Editor's note: This month marks the one-year anniversary of Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule. To celebrate, we're featuring one of our favorites from the archive.
Here's one of the oldest examples of reefer madness we've dug up so far for Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule. This article, which ran August 24, 1904, in the Telluride Daily Journal (as well as several other small papers across the state later that week), frames marijuana as a plant that causes permanent psychosis.
Technically a wire story from the Mexican Herald, "Dangerous Mexican Weed To Smoke" details the afternoons of Manuel Guerrero and Florencio Pino, friends who enjoyed puffing on spliffs now and then.
According to the article, the two had been known around town in the weeks prior for twisting up "big cigarettes" full of tobacco and ganja. But one Tuesday, the two decided that they were putting too much 'baccy in their hooters and rolled up joints loaded with more pot than anything.
That -- according to this completely sensationalized and ridiculous article -- is when the shit hit the fan.
After finishing the joint, the two supposedly ran around the streets hand-in-hand (times were different), yelling and screaming obscenities and "attacking" passersby. At one point, the writer blames the evil, demon weed for making the pair boast that they were "the bravest men on earth" and that anyone who said differently was going to die right then and there>
Some time into the ruckus, Pino came to the realization that, technically, there can be only one bravest man on earth at a time. Putting more thought into it, Pino decided that he was, in fact, braver than his friend. Guerrero, offended, responded with a punch and the two began kicking each other's ass.
At this point, it sounds like La Policia intervened and dragged them both to the hospital, where the article says they had to be restrained with straight jackets. For weed. And if that didn't send the anti-cannabis message home, the writer sort-of paraphrases some unnamed medical expert, who says that even if the two heal up from their fight with one another they still could "lose their minds permanently, as is often the case with marihuana smokers."
There's no mention of booze, but it sounds to us like the two were more likely hammered off tequila than somehow getting this high off of what was likely seeded bundles of fan leaves and tiny buds. No doubt there are scenarios like that playing out in Mexico right now, with drunk spring breakers pouring out of Margaritaville and Senor Frogs.
For more historical Colorado cannabis articles, check out our Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule Archives.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.