left arrow
right arrow
War With The Underworld
Pal of the Underworld

(of the Reefer Madness Campaign)

Unlike the Pulp-Fiction books (aka Dime Store Novels) which were assumed to be fictional. Many of the hardback books were written under the auspices of the truth; works therefore thought to be factual.

The following chapter, taken from the book, "War With The Underworld" provides us with a good example of what was to be found inside the pages of such a book. [Note, there was no particular reason for choosing this book other than the fact that no one will come after us due to copyright infringements.]

By Ernest L. Tiffany M.D.

To wage successful warfare against this battle-line of the Underworld has not been easy.

With us, here in the United States, it is a comparatively new enemy.   But already it is strongly entrenched.

We have heard a great deal concerning the menace of Nazism and Fascism. At Pearl Harbor our nation finally awoke to the "Yellow Menace"---Japan.   But the sleeping giant, American Public Opinion, is slow in awakening to a greater menace from the new narcotic, "The Green Assassin," (as Judge Elmer Hunsicker of the Cincinnati Municipal Court calls it).

More and more, as the facts come to hand, the author is beginning to wonder if this menace of Marijuana is not the greatest menace of them all.

The tactics of Marijuana---like those of most of the other divisions of the underworld host-takes the form of guerilla warfare.   It strikes from ambush, and in the dark. But to begin at the beginning.

History is repeating itself.   In the Orient, from time immemorial and from Persia and India to the farthest Malay island, religious fanatics and plain dope-fiends crazed with hashish, (product of the Indian hemp, "Cannabis Indica"), have seized cris, barong, bolo, dagger or plain butcher-knife, and "run amok," murder-crazed, through crowded Oriental streets, cutting and slashing innocent people until themselves cut down.

As far back as 1090 A. D., a religio-political order, founded in Persia by Hassan ibu Sabbah, became infamous in Europe as well as in Asia for its unprecedented acts of cruelty.   Its members were called "Hashishans," because they went into battle under the intoxication of hashish.   Fired by this drug they fought with a fanatical ferocity unequaled in the annals of warfare, and committed fiendish crimes the accounts of which even now make the reader shudder.

From their name, "Hashishans," we derive our English word "assassin" sinister word, from lethal source!

But this is not the first appearance in history of this strange narcotic.   2800 years ago Homer, in his "Odyssey," referred to it under the name "nepenthe," and characterized it as "That which turns men into swine."

Marco Polo, world-traveler, in 1300 A. D., reported having seen it used by the King of the Hashishans to stimulate his servants to commit crimes.

Hindu priests and worshipers used it to induce religious frenzy and hallucinations in connection with the worship of their god Vishnu.

The curse of Indian hemp, hashish, has been heavy enough in the Orient, as history and modern experience shows.   But now a like curse, and a heavier, has fallen upon our own land with the sudden, wide-spread, fast-growing use of the American twin of hashish, the American hemp-Cannabis Sativa; usually called by its Mexican name, "Marijuana," (pronounced Mari-whah-na:) for its evil use first crept upon us from
"South of the Border, Down Mexico Way."
Marijuana is not only the one narcotic plant, (aside from tobacco,) that grows on the North American continent, but it is one of the deadliest narcotics known to medical science.   What the effect of other narcotics will be can be told beforehand; how Marijuana will affect its user no one can foretell.   Other narcotics lull their victims.   Marijuana loosens every inhibition---every power of mental and moral control-and commonly incites to every form of criminal activity.

A century ago the hemp plant, (Marijuana) was cultivated on many farms in our Eastern and Central States as the raw material from which, in those days, hemp rope and twine were made.

When Manila rope came into use, the raising of American hemp ceased.   But the hemp-seed, scattered far and wide by birds and wind, has reproduced itself ever since so that almost anywhere in these States hemp plants may be found, often in large quantities.

(Such are known to botanists as "ruderal" plants, escaped from cultivation, gone wild, become weeds.)

