Did Jefferson and Washington smoke weed?

Did Jefferson and Washington smoke weed?



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According to this document (page 26, §1):

Like all farmers, Washington probably sampled the quality and potency of what he grew, and he may have used this hemp to treat his chronic tooth aches. Jefferson (also a hemp farmer) noted in his diary that he smoked hemp for relief from migraine headaches.

There's a lot of dubious claims about this on the internet and some of the quotes attributed to Jefferson in particular are not always regarded as genuine.

Do we have any conclusive proof that Jefferson and/or Washington consumed hemp for recreational and/or medicinal reasons?


Hashish was known in the West as early as 1596, when it was described by Jan Huyghen van Linschoten in a book describing his travels in Egypt and Turkey. But it wasn't until the 19th century that smoking cannabis became widely known in the West, through portrayals of oriental exoticism by writers such as Dumas.

Hemp was grown in the British colonies starting around 1619 in order to make rope, which was in demand by the British Navy. Today, industrial hemp has a low level of THC and a high level of CBD. Because CBD suppresses the narcotic effect of THC, this combination makes it impossible to get high by smoking industrial hemp, even if you puff up a storm. We don't know if 18th-century strains were similar to modern industrial hemp, but there is no hard evidence that they were any different.

A lot of people in the marijuana legalization movement, as well as a lot of people who would like to legalize cultivation of industrial hemp, want to believe that Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al. smoked hemp in order to get stoned, because this might help to legitimize pot. (Never mind that some of these guys also owned slaves… does that make slavery OK?) But their evidence is pretty weak. There seem to be a lot of fabricated quotes running around, as well as some quotes that you really have to stretch in order to construe them as evidence that the founders got high on hemp. It's known that hemp was considered a form of medicine in that period, but lots of herbs are considered to be remedies without actually getting anyone high.

The word "marihuana" didn't become current in the U.S. until about 1900, when the drug was commonly used by Mexican immigrants and started to become common in subcultures such as jazz musicians. There is no real evidence that before that time, it was common for people to grow Cannabis in the U.S. that was capable of getting anyone high. Although it's true that marijuana had a much lower THC content back in the 60's than it does today, that doesn't mean that the stuff back then was equivalent to industrial hemp; it had more THC and less CBD than industrial hemp.


Smoking hemp, meaning Cannabis indica, was widely traded alongside tobacco in those days. Jefferson was very interested in agricultural products and collected them from all over the world. He would send large numbers of seed varieties to different farmers with whom he corresponded. He would have undoubtedly had free access to cannabis and many other drugs.

The hemp he grew was probably a fiber cultivar which would not be good to smoke.


George Washington

Yes, you read that right. The father of the United States grew hemp. How do we know? He wrote about it himself in his meticulous diaries! In one entry, he notes that he began separating female and male plants, a practice still used in cannabis cultivation today. Another entry suggests that President George Washington used hemp as a medicine to battle toothaches.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was another founding father that grew hemp. He was an Ambassador to France when hashish was extremely popular. According to some historians, Jefferson risked imprisonment by importing Chinese hemp seeds that were known for their high potency into America. That is some American history we would have paid attention to in high school!

James Madison

Cannabis consumers know the plant can help spark ideas and creativity. James Madison agreed! He once said that hemp helped him have the insight to help create a new democratic nation. It sounds like all Americans owe weed a “thank you” for helping our founding fathers.

James Monroe

Another Ambassador to France, James Monroe, openly smoked hashish while abroad. He reportedly continued his marijuana use until he died. Monroe is still one the most open cannabis friendly Presidents in our country’s history.

Andrew Jackson

Far from the military’s official policy these days, famed U.S. Army General and President Andrew Jackson openly wrote in letters about smoking cannabis with the troops. Now that we know cannabis has incredible effectiveness in fighting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is clear Andrew Jackson was ahead of the curve.

Zachary Taylor

President Taylor was another military man who smoked marijuana with the troops. He also seemed to understand the therapeutic benefits of the plants way before we started to study it ourselves.

Franklin Pierce

The third and final military man on this list, Franklin Pierce was known to smoke marijuana with his troops during the Mexican-American War. He recounted his smoking habit in letters home, saying that being able to smoke hemp was the only good thing about the war.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy would probably be considered a medical marijuana patient if he was alive today. Many of his biographies recount JFK’s marijuana use for dealing with severe back pain. One written account by a Washington Post reporter says that JFK smoked three joints in the White House one night with two colleagues. According to the written account, he refused a fourth joint asking, “What if the Russians did something now.”

JFK is the only president who has a written account of marijuana use while in the White House. The only other notable mention of cannabis use at the White House was not a President at all, but rather Jimmy Carter’s son Chip, who reportedly smoked pot on the roof of the White House with Willie Nelson. Now THAT is a smoke session we would have loved to be a part of.

Bill Clinton

We have all heard Bill Clinton’s famous line he used in response to questions of marijuana use in his younger days. President Clinton claimed to have tried cannabis a couple times, but never inhaled. And he may not have been totally lying. According to Christopher Hitchens, a famed writer and college classmate of Bill Clinton, the President enjoyed pot brownies. Maybe President Clinton really didn’t inhale he ate his marijuana instead!

George W. Bush

George W. Bush was known for his college cocaine use more than marijuana. But President Bush indirectly admitted to smoking cannabis at some point in his life. He avoided all questions when it came to his pot use until after his Presidency. He finally said that he never answered inquiries about his pot use because he was worried kids might follow his example of experimentation.

Barack Obama

Of all modern presidents, President Obama is the most open about marijuana use in his younger days. Pictures of Obama with a joint have made their way around the internet many times over the years. In a wink to Bill Clinton during the 2008 election, Obama admitted to smoking pot back in the day saying, “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was kind of the point.”

At least eleven U.S. Presidents, from Army Generals to Ambassadors, smoked marijuana and went on to lead incredibly successful and impactful lives. This President’s Day, let’s toke one out in their honor.

Stop by any Buddy Boy Brands location to get all the cannabis products you need for your long holiday weekend!


Which Presidents Smoked Weed?

The last time a cannabis teetotaler held the highest office in these United States, Michael Jordan only had two championship rings and John Wayne Bobbitt's penis remained blissfully ignorant of the horrific year to come.

In fact, our commanders in chief have a long history of marijuana use dating back to the origins of the office. Much of the historical record is spotty, but here's who we think toked, and who we're pretty sure didn't.

Probable Cannabis Users

George Washington: Many of the Founding Fathers grew hemp. Did they smoke it? We don't know for sure, but Washington did write about separating the female cannabis plants, which would have had higher THC content, and there's reason to think he might have used a hemp-derived topical on his toothaches.

Thomas Jefferson: Not only did TJ grow hemp, but he purportedly smuggled a rare strain of cannabis "known for potency" out of China.

James Monroe: Like Jefferson, Monroe served as ambassador to France during a time when hashish was chic. According to his biographers, he smoked openly in Paris and continued the habit after returning stateside.

Andrew Jackson: The Notorious AJ wrote of smoking marijuana with troops during the War of 1812.

Zachary Taylor: Taylor and Franklin Pierce both crossed paths with reefer while leading American forces during the Mexican-American War.

Franklin Pierce: Pierce later referred to marijuana as "about the only good thing to come out of the war."

John F. Kennedy: The ballerest of all presidents was smoked up by his mistress, Mary Meyer, who brought him six joints to ease his back pain. In a weird coincidence, she was randomly murdered while out for a jog just a few weeks after the Warren Commission Report dropped.

Bill Clinton: The future first gentleman says he did not inhale. Christopher Hitchens claimed Bill was a brownie aficionado at Oxford.

George W. Bush: Claims he would not answer questions about whether he smoked because of the message it sends to kids. As if any kid wants to be like Dubya.

Barack Obama: Spent a good portion of his formative years in Hawaii hotboxing, and is always welcome to smoke here with us if visiting.

Richard Nixon: Linked marijuana to Jews, Latinos, and African-Americans, people for whom Tricky Dick, um, shared little affection. Started the War on Drugs. Did not smoke weed on the roof of the White House with Elvis, unfortunately.

Ronald Reagan: Staunchly believed cannabis use caused brain damage. Actually had brain damage.


Cannabis Acceptance Varies from Tribe to Tribe

According to the National Congress of American Indians, there are 573 federally recognized Indian Nations, each of which is ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. This number does not include Indian Nations (also referred to as tribes, communities, native villages, nations, pueblos, and bands).

It doesn’t take a statistician or an anthropologist to understand that attitudes toward cannabis likely differ not only between nations, but between Native American individuals.

Moreover, from its genesis, the relationship between the United States Federal Government and the indigenous peoples who inhabited this continent before European colonists arrived has been contentious with a large disproportion of power leaning on the side of the colonizers. That means that the vast majority of history books, media, and cultural artifacts studied by children and adults do not contain a thorough or accurate recount of Native American history.

We can extrapolate based on the geographical movement of cannabis from Asia to the Americas that various tribes were exposed to industrial and recreational cannabis the way that people throughout the world have been exposed to the plant. And as we see in our own states, opinions about cannabis vary from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, and family to family.

That same variance is to be expected from American Indian Nations. In addition to individual ethical and moral perspectives about cannabis, American Indian Tribes receive federal funding that they have come to depend on. As long as cannabis remains federally illegal, legalizing marijuana poses a risk to that funding.

