Dr. Munch’s Marijuana Madness

1938: Dr. James Clyde Munch described to his students at Temple University what happened when he smoked "a handful of reefers" as an experiment.

He crawled into a bottle of ink, stayed there 200 years, took a peep over the bottle's neck, ducked back and wrote a book about what he saw. When the book was done, he popped out of the inkwell, shook his wings, flew around the world seven times.

I'm thinking there may have been something more than just marijuana in those cigarettes.

Time - Apr 11, 1938

Munch liked his story about the disorienting effects of marijuana so much that he repeated it at several criminal trials.

New York Daily News - Apr 8, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 14, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Drugs, Smoking and Tobacco, Experiments, 1930s

Hidden Message in “I Am the Walrus”

Everyone knows that the Beatles song "I Am the Walrus" is all about the secret death of Paul McCartney.

But back in 1968, reporter Jed Drews heard something else there.

Source: Fort Lauderdale News (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 24 Feb 1968, Sat Page 15

I can find literally not one other online endorsement of this interpretation of the lyrics--except when Mr. Drews's article was inserted into the Congressional Record upon his testimony in DC.


Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 25, 2021 - Comments (6)
Category: Drugs, Government, Music, Newspapers, 1960s

Sniffing Painted Babies

1983: Reports of a bizarre new way of getting high surfaced in the small town of Grants, New Mexico.

addicts who can't afford more conventional narcotics are getting high by sniffing gilded infants painted gold or silver, police believe... [Police chief] Thurber said that during recent drug raids his men got word "on the street" of the practice of painting babies and passing the glistening infants around to be sniffed to get high.

Miami Herald - Feb 11, 1983

Six years later, the Weeky World News reported that this strange practice had spread to France. But since the WWN is the only source I can find about this later outbreak, I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Weekly World News - Mar 7, 1989

via Legends & Rumors

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Drugs, 1980s

Aroma of Cocaine

In 1981, Warren Woodford of Atlanta, Georgia was granted a patent (No. 4,260,517) for a method of producing the "aroma of cocaine". From the patent:

The present invention relates to a method and product for providing the aroma of cocaine and so called "street cocaine" to the olfactory senses using readily available, non-controlled substances...

Olfactory conditioning by brain trigger stimulus has recently found application in law enforcement agencies. In some instances, narcotics officers are permitted to light a marijuana cigarette during their training in order to allow them to later react to the characteristic aroma of marijuana smoke. Similarly, officers may be exposed to the aroma of cocaine so as to familiarize them with its distinctive aromatic smell...

Due to the legally controlled nature of such substances as cocaine and marijuana, it is usually not possible to freely disseminate samples of such substances to everyone who might wish to become acquainted with the aromas of these substances. Drug familiarization programs have as a result been limited by the availability of the drugs themselves.

It is therefore desirable to find alternative sources for the aroma of certain controlled substances.

I'm surprised this was never turned into a perfume.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 30, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Drugs, 1980s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Elephants on marijuana

As the author of Elephants on Acid, this news story naturally caught my eye:

The Warsaw zoo said Wednesday it will start giving its elephants medical marijuana as part of a ground-breaking pilot project to test how it reduces their stress levels. Medical cannabis has been used worldwide to treat dogs and horses but "this is probably the first initiative of its kind for elephants," Agnieszka Czujkowska, the veterinarian in charge of the project, told AFP. The zoo's three African elephants will be given liquid doses of a high concentration of the relaxing cannabinoid CBD through their trunks.

Elephants are notorious for being VERY resistant to the effect of drugs. That's why, in the 1962 'elephants on acid' experiment, the experimenters gave the elephant a massive dose of LSD — and injected it — to make sure it would have an effect. As it turned out, the LSD had a dramatic effect. The elephant dropped dead.

It seems that the Warsaw Zoo researchers are being far more cautious. They're initially only giving the elephants a dose of CBD equivalent to what a horse would receive. Plus, the elephants will be ingesting it, which allows the drug to enter their system more gradually (as opposed to an injection). So my guess is that the CBD will have very little effect on the elephants. Unless the dose is later dramatically increased.

More info: ibtimes

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 29, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Drugs

She was boring her husband to death

This ad for Vivarin stimulant tablets ran in newspapers and magazines in 1971. It prompted a complaint from the FTC.

San Bernardino Sun - Mar 28, 1971

Ivan Preston provides more details in The Great American Blow-Up: Puffery in Advertising and Selling:

ads for a product called Vivarin told women their husbands would be more attracted to them if they used it, apparently implying some sort of sexually based arousal which would renew the lagging instincts of tired old married folks. To quote the ad directly:

"One day it dawned on me that I was boring my husband to death. It was hard for me to admit it—but it was true…. Often by the time he came home at night I was feeling dull, tired and drowsy, and so Jim would look at television and, for the most part, act like I wasn’t even there. And I wasn’t. I decided that I had to do something. I had seen an advertisement for a tablet called Vivarin. It said that Vivarin was a non-habit forming stimulant tablet that would give me a quick lift. Last week… I took a Vivarin tablet… just about an hour before Jim came home, and I found time to pretty up a little, too. It worked. All of a sudden Jim was coming home to a more exciting woman, me… The other day—it wasn’t even my birthday—Jim sent me flowers with a note. The note began: ‘To my new wife…'"

All very nice, but but the contribution of Vivarin was to provide merely the amount of caffeine found in two cups of coffee. No miracle aphrodisiac, just good old caffeine at a premium price!
The major allegation of the FTC's complaint about Vivarin concerned this social-psychological misrepresentation... But the Vivarin ads were also alleged to be deceptive because they did not disclose caffeine to be the critical ingredient.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 20, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Drugs, Advertising, Wives, 1970s

LSD:  The Vinyl Album Version

Discogs entry here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 08, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Drugs, Psychedelic, PSA’s, 1960s

The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

In this unusually broad comedy for Fairbanks, the acrobatic leading man plays "Coke Ennyday", a cocaine-shooting detective who is a parody of Sherlock Holmes. Ennyday is given to injecting himself from a bandolier of syringes worn across his chest, and liberally helps himself to the contents of a hatbox-sized round container of white powder labeled "COCAINE" on his desk.

Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 24, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Addictions, Detectives, Private Eyes and Other Investigators, Drugs, Humor, Parody, Movies, 1910s

Latawnya the Naughty Horse

This book, first published in 1990, must be in demand by collectors. The cheapest used copy on Amazon is $50, while to get a new copy you've got to fork over $318.25.

The reviews are worth checking out.

There was a sequel, published in 2010, titled (boringly) Latawnya The Naughty Horse Two.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 14, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Drugs, Books

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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