Cops about marijuana in York, Pa. in 1933: ‘Avoid its use as you would deadly poison’

A movement in York County, Pa., to legalize marijuana for medical and industrial purposes is growing. Here, a York Daily Record/Sunday News photograph from earlier this year shows Charles Homan, resident of Manheim Township in the county’s southwestern section, supporting the legalizing of marijuana for such use. Also of interest: Jackson Township again in the middle of things and Tobacco usage: Rooted in York County’s past and York County cigars: ‘They contained a vast amount of nicotine’.

The Mary Jane Fest in 2009 was an unusual event in York County.
A very unusual event.
The two-day festival at Elicker’s Grove in Jackson Township promoted medical and industrial uses of marijuana.
This serves as a reminder about a report in a York magazine in 1933 that came in the early stages of the use of marijuana in York County. Then as now, law enforcement officials were vocal against marijuana use… .

No one could have forseen then that a rally to legalize marijuana would occur in the heart of the county’s heaviest Pennsylvania Dutch region, which, according to the York Daily Record/Sunday News, will feature more than 20 musical acts and vendors.
The magazine reported on a York man’s testimony that he committed robbery to fund his craving for marijuana cigarettes.
I wrote in my “Never to be Forgotten“:

Law enforcement officials used such testimony to emphasize the dangers of this “insidious and habit-forming drug.” Police said smoking “muggles” or “reefers” is new to the state.
Legislators enact a law making use, possession or sale of marijuana a felony.
A law enforcement official writes in a York magazine that the first effects of marijuana include ecstasy, uncontrollable laughter, dreaminess and a “rapid flow of sexual ideas.”
As time goes on, the user suffers from delusions, amnesia and impairment of psychomotor activity with a tendency toward damage, violence and madness. “Marihuana breeds criminals,” he wrote. Avoid its use as you would deadly poison.”

The sponsor of this weekend’s event said marijuana use would be banned at the festival.
“It is not welcome,” Adam Jones told the newspaper (9/10/09). “I will kick you out.”
Edited, 9/15/12

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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2 Responses to Cops about marijuana in York, Pa. in 1933: ‘Avoid its use as you would deadly poison’

  1. joseph mummerth says:

    there are far worse things growing in our corn fields than marijuana . jimson weed! CLINICAL EFFECTS

    The mnemonic for clinical effects of typical atropine poisoning is: “blind as a bat, mad as a hatter, red as a beet, hot as a hare, dry as a bone, the bowel and bladder lose their tone, and the heart runs alone.” Symptoms include mydriasis; cycloplegia; flushed, warm, dry skin; dry mouth; ileus; urinary retention; tachycardia; hyper or hypotension; delirium with hallucinations; jerky, myoclonic movements; choreoathetosis; hyperthermia; coma; respiratory arrest; rare seizures; and central stimulation followed by depression.(5,7) Hallucinations are reported in as many as 83% of cases; typically they are simple visual images in natural colors, but infrequently also tactile hallucinations of crawling insects.(2)

    The onset of symptoms occurs within 30 to 60 minutes after smoking leaves or drinking tea; and 1-4 hours after ingestion of plant material or seeds.(4) Initial symptoms include dry mouth then pupil dilatation.(2) The duration of symptoms is often 24-48 hours because of delayed gastrointestinal motility; symptoms have been reported to last up to 1-2 weeks.(4,5) Although poisoning may lead to fatal medullary paralysis, arrhythmias and cardiovascular collapse,(8) Jimson Weed-related deaths mainly are as a result of impaired judgment and coordination resulting in risk-taking activities associated with accidental death.

  2. Pingback: All About Law Enforcement » Blog Archive » Legal marijuana in Pennsylvania? York County law enforcement foresee issues

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