Photos: Back when Williamsburg was a jungle of marijuana

Weed found near the Williamsburg Bridge is uprooted and loaded into a truck. - 1951

Weed found near the Williamsburg Bridge is uprooted and loaded into a truck. – 1951

Back in the early 1950′s there was weed growing all over Williamsburg (and other parts of Brooklyn), but the city decided to change that. The spot where your apartment is located might have once been a field of weed and after seeing these pictures your neighbor’s rooftop grow operation isn’t that impressive anymore. From WNYC:

there was a HUGE marijuana crackdown in New York in 1951. At the time, weed grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York. In 1951 alone, a division of the Department of Sanitation called the “White Wing Squad” confiscated and destroyed 41,000 pounds of the plant.

Here are some more photos from Brooklyn Library of NYC’s weed prohibition crackdown:

1951 Brooklyn Eagle caption: " "Plenty of dream stuff--There seems to be no end to the marijuana 'plantations' unearthed in the borough. Here Sanitation Department Chief Inspector John E. Gleason examines a plant taller than he, found in a lot at 81 N. 4th St. With him is Dennis Healy, Sanitation District Superintendent for Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Millions of dollars worth or the plant have been dug out here in the last 60 days."

1951 Brooklyn Eagle caption: ” “Plenty of dream stuff–There seems to be no end to the marijuana ‘plantations’ unearthed in the borough. Here Sanitation Department Chief Inspector John E. Gleason examines a plant taller than he, found in a lot at 81 N. 4th St. With him is Dennis Healy, Sanitation District Superintendent for Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Millions of dollars worth or the plant have been dug out here in the last 60 days.”

Sanitation workers cut down marijuana near the Brooklyn Federal Building

Sanitation workers cut down marijuana near the Brooklyn Federal Building

1951 Brooklyn Eagle caption: "This is it--If you spot these leaves in your backyard, growing on a tall, erect stalk, you have a budding marijuana crop on tap and the Sanitation Department would like to know about it."

1951 Brooklyn Eagle caption: “This is it–If you spot these leaves in your backyard, growing on a tall, erect stalk, you have a budding marijuana crop on tap and the Sanitation Department would like to know about it.”

Brooklyn Eagle caption 1951: : "Potential reefers--Assistant Borough Superintendent Arthur McMahon and Chief Inspector John E. Gleason supervising the destruction by Sanitation Department men of a clump of marijuana discovered."

Brooklyn Eagle caption 1951: : “Potential reefers–Assistant Borough Superintendent Arthur McMahon and Chief Inspector John E. Gleason supervising the destruction by Sanitation Department men of a clump of marijuana discovered.”

100 lbs of pot were found at 82 Butler St. in 1953(Please note the expression of the girl in the back left).

100 lbs of pot were found at 82 Butler St. (Please note the expression of the girl in the back left).

- Josh Morrissey is on Twitter

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  1. weedlliamsburg.

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