Yesterday I made a post on Reddit commemorating my first full year as a medical marijuana patient, and referred readers to an online copy of The Marijuana Papers, a book written by David Solomon in 1966 and which has been long out of print. This book was instrumental in convincing me to try marijuana in the first place (in 1967, that is), and I remember it very fondly.
So I started virtually flipping the pages more or less randomly, when I spotted something that seems to have slipped my mind for the past 45 years…an article about medical marijuana, written in 1937, the very year the hated Marihuana Tax Act was passed.
That’s right. Dr. Robert P. Walton, who was Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Mississippi, wrote an essay about the medical effects of cannabis as part of a book, and this essay was excerpted in The Marijuana Papers. Dr. Walton wrote in detail about how cannabis, generally in the form of extracts (or what we call tinctures today), was useful and safe in treating a number of ailments, including general pain relief, migraines and ordinary headaches, as a sedative, an anti-depressant, an aid to helping opiate addicts, and in cases of painful menstrual cramps and helping women in labor. Essentially, Dr. Walton sounded a lot like almost any doctor today who’s discovered the many medical uses of marijuana.
But wait, there’s more.
The full title of Dr. Walton’s book is Marihuana, America’s New Drug Problem. That’s right. It was an anti-marijuana book, published at the right time to jump on the “Reefer Madness” bandwagon that crazed Federal drug czar Harry J. Anslinger had started. But back then, apparently more people had intellectual honesty and morals and didn’t see any reason to lie about facts just to convince people to take their side.
You can check it out yourself.