The 19th Century

The 19th Century

1800 - Napoleon's army, returning from Egypt, introduces cannibis (hashish, marijuana) into France. Avante-garde artists and writers in Paris develop their own cannabis ritual, leading, in 1844, to the establishment of *Le Club de Haschischins.* [William A. Emboden, Jr., Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L.: A historical-ethnographic survey, in Peter T. Furst (Ed.), *Flesh of the Gods*, pp. 214-236; pp. 227-228]

1800s - Cotton gins make fibre cheaper than hemp. Britain buys 90% of its maritime hemp products from Russia.

1807 - Napoleon signs Treaty of Tilset with Czar Alexander of Russia which cuts off all legal Russian trade with Britain. Britain blackmails and press gangs American sailors into illegaly trading in Russian hemp.

1808 - Napoleon wants to place French Troops at Russian ports to ensure the Treaty of Tilset is complied with. The Czar refuses and turns a blind eye to Britain's illegal trade.

1812, 19th June - America decares war on Britain.

1812, 24th June - Napoleon invades Russia aiming to end Britain's main supply of hemp

1839 - Homeopathy journal American Prover's Union publishes first of many reports on the effects of cannabis.

1841 - Scottish doctor W.B. O'Shaughnessy works in India then intoduces cannabis to Western medicine.In the following 50 years, hundreds of medical papers are written on the medical benefits of cannabis

1841 - Dr. Jacques Joseph Moreau uses hashish in treatment of mental patients at the Bicetre.

1845 - Psychologist and 'inventor' of modern psychopharmacological and pschyotimimetic drug treatment, Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours documents physical and mental benefits of cannabis.

1847 - The American Medical Association is founded.

1850s - Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulphite and chlorine processes make paper from trees, steamships replace sails, tropical fibres introduced.

1852 - The American Pharmaceutical Association is founded. The Association's 1856 Consitution lists one of its goals as: "To as much as possible restrict the dispensing and sale of medicines to regularly educated druggists and apothecaries." [David Musto, 'The American Disease', p258]

1857 - 'The Hashish Eater' by Fitz Hugh Ludlow is published.

1857 - Smith Brothers of Edinburgh start to market a highly active extract of cannabis indicas used as a basis for innumerable tinctures.

1860 - First US Government commissioned study of cannabis and health conducted by Ohio State Medical Society.

1870 - Cannabis is listed in the US Pharmocopoeia as a medicine for various ailments

1876 - Hashish is served at American Centennial Exposition

1890 - Queen Victoria's personal physician, Sir Russell Reynolds, prescribes cannabis for her menstrual cramps. He claims that cannabis 'when pure and administered carefully, is one of the most valuable medicines we possess'.

1894 - British Indian Hemp Drugs Commission studies social use of cannabis and concluded: "There is no evidence of any weight regarding the mental and moral injuries from the moderate use of these drugs (cannabis)... Moderation does not lead to excess in hemp any more than it does in alcohol. Regular, moderate use of ganja or bhang produces the same effects as moderate and regular doses of whiskey." [Norman Taylor, 'The Pleasant Assassin'; 'The Story of Marijuana', in David Solomon, 'The Marijuana Papers', pp31-47]

1895 - First known use of the word 'marijuana' for cannabis, by Pancho Villa's supporters in Sonora, Mexico. The song 'La Curaracha' tells the story of one of Villa's men looking for his stash of 'marijuana por fumar' (to smoke).

Posted in association with The Legalize! Initiative - the international action forum for all people concerned about the effects of current drug policy.


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