It is an "annual" growing from 5 to 16 feet in height.   The stalk, from 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, is fibrous and tough.   The spearhead shaped, saw-tooth-edged leaves are from 3 to 8 inches long, 1/4 to 1 inch in width.   They number from 3 to 9 (sometimes 11) on a stem, branching like the spread fingers of a hand; dark green above.   light green beneath.   The bunchy, greenish blossoms are one-tenth inch across.

The seed is smooth and globular.   The plant reaches maturity in about 3 months.

The leaves bear numerous hairs, from which ooze an amber-colored resin that, at maturity, covers the leaf-tops with a protective varnish.

Marijuana is commonly used in the form of cigarettes, that travel under various names ----"Mary Warners," "Merry Wonders," "Mary Janes"' "reefers," "Greefos," "weed," "hay," "moocahs," "mooties," "Mu," joysmoke," "love-weed," etc.   The Federal "G" men call it "Killerweed," and with abundant cause.

The victims of this American hashish--- this murderer-maker, and worse-are largely boys and girls like yours and mine.

A policeman in my audience at Silver Creek, N. Y., told me: "I am in close touch with the Narcotic Squad of the Buffalo police force, and I know that, with the exception of a few adults, the entire traffic in Marijuana there is among Grade and High School children."

Hemp leaves, stems and seed contain an active narcotic principle called "cannabine."

The toxic effects of fold.
  1. It causes hyper-exhilaration; a sense of well-being; a jovial mood, with uncontrollable, unreasoning, often silly laughter and a feeling of unusual mental ability and superhuman strength.
    As a youngster expressed it, "I can see through a stone wall when I smoke it."
    This first effect may last only a few minutes, or may merge with the second.

  2. Visions-phantasms, pleasing, sensual, or gruesome as may be, come next, coupled with a remarkable loss of relation as to space or time.   One addict feels he could climb a mountain or cross a continent in a few strides.   To another seconds seem like minutes, hours like days.

  3. The third effect of Marijuana is extreme aphrodisia. Sexual desire flames into undeniable, uncontrollable passion. (Powerful articles, emphasizing this phase of addiction, have appeared in "The American Magazine," (reprinted in "Reader's Digest,") in "Cosmopolitan” “The Union Signal," etc.)

  4. The fourth reaction of Marijuana upon its victims is a resistless desire to kill, coupled with hallucinations that some one is doing them--- or attempting to do them bodily harm; and that they must defend themselves at all costs.
One of the dreadful things about this dreadful drug is its power to make bitter enemies of those who before were inseparable friends.   Not only does it bring the desire to kill, but to kill those nearest and dearest.

J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the F. B. I., in "This Week,," magazine of the New York Herald Tribune, September 19, 1937, wrote:
“Ask any law-enforcement officer what sort of criminal he fears most, and he will say that it is not the seasoned thug, but the youngster, nervous, filled with the false courage from a Marijuana cigarette, he believes he must shoot in order to escape.   So a gun blazes, and another officer dies at the pagan altar of criminal youth."
Again, in the same magazine, bearing date of, September 26, 1937, Mr. Hoover says: "The sex-fiend has become a sinister threat to the safety of American childhood and womanhood.   From one end of the United States to the other, women and little girls have been murdered, after unspeakable atrocities.   In one large eastern city alone, an arrest for sex-crime is made every six hours, on the average, day and night.   Question: To what extent is the recent widespread use of Marijuana, American hashish, responsible?"

The evil effect of smoking Marijuana is terrific.   Just recently, in my presence, two Erie County pastors reminded their congregations that a boy in each of their towns had been committed to an Insane Asylum because of Marijuana addiction.

A former pastor at Endicott, N. Y., now pastor at Eden, Erie County, tells me of an attempt on his life, at Endicott, by a friend, wielding a big knife while under the influence of this "killer-weed."

A Rochester pastor told me of a boy he knew about while pastor in Miami, Fla., who, after smoking two Marijuanas, slaughtered his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, with an axe!

When asked by the authorities why he committed the awful crime he said: "I thought father and mother and the family were going to cut my legs and arms off"; (a persecution complex, as the psychologists call it---a frequent symptom;) "and the only way I could think of to stop them was to kill them." Poor lad! Two Marijuanas and five brutal murders!

