Though cannabis paranoia was alive and well years before this 1921 article was written, marijuana use was still dubbed a "new menace" facing people living along the Mexican border. According to this report, found in the Telluride Daily Journal, pot was thought to be a menace as great as opium. Either they had some really strong herb back in the day that has since disappeared, or (realistically) they were just following the flood of marijuana madness around this time.
The fear of cannabis had apparently spread to the army, which was in charge of the border at the time. Major General Dickman -- who sounds like a real dick, man -- ordered his troops to stop smoking the plant and importing it from across the border. Dickman said soldiers who smoked the cannabis had "injured their health and rendered themselves unfit for military duty."
Not much has changed in today's army, where even the use of non-psychoactive industrial hemp-based products is banned.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Most interestingly, the article stands out for it's outlandishly exaggerated and inaccurate information -- like calling it "hash-keesh", saying that native Mexicans smoke it like opium and equating being stoned to being doped up on the poppy.
"In other quarters it is stated that marihuana is more dangerous as a habit-forming drug than morphine and results in even greater deterioration of the moral fiber of the addicts," the article concludes.
Sadly, that doesn't sound too far off from the misinformed opinions of anti-cannabis crusaders and marijuana prohibitionists today.
More from our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule archive: "Cannabis Time Capsule, 1904: Mexican duo terrorize after smoking a joint" and "Photos: Anti-marijuana propaganda -- a vintage guide to reefer madness."