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Cannabis Time Capsule 1909: Wyoming is full of "coke heads"

Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1908.
Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1908.

Over the years, Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule has focused on the state's colorful history with herb. But what about our neighboring states? Yes, we know that Coloradans are getting profiled in states like Nebraska and Wyoming because we're all supposedly pot-heads -- and sometimes we think of our neighbors as backwards flyover states with antiquated outlooks on drug reform.

But that wasn't always the case. According to this August 18 article in the Aspen Democrat-Times, Wyoming was once known for the white. And we aren't talking about the snow on the peaks of Jackson Hole.

While cocaine and the "coke habit" had not found favor among the "southern negroes and poor whites" according to the article, the author was flabbergasted to find out that sheepherders, ranchers and cattlemen in Wyoming, "where the exact antithesis of metropolitan slums exist," were snorting mountains of cocaine.

Cannabis Time Capsule 1909: Wyoming is full of "coke heads"

Apparently this pastime wasn't just causing a bunch of Wyoming cowboys to get all jacked and spend late nights rambling on about better ways to rope cattle around a dying campfire. Instead, the article claimed it was causing crime.

Cannabis Time Capsule 1909: Wyoming is full of "coke heads"

The reason? Cocaine was pretty much legal at the time. According to Wyoming law, anyone with a physician's license could prescribe it for any reason. That included even the Cheyenne city coroner, who apparently was quite the pusherman:

Cannabis Time Capsule 1909: Wyoming is full of "coke heads"

For more Colorado cannabis history told through the pages of old newspapers, check out our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive.


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