A Brief History of Cannabis in America

Historical Cannabis Uses

Call it what you want, makes no matter. Pot, marijuana, cannabis, spleif, ganga, weed and endless other names will all bring you back to cannabis sativa, cannabis indica or even cannabis ruderalis. The existence of cannabis all over the globe should give anyone pause for thought as to what purpose our creator may have had in mind for this plant, because virtually every culture has had access to it and used it for as long as history can see into the past. Uses extend from manufactured goods such as oil, cloth, clothing, paper and textiles to remedial use in medicine, meditation, religion and for general health. All these uses are presented in archeological evidence from all over the world.

Seeded Hemp Plant

Hemp seeds are used for oil (consumable and industrial), protein rich food (for people and animals), cosmetics and bio fuel, to name a few.

This incredible plant was considered a treasured medicine for thousands of years all over the world. It’s use is favored as a remedy for memory loss, depression, pain and inflammation, seizures and nerve pain as far back as 300BC, which is when we find the written first record of it’s medicinal use, (in China). It was heavily traded and so coveted by monarchs and governments that everyone was encouraged to grow it, and it’s cultivation was sometimes forced by law because a plentiful, strong hemp crop could make a huge difference in a nation’s economy and strength. This has to make you wonder why our modern society not only turned away from such a useful plant, but also outlawed its use. I say modern world because it can still be found hanging in the stalls of street venders selling herbs and spices in remote parts of the globe. It has a local name, but a discerning eye knows what it is as soon as you see or smell it. A local shaman or herbalists in a backwater nowhere doesn’t really concern them self with modern city laws when they are preparing age old remedies for their patients. More power to them!

As a medicine alone, doctors in our modern world also saw the benefits of cannabis and prescribed it quite often. It was practically the only non-opiate recommended for pain until the invention of aspirin, (also made from a natural ingredient, willow bark).

As of right now, 20 states and Washington D.C. have created a way for their citizens to obtain cannabis for medicine and 2 states legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. I hope this goes so well for all of them that other states jump on board and pressure our federal government to, at very least, pass legislation to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug (having no medicinal value), to Schedule 2 so much needed research can be done right here and right now in America. As presently classified, no one can obtain, grow, buy sell or possess cannabis for any kind of research that would show marijuana in a good light, or as useful as a medicine in the United States. Here’s the rub – the only legal grower is the United States Government and they will only provide their marijuana crop to research institutions who have a purpose to prove it is a detriment to health and well being. They will not offer their cannabis for any research to prove any health benefits, ever, and it is this that the AMA takes big issue with today.

hemp_stalkHere is the link to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Guidance on Proceedures For the Provision of Marijuana for Medical Research

Go here for more information from the Center for Medical Cannabis Research to get better information with less “legalese” to grope with. The whole website is chock full of great info.

Aside from the medical uses, the US government also banned all growing of hemp, the raw material needed to manufacture the previously mentioned goods used throughout the history of man. No commercial growing, no individual citizens growing…none at all. But it hasn’t always been so. What happened in America to get us to this place?

Read Part 2 tomorrow, and find out who is responsible and what their motivation was. Those bastards!



  1. I Love This! I had fun today and learned a lot. Thank you. I live in Cotton Capitol and i also know how important Hemp could be and not 1 of the farmers in my valley fight for it. We have local graffiti on hiway that says “grow Hemp” and the county sandblasts over it only to find its return a few weeks later. Stay radical because you are teaching me things i didn’t know

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