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Chicago Tribune July 1, 1928 New Giggle Drug Puts Discord in city Orchestras - (Emit Sour Notes After Smoking Weed.) By Thomas Wren
"Add a jolt of 'muggies'; to the artistic temperament of your journeyman musician and you've got a discord," says James c. Petrillo, president of the Chicago Federation o Musicians. "Muggles" is causing me a lot of trouble; In fact, it's the greatest problem I have just now.
"What is it?" Why mariajuana* (Mary Jane)--the Mexican drug. It's related to Indian hemp or hasheesh the dope so common in India and Persia. Botanically it is called cannabis indica. Chicago addicts to the Mexican form of the drug smoke the dried leaves in the form of cigarette. "You see, I know something about it--had to, to deal with it."
Hundreds of Chicago Addicts.
Petrillo said that there are probably several hundred musicians in Chicago addicted to "Muggles" As he was talking the telephone rang. "Hello!" he shouted into the receiver. And then: "Well, fire them; Fire them on the spot!" "That was the orchestra leader at the ______" he said, naming a large loop theater. "Two of 'em under it. Well, I'll not protect them."
He explained that many of the musicians were obtaining the drug at places in the 500 and 600 block on South State street. They pay 25 and 30 cents for each 'muggles' cigaret**," he said, and one cigaret will produce a tremendous jag, almost a spree.
Investigation disclosed that the use of mariajuana had spread rapidly and become prevalent both in Chicago and over the country in the last few years. Maj. Joseph Manning, in charge of the local federal narcotic division, says there is nothing in the federal or Illinois law against the use of it.
Grown on city Outskirts.
"There are two large fields in which it is grown right on the outskirts of Chicago," he said. "The Mexicans who cultivate it gather it in September and dry it for use. The leaves are about one inch long and one-quarter as wide."
"It is an old drug, but it was generally introduced into the country only a few years ago by the Mexicans. It is like cocaine. In the long run it bends and cripples its victims. A sort of creeping paralysis results from long use. A few states have laws against it. California a stringent one. There should be provision against it in the Harrison anti-narcotic law."
Dr. W. A. Evans, health director of this newspaper, says there is evidence the use of the drug is spreading rapidly. The name "Muggles" comes from Louisiana. There are thousands of the addicts in Louisiana, Dr. Evans said.
Addicts See Visions.
"A person under the influence of the drug," he continued, "acts as one intoxicated. But they are more dangerous. In an old book, Dr. H. C. Wood of the University of Pennsylvania, who experimented with it tells of its effects.
"He says that visions float before the eyes. There is a curious detachment as though the mind were divorced from the body."
Dr. Evans added often there is giggling and laughter present in addicts. This was told to Peterillo.
"That's what the orchestra leaders tell me," he replied. They'll see a fellow sitting in the orchestra giggling and giggling to himself. Then out will come the wild, sour notes. And when he asks the musician about it he simply keeps on giggling."
* spelling is Mariajuana: **spelling is cigaret:
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