Best Of 2020

Best Historical Dive into Medical Cannabis: "Through the RX Bottle"

"Through the RX Bottle"
click to enlarge "Through the RX Bottle" - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
"Through the RX Bottle"

The Lloyd Library and Museum’s Through the RX Bottle, which delved into centuries of cannabis research, opened in March 2019 and ran through the summer. Tracing back to the 1700s — a beautiful botanical illustration of male and female marijuana leaves by famed physician Elizabeth Blackwell was displayed — all the way to the United States’ criminalization and prohibition of the drug in 1937, the exhibition was as timely as ever. Ohio is one of 33 states to have legalized medical cannabis. And while recreational use has not been given the green light in the Buckeye State, our medical dispensaries are now operational. It remains a hot topic, but the plant wasn’t always a point of controversy. In fact, it was once used and manufactured widely (and legally) both for medical and recreational purposes in America. That story — the history of cannabis — was told through the exhibition’s bottle collection and the accompanying illustrations, among other items. Some of these objects, particularly the texts, came from the Lloyd’s archives; others came out of a partnership with the Cannabis Museum of Athens, Ohio. The exhibition deftly contextualized a subject to the public that, because of its long-attached stigma, has been pushed to the fringes of history. Lloyd Library and Museum, 917 Plum St., Downtown, lloydlibrary.org.