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Journal Article

Citation

Lowry WT, Garriott JC. J. Forensic Sci. 1975; 20(4): 624-629.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1975, American Society for Testing and Materials, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

1176918

Abstract

The controversy concerning the taxonomic status of the genus Cannabis has now advanced to a stage where the forensic scientist has limitations to his testimony in identification of "marihuana" plant material in jurisdictions where the law defines "marihuana" as Cannabis sativa L. Whether the genus Cannabis is monotypic or polytypic is as yet uncertain, but recent taxonomic reviews weigh heavily toward the existence of three or more species within the genus. The taxonomists or forensic scientists cannot, therefore, positively state for fact that C. sativa is the only species existing within the genus Cannabis. The popular concept of "marihuana" is actually based on the chemical characteristics of the plant Cannabis, rather than on the taxonomic classification. This is evident in its inclusion as a drug or hallucinogenic substance under Federal and local statutes. It is therefore proposed that "marihuana" be redefined legally to include all members belonging to the genus, in jurisdictions where legal definition warrants such an act, or that these jurisdictions follow the format set forth by Federal rulings.


Language: en

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