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1854: One Of The First Americans To Write About Cannabis

John GreenleafAmong the first Americans to write about hashish was not a novelist or a physician, but a poet - John Greenleaf Whittier. In "The Haschish", a short poem in his Anti-Slavery Poems (1854), Whittier writes of hashish-induced hallucinations and muddled thinking, but it is improbable that he himself had experienced the effects of the drug at the time he wrote the poem. The point of the poem, in fact, was not to describe the effects of hashish at all.

Although hashish is more potent in its ability to induce hallucinations than opium, and makes "fools or knaves of all who use it," says Whittier, when it came to enslavement hashish had to take a back seat to cotton. Whereas hashish enslaved the individual, cotton had enslaved a whole race of man. [1]

 

[1] http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/history/first12000/9.htm