers, and two pastoralist-escapists. Their classification into these three basic types was based on two years' familiarity with the smoking habits and life history materials of each subject, and was then tested by a comparative, quantitative analysis of smoking environments. Through that analysis, we discovered that stable smokers, for example, may be distinguished from the other two types of users even by the frequency of effects claimed for marihuana smoking. As in any kind of typology, there are certain borderline cases which could have gone into another category. Three of the street movers might have been termed pastoralistescapists but were left in the street mover category because of their occasional demonstrations of openness of marihuana smoking and their propensity to smoke with street groups. Some stable smokers might have been called street movers on the basis of their life styles and nefarious economic activities, but they remained in the stable smoker category on the basis of their access to closed and secure smoking environments. Other stable smokers have changed status in such a way that they might now be called street movers. Since we finished eliciting intensive materials, they have lost the stable home situation which allowed them to smoke marihuana in peace. In these cases, we have attempted to "freeze" our point of view

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136 so that some analysis of patterns of use at a specific point in time would be possible. Changes from one smoking style to another are commonly found in the life histories of several subjects, especially the younger ones. Older stable smokers describe periods in their youth when they pursued activities similar to those of typical street movers. Young stable smokers often fluctuate between street mover and stable smoker style before settling on a stable smoker situation. A case in point is Gonzalo. He was 20 when we first contacted him, and had been living with his mother and two younger sisters for the previous year and a half. He had built the house in which they lived on government land in a community of squatters. His work history during the two years the project lasted had been one of steady work with infrequent job changes. His income during that period of time was the only support for his family. His smoking style bore all of the characteristics of a stable smoker because he had reached an accord with his family regarding his smoking habits. He smoked marihuana generally at home, or in the homes of some of his squatter neighbors who also smoked. Gonzalo abandoned his home and family to avoid arrest after an argument with another neighbor which led to a knife fight in which the neighbor was gravely wounded. By the time he was able to return, his mother was living with another man, and Gonzalo was left on the street. His adventures since that time, including work history, trouble with the police.

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137 and smoking environments, have resembled the life style of a street mover more than that of a stable smoker. If he follows the characteristic sequence found in old users, he may vacillate several more times between stable smoker and street mover before finally settling on a single style. Yet, we call him a stable smoker because the bulk of our information on Gonzalo's life style was collected during a period when he lived with his family and worked regularly. In the case of Luis Diego, the opposite occurred. According to his life history, he has lived almost entirely in the street mover style, in spite of the fact that, when we first contacted him, he had been living a fairly stable relationship with a woman for about a year. Luis Diego moved back to his customary street mover style before we began to collect his life history materials. He was therefore classified as a street mover; this classification seemed to reflect his most customary style of life, as described in the life history materials. One type of variation that does not occur in the users' vacillation between marihuana smoking styles is the transition from pastoralist-escapist to street mover. Paco, the older pastoralist-escapist , is on the verge of becoming a stable smoker as he is establishing his own family of procreation. He has never embraced the street mover style because of his strong aversion to open smoking environments.

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138 Analysis of Smoking Environment Descriptions by the Users The various smoking environments chosen by marihuana users are closely related to their relative control over social environments. By sifting participant observation data, life history materials, and marihuana use interviews, we were able to identify 13 kinds of marihuana using environments. These were abstracted from smoking context 2 and effects material in the transcribed interviews. Each segment of transcribed interview text was examined for descriptions of smoking environment and subjectively perceived effects, as these were reported by the individual subjects. In all, 578 different context accounts of smoking environment were counted by the scorer, with 527 described effects of marihuana smoking. The reason that the number of effects is not identical to the number of smoking contexts is that sometimes two effects were named for a single environmental setting, and sometimes settings were named but no accompanying effects described. The scorer kept an individual user's tally for effects named and environments cited. The underlying hypothesis for this process of enumeration was that if the subjects named smoking effects and contexts according to their customary smoking habits, then the user typology, previously defined in non-quantitative terms, could be tested by that enumeration. The cross-tabulation format was conceived to facilitate the formulation of a relationship between user type and smoking environment, user type and effects obtained, and smoking environments and effects obtained.

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139 In the analysis, smoking environment has been defined as the place where the user felt the effects described, or where he actually smoked the marihuana. Most often, the two were coterminous. However, users sometimes smoke in preparation for an activity in a place where it would be too risky to smoke; to eliminate confusion, we have scored this as equal to an effect felt in the place where the marihuana is actually smoked. Preparatory smoking is a normal procedure for some of our users. One stable smoker, for example, mentions his preparation for work: At times, I haven't gotten stoned, and I feel a bit donkey-headed, and maybe I have to assemble a control box like that one there, or maybe with 24 circuit breakers. Well, each breaker carries a line, and there's a diagram with instructions to assemble the box, and I feel donkey-headed and I can't do it. Then, I leave it and don't assemble it. The next day, I come to work well-toasted . . . and shortly afterwards the box is assembled. This smoker maintains that preparatory smoking makes him a more effective and willing worker. Another user explains preparatory smoking as follows: When I'm going to talk to the mayor or some official, first I smoke and get stoned, and then I go talk. The same with a lawyer. I like to smoke before talking, because then, with my batteries in, I'm "pure life." I spend day and night smoking weed. The above texts were scored for two smoking environments and one effect each. The first example was scored for "home alone" and "work alone" environments and the "work better" effect. The second was scored for "home alone" and "street

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140 alone" environments and the "improves performance" effect (cf . Table 8) . Stable smokers like the ones quoted above usually have a private place where they do their preparatory smoking undisturbed. Others not so fortunate seclude themselves and smoke all of the material they have in order not to risk being caught in possession. This kind of smoking is not in preparation for any specific activity, but rather for street wandering, bar-hopping, or dancing. One young user explains his preparatory smoking thus: Most of the time you could say (that I smoke) accompanied, because alone it's difficult. I buy (material). I do . . . and find an empty field, and I smoke, since I don't like to carry that stuff around. So what I do is, I go to a place, and I smoke it right there, and I come out of there simply with what I've got in my head. Carrying marihuana in one's head ( la llevo en la jupa ) is a use style which appears in most users' accounts. It is safe, and, except for a very perceptive observer, undetectible . Preparatory smoking is a way for the marihuana smoker to enjoy the effects of the drug in any context he wishes. In doing our analysis of smoking set, certain kinds of similar environments were combined into a single category, especially when they were reported infrequently. For example, smoking in school was combined with smoking alone in a workshop, because smoking in school was reported seldom, and the nature of the smoking environments in both cases was similar. In both, one is forced to hide one's smoking from supervisory authority, and is required to function in the same manner as non-smokers .

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141 Once basic smoking environments were identified, they were tabulated with citation instances in the life history materials and marihuana interviews. When a new environment was found during the sifting of the transcribed interviews, it was either included in a separate category or combined with one of the existing categories. Bar and dance-hall were kept separate because bars are less open smoking environments than dance-halls. Prison, as a smoking environment, is so unique that it was included in spite of the few instances in which it was cited by our sample. To give an adequate idea of the scope and nuance of these smoking contexts, each included in the final tables deserves a brief description. They will be listed in order from "safest" and "lowest risk" to "most open" and "highest risk." Home alone . The smokers in our sample cited this smoking environment more than any other. Of the 5 78 enumerated smoking environments, 128, or 22.1 per cent were in the "home alone" category. All references to smoking alone in one's own or one's family's home were scored for this category, Workshop (school) alone . This was another relatively closed environment, cited in 11.9 per cent of the cases. The "workshop alone" category was scored when the user described an instance of smoking by himself while on the job or in school. Workshop with group . This category was scored when the user mentioned a smoking environment in which he and his working companions smoked together while on the job. Six and

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142 one tenth per cent of cited environments were coded in this fashion. Home with group . This environment could be either in the subject's own home or in the homes of his friends, but it had to connote smoking with other users. This category accounted for 7.1 per cent of all cited environments. Vehicle . Since all of these citations were for group smoking, this category was not separated into solitary and social sub-units, as were the "workshop" and "home" environ-, ment categories. The "vehicle" context accounts for only 2.4 per cent of all environments cited, but since the "ride" in a car or truck is seen by many users as one of the most pleasant smoking environments, we separate it from the countryside contexts described laterCo uivt£y_s2^de_alone . One does not have to go very far from the center of San Jose to find small groves of trees or coffee plantations where he can smoke in relative quiet. Users cited this smoking environment in 2.2 per cent of cases. Street alone . Solitary consumption of marihuana on the streets of San Jose was cited by users in 8.1 per cent of all named user environments. Variations of this environment include ducking into a theatre restroom to smoke a quick joint, smoking in the restrooms of a downtown cafe, and smoking while walking along a dark side street. Countryside group . When users described experiences where several of them resorted to the coffee plantations and nearby rivers for peaceful smoking sessions, these experiences

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143 were scored in the "countryside group" category. With 11.4 per cent of the total responses enumerated, it is the fourth most frequently-cited smoking environment mentioned by our user sample. Street group . The second most-cited smoking environment was the street corner group which smoked marihuana together. Eighteen and three tenths per cent of all smoking environments cited were so categorized. There is always a certain conspiratorial quality in this kind of smoking context; smoking style will vary in accord with the business of a particular corner. Concealment of the yellow marihuana cigarettes is practiced de rigeur , reaching its most sophisticated form on the busiest corners of downtown San Jose. Bar . This smoking environment may be either open (that is, of easy access to non-smoker and police) or closed. If "open," the bar does not provide any security measures for its customers, so smoking style is much more like street smoking. If "closed" the bar provides at least enough vigilance for the clientele to be able to smoke more or less openly. Pension-brothel . This environment was difficult to differentiate from "home alone" because several subjects live or have lived in boarding houses similar to those used in the prostitution trade. The "pension-brothel" category refers to ad hoc rental of single rooms for relations with prostitutes and for smoking. Usually the subject describes a situation where he is alone with his girl, or with one or two companions. Four per cent of the reported smoking environments were of this nature .

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144 Dance-hall . The dimly lit, pulsating lower-class dancehall is an extremely open and therefore risky environment for smoking marihuana. It was cited by our subjects relatively few times (1.5 per cent of all citings). We felt it worthy of some attention as a separate category because of the extreme openness of the environment and the presence of women, neither of which are found in most bar smoking contexts. Prison . By far the smalle=;t category of smoking environment in number and percentage of responses (0.6 per cent), the prison was included because of its uniqueness. The two kinds of prison cited were the central penitentiary and a local detention center. When ranked from most frequently to least frequently cited, the 13 smoking environments fall into the following order : Home alone 22.1% Street group 18.3% Workshop alone 11.9% Countryside group 11.4% Street alone 8.1% Home with group 6.1% Bar 4.3% Pension-brothel 4.0% Vehicle 2.4% Countryside alone 2.2% Dance hall 1. 5% Prison 0.6% Cross-tabulation of user type with these smoking environments tests and gives considerable reinforcement to the original typology. Table 8 illustrates in a straightforward manner the

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145 u a; r C -c O n U 3 o —
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146 the proportion of each smoking environment report attributable to each type of smoker. Smoking context reports were given in slightly different frequencies for each user type. Stable smokers mentioned an average of 12.4 specific smoking contexts, with a range of six to 25. Street movers spoke of anywhere from seven to 34 different smoking contexts with a mean per subject of 16.5. Pastoralist-escapists reported a mean of 14.5 smoking contexts. In order to adjust for the variation in frequency of smoking environment citations among the three user types, we have standardized all of the scores in Table 9 using a formula where the total for Row A is divided by ten times the number of subjects in Row B or vice versa. Because of the small size of the pastoralist-escapist group (only two) , we were forced to "lump" these with the street movers, who, as we mentioned earlier, are similar to the pastoralist-escapists in their use of "open" smoking environments. Thus, the stan293 dardization formula for the stable smokers row would read: 23x10' which yields a factor of 1.274. The individual scores for each smoking environment were then multiplied by the standardization factor , yielding a standardized score for the stable smoker row. When a similar operation was performed on the street mover-pastoralist escapist row, the scores in each row could then be compared. Table 9 illustrates the results of this operation. The "home alone" column holds high scores for the stable smokers, while the street movers and pastoralist-escapists show low

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148 scores for that same column. The two latter user types do at times have access to the home as a smoking environment, but to a much lesser degree and with much less security than . do the stable smokers. A test of significance shows this result to be significant at the .001 level. Other closed environments listed show the same difference among the three user typf?^, wi th the exception of the "vehicle" column. There, the 14 citations are evenly distributed between stable smokers and street movers. This smoking environment is probably more accessible to the street movers than are the other closed environments. A test of statistical significance yields a p value of less than .075, further supporting this conclusion. Stable smokers obtain low scores in all open environments, and the difference is marked in all but one column. For the bar environment, they have a fairly high score, which could be the result of chance variation, coupled with the fact that the bar could be in fact a closed environment, depending on the vigilance measures taken by the manager. The low score that is most striking for the stable smokers is that for "street group" environments. Stable smokers are responsible for only 9 per cent of all described "street group" environments, while street movers gave nearly 90 per cent of the descriptions. This difference was found to be statistically significant at the .0001 level, and indicated clearly that the stable smokers tend to avoid these very open and risky smoking environments .

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149 Street movers have strikingly low scores in all of the columns where the stable smokers have high scores. Only in the "work alone" column do they approach each other. Thus we have a clear bi-polar trend. The street mover tends not to smoke marihuana in the closed secure environments that seem to be havens for stable smokers. The exception of the "work alone" environment may be explained by the fact that the street mover can have more access to this kind of smoking environment than to the other environments named so frequently by stable smokers. Such access does not require much social dominance or special experience. Why street movers and pastoralist-escapists have lower scores than do stable smokers for the "work alone" category may be explained by the fact that they work less, change jobs more often, and thus would be less likely to report smoking while on the job. (See Chapter VI. ) High scores appear for street movers and pastoralistescapists in eight of the 13 smoking context columns which represent the more open environments for smoking marihuana. The "street group," "bar," "pension-brothel," and "prison" smoking contexts show high scores that differentiate street movers and pastoralist-escapists from the stable smokers. Street movers are the only members of the sample who cite smoking experiences in prison, probably reflecting the fact that they have a much more active history of trouble with the authorities than do the other two types of smokers. Smoking on the street in groups is the most often described smoking

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150 environment for the street iriovers, and it is also the easiest way to be identified both by police and by the rest of the coi'mnunity as a smoker. The following quote from a stable smoker explains why he avoids open smoking environments: When I am stoned I don't like any kind of argument or trouble; nothing, because I'm a loner. Along with that, I'll tel]. you something else; I've almost never been in jail. Only once they took me from dov/i"itown San Jose, but that was just because I happened to be there. I had just gotten here. I was in a bar with a friend named "Jug head" and with two boys who "have color" (are known to the police) drinking beer v/hen somebody said "dragnet." They did a "dragnet," but I knew one of the officers in the station house, and I said "Hey, don't you see who they're taking in? You know that I'm a worker; I'm. no thoif; I'm no bum." And he said "Don't worry. We'll have you out of there fast." And so it was. They got me right out of there and that's the way it was. When they came to get m.e they said "... don't ever run around with those boys again, because those two dudes are 'colored'; they're punks, theives, and if you run with hoods like that you'll get the same 'color'." Such an attitude is common, especially among the stable smokers v;ho hold steadVf blue-collar jobs. Gilberto, a young street mover from our sample has a preferred smoking environment in his streetcorner gang. He is unable to smoke at home, because his mother is militantly anti-marihuana and, if she catches him smoking, is likely to throv; him out of the house. Gilberto resorts to the only smoking environment in v/hich he feels he has some control. There is always a tinge of defiance of the authorities in his descriptions of smoking in the street. He observes the conventions of concealment assiduously. When in his elem.ent on the street corner, he exudes a confidence and outspokenness

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151 which disappears in the presence of his mother or older brothers. Other street movers are even more audacious and skilled, choosing smoking environments of which Gilberto v;ould be afraid. They smoke on the street because they have few other places where they can smoke. Fi liber to, a young street mover with more experience in street ways, describes how he can bring himself to smoke even with strangers: I nterviewer : Aren't you afraid to smoke with strangers? Subject: No, what's to scare you? Almost always you smoke with other "burners" and if you don't do it with them, well., you don't smoke. If somebody's not from your crowd, how can you be afraid to smoke with him if he is a "burner"? Street movers do not seem to be concerned about their identification with other smokers, indeed they seem to be resigned to the risks cf such identification. Another look at Table 8 will reveal that the pastoralistescapist group had only three cells that hinted at a difference from the street movers. "Country-side alone," "street alone," and oddly enough "dance hall" contexts were named in a relatively high frequency by the pastoralist-escapist. "Countryside group" and "street alone" have by far the highest number of citations. Generally, pastci"alis--escapis-cs show a tendency not to mentj.on the closed smoking environments in which, stable smokers use marihuana, v/hiic e"chev;ing the risky open environments frequented by the street movers. The single exception is their frequent menrion of; and t'-.e-i. ef ore high positive score for.

