If you were you, but living in Brooklyn in the 1940s and '50s, you would have been a very happy stoner. Why you may ask? Brooklyn was overgrown with marijuana plants. They were everywhere -- ripe for the taking! That is until an evil Sanitation Department Chief Inspector established the "White Wing Squad" to destroy every last bit of it -- 41,000 lbs. in total. The Brooklyn Public Library documented the city's ganja infestation with pictures and stories. "Razor-toothed fronds of 10 foot tall Cannabis sativa plants could be seen all around the city happily waving in the wind like any other innocuous and legal weed."
"After being felled and used like safari beasts for some photo ops, the plants would then be taken to Sanitation Department incinerators in Woodside, Queens where Chief Inspector Gleason was on hand to oversee the fiery eradication."
"Big marijuana haul--Seizing 80 pounds of stuff that reefers and bad dreams are made of, are Deputy Inspector Peter Terranova, head of narcotics squad, left, and Assistant D. A. Norman Felig. Cache was grabbed along with 'importer' Homer Jackson, in Bedford Stuyvesant rooming house."