Articles, Blog

Colorado Experience: Indulgences of the West

August 12, 2019

Denver was the entertainment
center of the Rocky Mountain West. This is where the
West came to play. Colorado was always seen as
kind of a wide-open place, it was loose and relaxed. Whiskey was actually not
too bad a thing to drink, because at least it was
safe and you weren’t going to end up with typhoid. Opium became a rage
among Anglo women and men who found in this new
drug a new kind of escape. We work hard, we play hard
and we also ingest things with a lot of gusto. We are the Wild West. Anything goes. This program was funded by
the History Colorado State Historical Fund. Supporting projects
throughout the state to preserve, protect,
and interpret Colorado’s architectural and
archaeological treasures. History Colorado
State Historical Fund. Create the future,
honor the past. With support from the Denver
Public Library and History Colorado. With additional funding
and support from these fine organizations and
viewers like you. Thank you. [theme music playing] In the mid 1800s, America
was expanding rapidly into the West. We were industrializing, we
were fighting a national crisis over slavery, and
America in many ways was a wide-open country. People associated the
frontier with freedom, without really
having a lot of laws regulating social behavior. There were not strong
rules or regulations, and sometimes it felt
like anything goes. The West was always
a safety valve for the East in
American history. If you got behind with creditors
back East, you just went west. Committed a crime
back East– robbery, rape, even murder–
just go west. So we had more than our
fair share of undesirables out here in the Gold Rush. After the prospectors
arrived, the next people to come to get rich were
the whiskey sellers, because saloons popped
up in the Pike’s Peak region almost immediately. The very early saloons that
started out in the West, in most places in
the mining camps, were very primitive
affairs to begin with. They might be just a
barrel with a plank over it and somebody selling alcohol
from the back of a wagon. A lot of mining camps
were transitory. People might be
there one day, they might be gone the next day
if the strike gave out. So this way the bartender could
through his barrel and plank in the back of
his wagon and move on to the next
promising mining camps. The saloon is an important
center of social activity if you’re a man. That’s where you could
go to find your jobs, you could get your mail there. It was a place of society. It was a place to meet your
friends, to hear the news. You go there to
meet other people, relax after hard
day in the mines. If you were an immigrant, you
could go to an immigrant saloon to read papers in
your home language, you could get a free lunch. So the saloon is a really,
really important part of social activity in
Denver and other mining towns across Colorado. And of course everything
was lubricated with whiskey. Whiskey is the drink of Colorado
in the late 19th century. Whiskey is very valuable. It keeps well. A bottle of whiskey can
last a very, very long time if you don’t drink it first. Whiskey could be either
made on the premises or it could come from back East. A lot of the whiskey was
actually adulterated. It might be watered
down in the saloon, it might be actually
made in the saloon, and you never really
quite knew what you were getting when you
went in and ordered a drink. There were a lot of bogus
boozes that were made. They’d start out with a
barrel of grain alcohol, start adding water– perhaps
even river water or creek water– and add various other
things like creosote or tobacco or strychnine, pepper. All sorts of things. There are many recipes
for making whiskey. Whiskey was a major part
of the American economy in the early 1800s. Farmers who grew grain
found that whiskey was an easily transportable
and durable commodity that they could ship
a long way to market. And so whiskey was
considered a form of currency the United States. And a lot of this
unfortunate bogus whiskey went to the Indians
also for trading. Whiskey had been used as
medicine since the Middle Ages. Physicians had
realized that alcohol had antiseptic and
analgesic properties. It dulled pain, it killed
germs, it kept areas sterile. Civil War medics kept
whiskey in their packs as one of their main go-to
medicines for wounded soldiers. It was prescribed
for tuberculosis. It was prescribed
to treat pneumonia. It was prescribed to
treat high blood pressure. And it was seen as this drug
that cured a variety of ills and could be used to treat
the symptoms of practically anything. Alcohol consumption is so
centered around the saloon, and that’s a very,
very male space. Respectable women didn’t
really go in saloons. If they drank,
they drink at home. And they might
drink wine or they might drink patent
medicines, which have a really potent mix
of questionable ingredients like laudanum and cannabis and
other ingredients that we later find are actually
really dangerous. Patent medicines were
what we would call just over-the-counter drugs today. They mostly consisted of a
