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Sawbones: Eli Lilly's Secret Pot Farm


saw bones is a show about medical history and nothing the hosts as should be taken as medical advice or opinion. It's fun. Can't you just have fun on for an hour and not try to diagnose your mystery boil. We think you've earned it. Just sit back. Relax and enjoy a moment of distraction from that weird growth your worth. It is about the books <music> in your in your property pharmacy. Let's see what the last south hello everyone and welcome to Saab bones apparenlty misguided medicine. I'm a CO host Justin mcelroy Maccarone. It's Kinda for both of us because we're a team so I- average out out cheering and I just take the median in that's right the median is that the average of the mean cosign uh-huh okay. It's okay welcome welcome to Indianapolis City mcelroy. Thank me the welcome everyone. Will you might live here anyway. Some of you probably your hometown we when whenever we get to go on the road and and do shows we try to find topics for saw bones that relate to to where we're going and as I was looking into Indianapolis and stuff at the history and medical history and that kind of thing one of the things I came across which I realize now as I'm about to do the show. Is it foolhardy to go somewhere and like kind of knock on one of their biggest corporations. Oh they love it. They love it and knock is probably strong arm. It's obvious if I know you it's probably celebrate story Nice story we we actually this really happened because we did this. In Salt Lake City we went to Salt Lake City the home of like the country's country's biggest essential oil manufacturers and I I decided I'm just going to talk about how bad they are and so they were loving though because I guess they were tired of their facebook walls just being absolutely full of marketing right so we're we're gonNA talk about Lily. Actually you can see from our like hotel room. You can see like a giant Lilly building yeah it's. I don't know what I don't know which one I assume there are many right away a lot but yeah. It's really large I don't I I guess we go visit maybe tomorrow or maybe not we'll see we'll say we're short of a welcome. PRESENCE MS isn't bad this is like a lot of drug companies that have been around for a really long time occasionally. They dabbled in things that are not are not traditionally accepted as medications today hey or maybe should be. Oh and Eli Lilly doesn't always like to talk about that part of their history but we do so we're going to said I'M GONNA. I'M GONNA call you a furniture. Get your salesman because you're really angry. Letters slammed her or anything so as you may imagine ally lily is named for ally Lily who who was it like a guy and that was his name Eli Lilly he was actually so far so good. It wasn't wasn't born here. He was actually born in Baltimore but he moved around a bit with his family ending up <hes> Kentucky for a while and then back in Indiana where he attended what was Indiana Asbury University which is now Paul and he I love this part of his biography because if you read it it says Lilly became came interested in chemicals as a teen I think a lot of us can relate to that all right Eli me too me into but he was really like he wanted to do. Stuff with chemistry not just use them and so he was on a trip with his aunt aunt and uncle and he was he visited this drugstore the it was called the Henry Lawrence Good Samaritan Drugstore and he you watch what the apothecary was doing there and he got really excited about it and said like can I calm and work here and apprentice with you for awhile and learn how to do what you're doing doing and they said yeah and so four years later he had actually completed a full chemistry and at the time that would have been a pretty standard like training course for a pharmacist out of it was made up anyway so so we learned how to mix chemicals and he also learned a lot about managing businesses and funds runs in that kind of thing from the guy who ran the drugstore so he kind of apprentice him in business management as well as in making drugs and so he was ready to kind of go out into the world and make drugs for people was his plan but he had to work for a while he worked in Indianapolis for awhile at different drug stores. You know just working kind of like as a as the the pharmacist at the counter not really owning the operation or making new medications just mixing selling compounds that were already known his as a career got interrupted for a while because there was a war the civil one yeah so so that side attractive for a little bit <hes> he had to he had to stop pursuing chemistry and instead he was on the union side which is good. I say that because we were talking about the civil war lance in Nashville yesterday and when I said that the guy was on the union side that we were talking about everybody's okay all right. That's not fair to Nashville. They are very pro union at this point join. I'm just saying you're saying that in Nashville they kind of wish the confederacy and one that I'm not sitting here saying they contact us all the rise again the world northern aggression etc etc.. I'm just saying that being a West Virginia and it's nice to be back in the union. Yeah we had a great time in Nashville a lot of great music great food so lovely place that doesn't condone slavery at all. Oh that's that's for me Justin Macaroni the one who doesn't get the louder cheers Cenis doing our best to even things out. I'm just saying saying that I go out on you. Don't have to keep digging said the north anyway so after after the war he went back to his chemistry business on May tenth eighteen seventy six. He opened his own labs. He finally got to pursue what he had been wanting to do. Since his teen years when he first got so interested in chemicals <hes> he started his own laboratory had a two story building <hes> and and he began into manufacturer his own medicines and it was called it actually just said he like lilly chemist over the door is not like a catchy name but then he'd never changed it so I guess it worked so he started out his business and his big thing was that during the civil war he observed a lot of the medics using medicines and doctors using medicines that he knew weren't working from his chemistry training was like well. That doesn't do anything that was fake. I mean a lot of the medicine was and and so he wanted to us he said we really WanNa make medicines that work and do something he had good intentions and so he started with Quinine which is real medicine right he he observed Quinine is good for malaria. I want to manufacture it and sell it and of course Quinine was used for lots lots of other things that it didn't necessarily treat but he really did start off with a real medicine and that was great and that made some money but not enough and so then he started making fake listen all right and some things were just like helpful innovations like he was the first one to come up with like Gel coated pills and capsules that made things easier to swallow. That's good that was good. He came up with like fruit flavorings for medicine and sugar coating pills and that kind of thing so that it was easier for kids to take them yeah good good in that. It's good that you're thinking about kids taking medicine bad in that it probably was still like opium right mother's little helper but but in addition to that he also is making a lot of the kind of like hand-rolled pills and compounds and elixirs that a lot of the other I mean honestly patent medicine than salesmen and women of the time were making so there were a lot of like if you look through an Eli Lilly catalogue of their medications <hes> from the early a years. They're not that different than a lot of the other patent medicines that he was kind of against when he first started out one was called a suck us all tarantulas Iran's the Great Harry Potter spells or or alternative juice is the other name that's very good. ASAKUSA is a fluid like a like a gastric juices what they were referencing gross now if I like mine better the Whimsey and everything but he started selling that and that was like their big that was actually a bigger seller than coin people the real medicine it was supposed to be used for like purifying the blood and the liver whatever that meant and there were a lot of things like that like this is just deliver toxin oxen. It's good for your liver. Take it and really what it was was various herbal things in a bunch of alcohol so it was like twenty four percent alcohol nice so it worked and then I mean it had some like poke weed in there it had some burdock it had some prickly ash but it was mainly alcohol and people loved it and it was very I would think yeah it was very popular for for drinking for for its if Olympic afflictions like sobriety now like syphilis some some people with syphilis or so and then they also started to say like well you know our patients with syphilis lifeless seem to love it and they've also let us know that it's really good for their rheumatism and it's really good for other skin conditions so you can use this stuff and put it all over you. If you want to at the same time for your Eczema or psoriasis or whatever it's mainly alcohol. Put it wherever you want. We don't care the dose of this by the way was either one teaspoon three times a day or one tablespoon three times a day for two months or three months or eight months or you keep taking it forever and at some point switch to once every other week. I just feel your way through. Trust your gut. Whatever whatever you think is working it's working and if it's not just take more sure so that was their biggest seller they also sold some other? Things like a laxatives. Were very popular at this point in history. They're always popular ocular right. Everybody always loves access. They sold laxatives and people loved them because right away. You knew like it worked or it didn't and invite it but but it they were selling Senate base laxatives like Elixir purge per ganz which would work in it. Yes and the doses were like it's funny because they have different doses based on. Do you want it to just blake out. Busy is your schedule. Do you need to be regular. Do you need a cleaning or do you want it coming out both ends. You just build me an excuse. I used to finish your book. Are you hiding for your wife and children in the bathroom after the break. Isn't that what that them. What's the next thing you're gonNA they also sold all kinds of pills deals with ingredients that at the time would have been very common you found Bella Donna Morphine cocaine strychnine in the whole catalog full of mainly these were the active ingredients in varying amounts mixed together in alcohol and named something thing that sounded effective and that was mainly the catalog and again like this is not this is not a strange thing for a drug company at the time to have these kinds of things in their in their library? It was included. All of these things are included in the United States Pharmacopoeia at the time legitimate drugs that were used for various of elections and and among them another that I haven't mentioned was cannabis. Cannabis was a very popular drug. That's legal here right. Oh Oh crap job just kidding kidding I only do we didn't fly anywhere. We're just we're just driving at a bus. It's fine. Everything's legal in a bus everybody. We hope you are enjoying the program today. <hes> we have a live episode for you then we're back with a new brand spanking new episodes. It's up next week so <hes> thanks for <hes> <hes> thanks for hanging out with us. We got a couple of sponsors. You know business. Sorry the suits the suits in marketing forces to do this re. We'd rather just talk about science and live live free <hes> but we gotta pay the bills so I this week is shady. Raise <hes> I if you want to get a great look comparison glasses and and you don't want to pay as much as the other the other companies you know the wasn't talking about. I don't want to name any names but <hes> let's just say it rhymes with breath expensive pun glasses you know what I'm talking about. 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Travel dot com slash Sol bones use the promo good saw bones at checkout and you're going to save twenty dollars <hes> folks. That's GONNA do for us. <hes> so let's let's not have any further ADO Louis just came back to the show now the thing about this this cannabis part of the story cannabis is a big part of the Eli Lilly story but for some reason an ally lily representatives don't like to talk about it. They don't like to go over like if you read and I've read now several accounts accounts of the history of Eli Lilly you won't find any mention of their cannabis operations in the early years and this is strange because again. This wasn't wasn't just them like all the major pharmaceutical companies were also selling weed alongside all their other medicines medicines that they were selling but this has become like an obsession John and a fascination for someone in particular. This is how I found this story. This gentleman named Fred Finisher who's a former attorney who started working <music> as an Eli Lilly diversification analyst whatever that means and he holds a bunch of shares and Eli Lilly and he was always vehemently anti-drug and then he knew somebody who use marijuana to manage their pain and he saw that it was really effective and so now he's become very pro marijuana. Now he'll tell you he doesn't I use it. He just wants it to be a medicine. Everybody else can use if they need it when wink and and it's funny because if you read descriptions everything I read kept referring to him as like when you see him he's a distinguished gentleman and a blue blazer and he's very much a Marion County Republican. We've we've got y'all. We know what that meant but he really wants. Eli Lilly to talk about how they loved. We'd it's like you like a friend who went to college with that smoked every day and you try to talk about it later and read their kids. That's not really mean anymore. I'm I'm not blazey Bob. I'm just Robert the father of Rebecca and Steven so this this story largely league he has dug up and unearthed and sh- and shared with the world just because he really wants everybody you know like I own shares an ally Lily and they used to love pot and it's true at in in the late eighteen hundreds when everybody else was also on the cannabis bus and selling it for a variety of things like I said it was it was in the pharmacy of the United States. You can find listed marijuana for gout rheumatism tetanus cholera convulsions hysteria hemorrhage whatever pain anything it was sold and used for everything and so it was legitimate medication and there was a particular Taylor member of the Ali'i Lilly company that was really interested in all the things that can do and thought you know what this could be like a big a big part of our business as you know we're. We've got the quinine good. We got a bunch of fakes of it will love that it's all in alcohol but we need to sell more cannabis products and right right as World War One occurred it became really difficult to import cannabis which is what a lot of people were doing. They were importing campus from outside the U._S. and it became really difficult and so they started to think we'll instead of importing it. Why don't we just start growing our own? We can grow marijuana. We got the funds. That's what you need right. You need the science you know how to grow some weed and you need the money to have the land like have an operation and so I in one thousand nine hundred seven seven you can find that the Philadelphia College of pharmacy which was the nation's first pharmacy school approved a doctoral thesis that was called the comparative physiological effects of several varieties of cannabis sativa and it was authored by Eli Lilly grandson of ally Lily Louis who was fascinated and went about it in a very scientific way to find a new better strain of marijuana that he could grow oh like a homegrown American one hundred percent made in the U._S._A. Of that so important cannabis that they could grow and start making medications out of and sell since it was getting so cumbersome to import stuff and so in one thousand nine hundred twelve ally Lily Corporation bought a ton of land. It was like a farm arm that the family used to own back in in Greenfield he bought a bought a bunch of Land Greenfield and turned it into fields of marijuana. I WANNA hence the name that can resides this thing. There is a huge like Stucco STUCCO. It's like a Spanish style kind of building there at that. What was called Lily farms like beautiful Red Tylenol this that where they would <unk> house the operations right next to the farms or they were growing all of the marijuana <hes> you can still by the way like that building still stands? I don't think there is any mention of the fact that this used to be where we grew on a weed but it is there and they started cultivating these different things actually worked with another or corporation Park Davis which was the precursor to Pfizer so basically Pfizer and Eli Lilly got together and grew great we'd very chill time a very chill time in American history yeah and like by by their 1927 Lily Catalogue of all their products and everything they were selling they had like twenty twenty three different products based on cannabis that they had grown on their farms and were selling for all kinds of different things so as a huge part of their business they'd invested invested a ton of time and money and science and effort and belief into getting cannabis to the people and you could get so it was six dollars. There's a pint which is a wild way by the way I don't know I don't know anybody who sells canvas by the pint but for six dollars a pint you could get some cannabis sativa which was way cheaper than the imported cannabis that they were bringing in before so it was also it was out competing the imported cannabis that was still coming into the country and in the early nineteen hundreds they went on to cultivate cannabis at a whole other they bought conner prairie and so they had three they had like three different locations where they were selling their own strain of cannabis and like you know selling all these drugs and it was great for a very short period of time. No I know I know which is the strategy is coming. Though and this story I mean we're talking about you because we're here but this would be the same for any of these major companies or even smaller companies and farms arms and and chemists and drug manufacturers at the time we're finding new better ways to grow cannabis and which strains were good for what and what strength and how best is to deliver it not smoking other ways to take in cannabis. They were doing all this and everybody got high wreaked out Abou- how marijuana around the same time when they did. I was around the same time as prohibition. Everybody was really upset about alcohol and people started to get really nervous about everybody getting high and you started to see that this is kind of like we're like reefer madness kind of like people getting all worried like what's IT GONNA do. Everybody's taking cannabis. I don't know Oh and you started to see the government respond with more regulations and in nineteen thirty seven they pass the marijuana tax act which made it so expensive to to grow and produce and sell any of these canvas products that they just kind of abandoned it because it just wasn't the government doesn't want you to have fun there. It is folks I mean that is true. So at that point lily they had to make the financial decision like well this. Is You know we have all we've invested all this but there's no way we can possibly make money so they shut down the operation. They stopped growing marijuana. Lily farms became an animal health company. He like Alonzo Olayinka and so that is where the where the marijuana fields were no more. I assume I don't know what they're no. No women been there. Maybe look around. They can't have gotten all right of course ally Lily. The the company did find for itself because around the same time that unfortunately cannabis operations were shut down there had also been a lot of pressure on bigger pharmaceutical companies to start doing some science and like make medicine that works and especially from the