Sign the Resolution for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy
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By L. L. Stanley
Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 10 (May, 1919), 62-70.
NAME NUMBER OCCUPATION COMPLAINT
B ---- ------ Waiter Drug addict
In 1899 I went to the Philippine Islands with the 3rd Infantry, landing at Manila in March. We went right on the campaign as soon as we landed and were the first in the great advance. For two years we were in the field. Along about the end of my service I developed dysentery, and as a result became so weak that from 140 pounds I went down to 100 pounds. I would report at sick line and the doctors would give me C. & 0. pills, which were camphor and opium. These pills I took for four months until the time of my discharge at the Presidio in San Francisco in 1900.
Returning from Manila on the Sherman, I was so weak that I had to go to sick bay. I felt miserable, and the steward accused me of being an opium smoker. At this time I did not know anything about the habit, and did not know what made me so restless and nervous.
After my discharge I could not sleep. I met an ex-soldier who said, "I know what is the matter with you. You've been up against the pipe. You'd better start to shoot it." Before this, though, he had given me laudanum and yen shee, which relieved my habit.
I bought a gun and began to use two quarter-grain tablets three times a day. I used more and more until I was using 8irty grains a day. All of this time I was employed in hotels as waiter and helper.
From 1902 to 1905 I entered transport service in steward's department, doing waiting and pantry work. Dope was cheap and at Nagasaki, where we touched about every two months, I could get all I wanted. That Chinese stuff seemed much stronger than the American brand. Of course, I dealt in dope and would bring a lot of it back each time. The ship officers were one day looking for whiskey which had been sold to some of the soldiers of the transport, when they came across my cache hidden behind a picture on the wall. The ship carpenter had hidden it for me, and rather than have him found out, I admitted having the dope. For this, I lost my job. I worked in the steward's department at Del Monte Hotel for fifteen months and then wanted to go to Lake Tahoe. Instead I went to San Francisco and began to use cocaine. Was in a room with a bunch of girls and fellows and was induced to start with cocaine. This made me crazy and I could not hold any kind of a job. I imagined every one was against me, and on board of a steamer, bound for San Diego, .1 threatened to kill the whole crew if they did not leave me alone. I thought everybody was trying to job me.
And then I couldn't sleep. Would stay up for a week at a time without sleep. I would use cocaine and then take morphine to counteract it. Thinking I had not taken enough, I would dope up more. On the street I thought everybody was pointing me out. I couldn't hold a job a month, Before, I had been fleshy, but with the use of cocaine I went down to a shadow.
After two years I got onto myself, for I couldn't get any kind of a job, so I quit it cold. I found I could not use it. After quitting cocaine I got various jobs on ranches and in hotels, but still kept up with the morphine. It was easy enough to get from various drug stores and other agencies.
In 1913 1 began to peddle dope in San Francisco, getting it from various merchants. Would sell to various fiends along the street, and even go to rooms to sell the stuff. 'Alost of my customers were in rooming houses in the tenderloin. Mostly sporting people bought. Once on Howard street I was peddling on the street, selling small Quantities at fifty cents a throw. On an average my sales were $2 5.00, but on Saturdays I have sold as much as $ 7 5.00 worth.
The first jail sentence of six months was when I peddled on the street. Some one slipped me marked money. They soon arrested me. In 1915 they caught me the same way. Some one tipped me off and they caught me in the crowd. I could not ditch the stuff, so they grabbed me. They gave me only three months. The last judge didn't know my previous record.
The last time two policemen were in my room, and when I entered they arrested me. They had already found the dope and scales, so that was enough for conviction. As it happened, this was not my room, but my partner's. He and I had had a quarrel earlier in the evening, and he went out. I returned about midnight and found the cops waiting for me. My partner relented when he saw I was caught, and he believed that I would think that on account of our quarrel he had tipped me off. He got a lawyer for me and did all he could to get me off. I wanted to plead guilty, but consented to stand trial. The judge gave me only a year.
For the past three years I have done no work, but lived by peddling dope. In the morning I would get my dope, peddle it, then lay around for awhile. Again at night I would make my rounds. It did not take me long to get onto a hop-head. I could tell by his actions. If they came to the room and would twist and act nervous, I knew.
I never married. Dope surely stops the passions. Cocaine kills the desire entirely. My associates were mostly prostitutes. I do not know why they use dope; in fact, I don't know why anybody uses it. My appetite, as a rule, is good. I belch a lot of sour stuff and have much gas when I am off dope. I crave sweets. When I have a habit, I sneeze, gape, am nervous, can't sleep, feel nauseated, bones ache, eyes water and I have cramps.