large percentage of alcohol. These had various
other additives. In a lot of cases they were
so-called natural remedies, such as leaves and roots,
but in addition they might contain things like opium,
morphine, some had cocaine. And they had a lot of
other addictive substances, so these things really
packed a wallop. And if somebody believed in
dosing themselves with a patent medicine, say a couple
of teaspoons a day, they were getting
a pretty good jolt of narcotic and
alcoholic substances. These so-called patent
medicines were positioned to cure all kinds of ills. Anything that ailed you, you
could find a patent medicine that was supposed cure it. And so drugs were
pretty freely available. If you had an opium
habit, you could drink laudanum, which was a
mixture of alcoholic spirits and opium that was used
as a general cure-all for practically anything. It cured aches and pains. It cured fevers. It was used to treat
the symptoms of cholera and dysentery. It was used for
feminine complaints. And because it was
highly addictive, in time you were drinking laudanum to
cure your desire for laudanum. A lot of times people
would take that just to relieve any kind
of pain that they had, including giving it
to their children, perhaps teething children. There were syrups and
elixirs, and things like that that contained an
extremely high content of opium and morphine. And that would keep them quiet. In fact, some women who
couldn’t afford a baby sitter would give their child, a
young child, say a year old, a big dose of one of
these soothing elixirs in the morning, go off
to work, and the child would sleep all day. So children at very early
age either became addicted or sometimes they
died of overdoses because their parents cared. Some of these concoctions
may have tasted pretty awful. They could add things
like rose hip syrup. It would disguise the taste
and make it taste a lot better. Women would use this. Ones who thought alcohol
was terrible to drink, they often were swigging
laudanum in the back room. They might have a bottle
hidden behind the groceries in the kitchen. Women were not accepted
as big drinkers. This was considered
socially inappropriate. So they could use
laudanum as a substitute and not think they
were drinking, even though it had a very
high percentage of alcohol. Probably about 70%, I believe,
of women at that time were taking some form of laudanum. After the pioneers arrived
and these vices, so to speak, came out here, most
of the towns ended up having some kind of what
we would call an opium den. Opium was freely available
in medicines of the time. But the stigmatized
version of opium was what became known as “joss.” These are pellets or buttons of
opium that are placed in pipes and smoked. And the Chinese introduced what
became known as joss houses. These are places you could go. You didn’t have to be Chinese. They were very
often but not always in the Chinese neighborhoods
in Denver or Fairplay or other communities
in Colorado. And you could purchase a button
of opium and you could smoke it and it would just
blow your mind. You could really just
take a vacation from life. You could be gone
for three hours or you could be
gone for three days. It would relax you,
it would detach you, it would bring you down. And it became fairly
common for people to go into Chinese communities
and find the opium dens. Victorian literature became
very sensationalistic. They describe these opium
dens as being wonderful places and very lavish furnishings,
silks hanging around, beautiful women and so forth. Unfortunately, the reality
wasn’t quite that good. These places tend to be more
we would call a dive today. There was a counter where
you could buy your opium. They would give you a
private room or just a berth where you could
lie down, you could relax, there might be music playing,
and you would light up. The company around you might
be prostitutes or gamblers or Chinese laborers or very
sophisticated society people. They would all find this high
in the democracy of opium. Opium was a narcotic,
and it would put these people to
sleep, so the stories of wild orgies in the opium
dens were really not true, because after having
one pipe of opium the people would just pass
out for a couple of hours. Most of the opium users
in Colorado were Anglo, but the people who were blamed
for opium use were the Chinese. They were the ones who
brought it to this country, to the West Coast,
as recreational drug. And the Chinese
were scapegoated. The fact that there were joss
houses in Chinese communities was often used as an excuse to
drive the Chinese out of town. By 1880 there was a national
hysteria against the Chinese. There was such hostility
towards the Chinese in Colorado and the West
because, well, they’re very industrious
and hardworking. And they were resented
because they seemed so alien to American culture. And in 1880 a young man died. The coroner said that
he died from typhoid. But he said some of this
could have been caused or could have been
linked to the fact that he took opium for pain. And so once the newspapers
