The latest issues of three magazines contain articles of great interest to those who like to read about what they smoke and drop. Psychology Today has a apecial section on marijuana. One article surveys recent scientific studies. Another discusses definition, characteristics and types. The last is a long and fascinating catalogue of effects and their frequency (for example, 95% of those responding noticed time passes slowly, while only 13% feit the weed gave them -nagical power s over people and objects). A study published in Science f latly contradicts the oft-quoted claims that LSD causes chrom asome damage. Even those studies applied only to very large hits (350 mikes and up), but this one says the eff ects were caused by impurities in the acid. In other words, there is no evidence that pure acid causes genetic damage (blrth defecte). Qi the other hand, when was the last time you ran across pure acid? K's the best argument yet for legalization: quality control. In another valiant attempt to restore the Golden Days of the Evil Weed, the Journal of the American Medical Association has published a 5-year study by two Philadelphia psychiatrists of 250 patients who had used marijuana. The patients ranged in age from 13 to 24, had tried no other drugs, and had no history of mental illness. Their findings agreed with a study published earlier in JAMA.: definite logical problems. As usual, the press managed to make this sound very ominous. There was, however, no control group in the study of dope-smokers who were NOT psychiatrie patients: it is not surprising that psychiatrie patients have psychological problems. Psychiatrie patients who eat tom atoes also have psychological problems, but psychiatrists don't try to blam? them on the tomatoes: they LKE tomatoes. The AMA's position is the key factor here. In 1965, they issued a marijuana study which the press played up as "new evidence. " In fact, the AMA had re-released a 1942 study, long since discredited. Several weeks ago, the AMA's president-elect was misquoted as stating that marijuana causes birth defects and turns 20-year olds into 70-year olds sexually. This was nonsense, but he didn't bother to correct the story until challenged two weeks later. Then he explained that he was agalnst marijuana use and thought the bizarre story might help to discourage it. He HAD said that marijuana leads to LSD which causes birth defects (refuted by the Science study). The sexual 70-year old story involved barbituates, and he had pondered out loud: "What if marijuana did this ?" The press characteristically reported: "M;irijuana does this. " Two weeks later, they buried the correction (when they carried it at all).