FROM THE REEFER MADNESS ERA
To this very day antique Cannabis collectors are STILL being confronted by many of the Ancient Myths surrounding the use (or none use) of Medical Cannabis. And as these myths seem to effect the world of antique collectors, perhaps it would be best to go over at least some of those that relate to Ancient Greece and Rome at this time.
According to one DEA publication: [A]
“History tells us that the murderous frenzy of the Malays, characterized by running "amok" was the result of the habitual use of hashish. It is also reported that the Moharnmadan leaders, opposing the Crusaders, utilized the services of individuals while under the influence of hashish to commit secret murders. The frenzy produced by the drug led these persons to be called "haschischin", "hashihash" or "hashishil' from which the modern English word "assassin" is derived.”I believe we can all agree on the obvious -- that the above statements, just aren’t true! But if so, where did they come from? And did the author of these lies truly believe them or was he just a DEA agent acting like a DEA agent?
The answer to both lies in the Reefer Madness Era of the 1930’s, when a massive dis-information campaign against the use of Medical Cannabis was launched. The narcotics police pulled out the stops, claiming that Medical Marihuana made medical patients into cold blooded murders etc., that the worst most bestial acts of depravity were the result of the use of Medical Cannabis etc.
However, this is not the proper place to go into the subject.[B] Here it is enough to quote that old saying. “Tell a big enough lie, repeat it often enough, and people will believe.”
The following Greco-Roman myths (along with numerous others), while in existence in one form or another long before the campaign, were dusted off and used over and over again during that era.
THE BURNING FRUIT MYTH:
It is odd that the Greek Historian Herodotus should be the “alleged” source of so many of the Great Reefer Madness Era myths. Once more quoting the book, “Marihuana; America’s New Drug Problem (1937) by Robert P. Walton:
“Herodotus describing customs among people living on islands in the Araxes river.”A more complete quotation can be found below:“They have discovered other trees that produce fruit of a peculiar kind, which the inhabitants, when they meet together in companies, and have lit a fire, throw on the fire as they sit round in a circle; and by inhaling the burning fruit that has been thrown on, they become intoxicated by the odour, just as the Greeks do by wine; and the more fruit is thrown on, the more intoxicated they become, until they rise up to dance and betake themselves to singing.”“This latter description is strongly suggestive of the use of hemp narcotics, since no other drug fits the description so clearly. According to Burton, the African savages of the present day use hemp in exactly this manner.”
Bohn’s Classical Library “Herodotus” - [From pgs 87/88]The facts as we see them are as follows:
THE NEPENTHE MYTH:
This myth, while pre-dating the Reefer Madness Era, was extremely widely circulated during that time. According to the Homeric poems, (9th or 6th century B.C.):
“Then it was that to Helen, . . .came another thought and presently she cast into the wine whereof they drank a drug to lull all pain and anger, and to bring forgetfulness of every sorrow. Whoso should drink a draught thereof, when it is mingled in the bowl, on that day he would let no tear fall down his cheeks, not though his mother and his father died, not though men slew his brother or dear son before his face and his own eyes beheld it.”
THE FACTS AS WE SEE THEM:
First the proponents of the Medical Cannabis was Nepenthe myth, fail to prove their point. None of them present any actual physical archeological or written evidence to back up there theory. After talking to various modern day Medical Marihuana users, they ALL universally have stated that -- “NO Medical Cannabis Does NOT have the stated physiological effects”. So unless the narc’s can come up with some kind of proof, (ah) what is that expression -- "End of Story."
[A]- Cannabis Sativa a lecture by John T. Maher - U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration National Training Institute -- Sept. 1976
[B]- For more info on the Reefer Madness Era, visit our sister museum website: www.ReeferMadnessMuseum.org
WANT TO KNOW MORE:
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