4. Le Club des Hashischins: The Parisian Group of Authors Who Smoked Weed
It isn’t surprising that some of the best authors who smoked weed in the 19th century formed a secret hashish smoking club active from 1844 to 1849. Hashish made its first appearance in Europe following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 when Napoleon’s troops brought it back to France. It became known for its medicinal properties. Although, the giants of 19th century French literature used it just for fun.
Le Club des Hashischins gained notoriety though journalist Théophile Gautier’s essay by the same title. Gautier, who indulged in hashish himself, describes, according to The Guardian, “[The doctor] spooned a morsel of paste or greenish jam about as large as a thumb from a crystal vase, and placed it next to the silver spoon on each saucer.”
Jacques-Joseph Moreau was the doctor in Gautier’s account who used Le Club des Haschischins as a testing ground for the impact of cannabis.
Many today are familiar with the feeling Gautier then recounts: “a deadening warmth pervaded my limbs, and dementia, like a wave which breaks foaming on to a rock, then withdraws to break again, invaded and left my brain, finally enveloping it altogether.”
The members of this club included the following: