As a Tool for Relaxation
Having a smoke sesh is by no means a modern innovation. Since the 19th century, urban creatives have taken part in these gatherings and received a lot of attention for it. Back in the 1840s, Balzac, Baudelaire, Dumas and other French intellectuals formed Le Club des Hashishins.
During the 1920s and 30s, people called them “Tea Pads.” In 1938, Meyer Berger, a New Yorker reporter, visited a Harlem tea pad. Berger describes the scene: “four rooms with nine couches set against the cracked, cream-colored walls, with a few limp easy chairs to handle the overflow.”
Music was often an important part of Tea Pad culture. Berger adds that the host was playing “weird ritualistic themes.” Additionally, many Tea Pads sprung out of Jazz culture, though they attracted a wide array of customers.
Marijuana’s connection with Jazz culture, and through African American communities, is one of the reasons why authorities outlawed it in the first place.