The Medical University of South Carolina: home to top-notch surgeons, med students, and a film about pot. Thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation Awards, the Waring Historical Library at MUSC received a grant of $1,510 to preserve the film Cannabis and Opiate Experiments, which was made in the 1950s. “There is no specific date on the film canister and no supporting documentation with that information,” explains Brooke Fox, archivist at MUSC. “I’ve estimated the time period based on the type of film used to record the experiments. The film runs just under nine minutes.” 

The documentary was made as part of Dr. Robert P. Walton’s research in examining the effects of cannibas on the cardiovascular systems of dogs and cats in the 1950s. Walton also published Marihuana, America’s New Drug Problem. A Sociological Question with its Basic Explanation Dependent on Biologic and Medical Principles, which is still referenced in today’s drug debate.

And now thanks to the university’s grant, the library will be able to digitize the movie and make it available online through MEDICA, the institutional and digital archives of MUSC. The Waring Historical Library is one of 35 institutions to receive funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation Awards.