Cannabis Time Capsule, 1876: Marijuana as a medicine for a “remarkable invalid”

By William Breathes
Here’s a pretty interesting and surprising positive story about cannabis being used as a medicine from theColorado Banner out of Boulder County from July 1876 — making this the oldest Cannabis Time Capsule piece we’ve run.
And though the mention of marijuana is brief, it illustrates how cannabis might have been perceived differently by the public and the press before paranoia and fear over this complex and amazing plant took over.

The item is basically a re-write of a Boston Globeobituary about Ruth W. Burgess, who died at the age of 64. The write-up talks about how Burgess suffered from a wide range of conditions in her life starting around the age of eight. Over the course of her life, she battled seizures, paralysis of her right eye and edema (then called “dropsy”).
But the article says she found a cure for the ailments through cannabis. Apparently, her brother was in what is now Guyana when he met a French doctor who gave him an unlabeled bottle of tincture. It turned out to be cannabis (called “Indian hemp”).
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