Late last Summer a member of the official board of a church in Hornell, N. Y., told me, in the presence of his pastor and others: "Just recently a stranger in town gave my boy a cigarette.   He only smoked half of it But he told me, 'Dad, that half cigarette made me as crazy as a loon.   I tried to fight the man who gave it to me, and another man standing by.   They had to hold me by main strength to keep me from assaulting both of them!”

Had that Homell boy had access to an axe, butcher-knife---anything to kill with---there probably would have been a bloody murder in Hornell.

Nobody is safe from this murderous drug.   The innocent bystander was in as much danger as the guilty party who gave him the cigarette.

The Buffalo papers reported the arrest of a young fellow in that city for peddling tobacco cigarettes of a standard brand which he had "inoculated" with Marijuana, in order that his school-boy customers might buy his tobacco cigarettes only; because of the added "kick" they would get out of them.   (This can be done by making a strong infusion---or tea---of the Marijuana leaves and seed, then soaking the tobacco cigarettes in the liquid and drying them; or by shooting it into the cigarettes with a hypodermic.)

An added danger this.   For no tobacco-cigarette smoker can tell when he or she will get hold of Marijuana-doped "reefers" with, out knowing what they are getting.

The list lengthens indefinitely.

One Sunday morning recently, after I had given a warning message on Marijuana, the pastor-a prominent Western New York "D.D.”---told this story to his congregation to back up my statements: Shortly before I left my Central New York pastorate to come to you, seven High School Senior boys in a neighboring town took seven Senior girls to a Senior party.   One of the boys had some Marijuana cigarettes.

He persuaded the other boys to take the girls, out of the ballroom, and gave the "loveweed" cigarettes to all the girls.   He did not smoke.   They did.

"When they were thoroughly under the influence he suggested that the girls disrobe, and all seven stripped stark naked.   Then he took flash-light photographs of them in the, nude.   Later he showed the pictures to a schoolboy who had manhood enough to report the case to the High School principal.   The principal took the matter up with the guilty school-boy's father, and it cost him a small fortune to keep his boy out of prison."

Folks! Morons do not get far enough in education to become High School Seniors.   These were more than average boys and girls, of good families-just like your boys and girls.   This did not happen in the heart of Africa; but in the heart of the Empire State.

The stories that come to the writer of what Marijuana is doing to our children are heart-rending.

There was that little school-girl in Chicago, having hard work to pass her exams, in Algebra, etc., and told by "reefer" addicted school-mates that she could pass anything, and would be "out of her troubles in no time" if she would smoke "reefers." She was-so far as this world is concerned.   Cannabis-crazed, she stepped out of a fifth-story window, and dashed her brains out on the pavement below!

And that other little school-girl, in a city of our Empire State.   Brilliant student; graduated from Junior High at 13.   I took the broken-hearted mother of that child to the County Jail where, at 14, she was behind prison bars for a sex-crime.   "Sweet, lovable, disposition, until she got Marijuana and it 'got' her and changed her whole nature," so two High School teachers who had known her from babyhood told me.

But before they took her to prison she attempted to set fire to their home and tried to kill her mother with a kitchen-knife.

Sex-criminal, pyromaniac and would be murderess at 14! And Marijuana did it.

As earlier suggested, among other weird effects, the "Weed of Madness" causes total friability to reckon time or distance; seconds seem like minutes, minutes like hours.   This has made Marijuana an especial temptation to musicians, who desire to meet the current demand for "hot" music-, "jazz." Under the black-magic spell of Marijuana, the musical rhythm seemingly comes slowly.   The musician does not realize that he is touching the keys of his instrument with a rapidity impossible in a normal state-that a hundred notes can be crowded into the time ordinarily required for ten.

To this same cause may be traced the story behind the story," the cause of many otherwise unexplained and unexplainable auto accidents with wholesale loss of life; especially among boys and girls.

Earle Rowell, in his valuable booklet, "On the Trail of Marijuana," gives a graphic word-picture of such a case.   Four school children, two boys and two girls, skipped last period class and drove to Joe's Barbecue-stand for tamales.   Joe took them into a back room and sold them some "reefers," (Marijuana cigarettes).   One of the girls, a novice in their use, only took two or three puffs, and so did not "get high" on them.   The others smoked several.   Then they decided to visit a tavern on the highway.