got hold of this, the headlines just flared. And this of course roused
the population more and more, and there was a lot of
anti-Chinese sentiment. On Halloween of 1880,
a fight broke out in a pool hall in what
is today lower downtown Denver between Chinese
and non-Chinese, and it spread into a
brawl throughout the city. The brawl was ultimately fed
by the anti-Chinese hysteria and by a desire to close down
the joss houses in Denver’s Chinatown. Well now we have whites rampage
through the Chinese district. They are beating
Chinese in the street. They lynch an elderly
Chinese man from a lamppost. They’re looting and burning
Chinese businesses and homes. They destroyed the joss houses
and drove the Chinese out of the neighborhood. What saved the Chinese
from annihilation? They fled to the brothels. We have newspaper
accounts of the girls in the brothels
taking in the Chinese, holding back the mobs
with cocked revolvers, waving champagne bottles
over their heads, yeah, you just come across
that threshold. So if it wasn’t for
girls in the brothels, we’d have a lot
more loss of life. The mayor called out
the fire department and he called the
police department, and they were unable to do
anything about it at that time. And finally the militia
had to be called in, and the whole thing settled
down after a couple of days. the Anti-Chinese
Riot of 1880 did very little to stop the
opium trade in Denver. Joss houses reopened
almost immediately. It wasn’t until the late
1910s when federal regulations began to clamp down on
the illicit opium trade and drive it underground. The joss houses
closed in the 1910s, but they were replaced by
a black market for opium and stronger opiates
like heroin and morphine. Along with opium and
whiskey, coca leaves were viewed in the late 1800s
as another kind of medicine and stimulant. Cocaine came from the leaves
of the coca plant, which came from the Andes
in South America and then made its way
up here as a medicine. Native American people
in South America had been chewing coca
leaf as a mild stimulant since time out of mind. But in the 1880s
scientists learn how to distill the active
ingredients of coca leaves into a powdered form we
know today as cocaine. So it would be used
rubbing on the skin, perhaps applying with a
Q-tip on a bad toothache or something like that. But it also was available
over the counter and there were
some manufacturers who actually supplied
the whole kit and caboodle for using cocaine. Cocaine was so much more
intense, so much stronger than the coca leaves, and it
was seen as a wonder drug. What disease could
cocaine not cure? Cocaine was used to stimulate
repurchase of things, so you’d find cocaine inside
cigarettes and so forth. That made the person feel
good when they were smoking, and so they would go out and
repurchase up to the product. There were also a lot of
soft drinks on the market. Coca-Cola is named
after the coca leaf. That was one of its
original ingredients. Until the 1920s there were some
form of coca leaf in Coca-Cola. So it was ubiquitous. You could find it everywhere. But like opium and
like alcohol, cocaine has addictive properties. It has a debilitating
side that when abused can cause a lot
of health problems, cause a lot of social problems. By the early 20th
century Americans began to realize that we
need to step back from drugs like cocaine or opium. And we have to figure
out how to regulate this better so that we’re
not creating overdoses, we’re not creating bad
domestic situations, we’re not creating
opportunities for abuse. You could put
anything on a bottle and claim it cures everything
from cancer to baldness. Put a little oil
in there, tastes like a medicine, a little
alcohol gives them a buzz. You want a sure-fire best
seller, put a little rat poison in there, strychnine. People would drink it, start
getting cramps, it’s working! It’s taking the
poison out my system. In the 1900s the party was over. In 1906 the federal government
passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which required medicine
makers to label the ingredients in their medicines. Now you could find out for sure
just how much cocaine or opium you were taking. And when people realized
how much they were taking, they cut back very quickly. If you were addicted to
something, you were addicted, and there wasn’t much you
could do about it anyway. But it was an attempt
by the government to try and at least put
more information out there so somebody could make
an informed choice. In 1914 the federal government
passed the Harrison Drug Act. This was an act designed
to regulate drug use. It wasn’t designed
to prohibit drug use, but the federal law
enforcement officials used it to crack
down on physicians who were prescribing
to addicts in order to maintain their addiction. In fact, even when some of
the over-the-counter sales of morphine and opium and
other drugs was banned, people could still get them. What it did was make it a
bit more expensive for them to get them, but I don’t think
it really cured the problem. It didn’t take away
