One morning in 1951, officers from the Van Nuys Police Department came into work to find that a potted marijuana plant had appeared in the station. Because weed had been effectively illegal to possess or sell nationally since the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, the officers were baffled by the arrival of the herb. Their totally relatable reaction? Posing for some silly snapshots taken by a reporter for the Los Angeles Examiner.

So why was the plant there in the first place? "Cops later found out that it was sent to [the station] to be in a lecture on narcotics."

All images via the digital collections of the USC Libraries