Three photos of marijuana in L.A. jail in 1951


USC/ is a seriously cool site for fans of quirky, odd historical photos as evidenced by these three strangely hysterical shots of cops and a scraggly little pot plant.
We don’t have much information on these photos, other than they are from the Van Nuys police department from 1951 and somehow wound up as part of the University of Southern California. Apparently someone sent a pot plant to the jail without any explanation and the cops had no idea what to do with it, or themselves.

It almost looks like the shots were staged, given the incredibly goofy looks on the faces of everyone involved. But no, apparently this was real. Eventually, the police discovered that the plant was sent over as a demonstration piece for a lecture on narcotics.

“Marijuana in Van Nuys jail. Officer F.G. Plamonden gapes at blooming plant of Marijuana. Note bars in background. Officers wonder what goes on with the plant. Cops later found out that it was sent to Valley Div. to be in a lecture on narcotics.”