All images: Brooklyn Public Library Brooklynology blog
But we never knew until now that Brooklyn was home to vast outdoor "pot plantations" in the early 1950s, growing in plain sight, with plants "as tall as Christmas trees," if the latest Brooklynology blog post at the Brooklyn Public Library can be believed.
Apparently, in the summer of 1951 alone, 17,200 pounds of the stuff was dug up and eradicated here in Brooklyn (41,000 pounds across the entire city). There was so much pot growing all over the place that special crews of sanitation workers had to be dispatched to uproot the demon weed, groves of which grew in "lush impudence" according to the Brooklyn Eagle, from which these pictures were taken.
One "marijuana plantation" in a Butler Street vacant lot yielded about 100 pounds of the plant. The cited location, at 82 Butler Street, is in the "West Slope" on the other side of the Gowanus Canal. We will be visiting soon to see if any traces are still to be found -- strictly for research purposes, of course.
In the meantime, don't miss the BPL's meticulously researched article on this fascinating subject.