the source of drugs. You can always get a
prescription from your doctor or you could just buy
it on the black market. And so the illicit drug trade
really begins in the 1910s. Beer came out west with
the German beer makers after the Civil War. Some of the European
breweries like Bass actually did send beer
to the United States, and it made its way out to
some of the mountain towns. The cost was high and
the quality was low, so you had to really
want that beer. Beer in many ways is a much
more complex drink than whiskey or other distilled spirits. It has a lot more ingredients. It has water, it has
yeast, it has hops, which are actually really
hard to come by in Colorado in the mid 19th century. And you have some
sort of malted grain. And it’s very fragile. Unless you pasteurize it,
it will go bad very quickly. Imagine loading up your wagon
with a whole bunch of kegs. A barrel of beer 31
gallons of liquid. That’s really heavy. That’s asking a lot of
your ox team at the time to come across the plains
hauling all of that. And it’s not going to
last you all that long. Beer goes bad so quickly that
it’s much better to produce beer locally than whiskey. So in the summer of 1859,
Frederick Solomon and John Good found the Rocky
Mountain Brewery, and that’s Denver’s
first brewery. Legend has that John Good
brought the first hops to Denver, and that’s how
he earned his partnership. He brought them across
the plains in an oxcart. So they start brewing,
and they celebrate by giving Rocky Mountain
News editor William Byers the first bottle
of their first beer. One local critic called it,
quote, “innocent of hops,” unquote. It didn’t really
have a hoppy flavor. So they’re mostly selling
it in kegs or in buckets or in whatever container
they used to local saloons, where they would
get it on draft. The kegs in the 19th
century were wooden barrels. Because they’re not able
to pasteurize their beer, this is really the only way
that you can get their product until people start
pasteurizing it and putting it into dark glass bottles
to keep it from light. And some of these saloons were
going through ten kegs a day. Beer was about a
nickel, and that was just the right price for an
awful lot of people in Colorado at the time. So 1859 is when we see
Colorado’s first brewery. But it’s not for
another decade or so that we see the brewery that
most Americans associate with Colorado, and
that’s the Coors brewery. So in 1872 Adolph Coors
immigrates to Colorado from Germany. You have this teenage boy
that had been an apprentice in a German brewery. Well, there’s a draft
for the Prussian army, and this little
draft-dodger will end up sneaking aboard a ship. He’s discovered halfway
across the Atlantic Ocean, but rather than
throwing him out they make him promise to
pay when he gets here. And Adolph Coors
arrives in America. And he first sets
up shop in Denver, but he and another German
immigrant, Jacob Schueler, start looking for a
different brewery site. He spent his weekends once
he got here scouting around for a place to open a brewery. They find a site in
Golden, near Clear Creek, that was actually the site
of a tannery at one point. And they essentially
start brewing what they call Schueler
and Coors Golden Lager. Eventually Coors
buys out Schueler and it becomes the
Coors Brewing Company. They were one of the
smaller breweries when they first started. They are not serving really
large geographic markets, partially because beer
goes bad really quickly. But if you’re in Golden, it’s
essentially your local brewery. By 1880 they’re producing
a fair amount of beer, and they’re actually starting
to bottle their beer. And refrigerated rail cars that
are kind of helping bring fresh produce from California,
fresh meat from stockyards, they’re also bringing
beer to people in bottles from breweries
that are much farther away. So Coors starts distributing
to people throughout Colorado and throughout
the interior West. Coloradans are always
early adopters, so prohibition is enacted
in Colorado four years before the rest of the nation. Before Prohibtion, there’s a
ton of breweries in the United States, and they’re producing a
lot of different types of beer. So it’s actually a
fairly diverse industry. But once Prohibition becomes
the law of the land in Colorado 1916, and in the United
States is a whole in 1920, brewers have to adjust to
a new law very quickly. They let out their
barrel rooms as storage. They had ice businesses. Almost all of them brewed
some form of near beer. Which is beer that is
less than 0.5% alcohol. Coors diversified
into other industries, and they had actually
started doing this during World War I. They have a cement industry. The Coors family expands
into real estate. And they also
produce malted milk. Coming out of Prohibition,
four breweries survived. The first was Coors, the second
was the Tivoli Union Brewery, Walters down in Pueblo,
and Schneider in Trinidad. In the Great Depression
Americans really needed a drink, and by
1933 President Roosevelt began pushing for the
repeal of Prohibition. It began very slowly with
