Masters of Healing: Cocaine and Victorian Medicine

The relationship between cocaine and medical practitioners in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. Introduction Cocaine is often understood as one of a number of potentially addictive substances to which Victorian physicians and surgeons were regularly exposed, and tempted to indulge in. However, while cocaine has frequently been associated with discourses of addiction, this article[…]

Cannabis: The Origins and Its Use over Time

Marijuana has been in the news for quite a while, which has made many people wonder why there is so much controversy around this drug. It started with researchers wanting people to benefit from the plant as ancient civilizations did. Nowadays, it’s being used for political agendas, business, and other reasons. To get a better[…]

The Mysterious History of ‘Marijuana’ in the United States

Throughout the 19th century, news reports and medical journal articles almost always use the plant’s formal name, cannabis. By Matt Thompson Introduction Marijuana has been intertwined with race and ethnicity in America since well before the word “marijuana” was coined. The drug, my colleague Gene Demby recently wrote, has a disturbing case of multiple personality[…]

Early Evidence of Cannabis Smoking Found on Chinese Artifacts

The findings are some of the earliest evidence of cannabis used as a drug. People have been smoking pot to get high for at least 2,500 years. Chinese archaeologists found signs of that when they studied the char on a set of wooden bowls from an ancient cemetery in western China. The findings are some[…]

Brilliant Visions: Peyote among the Aesthetes

Used by the indigenous peoples of the Americas for millennia, it was only in the last decade of the 19th century that the powerful effects of mescaline began to be systematically explored by curious non-indigenous Americans and Europeans. This looks at one such pioneer, Havelock Ellis, who along with his small circle of fellow artists[…]

Rum, Hookers, and Smuggling: The Secret Story of Coolidge’s Visit to Cuba

By Christopher Woolf In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge was known as Silent Cal, a dour New Englander; an old fashioned puritan and a dedicated enforcer of Prohibition. So what was he doing in fun-filled Havana? He had a two-fold mission: to[…]

A Brief History of the Pharmacy in the United States

Today’s status of the profession and those who practice it results from an evolution over thousands of years. Introduction The statement that “What is past is prologue” [1] appears on the base of Robert Aitken’s sculpture “The Future” outside the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. This is to remind us that we should study[…]