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The Reefer Madness Collection

DETECTIVE WORLD - Dec. 1947 - Published by Detective World Incorporated - Page 5

"Marihuana--- The Evil Weed" By Judge Carl F. Dieffenbach, Jr.


NEWSPAPERS and magazines throughout the country have been devoting plenty of space to a growing drug menace in the United States, but we do not believe the reading public has been given to understand how this insidious mind-destroying poison is creeping into our homes and into our social life and gradually undermining the moral, the mental, and the social structure of our society and its institutions.

These seem like strong words but it is true that this growing snake of drugs which began in the Orient, then traveled through Mexico, is now winding its coils slowly around the United States. And it might have succeeded had it not been for the fortunate interference of the Narcotics Bureau of the Treasury Department and the other various police agencies of the nation. And those apprehended, who have induced others into the nefarious drug habit, receive little sympathy when they come into the hands of the officers of the law.

But the law cannot do a complete job. The police are generally informed when it is too late. It is up to parents, educators, and our law-enforcement bodies to educate the adolescent mind about the evils of the drug habit.

Perhaps you have heard of hashish. The word is synonymous with the Arabic word assassin in reference to deadliness---and deadliness is marihuana. In Persia, in 1090, was found the military and religious order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty and murder. Its members were confirmed users of hashish taking their name from the Arabic hasshasbin, an ancient narcotic.

The word was known to the ancient Greeks. Of it the immortal Homer wrote: "It makes men forget their homes and turns them into swine." It was hashish which caused the Moros and the Malayans to "run amok" and engage in violent and bloody deeds. Although an ancient drug, the menace of marihuana is comparatively new in the United States. A score and a half years ago the marihuana file of the United States Narcotics Bureau was practically empty; today the bureau's reports crowd countless large cabinets.

Commonly, marihuana is called "Mary Warners," "sticks," "the weed," "muggles" and "reefers"; but by any name at all its ultimate effect is the same. There is only one end for the confirmed marihuana user---and that is insanity.

It is interesting to note from the bureau files that some of the main selling places of the "reefers" today in the United States are located principally around cheap dance places or "jazz" halls or "juke joints." Also the habitues that hang around low-class places of entertainment are the principal users. In the past, several killings, in which young people have been involved, have been traced to this drug. It is the most insidious, quick acting, enforcement agencies in many years. It is very similar to cocaine in its unpredictable effects and harmful reactions.

A big, hardy weed is marihuana, of the Indian hemp family, with serrated sword---like leaves topped by bunchy small blooms, and it grows wild in nearly every state of the union. Every state has passed laws not only against its use, but also against possession of it. As a result, hundreds of tons of this infamous flower have been destroyed by the police in widespread areas. Nevertheless, today its use has increased despite a most effective vigilant. Naturally it is hard to curb as it grows in many climates. And once in a while the police locate those who are foolish, enough to deliberately grow it on their property. A stiff prison offense in a federal penitentiary awaits them.

WE HAVE read a report of some of the case histories released some time ago by United States Commissioner of Narcotics H. F. Anslinger. Here are a few:

There are numerous cases on record like that of the young girl who heard about a new thrill, a cigarette with a "real kick" which gave wonderful reactions and "no" harmful after-effects. With some friends she experimented at an evening smoking, party. Other parties followed (Continued on page 96) and then, when she wvas behind with her studies and greatly worried about her grades, suddenly, under the influence of this deadly drug, she walked to and through an open window.

A few years ago a young marihuana addict was hung in Baltimore for criminal assault on a ten-year-old girl.... In Chicago, two marihuana-smoking boys murdered a policeman. . . . In Newark two girls, one the daughter of a highly respected policeman, held up and murdered a bus driver for some small change. "It was marihuana," they pleaded.

There should be a campaign of education in every school so that children will not be deceived by the wiles of peddlers who speak so soothingly of the "artificial stimulation" that marihuana affords---and "no after-effects." From school age we should learn of the insanity, disgrace, the horror that comes to those who use marihuana and other narcotics. There is more need for unceasing watchfulness by every police agency and every civic minded individual or organization. And the Narcotics Bureau stands ready to investigate every complaint or information brought to their attention---and will not reveal to anyone the sources of their information.

Articles have appeared in today's press of the use of marihuana by musicians and vocal artists. "However, there is no proof that reefers, as musicians call the 'supercharged cigarettes' add anything to the ability of a performer," states Arnold E. Esrati, M.D. "The illusion appears to be somewhat the same as that experienced by an intoxicated man while dancing, driving a car, conversing, or even writing; he merely appears to himself to be more brilliant."

In conclusion, for the sanity and health of all concerned, remember---it is not smart to smoke marihuana.


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