Cannabis Time Capsule, 1921: Pill Dealing in Downtown Denver

Here's a tale of illegal pill dealing from 1921 in Denver, though frankly it could be from any Thursday afternoon walking through Civic Center Park or parts of the 16th Street Mall today.

See also: 1949: Crossword Puzzle's Solution is Hash From Hemp

The story comes by way of the Carbonate Chronicle out of Leadville, but it details a young man openly "auctioning" off pills on the streets of downtown Denver.

Sound familiar?

Yup. Not much changes.

Denver, Feb. 27 -- Andrew Grosso, 21, years old, auctioned narcotic drugs on the Denver downtown streets with great success until a federal officer happened along, according to a complaint preferred against him by the police here.

'Step right up, gentlemen, and get your medicine. Five dollars a throw, with an extra capsule thrown in with each sale. Step right up --"

It was at this point Harry V. Williamson, head of the narcotic squad, said he decided to [tuka?] $5 worth of Grosso's stock after witnessing a number of purchases. Grosso decided to quit business all of a sudden, according to the officer who testified he found to cases of capsules filled with morphine in the youth's pockets. Grosso was held pending the next session of the federal grand jury.

Okay, so this technically is a non-marijuana related story. But police back then were wasting their time busting cannabis users, growers and dealers just as much as they are today while the real drug danger to society - opiates and opiate addiction -- runs rampant.

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes