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WeedArt_v2

The Story of Weed – Part 2/3

WeedArt_v2By the time the age of marijuana prohibition kicked in, the public was well aware of Weed’s danger thanks to Reefer Madness. Smearing Weed’s good name, rumors spread about her playing into the hands of children and students. Most Americans understanding about Weed was rife with ‘racism, unwarranted consumption, lack of investigation, and an absence of science’.[1] Some things never change.

In 1925-26, studies were done exonerating Weed, citing no evidence of habit forming compared to alcohol, opium, and cocaine. With moderate use, they found no injurious effect, no physical injury, and no moral injury.[2] Logically, Congress voted in a national ban on Weed in 1937.[3] Welcome to the age of ideology trumping scientific fact.

Reefer Madness won over and Weed was ruled an outlaw. There was collateral damage. Weed’s cousin, Industrial Hemp, or IH for short, was bundled into the sentence and he too was outlawed. This betrayal was even harder on IH, having been there at the nation’s beginning when the great explorers were hijacking the Americas.

Without IH, the sails and ropes wouldn’t have had the strength to search the seven seas. In 17th Century America, IH was a mandatory crop earning jail time if you weren`t growing it. In the 18th Century, he was used to pay taxes.[4] There are claims that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew it on their plantations.[5] IH had deep roots with America’s history, and was kicked to the curb with the boot called 1937’s Marijuana Tax Act.

The conspiracy is laid bare knowing that the law was passed by FDR and his buddies through a voice tally that was never recorded. Weed was removed from the US Pharmacopeia in 1941.[6] At the time, she was listed for more than 100 different ailments.[7]

An odd hiccup in the restriction came during World War Two, testifying to IH`s utility and necessity. In 1942, the government-led `Hemp for Victory` called for support of the war effort, quoting the film: “American hemp will go on duty again – hemp for mooring ships, hemp for tow lines, hemp for tackle and gear, hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore!”[8] Apparently, the Japanese had cut off their supply of imported hemp, of which each American ship required 34,000 feet. When the war ended, so did the hiccup.

Through to the Sixties, Weed retained her public enemy status as the assassin of youth. As an illegal substance, acquiring Weed for study was near-impossible. The silencing of the scientific community gave the Reefer Madness unopposed power to propagate its lies.

[1] Smoke Signals, 27

[2] Smoke Signals, 25

[3] Smoke Signals, 28

[4] http://www.hemp.com/history-of-hemp/

[5] http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2912/did-george-washington-and-thomas-jefferson-grow-marijuana

[6] Smoke Signals, 54

[7] Smoke Signals, 56

[8] The Great Book of Hemp, 160

AUTHOR - Brynn Jones

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