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152 the "dance hall" category. The following excerpt from one pastoralist-escapist ' s interview illustrates the dance hall's attraction for this otherwise reclusive variety of Costa Rican marihuana user: Interviewer : Where do you dance? Subject^ The Broken Mug is where I generally hang out. (name several working-class and low-life dance halls) . . . and, shoot, I don't even go outside. I get the urge to keep dancing, and I'm blasted and fantastic! I'm a dancing fiend .... I really like the atmosphere. Pastoralist-escapists do not smoke in most of the closed smoking environments. For some reason, the most risky of the open smoking environments do not attract them either, with the exception of dance halls, where they seek female companionship and escape in music and dance. This leaves them solitary street smoking and the countryside as viable alternatives. Paco, the older of the two pastoralist-escapists included in the sample, once visited our office after hours, and asked if it would be all right to smoke there. When asked why he did not want to smoke in the street, he replied that he did not wish for anyone to be able to identify him as a marihuana smoker, or, as he put it, "I don't want to be painted that way." (" No quiero andar con pinta .") We asked Paco if he would smoke in the house if his in-laws, with whom he lived, were not there. He replied that he knew smokers who smoked with their families present, but that they were "A bunch of mud-faces who respect neither their ladies nor their pups." ("Son un mont(5n de carebarros que no respetan ni a sus donas

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154 ni a sus cachorros .") This kind of attitude is what separates the pastoralist-escapists from the other kinds of users. Figure C contrasts the smoking environment count proportions for the three smoker types. During the interview on marihuana use, stable smokers spent most of their time talking about closed smoking environments, while the street movers concentrated much more on the open environment. Pastoralistescapists showed a marked preference for open, but relatively low-risk environments, with countryside environments accounting for nearly 40 per cent of all contexts cited. This does not mean that these percentages represent the actual smoking time that the three types of users spend in each respective smoking environment. It does suggest trends, however, that reinforce the validity of the basic typology. Pastoralist-escapists are not totally incapable of smoking on the street or in other high-risk situations. Street movers occasionally get to smoke in their own homes or the homes of others. Stable smokers may occasionally have smoked marihuana in street groups. But each user types has certain modal tendencies in selecting his smoking environment. The answers to several specific questions in marihuana use interviews reinforce this interpretation. In answer to the question, "Under what social circumstances do you smoke?" the subjects reponded in the following manner: (12.2%) 5 Does not smoke in social circumstances. (58.5%) 24 Smokes in low-risk circumstances. (29.3%) 12 Smokes in general social circumstances. (Parties, bars, in the street, etc.)

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155 This might suggest that the pure street movers are slightly less numerous than indicated by the previous analysis. However, a check of individual score sheets, taking into consideration the borderline cases between stable smokers and pastoralist-escapists revealed no disagreement between these figures and the previous analysis. Seventy and seven tenths per cent of the users indicated some uneasiness in smoking by limiting it to the lowest-risk environments available. Figures contained in the first eight environment columns listed in Table 8, represent 71.4 per cent of the total. Since these eight are the lowest risk smoking environments listed, their per cent of the total environment citations would also seem to offer strong reinforcement for the point made above . Practically all of the sample said that they at times meet with friends for the specific purpose of smoking marihuana; only five of the 41 users said that they did not. When asked with whom they smoked most of the time, the sample of users responded thus : (9.8%) 4_ with relatives (48.8%) 20 with friends (19.5%) 8 with work companions (21.9%) 9_ alone This datum seems reasonable in light of Table 8 since all smokers at times choose solitary marihuana-smoking contexts. Smoking alone is the easiest way to reduce the risk of discovery. Most users indicate that they care about their smoking environment enough to often seek low-risk environments;

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156 the 44.3 per cent overall total for solitary contexts is thus not surprising. Yet, the fact that 55.7 per cent of all contexts mentioned were social where other smokers were included indicates that, in spite of risks, social contexts are, when all is said and done, the most preferred. Nearly 90 per cent of all smokers said that they had smoked either while on the job, or immediately before, so as to be under the influence of marihuana during their work. This leads to the expectation that the percentage of workcontext smoking environment descriptions in the marihuana use interview material would be much higher than it is in fact. If everyone smokes at work, then why do they not talk about it as much as they do about home or other recreational contexts? It may be that the subjects, in attempting to give the most exciting stories possible about their marihuana experiences, thought the work contexts too ordinary and humdrum to be worthy of much attention. Effects on work performance, to be discussed later, will clarify part of this discrepancy. The majority of marihuana use appears to be reclusive and timid, not defiant in nature. At most, 39 per cent of our sample may be identified as flaunters of Costa Rica's societal and legal conventions. For the most part, users are cautious about people and places around which they smoke. The majority of users take basic precautions to prevent discovery by the authorities or by hostile relatives. Both stable smokers and pastoralist-escapists are characterized by choosing low-risk smoking situations.

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157 Subjective Effects of Marihuana Use The following analysis points out the relationship between smoking environment and subjective effects. Crosstabulation techniques will be used to couch these relationships in the quantitative data derived from the life historymaterials elicited from each user in the matched-pair sample. The immediate effects of marihuana smoking would seem to depend as much on user set and expectation as on sheer physiological response. Subject and observer reports yield • 68 distinguishable effects for which Cannabis was assumed to be the cause. Although subjective in nature, the large body of data from which they were culled would suggest that they strongly represent the effects of marihuana use in the study population. From the interview and participant observation materials, we have been able to extract 52 7 separate descriptions of marihuana effects. All but eleven of these could be easily clustered, and are cross-tabulated with smoking environment in Table 10. Each deserves a brief description, including criteria for scoring. 1. Bad for eyes . This effect was cited relatively few times, and included blurred or distorted vision, irritation, some combination of the two, or eye redness . 2. Good for asthma . Subjects naming this effect either suffered from asthma themselves or had friends or relatives who used the drug to relieve asthma symptoms.

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158 ^Dry mout h, rough throat . Although one of the "universal physiological effects," it is mentioned relatively few times in the interview materials. All subjects in our experience regularly suffer from dry mouths and red eyes, yet in our interviews they seem not to give these effects much importance. ^Nerves (+ and -) . Subjects attributed both a calming effect and a nervousness effect to marihuana use. When users attributed greater tranquillity to marihuana use, this was scored as +. Minus was scored when subjects said that they had "nerves"^ as a result of smoking. 5. Sweat, cough. Although these effects could also be called "universal," they did not receive much attention from the users either. Because they appear together in all of the interview materials, they have been combined in the coding categories. ^Relieves aches and pains . Users mentioned this effect only twice, and both times it was associated with working situations. The back and legs were the areas relieved. 7. Heat. This effect involved a sensation of heat coursing through the entire body, but was not necessarily connected with rapid heart rate. It was described simply as "heat in the entire body." 8Bad for lungs . Two users reported that heavy marihuana use damaged the lungs. Since only two mentioned this effect, it must be of relatively little importance to the users. 9Muerte blanca , "white death ." In the life history interview materials this was the fourth most frequently-cited effect. In most Cannabis literature this is called "panic reaction." It represents 7.2 per cent of all effect descriptions. It will be described in greater detail later in the report.