They were going 80 miles an hour when other girl said to the boy-driver: "I can walk faster than this!   I'm going to get out and walk, and beat you there!" and jumped from the car---to her death!   The driver didn't even notice.   When the other girl---the only sane one of the four---begged him to slow down, he laughed and said: "Louise will beat us there if we don't hurry." Then he tried to pass the car in front of them, with a car coming the other way.   The girl screamed: "Don't pass now; there's a car coming!"   But the boy-driver laughingly answered:   "I can make it easy; that car is miles away," when it was right upon them!   The two cars met, head-on, killing several persons.

In his other booklet, "Battling The Wolves of Society" Mr. Rowell reports:
"Just before I stepped on the platform to speak before a High School group in Houston, Texas, the principal drew me aside and told me how one of the boys from his own school had recently killed another boy.   These two boys had grown up together, and were the best of friends: 'David and Jonathan' pals.   On their way to school this boy smoked one or two Marijuana cigarettes.   Suddenly to his befuddled brain, his best friend became to him his worst enemy, secretly trying to kill him.   In order to kill him first be pulled his jack knife and plunged it into his pal's back, the blade going to his heart.

"The principal of a High School in New Orleans before which I was to speak informed me that seven boys from his school were at that time in the penitentiary for crimes committed under the influence of Marijuana, and two of the boys were soon to be electrocuted.

"In Newark, N. J., two young girls killed a bus driver for $2.10.   In the trial that followed it was found that the girls were Marijuana smokers; they pleaded not guilty to the crime, under the claim of temporary insanity produced by Marijuana.   The girl who fired the shot when asked why she did it said: 'It seemed right to me at the time.   I guess I was 'high' on reefers."'

Many officials claim that 50 per cent of the violent crimes in the Nation are committed by Marijuana smokers! Seventeen out of 87 murders in New Orleans were found to be Marijuana addicts!
By permission I quote from that other high authority on the subject, Robert Devine of St. Paul, Minn., author of "The Moloch of Marijuana."
"When I had given a warning message on Marijuana before a High School Assembly, to my astonishment the Superintendent of that school said: 'We know these things are true in Chicago and New York, but none of these things are true of our town or our school."

"A week after my address, a young student in that school was fatally injured in an auto accident.   In the brief time before he died, the boy told his father of the life he had been leading; and revealed a condition of gross immorality among the students of that small town High School.

"His story reeked with corruption of mind and body, involving some of the supposedly finest students of both sexes.   The debaucheries he described would have been considered exaggerations, had they not been the statements of a boy about to meet his God.”
And Mr. Devine (whose own boy was killed by a Marijuana addict), continues:
. "An ordinary man or woman becomes in the eyes of the Marijuana addict, beautiful beyond compare.   Marijuana, grown by trusties, on prison farms unknown to prison officials, has been taken to the inmates.   Under its influence the prisoners fall desperately in love with each other; as they would with members of the opposite sex outside prison walls.   One can understand the debaucheries that take place.   The death of one of the murderers of little Bobbie Franks recalls the fact that it was the refusal of a fellow-prisoner to submit to his demands for unbelievable perversions that led to his death by stabbing, in the Illinois State Prison, 'As it was in the days of Sodom."'

"But it is this third reaction of Marijuana, as it affects our boys and girls, that makes for a mighty menace to civilization.   Grossest immorality is being practiced, not alone by hardened criminals, but by the sweetest girls and most promising boys, whose parents and teachers apparently know nothing of their secret vices.

"The things done at Marijuana parties (where under the demon afflatus of these queer, ropy-smelling cigarettes, conscience and consequences become too trivial to consider) have often been described in juvenile courts.

"Perhaps 10 to 25 children, from 8 to 15 years of age, have been brought into court for questioning.   The stories told axe nauseating---but true! The Marijuana in this case had been procured from the man who kept a school-supply store just around the comer from the school."

