Rudy Arnold Photo


New York Times, August 19, 1936

This picture, taken yesterday at Barren Island, where five acres of the narcotic plant were discovered by police, shows the female plant with seeds (left) and the male (right). Many of the weeds had attained a height of nine feet.

5 Acres of Marijuana Uprooted by Police; Barren Island Goats Were Thriving on It

The police began uprooting yesterday a five-acre field of marijuana which had been discovered on Barren Island, south of Floyd Bennett Airport, on which milk goats belonging to squatters in the vicinity were grazing.

Despite the exaggeration in stories of goats' ability to fatten on a diet of tin cans, broken bottles and old automobile tires, they showed yesterday that they could take "loco weed" and like it. The squatter-owners of the animals declared that the milk had shown no effects of the narcotic fodder, and they denied any knowledge of the sowing or ultimate use of the plant.

The five acres were described by Detectives Edward Connell and Peter F. Gallagher of the Narcotic Squad, in charge of fifteen WPA workers from the Department of Health who were pulling the plants out of the sandy soil in which they apparently thrived, as being the largest field of the plant ever found in Brooklyn.

They offered a guess of $500,000 as the value of the crop, but Captain Joseph Mooney, in charge of the squad, explained that it was impossible to estimate the worth accurately until the plant had been cured, shredded and made into cigarettes. These sell at prices ranging from three for 25 cents to three for 50 cents.

Captain Mooney also reported that thirty-five pounds of the dried plant had been found in a vacant building in Columbia Street, Brooklyn.

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