The revolution in Mexico has brought with it not only the ravages of war, but also the degradation of the social conditions of soldiers and prisoners. One of the latest forms of dissipation in the ranks of federals and rebels alike is the habit of smoking marihuana, a deadly native plant of Mexico. According to reports many of the Mexican prisoners in the Belem prison in the City of Mexico are losing their minds as a result of smoking this weed.
The dry leaves of marijuana, alone or mixed with tobacco, make the smoker wilder than a wild beast. It is said that after the first three or four draughts of smoke the smoker feels a slight headache, then he sees everything moving, and finally loses all control of his mental faculties.
The next stage of the intoxication is full of terrors. Troops of ferocious wild animals march before the vision of the smoker. Lions, tigers, panthers and other wild beasts occupy his vision. These wild animals are then attacked by hosts of devils and monsters of unheard-of shapes. The smoker becomes brave and possessed of superhuman strength. It is at this stage of the debauch that murders are committed by smokers of the marihuana weed.
A few Americans have experimented with the weed. A few years ago a well-known citizen of San Antonio purchased a large coffee plantation in southern Mexico. He was induced to try smoking marijuana; he became addicted to the habit, which rendered him insane and finally caused death.
In another instance the superintendent of a mine in Mexico, who was an American, became the object of hatred of one of the men in his employ. The Mexican mixed marihuana with the American’s tobacco. The latter became wildly insane from smoking the mixture, made a vicious attack upon a party of miners, was shot and killed in the affray.
Not long ago a Mexican of the lower class, living in the City of Mexico, who had smoked a marihuana cigarette, became insane, attacked and killed a policeman and badly wounded three others.
Marihuana is one of the most dangerous drugs found in Mexico. The weed grows wild in many localities in the southern part of that country. Its wonderful powers as an intoxicant have long been known to the natives, and many are the wild orgies it has produced. So dangerous is this weed that in the City of Mexico and other Mexican cities the Government keeps special inspectors constantly employed to see that it is not sold in the markets.
There is in the State of Michoacan angerous, among them the “torache”, a sort of “loco” weed. The seeds of this plant boiled and drunk as tea will make a person insane. Among some classes of Mexicans it is stated that Carlota, the former Empress of Mexico, lost her mind because she was given totrache in refreshment by her enemies.