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159 10. General "blahs . " A negative reaction to smoking large quantities of marihuana, this effect is rare. The users who experienced it claimed not to feel sick, just mildly sub-normal. 11. Marihuana hangover . Also relatively rare, the marihuana hangover occurs on the morning after a night of very heavy indulgence. The symptoms are much the same as those of an alcohol hangover, with dry mouth, headache, and queasy stomach. 12. Sleep (+ and -) . Most users said that marihuana helped them sleep more soundly. Some went as far as to claim that they could not get to sleep unless they smoked at least one cigarette before bedtime. Only two claimed that marihuana had a deleterious effect on their sleep. 13. Sex (+ and -) . The third most-cited effect was sexual performance and enjoyment. This accounted for 7.8 per cent of all effects described in the interview materials. A single individual described one instance of marihuana's negatively affecting sexual intercourse. The perceived effect of the drug on sex will be described in more detail. 14 . Food appetite and enjoyment (+, -, and 0) . In addition to having positive and negative effects, in two instances users claimed that marihuana smoking had no effect at all on appetite or food enjoyment (0) . Since they represent more than 10 per cent of all described effects, those involving appetite will also be described in greater detail. 15. Work performance (+ and -) . The single most described effect extracted from the interview materials was that on work performance. Seventeen reports described a negative effect of marihuana smoking on work performance, while 38 showed a positive one. The

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160 negative effects were limited to problems with shortterm memory and concentration, while the positive ones had to do with endurance, work enjoyment, and care or concentration on job tasks. A section will later be devoted to the relationship between work performance and marihuana smoking. 16. General performance (+ and -) . This category of effects deals with performance situations outside of institutional settings. Such contexts include street transactions, card games, police evasion, and sports activities, especially soccer games. The positive descriptions are only slightly more numerous than the negative ones. 1'7Sing better . Another rare effect, this was claimed only by non-professional singers in the sample, and the singing was always done in the home. 18. Time on the job goes faster . In contrast to the usual claims by North American users'^ that time slows down while one is smoking marihuana, Costa Rican users who smoke on the job claim that work time goes faster if they are intoxicated with marihuana. Although this effect was reported only rarely, its contrast with the claims of other smoking traditions makes it of special interest. 1^Uncontrollable mirth . The participant observation materials contained references to this effect in far greater frequency than do the interview materials. This would indicate that laughter and gaiety were observed by the field team fairly often, but that the users did not consider them very important. Goode (1971) shows this effect to be quite important among North American users. 20Passive audience . We scored this effect when the user described a marihuana-intoxicated state in which

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161 he felt more like watching than doing. Television and movies were the usual objects of interest, but sometimes users mentioned watching other people dance in a bar, or watching a sporting event, or simply watching people pass by on the street. 21. An ti -boredom . Fewer than 1 per cent of the effects described in the interview materials were of this nature. Smokers reporting this effect usually described their "high" as livening up their approach to an otherwise unstimulating social environment. 22. Everything rosier . One of the more frequentlycited effects (5.2 per cent of all described effects), this one refers to a general feeling of well-being in everyday situations. Surroundings which would otherwise be very unpleasant become, after smoking marihuana, at least bearable. Once the "high" is achieved, existence in general is less sad and burdensome, and prospects are more hopeful. 23. Alcohol comparison {and -) . None of the marihuana smokers in our sample said that alcohol was better than marihuana, but a few said that it was about the same. Most agreed the marihuana intoxication was better than alcohol intoxication. They based this judgment on the degree of self-control maintained by the marihuana user as compared to the drunk, and on the absence of physical dependency on the part of the marihuana user which they contrasted with the chronic alcoholic's constant desperation for a drink. Since users often had considerable experience with alcohol use on a very heavy levels, they had a strong experiential basis for making such comparisons. 24. Behavioral compensation . This smoking effect was scored when users described social context in which they had to conceal the fact that they were under the

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162 influence of marihuana. According to these users, an experienced smoker of marihuana can usually disguise his intoxication well enough to keep those around him (except perhaps other experienced smokers) from discovering that he has been smoking. In the strictest sense, this is not an effect, but rather a masking of effect. Still behavioral compensation helps to define the extent to which the user feels he has control over his actions, and thus may help delineate the perceived limits to self-control as they relate to marihuana use. 25. Fright (susto) . This refers to a state similar to a mild form of shock, brought on by a sudden frightening experience. It is rare, but usually it has a direct connection with the appearance of narcotics police where the user is smoking. In one case, it was related to the user's nearly having a traffic accident. This effect was scored only when it was apparent that the user felt his reaction to fright to be exaggerated because he was under the influence of marihuana at the time of the frightening experience. 2^Active participation . This category covers many recreational contexts; it is the opposite of the passive audience category. Effects described in the interview materials where the smoker felt that marihuana was the cause for exhuberant and unself conscious physical activities were scored into this category. Plunging with abandon into a game of soccer or swimming or dancing tirelessly were the most frequently cited instances of this effect. 27. Fight. One of the rarer effects mentioned in the interviews was fighting. The two users who described this effect claimed that the drug makes them "touchy" and easy to offend. Both users have bellicose life histories.

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163 28. Act idiotic . This is the opposite of the behavioral compensation category, and it should be noted that this effect is mentioned only twice in 516 effect descriptions. The two individuals reporting this effect claimed to do stupid (but not necessarily harmful) things while under the influence of the drug. 29. You isolate yourself socially . In four instances, users described a reaction to marihuana smoking in which they did not pay attention to the people around them. Rather than converse, the users experiencing this effect remained wrapped in their own thought, not bothering to make conversation or even to acknowledge the presence of others around them. 30. You become socially more aggressive . An equal number of instances were described by users in which they became more outgoing as a result of marihuana smoking. Using marihuana to give courage to start conversations with strangers was the form in which the users described this effect. 31. Helps to face the day . This effect was recorded only when users indicated that their normal day was not properly started unless they smoked marihuana at first rising. Such an effect is similar to the everything rosier category, but the user shows special need for the drug in order to cope with daily problems. It should be noted that the users who cited this effect were in extremely difficult situations when they experienced this effect. One was, in fact, in prison. 32. Floating sensation . Very few users mention the floating sensation in their descriptions of marihuana's effects. This reflects the general impression of the field team that users in our sample do not have a particularly reverent or awe-struck perception of marihuana and its effects. When the floating sensation was

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164 cited, the users claimed that their heads felt strange, and that their steps felt light. 33. Music sounds better . This is not a universally perceived effect, but it is widespread among our sample group. Users claimed to enjoy music more after smoking marihuana; they felt that it helped them to listen more acutely, and to appreciate subtleties which they could not hear when not under the influence of Cannabis. 34. Nothing . Seven instances were described where the user smoked marihuana, but felt no effect of any kind. Five of these occurred in the street group context. 35. Perception altered . Very few of the effects described were scored into this category. In order to be so scored, the user had to describe a perceptual distortion of either vision or hearing. Changes in shapes and sizes, and unusual loudness of noises were the usual forms of these effect descriptions. 36. Conversation (+ and -) . Usually the smokers said that their conversation improved under the influence of marihuana. They considered their manner of speech to be more fluid and confident while stoned. They also claimed that they were able to handle complex conversational topics with greater ease while intoxicated. Those who thought that marihuana hurt the quality of their conversation mentioned problems of remembering the exact topics of conversations and their tendency, when intoxicated, to speak for long periods on trivial matters, and thereby to waste time. 37. Thoughts more profound . Many of the smokers in our sample considered marihuana to be an aid to concentration. When they mentioned improved mental function as a subjective effect of marihuana, we

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168 scored it in this category. Some users said that they used marihuana to help them to concentrate on a single problem. Others said that they derived more reading enjoyment when stoned. 38. One becomes creative . A few of our users, despite their working class status, claim that marihuana causes them to become more creative, either in writing or in painting. They say that some of their leisure smoking time is occupied with designing a house, or writing an autobiography or painting a picture. 39. Bad for memory . Some marihuana users mention the deleterious effect that marihuana has on memory, both short-term and long-term. This effect is cited in a workshop setting, and usually involves losing count in some repetitive task. User's perceptions of long-term memory problems are less specific and well defined. These 39 effect categories include practically all sorts of smoking experiences given more than once, with the excep-. tion of those instances when the effect was attributed to the mixing of alcohol with marihuana. Such mixing will be treated in greater detail later. Nine effects were mentioned only once, and have been left out in order to make the analysis less cumbersome. As it appears in Table 10 the relationship between smoking environment and effects could seem to be very obscure. In an effort to simplify the readability of the cross-tabulation and to clarify the relationship between environment and effect, the 39 major effects have been grouped into categories in Table 11. Effects 1-8 were grouped into the physical

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170 effects category, and included all effects which users perceived as in some way changing their bodies. Effects 9-11 were placed in the "bad trip" category, since they refer to the three kinds of bad experiences connected with use of the drug. Effects 12-14 comprise the influence described by consumers on the appetites. Effects 15-18 are related to work and performance. Effects 19-31 include all effects which involve a change in behavior or general state of mind. Effects 32-39 cover marihuana-induced changes in specific senses and in cognitive processes. In Table 11 the cells contain the number of cited effects as they correspond with each environment type. In Table 12 a standardization process similar to that used in Table 9 was employed to make the scores in each cell comparable from one effect to another. To derive the standardization factor for a given row, the multiple of all other g rows was divided by 2 x 10 . For example, to derive the standardization factor for the physiological effects row, Q 45 X 111 X 89 X 119 x 8 was divided by 2 x 10 , which yielded o a factor of 2.33. The number 2 x 10 was used in order to make the standardization factor easy to use, because the multiplication of row totals yield numbers in the billions which are entirely too unwieldy for tabular purposes. Each cell in the physiological effects row was then multiplied by this factor to produce a standardized score. When a similar operation was performed for each effects type, the scores in each column could be compared with each other.

