In the year 1855, a German scientist named Friedrich Gaedche, extracted the active ingredient from coca leaves. He called the drug it cocaine. Using a different type of leaf called qat, amphetamine (speed) was extracted.
It was used in many products, but the most popular was a product called Mariani Wine, or as they say in France Vin Mariani, a concoction of wine and cocaine and speed.
Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle indulged, drinking it excessively. President William McKinley also loved the drink. Pope Pius X and Pope Leo XIII were addicted and drank quarts of the stuff. Leo XIII carried a secret flask around his hip, taking a swig every now and again, whenever the mood hit him, which apparently was quite frequent.
Talking about growing marijuana for medicinal purposes, Queen Victoria had her own stash of Qat plants growing out in the Royal Garden. Her and old Winston Churchill would sneak out into the garden, under the pretext of discussing internal British affairs but really they were going out back, away from prying eyes, to belt back a few.
Sigmund Freud's favourite pastime was to taking a little wine and reading Don Quixote. He praised it's benefits.
"You perceive an increase of self control and possess more vitality and capacity for work..." Sigmund Freud.
He thought it to be a useful medical tool to be used as a stimulant, an aphrodisiac and a cure for morphine addiction. They found out later that over use, decreased it's effectiveness as a sex stimulant, and morphine addicts soon turned into Mariani Winos', or should I say, speed freaks.
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