Cannabis Time Capsule, 1916: Stoned soldiers on the Mexican border

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Today brings yet another military-related pot article to our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive.

This time, it's from the Aspen Democrat-Times circa December 1916.

The tale is about Mexican militia men storming the border with the demon plant and getting our soldiers hooked on drugs. Gasp!

It seems that Mexican laborers were caught smuggling herb into American militia camps along the border, and customs officials in El Paso, Texas, had been placed on high alert for marijuana at that time (and seemingly ever since).

But never fear, American public. Not all of your soldiers were smoking the wacky weed. The article says users were mostly soldiers hopelessly addicted to other drugs, including opium, which was also being smuggled across the border. (Never mind the tequila drinking they all likely were doing, of course).

"The drug is particular to Mexico and is taken in the form of a cigarette," made up of "crushed leaves," the article explains.

The piece concludes with what sounds like a fourth-hand account of getting high by a complete teetotaler of a reporter: "Hallucinations of great physical strength and valor are induced. At the same time, the user imagines he is a giant while other persons and objects are dwarfed."

At least, that's how the wire story ends. The article was actually published in a lot of places around the country -- but only in Aspen did the editors add a final tagline to the story. An early (and unfunny) stoner joke, if you will, referring to the butt of a marijuana joint -- what most everyone else calls a roach these days.

The joke: "Some 'but' this marihuana makes, isn't it old timer?"


More from our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive: "1917: Beer made worse thanks to secret ingredient -- marijuana" and "1915: First ever medical drug plant farm."

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