Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Brief History of Hemp/Marijuana

Marijuana/hemp/cannabis, whatever you would like to call it, has been used for about 10,000 years. Some of the first fabrics were believed to have been derived from dried hemp sometime between 7,000 and 8,000 BC in Europe and Asia.
At around 6,000 BC hemp seeds were believed to be used as a common food in China and by 2727 BCE cannabis is used in China for medicine for treating a variety of health problems and is later grown in a large scale for food and fiber.
By 1500 BC the Scythians traveled through Europe and Asia and are weaving cannabis into cloth. Between 700 and 300 BC, Scythian tribes had elevated the plant's status and cannabis seeds were used as offerings in tombs for royalty.
From around 1200 to 800 BC, cannabis is known as "sacred grass" in India, being one of the 5 "sacred plants" in the Arthava-Veda text. It was also used as an offering to Shiva, a major Hindu deity.
Between 500 and 600 BC the Jewish Talmud mentions the euphoric properties of cannabis.
Around 500 BC Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC) survived off of eating marijuana seeds and leaves as a primary food source. The hemp plant is also widely spread out from around 500 BC for the next 400 years throughout the sub-continent.
Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea around 300 BC.
In 100 BC the Chinese make paper from cannabis and mulberry.
Roman surgeon Dioscorides names the cannabis plant sativa and describes many medical benefits of cannabis, he also writes a guide for farming cannabis in 100 AD.
Between 900 and 1000 AD, cannabis is smoked in the Middle East, often to Muslims who were not allowed to drink alcohol.
In 1000 AD 'hempe' is added to the English dictionary.
Moslems uses hemp for making paper in 1150 AD, it becomes the most popular method for making paper for the next 700 years.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sails to the new world (North America) with hemp sails and introduces the hemp plant to North America.
In 1564, King Phillip of Spain orders hemp to be grown throughout his empire, from modern-day Argentina to Oregon.
In 1619, farmers in the new world are required to grow marijuana by law, this is also the first law in the new world that involves the hemp plant. It could also be used to pay taxes.
In 1776, the American Declaration of Independence is written on paper made from hemp.
In 1797, George Washington grows hemp as a primary farm while Thomas Jefferson grows hemp as a secondary crop.
In 1840 medical cannabis is sold in the United States in pharmacies.
In the 1800s, Australia survives two famines by eating hemp seeds and leaves as primary food sources.
The Sultan of Turkey gave marijuana to the U.S. as a gift in 1876 and by 1880 Turkish smoking parlors opened all over the Northern U.S.
In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed in the U.S and the FDA was formed. This was the first law to to have any government oversight over drugs.
In 1908 Henry Ford made his first Model T with parts made from hemp plastic, the vehicle also ran on hemp ethanol, the hemp plastic's impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel.
Cannabis prohibition begins in the U.S. in 1919 in California when the state outlawed hemp to be used for medicine.
In 1919, El Paso band marijuana, mostly to control the Mexican population there as migrant workers from Mexico smoked marijuana after a hard days of work. The people of European decent didn't approve of their customs.
In 1928, the recreational use of marijuana is banned in Britian.
In 1935 Compressed agricultural fibreboard is invented in Sweden.
In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act forbids marijuana farming in the U.S.
1996: California becomes the first state in the country to legalize medical marijuana, Canada later legalizes medical marijuana in 2003.
In 2010, California holds the vote for Proposition 19 which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana throughout the state. After the Republican party fed a bunch of propaganda to the public (EX: saying a bus driver could smoke pot while driving and showing a picture of a crashed school bus) the vote didn't pass.
In 2011, Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduce H.R. 2306 which would ultimately remove marijuana from the controlled substances list. Many months later, it yet has to have a hearing. It hasn't had a hearing yet because Lamar Smith (R-TX) (the one who also wants to censor our Internet) isn't allowing the bill to have a fair hearing.

Even though the world's history with marijuana is amazing and this plant saves lives and has been doing so for thousands of years, we all still struggle in our efforts to legalize cannabis and will continue to do so until either the governments that prohibit it collapse or until the rich corporation owners and bribed people of congress cut the shit and let us use this amazing plant.

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Most used sources: Brainz, HempHouse