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Chicago Daily Tribune: June 3, 1927 - Pg. 20
BAN ON HASHISH BLOCKED DESPITE RAVAGES OF DRUG -
Bill Passed by House Is Held in Committee.
The peddling of a dangerous, habit forming drug not now specifically forbidden either by state of federal authorities will continue to be legal in Illinois unless the state senate adopts a bill, passed by the house, forbidding its use.
The sale of the drug flourishes in and around Chicago in the form of cigarets known as "muggles" or "loco weed." It is also known by its Mexican name, "marijuana," and as "moota" and grifa." The number of addicts is growing alarmingly, according to the authorities, because of the ease with which it can be obtained. The habit was introduced a dozen years ago or so by Mexican laborers, it is stated, but it has become widespread among American youths and girls, and even among school children.
In an effort to curb the sale of the drug under a state statute making it a misdemeanor to sell cigarets containing material deleterious to health, two alleget sellers of marijuana cigarets will be arraigned this morning before Municipal Judge McCarthy in Town Hall court. The defendants are Harry Johnson, owner of a cigar store at 940 Lawrence avenue, and Richard Drake. 932 Lawrence avenue, who were arrested last night in a raid on the cigar store after a complaint had been received that such cigarets were being sold there.
Drug Grows Freely Here.
"Muggles" is hashish, a drug which has been one of the curses of India and other oriental countries for generations. It is a derivative of Indian hemp, known botanically as Cannabis indica. One of the dangerous factors in efforts to forbid the use of the drug is the fact that Indian hemp is easily grown in this climate.
The seeds, brought by Mexicans and planted in tiny patches near the box car homes of the laborers, brought heavy harvests, and now investigations disclose that fields of it are being grown to satisfy the ever increasing demand.
There being no legal ban such as makers other drugs scarce, "loco weed" is cheap. The rush of its popularity in Chicgo and all over the country since the oncoming of prohibition is partly explained by the price of the cigarets, three for fifty cents, or 25, or at most 30 cents apiece.
Sold in Ordinary Stores.
It is common knowledge that thousands of workingmen smoke the weed in South Chicago, in Blue Island, in Kensington, and other outlying districts, and it can be purchased in restaurants, drug stores, and poolrooms. The rooming house section of south Canal street is another center. The fifth and sixth hundred blocks of South State street have their hangouts and their addicts, or "muggleheads" as they are called. West Madison street and portions of North Clark street have their addicts. Even the loop itself is invaded, with shop girls and waitresses its chief victims, it is said.
The dangers of the drug are said to have little recognition in Chicago even by the police who daily watch its peculiar effect on its victims. The effects of a "muggles" smoke is similar to cocaine. The addict becomes garrulous, with his flight of ideas enormously increased. He has a distinct sense of well being and of merriment, and the earliest manifestations of his "jag" come out usually in expressions of wild extravagance and in silly giggling.
Official Tells Dangers
L.F. Fouche, head of the New Orleans division of federal narcotics at the time that city rounded up thousands of marijuana peddlers and addicts in a campaign that eventually put through a state law against its sale and use, told of the dangers of the drug.
"Young people have taken to smoking these cigarets with avidity," he said, "The effect is astonishingly like that of cocaine."
William d. Allen, United State narcotic agent in charge of the Chicago area, declared last night that the task of convincing Chicagoans of the seriousness of the hold of marijuana on this community seemed hopeless, adding that without federal, state, or city provisions the officers of the law are helpless.
The bill was introduced at Springfield against the sale of marijuana by Attorney Roy Juul of Chicago. It is known as house bill No. 157 and it passed the house. But the bill has been waylaid in the senate committee by, Senator John J. Boehm, a Chicago druggist who declared that the seed of the plant is used as bird seed.
kaempfer Gives View.
Fred W. Kaempfer, of the bird supply concerns bearing his name, said last night that although hemp seed is used as bid seed, that it is not a necessary food, that no variety of birds would suffer if deprived of the diet. "The hemp seed used for bird food does not belong to the hashish variety, as far as I know," he concluded.
Mr. Juul stated last night that he will take no chances of the bill against marijuana being caught in the last minute jam at Springfield this week. In case Mr. Boehm continues his opposition in the senate committee Mr. Juul intimated that he would be to amend this bill so the seed would not be affected. He believes that with the legislature fully awakened to the Chicago situation over this drug even the amendment can be made in ample time for return to the house for concurrence so that the bill will be on Gov. Emmerson's desk before adjournment Friday.
Picture on last page: Caption reads - "GATER HABIT FORMIN DRUG WHILE THE LEGISLATURE DELAYS ACTION. Mexicans gathering "marijuana," which is hasheesh, in the southern part of city. Meantime a bill banning the drug is held p in a state senate committee.
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