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171 Looking at the first column in Table 12, we see that the physiological and appetites effects occur in relatively high frequency in the "home alone" smoking environment. In contrast, the work and performance effects occur in a markedly high frequency in the "workshop alone" environment. The general pattern, then, is that users tend to match subjective effects with elements that are characteristic of the environments in which they smoke. In other words, the marihuana smoker builds his effect experience on what he finds at hand. We find, for example, that "physiological" effects are mentioned for solitary or closed smoking environments more than for open or social environments. The user, when alone, takes what is within reach, in this case his own body functions, and associates that with the effect experienced from the smoking of marihuana. Table 13 contains standardized scores which make comparisons between rows and columns possible. The circled scores in this table are those which are notably high. The symbols placed below the circled scores indicate whether they are high in comparison to the other scores in that row or the other scores in that column, or both. We can see that the effect types that occur in high frequency relative to their respective column in the home alone environment are also high relative to their respective rows. This means that physiological and appetites effects occur more often in the home alone environment than the other kinds of effects, and that they make up a high percentage of all of the physiological

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173 and appetites effects for all environments. The same maybe said for the work and performance effects group and its correlation with the "workshop alone" environment. The "bad trip" group of marihuana smoking effects shows very marked high frequency in the most open and risky smoking contexts (cf . circled scores in Table 13) . The only closed environment which shows a markedly high standardized score for this effect group is the "home group" smoking environment, and this is relative only to the other effects types in that environment, rather than to other environments. Since the "home in group" column is one of the smaller columns, this may be due in part to the presence of three zeroes in the home in group column. Otherwise, "open" or "risky" environments show a high frequency of "white death." Given the fact that more than 80 per cent of bad trip descriptions are muerte blanca , or "white death," we may hypothesize that such a reaction may derive, in large part, from the insecurity and fear associated with these open smoking environments. White death is the Costa Rican equivalent of what is known in the United States as "panic reaction" (cf . Tart 1971) . The Costa Rican term is colorful and very hyperbolic, since no user lives in terror of white death. Most users treat it as a completely routine and ordinary phenomenon, curable with a cold soft drink or a glass of sugar water. Marihuana users in our sample have had widely varying experiences with white death during their long smoking

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174 careers. Fifteen individuals, or 36.6 per cent of the matched pair sample, claim never to have experienced this unpleasant effect. The rest had white death four times or less in their entire smoking careers. Only one user claims to have experienced white death more than eight times. At the onset of white death the user begins to feel dizzy and cold, breaking into cold sweats, and feeling the need to defecate and urinate. One subject describes the symptoms as follows: You kind of feel faint. Maybe you're sitting and you feel dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, and you see some things backwards and everything begins to spin, and you often begin to vomit, and other times, well almost always you feel like vomiting. But many times you feel faint and you play strongman and you sit for a while and it passes. Interviewer : How long does it last? Subject : Well, now, it varies; it's quick. It could last at most an hour, maybe a half-hour-at most an hour. Interviewer : How does one feel? Is there pain? Subject : No, no pain, but you're out of control, like everything's spinning like dizzy. Everything spins a lot, you know, spinning, spinning, spinning. It gets you like that. There is no holy dread reflected in these observations, simply distaste for the experience. The subject continues to describe an onset situation: Once I was lame in this foot, and I went to my brother-in-law's who smokes. ... We bought a roll and we smoked it between the two of us, twelve each, but because I was hurting in this foot, right (I had the foot infected) I was lame and surely all that didn't agree with me. . . . There I went, walking or hobbling to the bus stop. I was all right up to there, but when my foot heated up, and when I got to the bus stop, I had to grab a post; I saw everything spinning, and you begin to sweat icy streams, and you stay that way, soaked and see everything spinning, dizzy. Then that passes, and you stay

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175 white, white, white. Interviewer ; White death. Subject : Laughs. Finally he offers his own theory on the causes of that onset: . . . Well, the white death many times . . . happens to you because you're weak. There's no need to smoke 50, or even two or three. If you're weak somehow, it can disagree with you . . . although you may not feel it, or even realize, but many times you have a weakness in the body and then it (marihuana) disagrees with you. Although the above description is characteristic, there is great disagreement among the users in our sample about the cause of white death. Some believe that smoking marihuana in excess will cause it. Others find that smoking after alcohol consumption, a phenomenon to be discussed later in greater detail, causes them to suffer white death. Most users think that some physical or mental weakness, when combined with marihuana smoking, can cause it. "You must get your mind right before smoking," said one informant of long experience. "If you're depressed or sick, the white death grabs you." The observed appearance of a user who is going through white death is very similar to that of a victim of mild shock, The subject's face becomes pale, and he usually rests his head in his hands. If he is given a soft drink at this point, he will be back to normal in a few minutes. If not, he may vomit or rush off to relieve himself. His companions joke about his weakness and lack of resistance while they go about the mundane business of securing a soft drink or other curing preparation. If none of these are found, the white

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176 death victim is escorted home to where he can lie down and "sleep it off." This is very different from the North American pattern of elaborate supportive companionship, which is intended to help the panic reaction victim to cope with his reaction psychologically. Although Costa Rican users think that the cause of white death may be either psychological or physiological, the cure they offer is physiological and very direct. The reported distribution of the effects which we have called "Appetites," encompassing food, sex, and sleep, seems to reinforce the idea that whatever is at hand commands the most attention among users. Table 12 and 13 show that the "home alone" and the "pension-brothel" contexts have strong correlation with appetite-related effects. At home, users have direct access to resources that may be used to satisfy the need for either food, sex, or sleep. Some go to pensionbrothels for food or sex. Others, if this interpretation is valid, would seem to search for appetite satisfaction in the context of "countryside groups" and "street groups." Users generally claim that both their sex appetites and their food appetites are increased as a result of smoking marihuana. Twenty-nine, or 70.7 per cent of the sample responded that marihuana increased food appetite, while only nine said that it had no effect, and two that it had a negative effect. Among those who perceive an increase of appetite, Gilberto, a young street-mover mentioned earlier, says that his mother can tell when he has been smoking by the quantity of food he eats at home:

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177 . . . and I arrive home stoned, and she (subject's , mother) keeps looking at my face, but she doesn't say anything. Interviewer : Do you think that she knows when you're stoned? Subject : It seems to me that she must suspect it, especially when I come home stoned to eat and I get there, and she says, "You're going to eat?" and sure, I eat heartily, and she says "hmmmmm. " Stable smokers also note increased appetite for food when they are under the influence of marihuana. One stable smoker claims that he is actually gaining weight as a consequence of his increased consumption of marihuana. One pastoralist-escapist , however, claims that he prefers not to smoke before, but only after eating, since he considers the high more important than his eating pleasure. He believes that eating after smoking reduces the effect of the marihuana. He expresses this belief in the following excerpt: Interviewer : You like smoking after eating? Subject : Right, first eating. If it's time for me to feed, first the feed and then the weed. If I get stoned and then feed, sure I feed sharp, like a guillotine, but I de-stone myself, understand? It takes away the weed. It's like getting stoned and downing a soft drink or a beer or something like that. Who knows what causes that .... On the other hand, if I feed and afterwards I get stoned, you should see what a hit! I'm stoned just fine. This subject's avoidance of food in order to maximize the psychotropic effect of the drug testifies to the high value he places on sensation effects of marihuana smoking. Only among the very heaviest users do we find that there is no perceived effect on food appetite. Often these individuals began their smoking careers with increased appetite

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178 effects , but later they found that marihuana smoking no longer affected their appetites. Negative effect on appetite is rarely seen among the users even though several have deficient diets. Lalo is one of the two users who report negative effects on appetite as a result of smoking marihuana. . . . I caught, how should I say it? Like a mania that dried up my hunger. No. How is it? Like indigestion . . , I . . . well, began not to eat except at night .... I drink coffee and smoke marihuana and I smoke white (tobacco) cigarettes in quantity ... I drink coffee and smoke marihuana, nothing else. . . . The only thing that bothered me was that I got indigestion at normal eating times during the day. . . . Like today, I haven't eaten anything, only I drank coffee six times . Lalo's loss of appetite for food is very unusual. His unhappy life situation, both presently and during his childhood, must have had a strong influence on his dietary habits. Even though he attributes his loss of appetite to marihuana smoking, his rather bizarre life experiences seem to have also influenced his eating habits. Since his mother was a prostitute and marihuana vendor during his childhood, Lalo was usually left to his own devices for dietary selection and eating schedule. This resulted in irregular meals of poor quality with sporadic periods of no food at all. As Lalo's mother continued her pattern of neglect, Lalo's eating habits became set in such a way that his present day eating style, with its poor nutritional quality and irregularity, strongly resembles that of his childhood. It comes as no surprise that Lalo now has dietary and digestive problems; it is doubtful that they could be due simply to his marihuana smoking.

