Randomly inserted in page six of the paper, this tiny little mention of hashish actually makes it seem as if the author wasn’t all that opposed to a substance that provides “marvelous brilliancy” to those that eat it.
Maybe he was just a fan of Aladdin.
So is the blurb true? Maybe. Nobody can truly say if any of the folk storytellers who created these stories smoked or ate hash or not.
Scenes featuring flying carpets and genies would lead one to believe that someone was toking up now and then.
But there are also plenty of cautionary cannabis-use tales in the Arabian Nights lore — involving, among others, the Hashish Eater. Long story short, this guy eats hash, makes a fool of himself, and gets thrown in jail after waking up in the morning naked with a boner in front of strangers at a public bath.
Another one tells of a fisherman who gets stoned three times a day on hash. One night he decides to go fishing while his fellow fishermen are sleeping to get a leg up on the competition. Only, he ends up hooking a dog and — thinking it’s a whopper of a catch — yells for help. His friends show up and laugh at the stoned fisherman, who curses them in the name of Allah. That pisses off his friends, who savagely beat him and drag him before the local leader.
Either way, the blurb may have been meant to be harmless — but it also no doubt helped solidify the notion that cannabis and hashish were things that only scary, dark foreigners consumed.