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1844 - 1849: Le Club des Hashischins

Club de Hashishins Hotel de LazunIn 1840 Dr Jaques Joseph Moreau wanted to use the hashish experience as a model psychosis. To do this kind of research he had to observe the effects of hashish objectively. Only by invoking the help of volunteers he could observe the drug's effects on others while he himself was abstimious.[1] In 1844 Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau founded Le Club des Hashischins (The Hashish Club), a cotterie of France's leading artists poets and writers dedicated to the exploration of drug-induced experiences, in particular with hashish.

The group was active from about 1844 to 1849, among its members were the literary and intellectual elite of Paris: Théophile Gautier a poet, journalist and literary critic, Charles Baudelaire poet and art critic, Eugène Delacroix a Romantic painter, Alexandre Dumas (père) writer of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Christo, Victor Hugo one of the most important and influential French Romantic writers of the 19th century and Honore de Balzac another very important 19th century writer.

The little island Ile St-Louis, in the heart of Paris, was a popular Bohemian hang-out and in1842 Hotel de Lauzun, 17, quai d'Anjou got rented out to the Hashish Club.
Baudelaire and Gaultier were already tenants so they began helding their hashish soirées in the hotel where they lived. The members of the Club des Hachichins met every month.  During these get togheters Baudelaire did research for his book Les Paradis artificiels in which he wrote about the state of being under the influence of opium and hashish. [2] Dressed up in Arab clothing they drank coffee and added a thick green mixture, like jam which was a mix of hashish, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pistachio, sugar, orange juice, butter and cantharides.[3]

 

1. J. J. Moreau 1973. Hashish and Mental Illness. New York: Raven Press.
2. Baudelaire Charles. 1966. Les paradis artificiels. Garnier Flammarion.
3. Green J. 2002. Cannabis .Thunder's Mouth Press.
Research and text © Hempshopper Amsterdam.