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179 Thirty-four users claim that sexual appetite and performance are positively influenced by marihuana. Six claim that marihuana has a neutral effect on sex, and only one says that the effect is negative. Users say that marihuana increases their desire for sexual contact, even if it does not necessarily lead to orgasm. In many of their accounts, they emphasize tactile stimuli. One user claims that he prefers not to have sex when he is intoxicated with marihuana because he tends simply to lie snuggled next to the sexual partner and not do anything. The most frequently-cited effect of marihuana smoking on sex is increased endurance. Users claim that erections are maintained longer, and that they are easier to obtain while under the influence of the drug. Paco provides a colorful description of the combination of marihuana and sex: But the best thing is to be mounted on top (in the sex act) because you get a sensation that's so strange and so delicious that really, I think everything trembles, and it's delicious. That stuff's strange because with weed your member thickens, who knows why? You get harder, stiff er when you're stoned, because the chicks that I've had when there's weed, well they say, "What a brute!" On the other hand, when I'm not stoned and I'm doing it, they don't make as much noise, but when I'm stoned, they can't endure it. The idea that women prefer men to be "high" during sexual contact is very common among users. A stable smoker describes it similarly: Interviewer : What effect does it have on sex? Subject! Well, marihuana gives you more resistance, that is, you last longer, ehhh! You dilate. Well, I dilate. On the other hand, without it, it's less; with it you last long. Normally, it's not the same.

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180 There are women who like to be with a man like that. There are women who get stoned and they like to be with a man who's stoned so they last longer. This subject considers sex his favorite activity while under the influence of marihuana. Although the above accounts are typical of user's assessments of marihuana's effects on sex, a lone user says that excessive use can be deleterious to both sex appetite and performance. He finds erection difficult with heavy doses of the drug: Interviewer : Would you have more or fewer sexual relations when you've smoked more than you usually do? Subject : Well, about the same. . . . Actually, when I smoke very much I can't get anything up, because when you're well-toasted . . . you're hopeless (literally, "in the street"). You can't get it up. This subject smokes with his wife, often attaining very heavy dosage levels. He finds that lighter dosages of marihuana can be stimulating sexually, just as do the other users cited above. Six users claim that marihuana has a neutral effect on sex. They tend to be heavy users, and most often stable smokers. Tonio, one of these stable smokers, is a case in point : Interviewer : Do you think marihuana has effects on sex? Subject : Well, many people say that it does, but I think it's normal. Interviewer ; There aren't changes? Subject : There aren't changes for me personally. Interviewer ; No more pleasure or anything? Subject : No. Whether stoned or sober, Tonio was not very active sexually.

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181 but the user who provided the following quote is extremely active: Interviewer : What in your opinion are the effects that marihuana has on sex? Subject : Well, I never paid much attention to any of that. It's the same to me with or without marihuana. This individual's use is so heavy and so constant that it is difficult to decide whether or not he has an adequate basis for comparison between sexual experience during marihuana intoxication and marihuana-free sexual contact. Nevertheless, his indifference to the drug in combination with sex provides sharp contrast to the testimony of the first two users cited. Sleep has been included in the appetites category because it is an everyday experience which takes on a special pleasureful sense when combined with the psychotropic effects of marihuana. Being a need almost as undeniable as food, its universality cannot be questioned. In review materials there were 17 citations of effects on sleep. Generally, the users testified that marihuana smoking has a positive effect on sleep, and one even claimed that he has to smoke before going to bed. In the overall sample, a slightly but not significantly higher number of users said that they sleep well and soundly all of the time. Thirty one users claimed not to have any sleep disturbance at all, while nine had occasional sleep disturbance, and one claimed to be an insomniac. Interview materials contain only two citations of negative effects of marihuana on sleep, both of these in connection with occasional

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182 sleep disturbance. Other sleep disruptions among marihuana users occur often in connection with alcohol use. Generally, the "appetites" effects strongly reinforce the idea that users take advantage of available resources from which to derive individual pleasure. Poor appetite is the most environmentally generalized of the three effects, occurring in both private and social contexts. Opportunities to satisfy these appetites occur in all of these environments. In contrast, sex is limited to private contexts, as is sleep, and therefore citations of these effects tend to be clustered in the "home alone" and "pension-brothel" smoking environments. Again, users in our sample tend not to use marihuana to prime themselves for intensive pleasure seeking activity, but rather to enhance the sources of stimuli that are most readily accessible. The "Work and Performance" effects category reinforces this idea still further. In Table 13 we find that the only circled cells for this category are in the "work alone," "work with group" smoking environments. These are both environments in which the user is likely to form opinions based on both objective and subjective observations from his companions as well as from himself. They are environments in which the user must perform some action which is judged for its efficiency or rapidity or aesthetic quality. Marihuana smokers are slightly less in agreement about the effects of smoking on work performance than they are for effects on sex or food hunger or sleep. Although in Chapter VI

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183 we shall discuss the matter in greater detail, here we can say that users generally consider the effect of marihuana smoking on work and performance to be positive. In response to our question, "Has marihuana ever impeded your working at full capacity?" Only eleven of the 41 users say that at one time or another this has happened. To another question, phrased differently to read, "Has marihuana ever helped you work better?" only nine replied negatively whereas 32 replied positively. It may seem circular to argue that marihuana smokers mention work-related effects most frequently in connection with work-related environments, but this is necessary in view of existing beliefs about the drug, particularly in Costa Rica. It is commonly believed in Costa Rica that smokers of marihuana are moved by the effects of the drug to go out and commit criminal acts, such as rape, robbery, and assault. We have seen that, far from doing that, Costa Rican users tend to emphasize what they have at hand while under the influence of Cannabis. If a user works, he either smokes on the job, or smokes just before work, and in this way passes his work day more tranquilly. If this interpretative approach is correct, then it would appear that some crimes may be committed under the influence of marihuana, but that they simply represent the everyday activity of the criminal who happens to smoke marihuana. The criminal is not driven by the drug to commit crime; rather, his marihuana smoking is incidental to it.

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184 The behavior and sensation category or effects includes a large number of effects which were grouped together for analytic purposes. Among others, they include active participation, uncontrollable mirth, behavioral compensation, fighting (rare) and social isolation. These effects have a higher citation frequency for the open smoking environments. Again, this reinforces the idea that users perceive the available resources for enjoyment or entertainment as the most important in a given smoking environment. It is surprising that the "street group" smoking environment does not show strong positive correlations with the category of behavior and sensation scores as do "bar," "countryside group" and "prison" contexts. This may be explained, however, by the wide range of effects included in this category, including some diametrically opposed, such as passive audience and active participation. To understand the nature of the behavior and sensation effects category, users' descriptions of some of the more frequently-cited effects can be useful. Active participation effects are mentioned 15 times in the user texts, and are aptly illustrated by this stable smoker's account: . . . In Puntarenas , I got there and got stoned on the beach, and I jumped into the water, and when I finally realized what was happening, I found I was under the pier, swimming like an idiot, • . . Luckily, there was a little boat, a fisherman there and they pulled me out, because if it had been up to me , I would have kept on going. Swimming with all his might in such a manner is not an unusual example of the exuberance which many users feel for physical activity under the influence of marihuana. Dancing, playing

