Article: 20131101068

Title: Cannabis Artifacts

20131101068
201311010068
HighTimes_20131101_0040_454_0068.xml
Cannabis Artifacts
Peruse a rare stash of cannabis artifacts collected by one of the nation’s preeminent marijuana scholars, Michael Aldrich, and discover how the medicinal and spiritual use of ganja is part of our shared human history.
INFANTS RELIEF
PARKE, DAVIS CONTAINER
0362-630X
High Time
Trans-High Corporation
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article
Michael Aldrich literally has a PhD in pot. The author of the first doctoral dissertation on cannabis in the United States, Marijuana Myths and Folklore (SUNY Buffalo, 1970), and a tireless researcher and advocate, Aldrich has earned the nickname "Dr. Dope."
Elise McDonough
Photographs
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Cannabis Artifacts

Peruse a rare stash of cannabis artifacts collected by one of the nation’s preeminent marijuana scholars, Michael Aldrich, and discover how the medicinal and spiritual use of ganja is part of our shared human history.

Elise McDonough

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This standing fish pipe from Cameroon is made of brass, with a loop attached to the stem for easy carrying.
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Michael Aldrich literally has a PhD in pot. The author of the first doctora' dissertation on cannabis in the United States, Marijuanc Myths and Folklore (SUNY Buffalo, 1970), and a tireless researcher and advocate, Aldrich has earned the nickname "Dr. Dope." Fascinated by the righteous herb's history of religious and medical

use since he got "turned on" in 1963, the young student began collecting newspaper clippings, old books and articles-anything that catalogued the positive attributes of cannabis. His parents were supportive of his scholarly habit, with his father even bringing back pipes and bongs from his safaris in Africa.

Michael founded the first student LeMar (Legalize Marijuana) organization in 1967 at SUNY Buffalo, was the editor of the first pot-themed publication, The Marijuana Review, from 1968 to 1973, and co-founded Amorphia, the first cannabis cooperative, in 1971. Always an advocate of legalization, Michael was an organizer for the 1972 California Marijuana Initiative, and he believes that cannabis spirituality will continue to thrive despite government oppression. “The use of cannabis to heal both body and soul traces back to the oldest religious texts in the world,” Aldrich says, “and it continues steadily up to modern times in a variety of cultural contexts.”

Today, Michael and his wife Michelle have amassed one of the most extensive cannabis archives in the US, with more than 300 boxes of books and papers in storage, and precious artifacts on display in their small San Francisco apartment. Their bookshelves are lined with the ancient lore of psychedelic wisdom, and a handsome wood-and-glass case houses their “antique headshop,” a collection of rare old pipes, bongs, papers and other accoutrements of the classic Stoner lifestyle. Their African pipe collection is also considered one of the best in the nation—which is why we were so thrilled when the Aldriches gave High Times a close-up look at their stash of precious historical paraphernalia and artifacts, and chose some of the most interesting specimens to share. “I got the first pipe in ’69 from Botswana, and then started with the bongs in ’71,” Aldrich recalls. “We’ve been talking for many years about opening a museum.”

Called dagga in Africa, cannabis is regarded as a tool for spiritual insight, and has a long history of shamanic use among the continent’s various tribes. Some of the first bongs were developed in Africa, with archaeological digs in Ethiopia uncovering ceramic water pipes dating back to AD 1320. Other tribes fashioned water pipes from gourds with detachable stone bowls. So, the next time you’re puffing on a Sherlock or hitting your prized Roor bong, remember the irie ancestors who came before you and dedicate your session in their honor. You just might have a revelation of your own!

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INFANTS RELIEF

This bottle of tincture from the Victor Remedies Company dates back to the 1880s, when patent medicines containing not only cannabis but opium and cocaine were all the rage. This concoction of cannabis and chloroform was recommended “for all looseness of bowels” and for teething children. In the advertisement for Victor Infants Relief, parents are assured that “especially during the teething period with its distressing and often fatal effects does Victor Infants Relief prove a boon and a blessing.” A printed testimonial from one satisfied customer declares that “instead of one bottle of Infants Relief, I suppose we used one dozen for our little girl. It is pleasant to taste and does the work.”

PARKE, DAVIS CONTAINER

This container from Parke, Davis dates back to 1879 and would have sat on a druggist’s shelf, waiting to be refilled with Cannabis sativa direct from the pharmaceutical company. A label on the back of the container helpfully explains that “Herbs and other Botanic drugs will keep perfectly fresh and intact for a much longer period of time in these containers than in open drawers.” Parke, Davis goes on to say: “The quality is absolutely the best which is produced” and “Our direct connections enable us to have especial care bestowed upon the collection and preservation of drugs intended for our use.” The legal drug dealer (once the oldest and biggest drug company in the US, now a part of Pfizer) also assures the pharmacist that “Every package is full weight,” just in case the middleman was worried about getting shorted by his source.

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This small, long metal pipe has a carved stone bowl with a decoration of a lotus flower and stamped metal decorations on the stem.
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This Egyptian bone pipe has a stem made of cow bone with a mouthpiece topped by a scarab beetle. Anubis, god of the underworld, is perched on the edge of the bowl near the Eye of Ra.
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This happy smiling face with stoned squinty eyes is a pipe carved from wood with an ivory mouthpiece and bowl. Hand carved in Durban, South Africa by the Kikuyu tribe.
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The bowl of this traditional Zulu dagga pipe is a cow horn, with a wooden stem decorated with bright beadwork and a ceramic mouthpiece, from the Eshowe area of Zululand, South Africa.
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This gourd bong is also from Tanzania, probably originating from the Kikuyu tribe. The gourd has a wooden stem attached to it with sinewy leather, and a detachable, reversible carved stone bowl that is held to the pipe with twine. The user could turn the bowl over and pack tobacco into one side and cannabis into the other. A hole is punched into the back of the gourd's stem for inhalation.
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This gourd "gogo pipe" from Tanzania has a detachable stone bowl affixed by a leather strip, decorated with a Mirinda brand bottle cap.
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Many of the early bongs imported into the US were made of bamboo; this one was hand crafted in India.
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This distinctive brass pipe from Cameroon has a loop to attach to a belt, and a fanciful design with a large bowl atop the head of an elephant.
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The Bobo tribe created this horned animal pipe, a "very sacred pipe," according to Aldrich, "from Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) in West Africa, and traditionally passed from father to son as part of an initiation into manhood." The metal bowl is attached to a wooden stem wrapped in snakeskin, with ten animal heads on metal rings encircling it. The alternating animals are a roan antelope (a sacred animal with spiral horns), and a northern red buffalo with curved horns.
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A simple Nigerian wooden pipe with metal bands and stone bowl with a design of punched holes at the front of the bowl making a V shape.
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This fertility goddess bong would have had a carved stone bowl that fit into the protuberance coming out of the bottom gourd. The user inhales from the top of the head of the stone fertility goddess. Tribal origin unknown.
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This large standing pipe from Cameroon has been nicknamed the "rock band" by Aldrich, since the bowl is surrounded by three figures holding instruments. Beautifully designed, the bottom has the motif of an elephant's head with its trunk curled around the bottom to form a handle, and the tusks form a tripod base.
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This Zulu tribal bong is made from a large gourd, with a generous-sized detachable carved stone bowl. The gourd rests on a rattan "bong cozy." This artifact was sent from the Carlton hotel in Johannesburg in 1969 by Aldrich's father.
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