Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

York Kiwanis warned of marijuana 75 years ago

1939 Gazette & Daily headline
1939 Gazette & Daily headline

Here is an interesting topic presented to the York Kiwanis club 75 years ago, as reported in the October 27, 1939 Gazette & Daily, quoted below. I guess some things have been around longer than I realized.

MARIHUANA EVIL SUBJECT OF TALK
Williamsport Detective Tells Kiwanis Club of Effects of Drug
OFFICIALS ARE GUESTS

‘The Evils of Marihuana’ were explained to members of the York Kiwanis club and their guests, Mayor Anstine and Police Chief Ferber, at the weekly dinner meeting at the Yorktowne hotel last evening, by Joseph M. Schmucker, captain of detectives in Williamsport and a marihuana specialist since the dread drug was found circulating in that city nearly two years ago.

Captain Schmucker stressed the fact that York, too, may be affected by the drug as many cities in this section as well as the country as a whole have been. He said that last week in Baltimore one raid netted enough marihuana to drug every person on the east coast. One hundred tons have been harvested in one batch in Philadelphia and much has been found in and around Harrisburg and Steelton. It was found four places in the Harrisburg city limits within one week.

‘Secretary of State Cordell Hull,’ the Williamsport detective said, ‘has told the League of Nations that this country has as important a problem facing it as any facing Europe, and that is the marihuana evil.’ The oldest known drug, and the easiest to grow, marihuana is responsible for the death of many, many persons, while many more are in insane asylums, he said. ‘Of 27 murders in New Orleans last year, 17 were traceable to marihuana.’

Williamsports’s and Captain Schmucker’s fight against marihuana started a year ago last March, when the first of 11 cases in a few weeks were reported.

Consultations with national and state officials led Captain Schmucker to the belief that a program of education was the best way to rid his section of the evil, and his talk last night was the 362nd he has made. He has been credited with cutting down the number of cases in this section fifty per cent and to practically zero in Williamsport.

In closing, Captain Schmucker said Kiwanis clubs in some localities have done much to stamp out the use of marihuana.”