Cannabis Time Capsule, 1893: "Innocent hempseed" unleashes "bane of the East"

This week we're traveling back to July of 1893, just as cannabis started to become demonized in the media. This article from the Colorado Transcript in Golden, is based on a British report on hash regulations in Egypt, Greece and Turkey.

The story talks about the "general ignorance which prevails as the the subtle workings of this strange and mysterious vegetable composition." And then it proceeds to spread nothing but general ignorance.

The report is based on the information provided by British ambassadors to the three countries, who cite information provided to them by "Eastern peoples." Apparently, they didn't actually get out and observe anything up close and personal.

The "noxious drug" is taken from the husks of the "innocent hempseed," according to the report. Yes, you read that right: They thought hash was made from the seeds. It's really taken from the flowers themselves, but never mind that. The article goes on to say that the seeds "loose their innocence" after processing and become "one of the greatest curses of the East."

Doom and hellfire!

The reporter goes on to contend that marijuana disrupts the functions of the digestive and circulatory system to the point that it "injures the senses and motive powers." And in this 1893 article, we already see extreme pot paranoia taking hold:

But that's not all this scary drug does. It's also said to cause users to see ghosts -- "the phantoms seen by, and the tendencies manifested in, those who are intoxicated with hasheesh." And once you're hooked, you're screwed. Might as well check yourself into the prison right now. Or the insane asylum, where, according to the report you'll fit right in: More from our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive: "1910: 'Hash' the origin of the word 'assassin'?" and "1922: $3 million worth of drugs seized in enormous 'dope' raid."

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