Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Indian Hemp Drugs Commission

Harding-Simpole is a publishing house which specialises in books which are often difficult to find.Some of these will be reprints that are rare or impossible to obtain through the usual channels.
In association with the National Library of Scotland, they have published a facsimile reprint of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission report of 1893-94.
This report is the most comprehensive study on the effects of cannabis use ever undertaken. 1,455 witnesses were cross-examined in 86 meetings in 36 cities throughout India.

This reprint includes including rare photographs of cannabis cultivation, production and consumption.
There are some fascinating case studies: “[When] he [a soldier in the 13th Regiment] went on leave and lost some relations from cholera … he took to immoderate smoking, which resulted in madness …he was a raving maniac – violent, obstreperous.”
Anyone studying narcotics will find this work compelling, especially as it appears that the same debates still rage now, for example: should the use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes be approved?

“It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character.”

This publication is also available on Amazon and at the National Library of Scotland.