[DrugWar] James Talmage's Hashish Experimints - 1884
mycos at shaw.ca
Wed Aug 12 20:50:06 EDT 2009
"Inner Dialogue: James Talmage's Choice of Science as a Career,
1876-84," The Search for Harmony: Essays on Science and Mormonism, Gene
A. Sessions and Craig J. Oberg, eds. Salt Lake City: Signature Books,
1993. Online here.
Since Talmage was a student in a time and place when fully supplied
laboratories were a luxury, he early developed the habit of supplying
his own specimens. Perhaps the most telling example of the depth of his
scientific curiosity and his commitment to experimentation occurred in
the spring of 1884 while he was studying narcotics at Johns Hopkins. He
recorded the following entries in his journal:
March 17. I have been engaged some time in the study of the
effects of Narcotics upon the system, i.e. studying the same
theoretically only. Today I found a gentleman who works in the same
Laboratory as I, and who has for 2 years been addicted to the habit of
eating Haschich or extract of Cannabis Indica. He was very willing to
give me any data from his own experience; and gave me such.
March 18…Three of us in the University have entered upon the
study of the Narcotics in use.
March 21. The result of our work in research upon Narcotics has
been tolerably satisfactory. We utilize my friend referred to above,
with his Haschich eating experience — and find four or five others whom
he knows have also an experience upon the subject. But the effects
experienced by the different ones are so widely different that we can
scarcely draw a conclusion. The opium habit is well explained by books,
and the bad after effects of the same are sufficiently appalling to keep
down experimentation upon the subject. But, the ill effects are reported
very low in the Haschich or Hemp administration; and we have concluded
to try effect of small dose upon ourselves.
Of course, such a course is the proper one for the study of the
effects of the drug, though I very much disliked the idea of doing
[p.59] such a thing, for as yet I have never known what it is to be
narcotized either by tobacco, alcohol, or any drug ….
March 22. This being Saturday, was the day I selected to study
practically the effects of Haschisch. This evening, after work and all
was over, I took at 3 doses each an hour after the preceeding, 5 grains
solid extract Cannabis Indica. At this writing — midnight — 5 hours
since last dose, I have experienced no effect whatever. The effect is
said to be widely different in different people.
March 23. Sunday. Spent quietly. Have had no result to be noted
of my physiological experiment yesterday ….
April 5…Took in all 15 grains. No effects.
April 6. Sunday…Continued my experiment by taking 20 grains
Cannabis Indica and the effect was felt in a not very agreeable way.
Talmage would lecture to the Brigham Young Academy faculty in September
1884 on "The Effects of the Narcotic Hashish on the Human System," but
the Faculty Minute Book does not record whether he mentioned the source
of his information.
Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Great Mormon Marijuana
Myth (12 August 2009)
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