Finally, as noted by a University of Tennessee Baker Center for Public Policy report by Miranda Gottlieb called “Cannabis and The Eastern Cherokee Nation: The Challenges, Barriers, and Prospects,” Native American tribes have been the subjects of discriminatory targeting by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The report indicates that in 2015, 30,000 industrial hemp plants were seized by the DEA from the Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin. Although the Menominee Tribe was operating within the legal parameters of the 2014 Farm Bill, the DEA destroyed their hemp operation.

Cannabis has been used by communities all over the world dating back several millennia. The reasons for its use are as variable as the cultures that adopt it. As they did when humans first began to harvest and use cannabis, attitudes toward the plant will continue to shift in response to global cultural, political, economic influences.


Was George Washington The Founding Father of Marijuana?

/> Ripley's Believe It or Not! &mdash August 22, 2019

It’s an urban legend that has gained serious traction since the 1990s and it all started with one-dollar US bills stamped with a conversation bubble near George Washington’s mouth reading, “I grew hemp.”

Those supporting modern-day legalization of marijuana jumped on the notion with a fury. Whispered rumors and stamped currency transformed into full online treatises about Washington’s weed growing—and smokingdays. By 2015, blog posts examined whether or not the founding father was a user of medical marijuana, too.

But, does any of this hold up to a fact check? Let’s dive into this fascinating topic to find out whether or not our first president was a “Founding Father of Weed.”

The “Muddy Hole” Marijuana Scandal

The “First President of Marijuana” legend resurfaced in August 2018. That’s when Smithsonian Magazine reported that industrial hemp was again being grown and harvested at Mount Vernon, the site of Washington’s plantation. Oddly enough, this report was 100 percent accurate, both in terms of the contemporary news story and its historical underpinnings.

According to the Washington Post, a farm journal entry from August 7, 1765, proves that the first president did indeed cultivate hemp on a large plot of land that he referred to as “Muddy Hole.” In the journal entry, he notes having taken too long to separate the male from the female hemp plants.

However, his journal falls far short of extolling marijuana for its medicinal—let alone recreational—purposes. As it turns out, hemp was a popular cash crop in the Americas, highly valued for its numerous industrial applications.

Washington wasn’t alone in his hemp cultivation interest. Thomas Jefferson also enthusiastically wrote about hemp’s potential as a cash crop. Among his favorite things about the plant? It proved highly productive and hearty, growing forever on the same plot with little farmer-intervention needed.

Hemp’s Myriad Uses

For both Washington and Jefferson, hemp represented a cash crop. In other words, they didn’t intend to use the plants they harvested for themselves. Rather, they sought “cash” for them on the market. Either way you slice it, hemp was a handy commodity to have around, from bringing in money to providing necessary fiber products for the farm.

How did 18th-century hemp get used? Its tough fibers proved excellent for crafting rope and canvas or spinning into cloth. However, its myriad uses didn’t end there. Hemp oil could be extracted from its seeds and used to manufacture everything from varnishes to paints. In essence, hemp represented a cash crop of the first order.

Of all the parties interested in hemp exports, the Royal Navy proved the most enthusiastic. After all, strong ropes and canvas sails proved crucial to the daily operations of British sailing ships.

The Plant that Helped Britain Rule the Seven Seas

Britain’s navy proved very active at this time and was considered the most effective fighting force in the world—having won all of the great battles and many wars at sea in recent memory. No event better illustrated this reputation than the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War in 1763.

Known as the French and Indian War in North America, it came with decisive victories for the UK against both France and Spain. Now, the Royal Navy had more territory than ever before to maintain and, as a result, it required more rope and canvas in the process.

In essence, the hemp fields of Virginia buttressed up Britain’s ambitious exploration, militarization, and colonization efforts around the world.

American Farmers and Hemp Production

Over time, America became synonymous with hemp production. Hemp farmers in the thirteen colonies represented an integral part of ensuring the Royal Navy’s strength.

And after the Revolution? The newly-minted US government encouraged hemp production for the budding nation’s industrial needs.

Besides rope, canvas, and cloth-making, hemp also came in handy for a wide variety of other tasks that would have been crucial to late 18th-century and early 19th-century agricultural practices. These included making sacks to store grain and seeds, weaving linen for clothes, and even repairing nets used during fishing trips to the Potomac.

No wonder Washington and Jefferson proved such staunch supporters of this immensely useful plant. But, oh, how times would change!

In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act categorized hemp, along with marijuana and other forms of cannabis, a highly suspicious substance. By 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified all forms of cannabis (including hemp) Schedule I drugs. The fate of American farmers who cultivated hemp changed radically within just a few short decades.

The Founding Father of Weed?