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185 soccer, and walking in the country are some of the other activities in the same vein mentioned by smokers. The effect which we have called "everything rosier" was mentioned 27 times in our interview tests. The majority of these citations occurred in connection with the most heavilycited environments: "Street alone," "home alone," and "street group." This effect is very general, and as a result, does not show any marked pattern of specificity to a limited range of smoking environments. Pace's comments illustrate the euphoria which users often attribute to marihuana smoking : Interviewer : Why do you think you've kept smoking marihuana so long? Subject : Well, because I dig it. In every sense, it sends the mind in so many directions, right. You feel more "pure life," as if you'd taken some super nourishment. Interviewer : Does it help you in some way? Subject : Only in the sense that I'm inspired. I feel like another person, in another world. Sure, you feel like somebody else, man. Like right now, I'm bored, well, without weed, without anything, noodling it out (referring to the interview situation) but now if I should get hold of a reefer, I get stoned. Now I'm somebody else, understand. Everything is groovier, you get into another wavelength. The "other world" spoken of here does not imply fantasy, but a change in the tone in which Paco perceives his surroundings. Uncontrollable mirth, so often described by other user populations especially in the United States, is not cited very frequently by the Costa Rican users in our sample. Only ten citations of uncontrollable laughter were cited among 516 total effect citations, roughly 2 per cent. They all occur in open group smoking situations in the country or in the city

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186 streets. In these situations, the users often tell jokes, and clown with the explicit purpose of provoking laughter. Field observations repeatedly associate uncontrollable mirth with the "street group" and the "countryside group" smoking environments. Costa Rican users do not associate marihuana use strictly with recreational contexts, and we believe that this is the reason why mirth is not cited as frequently by them as by their North American or Western European counterparts. This and other differences between North American and lower-class Costa Rican marihuana users in the kinds of subjective effects reported implies differences in the values attached to marihuana use. Brecher ' s (1975) and Rubin and Comitas ' (1975) warnings about the influence of cultural factors on marihuana and its effects apply to the analysis of the Costa Rican data. We are obviously dealing with a tradition which is quite different from the patterns of Cannabis use found in North America in the kinds of meaning attached to marihuana smoking by users of the drug. Attempts to test the attributes of amotivational syndrome against Costa Rican patterns of Cannabis use should take value differences into account. "Passive audience" is an effect cited by some of the users in our sample, although it occurs in a relatively low frequency. Even though North American users often cite this and closely related effects (Goode 1970: 153-155), references to it by our Costa Rican user sample accounted

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187 for only 2.8 per cent of their total number of citations. Again, the more recreational attitude toward marihuana use prevalent among the North American users probably accounts for the difference. When the users in our sample responded to the question, "What do you like to do best while smoking?" we found that 27 preferred active recreations or work, while only seven named passive recreations and a like number, seven, preferred to be with friends. These figures at first do not seem to match with the data from the effects citation sheet, which show that active participation was cited only once more than was passive audience behavior. This could be because "active recreations" in the coded response sheet includes a broader range of activities than does "active participation." Active recreations include sex, attendance at sporting events, and other matters which, in the tabulation of specific effects, were placed in categories other than active participation. In terms of user preferences, the juxtaposition of active and passive recreations is plain, with an overall tendency to emphasize activeness rather than passiveness in the behavior of smokers under the influence of marihuana. On 17 occasions in the interview material, marihuana and alcohol were compared. Marihuana was judged superior to alcohol on 13 of these measures, and more or less the same in the remaining four. In no interview did a subject assess marihuana as worse than alcohol. Generally, the tone of the comments was that users feel that they are in greater control

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188 of their faculties and actions when intoxicated with marihuana than when intoxicated with alcohol. One of the younger users puts it this way: Well, you know that I have several friends in the barrio .... (Names friends) . . . with guaro (liquor) they get the urge to raise a fuss, to punch it out with somebody. Even I, when I down a few drinks, and I'm with them, I also get the urge . . . . Well, why should I let somebody hit them? On the other hand, when I'm stoned ... at least I don't go around raising a fuss with anybody. The theme of not enjoying the company of drunks is often heard in talking to users. Even though they drink themselves, they find the characteristic, numbed intractability of the drunk unpleasant. Users also speak of the after-effects of alcohol, and how they do not compare favorably with those of marihuana. One stable smoker is very effusive in his description of the physiological effects of alcohol on the body: I tell many people: "Smoke marihuana, don't drink guaro. Don't you see that with guaro you don't wake up well? You even vomit blood. I've seen him, and he heaves and Wha ! Wha ! and he wakes up still Ay! Ay! On the other hand, marihuana doesn't do any of that. Vomiting blood and very sick hangovers follow heavy bouts with guaro, the government-produced can liquor. Still, the strongest objections that smokers have against liquor are put in terms of behavior and self-control. Those who think of alcohol and marihuana as equal do not partake in great quantities of either drug. They think of each as a vicio , or vice, and this to some extent controls their actions. Even though they use both, they view both with

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189 mild disapproval. Such users are not given to excesses in anything, and often claim that they would like to give up marihuana for economic and legal reasons. The effects that we have designated as "Cognitive and Perceptive" form a medium-sized cluster, and account for 14.6 per cent of the total number of effects citations. We can see in Table 13 that cognitive and perceptive effects have strong positive correlations with "home with group," "countryside with group," and "countryside alone" smoking environments, but only for the column percentages. This means that the cognitive and perceptive effects group tend to have greater than expected frequencies in certain smoking environments as a group, but that they do not account for an unexpectedly large percentage of effects for any single environment comprising the group. The specific environments where high correlations do exist are for the most part social in nature and relatively free of risk. Musical enjoyment is one of the cognitive and perceptive effects. In general, users find that listening to music is more enjoyable after smoking marihuana. "Rides," in the country and gatherings on the street corner are often accompanied by a small radio. Smokers often resort to the company of the radio during solitary marihuana smoking sessions, as in the case of Lalo: Interviewer : What do you like to do best when you're stoned? Subject : When I'm stoned, you know what I like? To go to bed with the radio by the bed, and listen to music, like classical^ because I like music like

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190 that, and also youth music (rock). And I turn on the radio, hopefully I'm alone, just me, and I do that every night. His simple enjoyment of music while intoxicated with marihuana is another example of the principle that users take advantage of available resources from which to derive individual sensual pleasure. The effect of enhanced musical enjoyment spreads evenly across the various smoking environments because it is a stimulus which is available in many different social contexts. The two most often-cited cognitive and perceptive effects are "conversation" and "thoughts more profound." Of the 22 total references to the conversation-altering effect, 18 cited improved conversation, while four described a loss of conversational ability. Those who find improvement emphasize the facility with which they express their ideas. One notes that he prefers to be stoned when talking to officials or to his lawyer because he finds technical conversations more manageable. In some of our first experiences in the field, users would demonstrate their linguistic dexterity and maintenance of control by performing difficult feats of recall and diction, using several forms of Costa Rican "pig Latin." Some users maintain that the effects of marihuana cause a deterioration in the quality of conversation. The usual complaint is that users cannot remember what they are saying, or that they do not bother to talk at all when they are stoned. One stable smoker discusses some conversation ills in the course of his marihuana use interview:

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191 . . . They (marihuana smokers) seem a little like parakeets or parrots. They all want to talk at the same time . . . maybe you're saying something and they don't give you time to finish. "Chattiness" as described above is often associated with reduced work effectiveness , but more frequently the smokers find improved facility in both conversation and work. Twenty-nine citations of the "thoughts more profound" effect appear in the life history and marihuana use interview materials. They tend to appear most frequently in (17 out of 29 citations) connection with the "home alone" and "workshop alone" smoking environments. Users believe that marihuana affects concentration, memory, and free association so as to allow them to think more clearly with important insights. One stable smoker expresses this increased facility in the following passage: It (marihuana) nourishes my thoughts for the things I do . . . be it a benefit . . , be it a way to get things done ... I have a big thought. It provokes big thought . . . for example it makes me wiser. ... I think everything out better. The phrase "I concentrate better" was heard also in connection with both work and other kinds of evaluable performance. Some users claim, much as the Jamaican ganja smokers quoted by Rubin and Comitas (197 5) that they can sit down with a difficult problem, smoke marihuana to concentrate, and reach a solution. One user, a stable smoker, claims that he is able to read more effectively with marihuana: . . . I have my room where I live. I start to read magazines. I like to read many magazines. I like to concentrate on a magazine that is attractive and good. There are police magazines on the F.B.I, and I particularly like them.

