Expired Rx: When cocaine was legal

Staff writer

When Lanning Pharmacy clerk Chelsea Darrow was cleaning out the business’s attic the week of Sept. 12, she expected to find older treasures that dated to several years ago, but not a century.

After finding old jewelry holders, Hallmark fixtures, and even an old pack of cigarettes, she saw a box in a back corner that held five smaller boxes of prescriptions dated as far back as 1902.

“They were in a big old cardboard box,” Darrow said. “I tried to pull the box out from the corner, but the side ripped and turned to dust.”

Darrow then told owner Tracy Lanning of her find.

“She was like ‘Holy cow, that’s cool,’” Darrow said.

One prescription from 1902 listed cocaine and zinc, and said to “apply with finger 3 times a day.” Cocaine was used in the past as a numbing agent for mouth or nose procedures.

“It was totally a different time,” Darrow said. “It was 35 cents for the cocaine and zinc.”

Lanning told Darrow to keep them and not throw them away. Darrow suggested they make a shadow box with them, or put them on display somewhere else.

“I think they should give them to the museum,” Darrow said.

Though Darrow was hoping to find other old items in the attic, she still thought her find was cool.

“I just love old stuff,” Darrow said. “I bet whoever was writing these back then didn’t think that someday 100 years from now a girl would find these and think it’s awesome”

Last modified Sept. 28, 2016

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