American Medical Association the A._M._A. Started to put pressure on you know through their lobbying with the government like hey look. They're just selling all this cocaine and like that's great. People love it but there's probably other things. There may be a downside that we haven't even zoom so at that point. Ally Lily hired their first like researcher wait. Does it work hold on let me back up so and at that point they started into that conversation hate is work. How would I now so so they started to actually like research medications medications that one of the first things they did was actually partner with two scientists from the University of Toronto banting and best who had just started to <music> synthesize this pancreatic extract that was doing wonders for diabetic patients because it was insulin and so some fans are I love that stuff? It's just occurring to me man. I should really think about these things ahead of time. The research at the first researcher they hired was named George Henry Alexander Clubs. Oh yeah is that lows right clues sloughs. Is that like Blues Clues yes is that that's what we're trying to ascertain whether or not it was like the same cat right sitting in maybe not are there a lot of clues running around. You know what we can't do this. You're not working -pedia you pay to be here. I should have wikipedia it. We'll get back next. I'll urea google it now. It's gotta be right with it. I'll get it and editing. Don't tell anybody who wasn't here tonight right. When you listen to this at home they'll be very smart sounding part you anyway anyway so they partnered with with Bantam best from Toronto and they started producing insulin which obviously is a real medication that works should be a lot more affordable not just their fault but you know them to and they started making that and then after that in the forties forties when penicillin was discovered they were part of the first companies started manufacturing penicillin and obviously these were real medicines that really help people and really legitimize them as a as a force and I don't think I need to tell you that Eli Lilly is obviously very big drug company now that cells still sells human and they sell PROZAC and in all kinds of other medications that you've heard of and they are the largest corporation in Indiana but they are also the largest charitable benefactor so so at least we can expect from capitalism but okay? That's good just admit that you use to sell so a lot of weed. That's all we're asking just say it. I mean it is worth noting that as I said like the insulin part of this we've we've had this insulin and since like the thirties guys. It doesn't have to be this expensive. We've you know we've known about it for a long time. Just saying it's not new the but this cannabis story. I felt like it was important to share with everyone because one there was a long time where we were actually trying to figure out what what can we do with cannabis as legitimate medicine and then we stopped because we made it a schedule on drug that we can't do anything with because once it schedule on you can't you can't give it to people because that would be unethical so we can't do any good experiments to see what it can do for people but if we could reschedule agile it then we could and then we would know what it would do it for the things that works for reschedule it does it look as good on a bumper. I Acre we agree scientists where it starts. The research is the first part which is what kindly Fred Venture said when he introduced at the annual shareholders meeting of Eli Lilly last year a resolution to one he just wanted everybody ready to recognize the history of Eli Lilly growing lots of wheat and we all admit that we did just use a a lot of really stood up at the shareholders meeting and just read the history. I just want you all to know and then to he said Ed and I would ask as a shareholder. Could you lobby the government to reschedule marijuana so that ally can continue its research in this area and start selling it again and a apparently it was voted down <hes> <hes> what hey we'll get him next year. Hey maybe next year. Maybe next year folks. There's always next year. Hey thank you so much for joining us here. Indianapolis <hes> there's there is we owe a great debt to the tax payers for these. There's on medicines as the internal of our program thank you to <hes> Paul suborned for all of his assistance here this evening and we we are going to be back in a moment with my brother my brother may there's going to be a brief intermission at which point you can help yourself to the restroom but but but <hes> please do that please use the bathroom by himself and please Roebuck. Amazon's called the Solomon's book that is going to do it for us this week until next time enemy. Just macaroni always Joe a hole in your head uh-huh <music> maximum fund dot org comedy and culture artists. Don't audience supported uh-huh Yeah Yeah uh-huh yeah yeah the yeah yeah yeah yeah the yeah the the Yeah Yeah Yeah uh-huh yeah yeah the uh-huh

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