Times Wide World Photo.



Police Burn Narcotic Weed and Fifty Bagatelle Machines in Brooklyn Vacant Lot.

Police Commissioner Valentine pours gasoline on one of the piles which were destroyed at Thirty-sixth Street in Brooklyn. The narcotic weeds, which had an estimated value of $3,000,000 at bootleg prices, were taken from vacant lots in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

New York Times,   August 14, 1936


Three million dollars' worth -- at bootleg prices -- of marijuana weed, which is used in cigarette form as a narcotic, was burned in a vacant lot in Brooklyn yesterday in the presence of Police Commissioner Valentine, Captain Joseph Mooney of the narcotic squad, and other police officials.

The weed, which formed a pile 10 feet high and 50 feet wide, had been collected by the police for six months from various sections of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Fifty bagatelle machines that had been seized in police raids also were fed to the flames.

Commissioner Valentine, who started the fire with a gasoline-soaked newspaper, declared the pile represented 12,000,000 narcotic cigarettes.

"This is an extremely dangerous weed," he said, "and it causes temporary insanity. It is a great menace to our young people and we'll do everything in our power to stamp it out."

Captain Mooney said the pile weighed about ten tons and that a pound of the weed made about 600 cigarettes, which sold at from 10 to 50 cents each.

The bonfire was near the foot of Thirty-sixth Street, between the waterfront and Second Avenue. The weed had been stored in a police warehouse adjacent to the lot. The blaze was started at 3 P. M. and burned nearly three hours. Firemen stood by to prevent it from spreading.


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