Feds Knew About Medical Marijuana In 1937

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.


Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. BeyondChronic.com is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


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