the resumption of production of beer, but by the
1930s state legislatures voted overwhelmingly
the repeal Prohibition as a failed experiment. What America learned
from Prohibition is that it’s difficult to
regulate social behavior on a national level. In the 19th century, cannabis
is used as a pain killer. It’s used as a kind
of an anesthetic. And doctors like it because
it’s considered actually less dangerous than opiates. But cannabis as a medicine
has some problems. It’s really hard to dose. Cannabis isn’t soluble
in water, so you can’t make an
injectable form, which is actually the most scientific
way to administer drugs at the time. So you have to make
a tincture, you have to make an oil
out of it, or you have to kind of ingest it orally. But it’s really hard to
determine how much cannabis you’re giving somebody. So at the end of
the 19th century and the early 20th
century, you start to see a new class of
drugs coming out– aspirin. They come in pill form,
you know what’s in there, and it’s easier to give
those to your patients, so cannabis is kind of being
replaced by other drugs by the early 20th century. Drug use became more demonized. Certainly this is
true for the Chinese as far back as the
1870s and the 1880s. They had been stigmatized
because of opium. In the 1910s, Americans became
more aware of cannabis use. Americans have been taking
cannabis and patent medicines for decades. But in the 1910s, after
the Mexican Revolution, as more Mexican immigrants begin
to move into the United States, they brought with them the
practice of smoking cannabis, or as they called it, marijuana. And as opium was associated
with the Chinese, marijuana use was
associated with Mexicans, cocaine by the 1920s
became associated with African-Americans. And so this connection
between race and drug use became kind of a code
for white Americans to find means to suppress
people of different colors. In the 1930s, this
bureaucrat named Harry Anslinger, who’s the
head of the Federal Narcotics Bureau, starts focusing
more and more on marijuana. Marijuana became the number
one demon of United States Narcotics Bureau. It was described as the most
dangerous drug in America, or the most dangerous drug
history in sensational article after sensational
article, so the picks up on this crusade
by the Narcotics Bureau. They talk about drug
slaves and drug fiends and how one puff of
marijuana will inevitably lead to insanity. So the Marijuana Tax Act of
1937 is our first federal law dealing with marijuana. It attempts to prohibit
marijuana use through taxation. In order to buy, distribute,
or even own marijuana, you have to apply
for a tax stamp from the federal government. But the government didn’t really
want to give these stamps out. It never really intended to
create a regulated marijuana industry. The goal was essentially
to prohibit cannabis through making its use
and sale so difficult that people would just stop. The first federal prosecution
under the Marijuana Tax Act took place in Denver in 1937. Samuel Caldwell was
caught selling marijuana to a guy named Moses Baca. Neither of them had a stamp,
so they were prosecuted under this new federal law. Harry Anslinger came out to see
the first fruits of his labor, and so we had the first
federal prosecution under the first
federal marijuana law. Colorado is essentially a
test case for marijuana law. And the fact that we were one
of the first places where people were punished for using
marijuana and the first place to legalize it shows how
attitudes towards marijuana have changed from
the 1930s to today. We’re so far ahead of the rest
of the nation in accepting recreational drug use,
that not everybody is comfortable with the
direction that we’re going. still have a
reputation that we have as being kind of
this Wild West state where you can come out here and
you can go around the corner and you can pick up an eighth. And so you’re seeing
this massive influx into Denver and other
cities by people who want to join the
cannabis industry, because that’s what it is now. It’s an industry regulated
by state of Colorado from seed to smoke. It is so ironic to watch how
history can resemble itself over time. This was a debate we
were having in the 1910s. What kind of access should you
have to drugs like marijuana? How much personal
responsibility should you have to be able to use drugs? And how does that
responsibility affect society? What is the cost of
that responsibility? That was the debate
they were having with Lydia Pinkham’s
tonic back in the 1800s or the regulation of cocaine
and opium in the 1910s. What we’ve learned today is that
these substances are addictive. They cause social problems. And hopefully we’ve moved
on beyond lot of what we used to do in those days. Drugs are not good, they’re not
bad, and they’re not neutral. They are what we make of them. Will we end up in a good
place with how we use and regulate recreational drugs? I don’t think we know. I think that’s one of the
exciting things about living in Colorado right now is
we’re living through history and we’re working this
out for ourselves.


