Cannabis as a Truth Serum
Report on T.D.
2 June 1945
On October 31, 1942, at the request or the Psychological Warfare Branch of M.I.S., the National Research Council activated a committee to investigate the feasibility of using drugs in the interrogation of Prisoners of War. Responsibility for the facilitation of the Committee's efforts was transferred from M.I.S. to the Office of Research and Development of OSS on January 1, 1943.
The original committee consisted of Dr. Winfred Overholser (chairman), Prof. of Psychiatry at George Wash. U. and Director of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Wash., D.C.; Dr. John Whitehorn, Prof. of Psychiat, at Johns Hopkins; Dr. Edward A. Stricker, Prof. of Psychiat. at U. Pa.; Dr. Lawrence S. Kubie, Assoc. in Neurol. at the Nurological Institute N.Y.C. Liaison officers on the committee were: Mr. E.P. Coffy, Director of F.B.I. Labs.; Mr. J.H. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics in the Treasury Dept.; Admiral Charles S. Stephenson of the Navy Bu. of Med. and Surg.; Col. R.D. Halloran of the Surgeon General's Office; and Lt. Col. R.E. Locker of Military Intelligence Service. Commander Cushing, attached to the N.D.R.C., coordinated the committee. More recently its work has been assisted by Dr. Watson W. Eldridge of St. Elizabeth's Hosp. and Captain George H. White and James A. Hamilton of OSS.
Exhaustive review of all relevant pharmacological literature narrowed the field to a half-dozen drugs. Preliminary experiments found attention on some variety of cannabis as the drug of choice. Three varieties of cannabis were studied: Cannabinol from Indian Charis, tetrahydrocannabinol acetate derived from the above, and synthetic cannabinol. Of these, the acetate derivative was found to be preferable. Various routes of administration were explored; oral administration, burning in smokeless charcoal, spraying, and inhalation in cigarettes. Of these, inhalation in cigarettes is the only route which can be recommended at the present time. Standard cigarettes (see attached package) may be loaded with .02 grams of Loewe's acetate. The drug is introduced into the cigarette with a 1/4cc tuberculin syringe and a specially prepared #22, 1/12" hypodermic needle. The level of the latter's point is sanded away to form a blunt, rounded tip which slides easily through the center of the tobacco. Effort is made to achieve an even distribution of the drug through all but ½" at each extremily(sic). The acetate is injected at maximum viscosity compatibel(sic) with delivery from the needle. A dilution with more than 1% with 95% alcohol is required to achieve this viscosity.
WARNING – Due to the age, plus conditions of the original documents, some transcriber errors have no doubt been made. Please make references to the originals for legal purposes.
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