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192 Although this subject's reading matter consists of comic books and pulp novels, other subjects have demonstrated good reading skills based on little educational opportunity, often surprising the field team with their conversation on world news events and political issues. User Types and Subjective Effects Table 14 contains a cross-tabulation of user types with the effects list presented earlier in this Chapter. Stable smokers cited an average of 12.5 different types of effects while the street movers cited 13.3 and pastoralist-escapists 13.0. The six physical effects all were cited in high frequencies by the stable smokers. In Table 15, which shows only significant or near-significant differences, we can see that when standardized scores are compared for the physiological effects, relatively few differences between stable smokers and the street-mover-pastoralist-escapist conglomerate (again these two user types were combined due to statistical necessity as in Table 9) approach statistical significance. When all of the physiological effects are compared for the two user types, as in Table 16, we see that the difference in citations approaches significance at the .07 level of confidence. This may be interpreted as a tendency on the part of the stable smokers to cite physiological effects. We have noted earlier that stable smokers tend to smoke in closed and often solitary environments, and that these

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193 TABLE 14 Smoking Effects and User Types

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TABLE 15 Significant Differences in Standardized Scores* For User Type and Smoking Effects 194 Effects

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TABLE 16 Effects Types and User Types: A Comparison of Standardized Scores* 195 ^

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196 environments account for a high percentage of all physiological effects cited. It would seem, then, that stable smokers tend to experience more physiological effects, and they smoke in environments which are conducive to those kinds of effects. Although the smoking environment may not "cause" the onset of a specific effect, it would seem to heighten the likelihood of such an effect. A characteristic scenario of the marihuana use pattern which results in the user's experiencing physical effects is as follows: Mario, a stable smoker who lives with his wife and two children takes the bus home from his job as a construction worker at about 5:00 p.m. Since yesterday was payday, on his way home from work he is able to buy a roll of 25 marihuana cigarettes with what was left over from household expenses and rent. After a light evening meal of rice and beans with a small salad, Mario excuses himself to go to the bathroom. He often chooses this place in which to smoke, because he does not like to smoke in front of the children. As he relieves himself, he lights a marihuana cigarette made of the contents of two that he has bought. Mario's own words describe how he manages to smoke his marihuana in his home without the knowledge of his children: Interviewer ; Now in the house, you smoke alone? That is , is the wife there? Subject : I actually catch them off-guard, my children and my wife, so that they don't realize. I send them off to watch television, to the living room. Then I go into the bathroom, and while I'm defecating I'm getting stoned. He notices shortly after inhaling the first toques , or "touches"

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197 of his marihuana cigarette that his heart is beating faster and that some of the physical aches caused by his strenous work are beginning to disappear. His nerves, somewhat tense from the risky business of procuring his marihuana and transporting it to his house, now begin to calm. He finishes his cigarette and his hygienic functions, and returns to the front of the house. There he may watch television or listen to the radio for an hour or so before retiring for the night. Since Mario averages only two or three marihuana cigar. ettes per day, this may be his only instance of use during the day. Typically his effect accounts of marihuana dwell on the physiological, including appetite, with very little emphasis on other effect kinds. In contrast to such generally soothing effects, "bad trips" are frequently mentioned by street movers. Both marihuana hang-over and white death are cited in significantly higher frequencies by the street-mover-pastoralist-escapist group, with p values in Table 15 of .001 and .005 respectively. The statistical significance of the combined bad trip effects category is only slightly less impressive at the . Oil level as seen in Table 16. Stable smokers, except for the "blahs" effect, which they mentioned only twice, tend not to cite bad trips. It would seem that the open street smoking environment, more heavily populated by the street movers than by stable smokers, and conducive to uneasiness and insecurity, is what triggers most bad trips. Unlike the situation with closed environments, the use of marihuana in the street

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198 requires constant vigilance and preoccupation with police. This would seem to be a factor in explaining why nearly half of all white death, or bad trips reports are for the "street group" smoking environments. One suspects, in fact, that street movers may prefer the street precisely because it adds a touch of excitement to their marihuana consumption. Street movers also mentioned "appetites" effects significantly (p .009) more frequently than did stable smokers. The only appetite effect that does not conform to this pattern is "sleep." The difference in emphasis between street movers and stable smokers may be linked to a difference in the basic approach to use taken by these two types of users. Street movers see marihuana as a source of pleasure that takes them out of the ordinary routine, whereas the stable smokers, having established a way of life which includes the drug in their everyday regimen, see marihuana as an amenity which makes the routine itself somewhat more bearable. We noted earlier that the appetites effects are mentioned in higher frequencies in the home alone and the pensionbrothel smoking contexts, where opportunities to satisfy appetites are most abundant. Using the scenario descriptive approach again, let us examine a hypothetical case of street mover's use which emphasizes such effects: Filiberto, after a day of shining shoes in the downtown area, finds he has 50 colones in his pocket. He had arranged earlier in the day to smoke together with a friend that night, so he

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199 hurries out to a place where he knows he can buy two rolls of marihuana cigarettes for 4 colones . Having made the purchase, he meets his friend at a soda near the center of town, and discovers that the friend has invited two women to smoke with them. The group's main problem now is finding a place in which to smoke. One of the women offers her boarding house room, and they agree to smoke there, also agreeing on a fee for the women's sexual services, since both are prostitutes. The fee will be low, because the men also share their marihuana. Filiberto opens one of the rolls, hands out single cigarettes to the women, and apportions three each to himself and his friend. He combines the contents of his three cigarettes and smokes the resulting puro as he jokes with his companions and listens to the cumbia music blaring from the transistor radio which belongs to one of the prostitutes. Once Filiberto has finished his puro, he begins to feel the marihuana in his head, and the jokes become so funny that he can barely stop laughing. He rolls another puro, and as he smokes he notices that the prostitutes are becoming more affectionate. During sexual contact with his female companion, Filiberto finds that ejaculation is delightfully delayed, and when it comes, it is excruciating. Filiberto now rolls another puro, this time with the contents of six street-size cigarettes, smoking without a word. One of the prostitutes says she is hungry, and so Filiberto dresses to go to a corner soda. He gets 7 several gallos and as many sweets as his remaining funds will

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200 buy. All four eat hungrily, but silently, sometimes commenting on the deliciousness of their food. The gallos taste wonderful to Filiberto. He feels that he can describe each separate flavor in great detail. The food has caused the effects of the marihuana to wear off, so Filiberto and his friend each light up a puro of six. The prostitutes are now both asleep, so Filiberto and his friend divide up the remaining eight cigarettes of the 50 which they brought to the room. Five or six hours have elapsed since they met in the soda, and in. that time the four have consumed 42 marihuana cigarettes. Filiberto saves his remaining four for the morning after and walks to his own boarding house, not very far from the center of San Jose. The above account is based on a combination of various user's descriptions of the pension-brothel smoking environment, and the kinds of effects they feel during smoking sessions in such places. There are several features in the account which are common to the more hedonistic marihuana usage styles. First, a male smoking companion is present, and at times there may be as many as three or four. Second, the quantities of marihuana smoked are relatively high, as in this case, where each of the men smoked 18 cigarettes apiece. Third, the women involved are usually prostitutes. Fourth, the food is always in the form of snacks and treats, rather than a stable meal. These factors, in combination, give the overall impression of concentrated pleasure-seeking on the part of the users.

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201 Positive or at the most neutral effects on "work and performance" appear in low frequencies in the interview materials of street movers and pastoralist-escapists , and in correspondingly high frequency in the interviews of stable smokers. These differences may reflect the contrast between the pleasure-seeking and the daily regimen approaches to using the drug. The stable smoker uses marihuana to help him get through a workday or to help him recover from everyday stress, while the street mover and the pastoralistescapist assigns recreational and pleasure-seeking values to his marihuana smoking. Detailed discussion of this point will be presented in Chapter VI. "Behavior and sensation" effects do not show as clearcut differences among user types. Perhaps this is because "behavior and sensation" emerged as a "catch-all" residual category and contains some diametrically opposed effects (cf. the left-hand column in Table 14) . Many of these effects have few total citations, so chance skewedness could also be the cause of the variation observed. Stable smokers may be reflecting self-confidence about their marihuana-related social behavior in their high positive scores for social aggressiveness and social isolation. The final group of effects, "cognitive and perceptive," contains two with fairly large number of citations: The first, "conversation," has both positive and negative components. Table 14 shows that both pastoralist-escapists

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202 and street movers cite negative effects of marihuana smoking on conversation more than stable smokers. Most stable smokers indicate that their marihuana smoking increases their facility with words and spoken ideas. Yet when these scores are standardized, the differences are not statistically significant. Emphasis on thought processe