  • Reply teddy mills October 18, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Now the marijuana makes more sense.

  • Reply Cel Tick February 12, 2017 at 6:24 am

    they had heap good medici 😯

  • Reply Olivia :3 March 21, 2017 at 8:27 am

    What I would do to go back for a week end

  • Reply patato h May 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    i love my state

  • Reply 4theloveofsunsets May 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Wow cocaine laced cigs.

  • Reply Wolfsoldier July 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Yep sounds to me like we need to end the war on drugs!…Ever since they started it the death rate has went way up! The war on drugs has killed more people, ruined more lives, broke up more families then any drug ever could! Let freedom reign!….Regulate and control all drugs to make them as safe as possible for the people that want to use them just like we do with ALL other forms of dangerous behavior! There is NO REASON for all of these drug over doses, gang violence, people dying!!!…The drug war is THE REASON FOR ALL OF IT!!!….The drug war is the devils creation, NOT Gods! Truly an evil policy. Pray that it is ended ASAP!

  • Reply Joshua Sherman October 15, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for an enjoyable documentary.

    I think I'll go smoke a bowl 👍

  • Reply Karin Moseley October 15, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    ty for the share. i love finding the local history programs!

  • Reply Norman McNeal November 3, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    They don’t call it dope for no reason. I’m still against the fed gvt nor any gvt legislating morality. Fine , fee, penalty , or tax? This is our fault because we want our gvt to legislate morality

  • Reply Ernesto alaniz November 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm


  • Reply Aryanaaa January 14, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    What I find most awesome is that human nature hasn't changed a bit… Clothes and levels of comfort changed… Rest, we are all the same 🙂

  • Reply John Roberts January 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    No mention of other reasons for prohibition of drugs, like capitalist monopolists not wanting, say, cannabis, to compete with the drugs they were pushing like alcohol or tobacco (i.e. commercial competition). Or, in the case of fibre derived from cannabis, wool or cotton. Or competing with mass marketed, synthetic drugs from the new pharmaceutical industry. Though in their favour they did mention how regulation and prohibition was used to target ethnic minorities.

  • Reply John Owen January 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Colorado is the Wild West, except for collecting rain water…don’t do it.

  • Reply Joshua Brande January 16, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    The saloons in Colorado and most likely elsewhere in the US as a social center and male bastion is very much like our Irish Pubs. It's where men men met socialized, did business and respectable women were not to be seen.While this has changed to some degree, women generally will not go to a pub unescorted.

  • Reply Deplorable Whiteman January 17, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Yea i never had problems getting weed in denver in the 70s but i did have trouble getting good weed sometimes

  • Reply Minnie January 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    lol. Good, respectable ladies didn't drink whisky at bars. They stayed home and did hard drugs.

  • Reply Duwomaiish Gabrielle January 19, 2018 at 4:45 am

    first of all, marijuana is not a drug….. cannabis is an herb….. ;the Pharmaceutical Industry makes drugs….

  • Reply Neil O'Neal February 1, 2018 at 9:35 pm


  • Reply Graeme Williams February 2, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Gunfighter/Gambler Luke Short sold rot gut to the Indians like every one else. Called it Pine Top.

  • Reply rjmprod February 14, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Colorado is now a haven for UN-American activities…

  • Reply Mike Btrfld February 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    All were from the east

  • Reply Sugar Cane February 18, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    LOL….I would probably end up in a brothel. So much for my american dream.

  • Reply Billy Seneczy February 18, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Superb episode. Wow was this a interesting watch!

  • Reply Jason Lund February 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Not much has changed, Colorado is still like this in some respects.

