USE OF MARIJUANA SPREADING IN WEST

Poisonous Weed Is Being Sold Quite Freely in Pool Halls and beer Gardens.

CHILDREN SAID TO BUY IT

Narcotic Bureau Officials Say Law Gives No Authority to Stop Traffic.

Special Correspondence to The New York Times

DENVER, Sept. 13. -- Although as appalling in its effects on the human mind and body as narcotics, the consumption of marijuana appears to be proceeding, virtually unchecked in Colorado and other Western States with a large Spanish-American population. The drug is particularly popular with latin Americans and its use is rapidly spreading to include all classes.

The poisonous weed which maddens the senses and emaciates the body of the user, is being sold more or less openly in pool halls and beer gardens throughout the West and Southwest and, according to some authorities, it is being peddled to school children. The Federal Government is powerless to stop the traffic, officials of the Narcotic Bureau say, because marijuana was left out of the Harrison Act under which the bureau gets its authority to stop the traffic in opium and its derivatives.

The seriousness of the problem, growing out of laxity in enforcing State laws barring the drug, is indicated by the fact that it is the same weed from which the Egyptian hashish is made. The plant grows wild in many parts of the United States, but when cultivated it is usually concealed in a stand of some other high-growing crop such as sugar beets, alfalfa or corn. After it grows to a height of three or four feet it blossoms and is cut and dried. The leaves and blossoms are then packed in ordinary pocket-size tobacco tins which retail at $3 to $5 each and contain enough "hay" to make thirty or forty cigarettes, one of which is enough to intoxicate the smoker.

The sensations of the addict are wholly different from those of the user of narcotics. Users of marijuana become stimulated as they inhale the drug and are likely to do anything. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts, are laid to users of the drug. However, it is said that the marijuana habit can be more easily broken than that of narcotics.

The weed's toxic qualities are not confined to men, but have equally deleterious effects on animals. Kin to the loco weed, marijuana when mixed with hay causes death to the horses that eat it.


New York Times 16 September 1934




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