I never dream when I have dope, but when out of it I dream of everything, particularly about dope. There are also wet dreams, just a weakness, I guess.
Dope fiends usually get together, four or five at a time, and talk about dope and the best places to get it, etc. Fiends are petty thieves they may steal while someone is looking. Their stealings are usually petty. They steal, usually, in order to get money enough for a jolt.
The next narrative shows the danger attending the lack of definite occupation, and the risks encountered by young boys associating with the sporting element:
NAME NUMBER COMPLAINT
T ---- ------ Drug addict
I was a kind of boxer there in San Francisco, about eight years ago. I was a sparring partner, but was never in the ring myself. I sparred with almost all of the boxers around San Francisco.
One night a bunch of us young fellows went down to Chinatown, running around. One of the fellows suggested that we try the pipe when we visited a joint. We went to see how the place was run. After trying it out, there seemed to be a stimulation, so we went again the next week. From that time on we would slip away and go down to smoke. We tried to keep it secret from the rest of the bunch, but they all developed the habit.
I kept up smoking for about three years and tried to spar all of the time, but the drug brought me down. I think I would have made a pretty good man in the ring if it had not been for dope.
The Board of Pharmacy became so strong and the police were after us so strong that I could not find time to smoke, so I got a job tending bar, and began to shoot morphine. When I first started to shoot I took it twice a day, morning and night, using the same amount for over two years. I worked at night, taking my dope in the evening after sleeping all day, and after I had eaten. Then after getting off duty at six in the morning, I would take another shot.
After tending bar for eight months, I became night manager for a coffee parlor. The dope did not seem to interfere with my work there, but it seemed the more morphine I took, the more I wanted. It got so high, too, that it just ran away with me.
After 1913 I did odd jobs, such as printing for two years, and then became waiter on S. P. boats, and later on, waiter in some of the better cabarets in San Francisco. M mor hine was then costing me about $1.50 a day. Morphine became higher in price in 1916, and I determined to cure myself. I mixed a bottle of port wine and yen shee. I would take a bottle of this every day, taking out a spoonful of the mixture and adding a teaspoonful of wine, with the intention of having eventually only port wine. But I landed almost broke in the Imperial Valley, at the height of the cantaloupe season, and was compelled to go in the hot sun to work. I was not strong enough to do this and break my habit, so I had to fall back on the morphine. Dope was easier to get in the Valley, because it was smuggled over the border. But now it is hard to get there. 'Most of the hop-heads there are now using yen shee.
I remained in the Imperial Valley one year, and was using hop all of the time. Finally I became disgusted with myself and determined to stop. I said to myself, If I have a chance, I'll get rid of this habit. But none of the cures are satisfactory. Those fellows who go to State Hospitals come out in three or four months looking fine, but the first thing they look for is a dose of hop.
I thought if I committed a crime I would go to the county jail for six months, and at least stay away from it. I was sent to jail for stealing some sacks, and was put on a chain gang on the road during my first week. The habit got the best of me and I was miserable. The jailer put me to helping on a four-horse plow. I was so sick I asked to go to the rear for a few minutes. I managed to slip away and landed in Mexico, where I stayed for three months. I wanted to try my port wine-yen shee cure again, but I could not get enough money to buy either. So I went back to Calexico and stole an electric fan valued at $15.00. 1 went into a man's residence, saw the fan, took it and returned to Mexico, where I sold the fan for $7.00; that is, I got $1.00 worth of drug with the promise of $6.00 on the following day. I was dopy when I did this trick. I was just at the end of my rope, and did not care what happened.
I was arrested the next day and plead guilty. I told them where the fan was. They brought me before a justice of the peace, who advised me that a cure was to be had at San Quentin, and that my petty offense with a prior, was a felony subject to a penitentiary sentence. Never before had I stolen, and only once was I arrested, that time being when I was caught in a raid on a hop joint. Was turned loose next morning.
Hop surely has been my downfall, for I always had good friends and good recommendations from men whom I had worked for, until they found out I used hop, when it went the other way.
I was born in Missouri in 1890. Was an only child. My mother died when I was six months old. I went to school until I was seventeen. Then I ran away with the Ringling Brothers circus as a race rider. Was with the circus three months, and then became a tramp, working for a while as waiter and then traveling on. Landed in San Francisco just before the earthquake.
At home I was always athletic, so one night I was told to go to the Olympic Club, where they used to put on boxing matches once a month. One of the fellows was not matched up, so I put on the gloves with him and knocked him out in a round and a half. Believe me, I did not have any dope in me that night. I was a pretty husky young fellow. They gave me $5.00. 1 wasn't puffed up any, but thought maybe I'd have a chance in the ring, so next day I went out to Sheehan's to become a boxer. Britt was training at the time. He gave me a job at $12.00 a week, helping about the quarters.
