Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule, 1937: Dealers "making addicts of young boys and girls"

Categories: Marijuana

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In doing research for our feature on the history of cannabis in Colorado, we came across some amazing old news stories from local papers about marijuana arrests and more. We'll share the most memorable of them in our quasi-regular feature, Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule. Today's item, from October 12, 1937: "Arrest of Four Aliens Reveals Denver Marijuana Sales Ring."

Over the last few weeks in Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule, we've seen how newspapers of the past loved to latch onto the scary stories and sensationalize about helpless children finding their way to cannabis, plus evil, brown-skinned people selling the demon plant and getting everyone hooked (gasp!).

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But in this 1937 Denver Post story, the menace that is marijuana has reached into the schools -- oh no!.The reporter puts it a little bit more sinisterly: He writes that four Hispanic dealers were "making addicts of young boys and girls" around Denver.

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But what's really a gem in this one is the Reefer Madness-quality description of the nighttime raid. On Friday, October 8, 1937 four Denver detectives busted into the small one-story house at 3957 Jason Street where they found 33-year-old Juan Moya, who had just smoked some marijuana. According to Denver Detective Sam Finne, Moya "was a madman. When he saw us he flew into a maniacal rage."

Moya was so high on this loco weed that -- despite being described as a small man -- he fought all four police for about ten minutes inside the house with "almost superhuman" strength. Somehow in the middle of the struggle, the cops say Moya was able to eat a "half-can" of marijuana that the police were trying to get as evidence. (The story later says Moya got so sick that they thought he was going to die, and the cops had to call in a doctor to the station to attend to him overnight).

Continue for more of this week's Colorado Cannabis Time Capsule.

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Jeremy Hull
Jeremy Hull

How is this different from today? "we've seen how newspapers of the past loved to latch onto the scary stories and sensationalize about ..."

Eric Raymond
Eric Raymond

lol. it's amazing how long people were brainwashed by this propaganda.


@DonkeyHotay your link leads to a story that says nothing close to your trolling headline.  The dispensaries in Dacono are simply requesting to stay open for the couple of months until they can get a citizens vote on the issue.

It's sad the lies you promote in the interest of prohibition.  Quit being the sore loser that you are.

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@malcolmkyle16 Interesting older one holds that in the 20th century, the state was the number one cause of unnatural death.

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