  • Reply John D. Holt Jr. February 21, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    laws are getting lax in Texas also

  • Reply KEN WALZ March 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    All things in moderation!

  • Reply Leslie Anthony March 18, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I'm amazed at how many different types of bottles they had.

  • Reply Joshua Weickum March 22, 2018 at 9:28 am

    The opium users that survived only did so because something moderated their use of it. The difference between medicine and poison is the dosage. Moderation is the key.

  • Reply Dat dude March 23, 2018 at 8:33 am

    I wanna indulge in buttsex with that chubby older woman!

  • Reply Russell Loomis March 25, 2018 at 2:14 am

    So Colorado is always been filled with whores and druggies it's just not a new thing huh?

  • Reply Frederick Green April 14, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Here we go again with revisionary history the Civil War was not fought over slavery there were many many issues slavery was what of 1

  • Reply Frederick Green April 14, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Alcohol is the number one abused drug in the world but yet we love it I don't personally but it's pretty disgusting to me

  • Reply cnniz fakenewz May 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Some of them nasty hoes went after them big doc slaves.Disgusting

  • Reply Nick Gur May 10, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Sounds like a good time, better than being a barfly.

  • Reply SE ASIA May 20, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    From INDIAN SCHOLAR in ASIA I read your very LOVELY WONDERFUL state had many GAY SALONS n male prostitutes in the 1800's HAHAHAHA still do HAHAHAHA

  • Reply Thomas Bingel May 28, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Very recommendable

  • Reply Kenneth Besig June 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Back then the populace did not yet even know that the majority of their illness were due to bacterial infection and they believed that almost anything might help, after all, what did they know?

  • Reply Politically Incorrect June 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    The key statement about prohibition of anything. 20:54 to 21:00

  • Reply Fred C. Wilson III June 11, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Who was the woman in 0:14?

  • Reply MrJm323 June 25, 2018 at 10:51 am

    8:20 . …..No, no. ….."Joss" is pidgen for the Portuguese "deus"; it's a god or "idol". A "joss house" was a Chinese temple. "Joss sticks" were the sticks of incense. ….Maybe pellets of opium were indeed called "joss buttons" by the Whites, I don't know; but the whites would have known that a "joss house" was a Chinese temple. ….Did a particular Chinese merchant set up an opium den in the back of some temple? Maybe. But the term "joss" was not a term for opium.

    Will someone explain to Dr. Convery that "joss house" was not another term for "opium den", but rather a Chinese folk religion temple.

  • Reply Burke of Mellow Park July 28, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Drug use was in every community; from Seattle, to Colo.,to Tombstone,Az,To Menlo Park,CA. Just as today. But there was no regulation becuz everything was legal.

  • Reply Matthew Cunningham October 9, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I wonder which is safer for pain raw opium or big pharma magic pills.

  • Reply Kevin Johnson November 6, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    I have been hiding under a rock for all these years. I just found out a few weeks ago that the Germans were giving the citizens there Meth 3 years before the war then when the war hit WW2 they gave every soldier Meth and apparently that made then a killing machine in the beginning. The people that got hooked and became Meth messes were delt with by putting them in rehab ? nope these people went for a shower with the Jews . Now this, I had no idea how bad the drug abuse was, booze for sure but not the heavy drugs. LMAO.

  • Reply MrKickYouNdaNuts November 10, 2018 at 1:41 am

    As I sit here smoking some legal marijuana in my lazy boy in Colorado. I can't help but think what an amazing documentary RMPBS! Very well done once again!

  • Reply Albert Bryan November 15, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Fighting a national crisis over slavery. My what a simplistic statement which leaves out many reasons for the war and embraces the slavery narrative.

  • Reply Sooner Mimi November 26, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Alcohol and cigarettes are recreational drugs with dangerous side effects and death.

  • Reply Niggasdontdiewex November 29, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Medicine sounds much better back then

  • Reply Newt Tella January 2, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Hmm blaming racial groups for drug problems instead of taking responsibility for one's own drug abuse issues., which got us no where. Sounds like Trump is trying to repeat history, using racial groups as a scapegoat for America's lust for drugs.

  • Reply smirna11 January 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    "The chinese were blamed" – well, they DID bring the opium didn´t they??!!