"The store-keeper sold chocolate bars, milk, and school supplies.   The children initiated into the 'reefer' group pooled the candy and milk money given them by fond parents, and purchased 'Mary Warners.' The store keeper supplied them with a basement room, furnished with a couple of old mattresses.

"Here he could guarantee them freedom from interference.   He even sent his family away on an extended visit to make sure that his illicit operations would not be discovered.   There the youngsters played at being married.   Rings stolen from 10-cent stores served to bind the mock ceremonies which permitted unbridled lusts to have full, sway.

"Over in a corner, one child begins to disrobe his or her companion.   In a few minutes this becomes general, until clothes are scattered over the floor and the naked youngsters give themselves over, with wild abandon, to every imaginable perversion prompted by their drug-crazed minds."
Testimony that corroborates the above statements can be found in an article in "The American," as far back as August, 1937.   In it the U. S. Commissioner of Narcotics, Hon. H. J, Anslinger, in collaboration with Mr. Courtney Ryley Cooper, told of a school janitor who, with four other men, was accused by the police of a mid-western city of having conspired not only to peddle Marijuana cigarettes to children, but even of furnishing apartments where smoking parties could be held.   The Commissioner also tells of these cigarettes being sold in hamburger joints and barbecue stands; in a dance-hall; in a garage; and by a Birmingham, Ala., hot-tamale push-cart man.

Small wonder that a 16 year old girl, wrote a letter to Mr. Devine in which she made appalling confessions and added: "These preachers! They either do not know or do not care what we do.   Some day I'm going to kidnap one of them and take him to one of our (Marijuana) parties.   I'll bet his next sermon would be on SIN.   And that's what we need!"

Still less wonder that Mary Bartelme, former Judge of the Chicago Juvenile Court, said "If more preachers would come to my court, and see the grist of youthful lives going through the mill, they would spend less time playing golf; and there would be an appreciable diminution of juvenile crime."

No wonder the "F.B.I." men say: "The three classes of people who need to know most about Marijuana-preachers, teachers and parents-usually know least about it until it is too late.

0! God I Wake up the parents, teachers and preachers of America to meet the menace of Marijuana with Law, as well as with Gospel!

To the parents of America and to its citizens generally, let me say that the war against Marijuana is complicated:
  1. First by over-confidence.   We say: "Things like that could not happen in our town to our children." The writer hears that note of false security all along the battle-line.   But things like that are happening in towns like yours, to children like your children.
  2. Second, because the purveyors of Marijuana fight always under cover; never in the open.
  3. Because the raw material is so plentiful and ready to their hand, growing wild almost anywhere.
  4. Another thing that complicates the war against the Marijuana traffic is the fact that it---like its sisters, White Slavery and the Social Evil, with which it consorts sometimes hides behind the legalized liquor traffic.
Three prominent citizens of the city of Watervliet said to me: "We know that Marijuana is being sold to our school-children and we believe it comes from a booze-joint within a block, of our High School.   But we can't prove it."

This traffic in the bodies and souls of our boys and girls is one of the things that can be stopped, permanently stopped.

Destroy the supply of Marijuana with a law requiring the search, seizure and destruction of the weed wherever found, and you destroy the business.

A final word to the boys and girls of America:

In this "Land of the Free" we have an attitude of mind toward new things and new sensations---embodied in the saying, "I'll try anything once" that is especially perilous when it comes to trying Marijuana.

It isn't showing courage, it isn't "being a good sport," to, try these "killer-weed" cigarettes.   It's being super-silly.   It's playing the fool, and worse, to tamper with them.

You are seeking thrills? You will be told that "reefers will give you the greatest thrill ever."

It isn't true.   Marijuana has been thoroughly tested.   It doesn't give a real, honest thrill.   It only gives a dopester's dream, that too often ends in suicide or hideous murder, or things worse than death.

If you want real thrills, get them as the writer has gotten them.   Climb mountains; run the giant rapids of the St. Lawrence in a 20-foot boat; hunt and kill dangerous big game in the Far West.   In all these you have a winning chance.

But don't play the fool with Marijuana.   It doesn't give its victims any chance at all.

left arrow
right arrow


Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed.   If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum.   All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.