From the upcoming print edition: It was William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, MD, sent to Bengal by the British East India Company in the 1830s, who informed European physicians about the medical potential of Cannabis (which he referred to as “Indian Hemp”). O’Shaughnessy could not have made his contribution to Western Medicine if he’d been a racist or a snob. He regarded his Indian colleagues and students with the utmost respect, as confirmed by this excerpt from “History of Medical Science: Influence of Western Education in 19th Century Bengal” by Binaybhushan Ray, published 2005, Sahityolok. Translated from Bengali to English by Tapoja Chaudhuri, PhD, with assistance by Sunil Aggarwal, MD, PhD.
In India O’Shaughnessy advised the medical establishment to train teachers, to teach in the mother tongue, and to study and make use of indigenous (and affordable) herbal medicines. We await the Merchant and Ivory biopic. WBO certainly was handsome! But then again, all doctors are.