  • Reply Constitutional American April 2, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Everyone should have the right to choose and think for ourselves.
    Local and federal Government Regulations is just another term for Government control.
    Government regulations of Opium, Cocoa Leaves and Cannabis is the Governments way of saying I own You.
    Democrats and Republicans are the most corrupt, vile politicians in the free world.

  • Reply Jess Arellanes April 7, 2019 at 12:49 am


  • Reply Ferra Nouri April 20, 2019 at 7:05 pm


  • Reply Ferra Nouri April 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm


  • Reply DianaRose Goodwin April 25, 2019 at 1:01 am

    I'm 69 years old and was born in 1951. My parents used to put wooden clothes pin in a mason jar cover and let stand over night. When I was teething I was given that to chew on and relieve pain!

  • Reply Mike Btrfld April 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    They didn't have whore houses in the east?

  • Reply Chris Chiampo May 18, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    I Love Laudanum 😀😊 Liquid Morphine 3 Pelts a Day Keeps The Withdraws Away 🤢🤮🤢🤕👍🏼

  • Reply sploofmonkey May 19, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Having to listen to these neo-academics drives me to drinkin' 'n drugs, bring back Keith Carradine from Wild West Technology series from original History Channel!

  • Reply Ricky Gonzalez May 20, 2019 at 4:23 am

    I watched this and for some reason made the dab I did at the end taste way better!!

  • Reply Arlis Austin May 23, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Easy white girl's…still till this day

  • Reply Arlis Austin May 23, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Anglo american the real drug addicts…crackheads

  • Reply Gottlieb Goltz June 2, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I recall when I was in Jr. High in the 1960's a teacher told Us in the 1950's She had a bad habit to break away from Coca Cola, which had cocaine back in the 1950s and earlier. Yup.

  • Reply Josh Rick June 3, 2019 at 5:04 am

    So our American media even lied back then in the 1800s. I wonder if there were any honest reporters ever.

  • Reply Lynette June 21, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Drugging your kid leaving them at home and of to work you go😨

  • Reply Skibadibop-yea! Skitskatskatache June 30, 2019 at 2:24 am

    The point, or lack there of, about drug scheduling being used to go after minorities wasn’t asserted very well. You transitioned into that immediately following the spiel about prohibition; How can there be a racial motivation if the government around the same period also prosecuted a war against alcohol, mainly persecuting what would be considered Caucasian Americans. Also you left out the Irish stereotype alcohol, again conveniently as a ‘white american’ being pinned with a certain vice wouldn’t fit your racial narrative.

    Finally, who thinks of black people and cocaine? If anything traditionally it’d be the weed stereotype, ya know Jamaica, snoop dogg and all that jazz.

  • Reply Dave Beecher July 6, 2019 at 11:37 am

    whisky lasts long time if you don't drink it???? video lacking sorely

  • Reply Reverend Saltine July 10, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Wow this took 1:30 to get started!!! BORING!!!

  • Reply Reverend Saltine July 10, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Liberal progressive commie bllsht.

  • Reply sailorbychoice1 July 19, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    7:05 Having once endured a 12 hour flight next to a screaming (never effing stopped) one year old I had no relationship with, at all, I kind wonder if a little dose wouldn't have been better for the kid than 12 hours of screaming… I'm just saying.
    Not to mention how close I came to strangling the little monster after about forth-five minutes. Mom was trying but there was nothing she did that helped. Or someone should offered it to me for the last ten hours of the flight, I'd have accepted.

  • Reply Johnny Football July 22, 2019 at 3:53 am

    "Doc I'm crapping blood! Help me."- Patient

    "Drink this." – Doc

    "Will it help?" – Patient

    "No. But it'll make see the face of God!"- Doc

  • Reply Jennifer Nielen2020 July 28, 2019 at 11:11 am

    This was mostly the dregs of society 99% of people back then worked hard, read the bible and built the fantastic architecture of downtown. Sure there were a few gunfighters like Billie the Kid but mostly the extreme exception. Most families had their own strict religious morality.

  • Reply Atomic Barbarian July 28, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Amazing reflection of today's situation with opiates being prescribed. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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