When I had a habit coming on I would first be nervous, then have pains in stomach and legs. The legs would ache like rheumatism. Cramps would come in the stomach, everything would be sour and I would vomit. Had diarrhoea, too. The worst of it is that one can't sleep. Even when I do sleep I do not dream, but have sexual emissions. They just come on involuntarily. I always gape and sneeze. Just keep sneezing four or five times in succession, and four or five times a day. Hot and cold sweats come on about the third day when a man is deprived of his dope. All of these symptoms increase and sometimes a man gets nutty. It is then they do their worst crimes.
Never have I cared for liquor, although I have worked in saloons and tended bar. Was never drunk in my life. I never used cocaine, although I have been around where it was. But I have had a horror of it. About all I could do was to get money enough to buy the other.
One can tell a hop-head by his eyes. A coke fiend is spotted by his quick turns and active movements. A morphinist has a brittle complexion. A smoker has a yellowish tinge.
NAME NuMBER COMPLAINT
R_ Drug addict
I first started to use cocaine when I was about 21 years old. At that time I was cooking in a chop house in Portland, Oregon. I just used it through foolishness, I guess. At age of 17 I was working in a drug store in Centralia, Washington, as apprentice clerk for two years. I quit, because I wanted to go outside, for my health was bad. I went to work in a logging camp. In the drug business I learned about cocaine, but never even sampled it. The bottle was marked poison.
After leaving the logging camp where I was signal man, I went to Chehalis, where a relative of mine had a restaurant. Here I learned to cook. Although there was a rather rough crowd about the restaurant, which was connected with the saloon, I never drank very much.
At Portland I acquired a small restaurant about a month before I began to use cocaine. I was running around with a bunch of fellows who used cocaine. They were clerks in stores, bookkeepers, and other fellows of my own age. They took cocaine for their own pleasure. I rather liked the cocaine, for when I felt tired it would brace me up. I sniffed cocaine for about two months, but quit, because I was getting thin, and could not sleep or eat. Then I began to use morphine by syringe, using about one grain a day. Some of the boys said morphine was better to use. After four months I sold my restaurant, and in 1913 went to work as chef in a hotel. The dope did not seem to bother my work, and I did not increase my dosage for over a year. I could always get the stuff. I changed jobs quite a bit after that, for I was always restless and dissatisfied. just before coming to prison I was taking 7 and 8 grains a day, four shots a day. Took a shot before each meal and at bedtime.
For the past three years I was in Illinois cooking and waiting on table. Had one job all of the time; the boss did not know I used dope. I took three or four different cures, all by reduction, but was never cured. I wouldn't do as they told me, I suppose. Could always get a little dope, for there was someone in town who had it.
Six months aoo I went to El Paso, working as messenger boy. My work was to answer calls, do errands, deliver packages. Our offices did not deal in dope at all. During this time I got all the dope I wanted by going over to Juarez. I found there was danger in being caught in going over the river, so I bought most of mine thereafter from peddlers in El Paso. There is more dope in El Paso than in any other city in the United States. It is easy enough to find a hophead in a large city, and he will always lead one to a peddler.
From El Paso I went to Imperial Valley, California, and was arrested for burglary. I was out of money and had a habit. I was weak, had no control of myself, was hungry. Had not had a shot for over a day. My bones ached, I yawned and gaped, had hot and cold flashes, and felt altogether miserable.
About 6:30 in the evening I went to a doctor's office to get an injection. The doctor was not in, so I went in and looked around. just as I got in the doctor came. He said he had been missing a lot of stuff and supposed I was the man who had taken it. I tried to run, but fell downstairs. The doctor then turned me over to the police. I plead guilty, because I had a shirt on which the doctor claimed was his, although I had traded for the shirt over in Mexico. Circumstances were against me, so I took 18 months. I have been arrested 2 or 3 times before, but that was for being drunk.
Since using dope, I have never cared for liquor, and have not been drunk since. I am now 25 years old, and went through the first year in high school. I lived with my parents until I was about twenty.
I was married at the age of 2 1, about the time I started using dope. I don't remember exactly, as things seem a little hazy at that time. After two years we parted, and I have not heard of her since. She did not use dope. We just couldn't get along. I do not think my using dope had much to do with our separation, but it probably made me more irritable and harder to get along with. Toward the last I did not care for sexual intercourse at all. Dope seemed to have deadened all desires.
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