Roger Adams, head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) from 1926-54, is well known for his contributions to American science and scholarship; little has been mentioned of his “marihuana” pioneering days and how his 1930s cannabinoid research interests created a chain-reaction that led to the one and only, J. Edgar Hoover.
In a new post on The Compassion Chronicles, “Anslinger, Hoover and the (Bad) Chemistry of Illinois’ Roger Adams ~ A Cannabinoid Research Tale,” author Bryan W. Brickner notes a familiar (federal) reluctance to marijuana and the science of cannabinoids.
“Adams’ success at Illinois brought opportunities,” Brickner remarked, “and one of those chances was federal: a chance to find out what made marijuana … marijuana – and Adams kind of did.”
Adams, credited with the 1940 discovery of the herbal cannabinoid cannabidiol, published 27 scholarly articles based on his work at Illinois; his interest in “marihuana” sparked federal attention, and Adams was placed on one of J. Edgar Hoover’s infamous watch lists.
“Hoover would later backtrack and claim it was all just a misunderstanding,” Brickner added; “he said ‘Adams’ was a common name and that there had been a mix-up. Not likely ~ smells like cannabis politics.”
Brickner graduated from the University of Illinois in 1988, has a 1997 political science doctorate from Purdue University, and is the publisher of The Cannabis Papers: A citizen’s guide to cannabinoids (2011). The Compassion Chronicles is an online destination for news, opinion, resources and networking.