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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CANNABIS SATIVA OR INDICA                                          687

cles will float on the surface. A drop of the liquid containing the floating
material is placed on a slide and covered with a cover-slip. It is then
examined under the microscope.

Medico-Legal Points.—Poisoning by bhang is mostly accidental, Majun
and charas have been occasionally used by road poisoners to stupefy persons
to facilitate robbery. Charas and ganja are sometimes used to dope ciga-
rettes. A case28 is recorded in which one Sankothi Thakur was sentenced
to four years' rigorous imprisonment on the charge of administering charas
to a fellow-passenger and stealing his purse in a railway train. The accused
and the complainant entrained at Howrah for their homes in Ballia and
Muzaffarpur. At the complainant's request for a bin the accused mixed
charas with a half-burnt cigarette. He first smoked it and next the com-
plainant. The latter felt intoxicated and uneasy, and slept in the train by
the side of the accused. Awaking at Mokameh, he found his money missing
and demanded it from the accused. At Patna City railway station, the
accused was arrested, and on a search by the police, the amount alleged to
have been stolen was found on his person.

In his annual report for the year 1934, the Chemical Examiner of Mad-
ras describes a case in which cannabis sativa was administered for homicidal
purpose. A father killed his son by administering a powder containing
cannabis sativa leaves, as there was enmity between them.

Sometimes, people take cannabis sativa to steady their nerves before
committing a crime. Rarely, people, after the continued use of cannabis
sativa, run amok, i.e. they first kill a person or persons against whom they
have entertained fancied or real enmity and then go on killing everybody
that comes in their way until the homicidal tendency lasts. They then com-
mit suicide Or quietly submit themselves to the police. It must be remem-
bered that people sometimes run amok, even though they are not addicted
to the use of cannabis sativa. The following is a typical example20 of run-
ning amok at Allahabad, where four innocent persons were murdered and
several wounded in the course of about 15 minutes : —

On the evening of January 29, 1931, a Punjabi Muslim was selling tumblers made
of sulphur, when a constable of the C.I.D. sitting on a shop suspected him to be a person
wanted in connection with a counterfeit coining case. The constable thereupon caught
hold of his hand and asked him to go with him, when he dropped the tumblers and
whipped out a knife. Seeing the knife the constable released the accused and on the
latter running away, the constable shouted ' chor chor'. As the accused took a turn
into the passage between the cloth and vegetable markets, a coolie caught him when
the accused struck him with the knife and the coolie left him shouting ' chor chor'. The
coolie, however, escaped with a few cuts on his hands. The accused resumed the flight,
and near the end of the same passage he stabbed a young Hindu lad who was standing
on the way, perhaps making some purchases, and while taking the Garhi-ki-sarai road
he stabbed another Hindu youth, who was going with his cycle. During his flight on
this road he wounded some people and stabbed two more men who were Mahomedans.
Proceeding further the accused was encountered by a Hindu male who managed to
throw him on the ground. The accused, however, succeeded in getting up again and
as he resumed the flight several people attacked him with lathis. At this stage the
C.I.D. constable who was pursuing him arrived and caught hold of the accused's hands,
when the accused bit the constable's nose. Eventually with the help of the public the
man was secured,

A case 30 also occurred in Bombay, where a Bhayya, who was addicted to the smok-
ing of charas, used to squat on Hornby Road, plying his trade as a palmist. On the
night of December 18, 1938, he had a quarrel with his client, and then suddenly started
running along the road with a spring knife in his hand and stabbing persons that came
in his way till he was grappled, disarmed and arrested by two police constables, who
happened to be passing along Bori Bunder tram junction. During his mad career he
stabbed ten persons, one after the other, four of whom died subsequently,

28.   Leader, June 21, 1933.

29.   Leader, Feb. 1, 1931.

30.   Times of India, Dec. 19, 1938, p. 9,