To our knowledge, the very first time [1866] that any reputable group accused a Cannabis medicine of quackery. According to an Editorial that ran in the "Medical and Surgical Reporter" of Mar. 12, 1866 pp256, entitled, "Advertising Quack Medicines." The newspaper the Ledger, of Philadelphia, while being touted as an ethical newspaper that did not advertised Quack Medicines, was in fact doing just that. And that among the "Quack" medicines being advertised was one for a hasheesh medical candy which was making the following medical claims:

"Hasheesh Candy, strengthens the Lungs, and guards against all disease."

While the museum has not been able to obtain, a copy of that ad, we have been able to locate the following ad for the product:

Vanity Fair (magazine) Aug 16, 1862 pp74

A most wonderful Medicinal Agent for the cure of Nervousness, Weakness, Melancholy, confusion of thoughts, etc. A pleasurable and harmless stimulant. Under its influence all classes seem to gather new inspiration and energy. Price, 25c. and 8. per box, Beware of imitations. Imported only by the Gunjah-Wallah Company 476 Broadway. On sale by druggists generally.
Remembering that terms "cure" and "treatment" were used interchangeable at the time. Let us look (logically, not emotionally) at the claims being made:
  • "That this was a medial agent and not a simple candy" --- True
  • "A medical agent for Nervousness" -- True, Medical Marihuana long ago has been shown to be an effective anti-spasmodic agent, as well as a Sedative.
  • "A medical agent for Melancholy, confusion of thoughts, etc." --- True, Medical Marihuana has long been used by patients in insane asylums (probably because of its sedative effect.)
  • "Is a pleasurable and harmless stimulant" ---- Harmless, YES, not one human has ever been know to have died as a result of its use. BUT Pleasurable! Oral Medical Marihuana tastes terrible, but because it is in Candy form, one must also say true.
  • "Under its influence all classes seem to gather new inspiration and energy." --- Although objectionable, no one questions the right of any mfg. to state that their product is inspirational etc.
Now lets go back to the statement found in the "Medical and Surgical Reporter" which stated the following claims made by the company:
"Hasheesh Candy, strengthens the Lungs, and guards against all disease:
  • " Strengthens the lungs" --- True, Medical Marihuana can be used to treat Asthma.
  • "Guards against all disease" -- Here, the author at least, has a problem with the wording. However, given the truthfulness of the other statements, and not being a student of the lexicon of the English language, I would just have to let it go.

    In other words, NO false statements can be found, no attempt to harm or deceive the public is made. Thus, despite the legitimacy of the criticizing source, the product must be declared as being NON-QUACK.

    CHAPTER 15