SERVICE CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS
(An Editorial Opinion)
SERVICE CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS For Historians and students of the reefer madness campaign, perhaps the saddest of all stories is that of the role played by the so-called service organizations such as the JayC's, the Kiwanis, American Legion etc. At the national level, their internal magazines began carrying some of the most vicious of articles. While at the local level, throughout the country, they passed local resolution after resolution against the use of Medical Marihuana and invited speaker after speaker to come and talk about evils of its use.
Overall they allowed themselves to be turned into total tools of propaganda for the hysteria campaign. And while defenders of these groups can (with some justification) state that for the most part these groups were only acting on the information given to them by the DEA (then known as the Bureau of Narcotics), and thus were in fact only the dupes of a federal conspiracy. The facts as this museum sees them are as follows:
[a] Cannabis at the time was still very legal and in fact readily available in almost any drug store.All in all, for the historian, the saddest chapter in the whole of the Reefer Madness Campaign.
– Dec. 1939 - Published by the Kansas Medical Society
The following is (only) part of an article, taken from the March 1938 issue of Finger Print (a semi-private, semi governmental) magazine.   It is present here solely as an example of what was making its way into print at the time. Please note that it is only one of many such articles that were published in governmental and Law enforcement publications at the time.
– page 587 - By DR. CHARLES B. HOLMAN – international Trustee and Member, Kiwanis Club of West End, St. Louis
Kiwanis International membership takes seriously the resolution adopted at San Francisco recognizing the seriousness of the menace
A MOTHER had taken the precaution to warn her son, his first time out with the family automobile, to be careful about his driving and to return home at a reasonable hour and to be sure not to wake the neighbors. Not once did she know, that as he attended that night club, that something strange would happen to her boy.
As the party ended, and the last few remained to chat with the orchestra and to coax them into playing one more tune, some one passed a brown cigarette and said, "Have a reefer," suggesting it would make them enjoy themselves. This son, as many other sons, returned that night, and from all outward appearances he was unchanged, but he had been introduced to the "reefer," and the habit grew. His personality changed and soon the boy purchased a container of the brown wrapped cigarettes. He was popular and his association with his friends in their early teens grew and more and more youngsters learned of Marijuana. More and more suffering came to parents and youths.
An old evil has been revived in the use of Cannabis or Marijuana. The public has suddenly taken an interest in antiques. Our antique is known as Marijuana, which is sometimes spelled Marihuana. Marijuana is a coined word or slang Mexican word meaning "pleasant feeling." It has many slang expressions such as "Mary Warmer," "Giggle Smoke...... Muggles," "Reefers," “Loco Weed," "Mu," "Mary Janes," Mary Warmers," "Moocah," "Weed," "Hashish," and "Fool's Weed." Probably "Fool's Weed" fits the weed and its actions best of all.
The use of Marijuana antedates Christianity. In Persia, long before Christianity, there was a religious sect known as the Assassins. The word assassin probably comes from the Arabic "Hashishan" or herb eater. These Assassins, before attacking, would use Marijuana because it increased their atrocities and violences.
The plant had its origin in the east and its properties were discovered by the herb eaters or hashishans. Homer treated the properties of hashishan rather lightly. He told of its powers to afford relief from moods of distress. He also spoke of its more harmful aspects. The Greek, Roman, and Chinese writers all speak of its use. There are records of "Gaiety Pills" made from hemp and honey before the advent of Christianity.
When Napoleon was in Egypt he had trouble with his soldiers and had to prohibit its use. The plant comes from the Eastern Hemisphere to Mexico over the Rio Grande into the United States. As the introduction of the subject of Marijuana goes, it seems as if the Romans, Assyrians, Greeks, Egyptians and many ancient powers spoke rather lightly of its use. The fact that faces us today is that these civilizations, once great and powerful, have become extinct. The memories of those great nations are dulled, as the life blood and the leadership of those great people were dulled with dope.
All the while we Americans are wondering whether this is a hoax or a real problem, electric chairs are buzzing and snuffing out the lives of American boys and girls in their early teens. The hushed thud of the gallows cracks another neck. A young man, just out of his teens, walks down the thirteen steps of condemned row into Eternity, leaving respectable parents wife and baby to forever carry the shame of his crime. Another high school boy is in the insane asylum at Madison, Indiana, a raving maniac never more to breathe the fresh air and feel the sunshine of the farm, just because he joined a smoking party and got into the "habit."
Boys and girls in their early teens go for a ride in a friend's car and they wind up the windows) so that they may get the full benefit of the giggle smoke.
They laugh, giggle, have hallucinations. What fun! But the action of the Marijuana weed comes like a maniac in the night and no one knows what mood it may leave you in. You may be the life of the party; you may do the best capers in the big apple; you may surprise your friends when you stand up to speak or they may laugh when you sit down to play; then again you may wake up sobbing, as did the young boy in Florida, who murdered his entire family. As the officers walked in this young addict was sobbing, "I have had a terrible dream. People tried to hack off my arms. It was my uncle, I believe. He slashed me with a knife." And there stood a youth, in his early teens, under the influence of Marijuana, in a human slaughter house with the ax in his hand. He had killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister.
[more] . .
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