When it’s all said and done, Washington wasn’t smoking blunts or advocating for legalized marijuana. After all, it wasn’t even illegal yet.

Despite hemp’s tarnished 20th-century reputation, Washington and Jefferson didn’t grow strains of the crop that would be recognized as marijuana today. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were far too low to induce any kind of “high.” And, as Washington’s journals clearly indicate, he was interested in hemp solely for its industrial purposes.

Nonetheless, when hemp became illegal to grow and possess in 1970, knowledge of its industrial uses vanished, too. And the history of one of America’s most important cash crops disappeared in the shadow of the “War on Drugs.”


Did George Washington Smoke Pot?

Did George Washington raise hemp? Did he smoke it? Was he gay?

The easy answers are definitely, probably, and maybe.

The questions arise with pre-publication of the shocking satire PASSIONS OF THE PATRIOTS by “Thomas Paine,” which opens with Le General in the hemp-filled embrace of his beloved Marquis de Lafayette.

As Washington’s February 22 birthday approaches, his personal habits say much about today’s America.

Like virtually every Revolutionary farmer, the Father of Our Country grew prodigious quantities of hemp. It was (is) a profitable cash crop, easy to grow, with scant demands for cultivation, watering or fertilizing. As a hardy perennial, it needs no year-after-year replanting, nor pesticides or herbicides.

Early American farmers used cannabis for cloth, rope, sails, paper and much more. At various times its cultivation has been mandatory. Kansas was virtually carpeted with it during World War Two. In today’s conversion to a Solartopian economy, the cellulose of its stems and leaves, and the oil from its seeds, could be essential for green ethanol and bio-diesel fuels.

Washington and his fellow planter/presidents Tom Jefferson and James Madison would be astonished to hear that hemp is illegal. These early chief executives would certainly have told President Obama that a re-legalized cannabis crop would mean billions of dollars in desperately needed farm revenue throughout the United States.

As for smoking, I know of no significant communication among the Founders extolling their “great weed.”

But in one of his meticulous agricultural journals, dated 1765, Washington regrets being late to separate his male hemp plants from his females. For a master farmer like George, there would be little reason to do this except to make the females ripe for smoking.

The medicinal uses of cannabis were known to the ancient Chinese. Thousands of years later, it’s inconceivable American growers would not indulge in its recreational powers.

As for Washington’s sexual preferences, his marriage to Martha was sometimes suspect. Historians joke that he did not marry her for her money, but rather for her stocks, bonds, land and slaves. In a letter to a friend, he complained that there was “not much fire between the sheets.”

Ben Franklin, the ultimate liberal, loved so many women he joked that the great miracle in his life was that he contracted no related diseases. Tom Jefferson impregnated his slave mistress Sally Hemings as many as seven times. From Andrew Jackson to Bill Clinton, American presidents have been infamous for their sexual dalliances.

George Washington did not lack for female companionship. But his deepest affections may have been for his fellow warriors. His beloved brothers in arms included Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. Both were married with children, but both excited his strongest comradely devotion.

That the general had no biological children of his own may have been due to a fever early in his life that could have rendered him sterile.

Or maybe not. It’s hard to imagine a gay George Washington in the 1790s. But in the 1990s, things might have been different.

The modern anti-choice assault, including California’s Proposition 8, flies in the face of all Washington and the Founders dreamed of for this nation.

Today’s Puritannical “sunshine patriots” seem hell-bent on running our personal lives. But America has NEVER been about that.

Let them contemplate an image of our first president, fresh from the battlefields and the hemp fields, desperate to marry his fellow winter soldier.


10 Pot Smokers Who Changed the World

We all know the common perception of marijuana users as glassy-eyed couch potatoes glued to the TV, giggling for no good reason and eating everything in sight. But not everyone who smokes reefer ends up lazy and absent-minded.

The psychoactive properties of cannabis have tremendous potential to stimulate creativity, imagination and ingenuity. The herb has been a source of inspiration to artists, philosophers, scientists, inventors, and visionaries in nearly every field of human endeavor.

Here is a list of such visionaries-under-the-influence, whose life and work has been so revolutionary as to profoundly shape the world we live in today.

1. Steve Jobs. Jobs is famous for experimenting with LSD in the 70’s, claiming that his drug experimentation opened his mind and enabled him to see the world in a different light. He also admitted to smoking marijuana during the same period, saying that it helped him relax and made him more creative. His open mind gave us the first personal computer, the first laser printer, and the iPhone, among other things. It’s difficult to imagine a world without his contributions.

2. Bill Gates. Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, along with Paul Allen, and built and guided the company for more than 30 years. He developed the code for the Windows operating system, which still dominates the PC world, and was at one time the richest person in the world. The billionaire software mogul also admitted to dropping acid in an interview with Playboy. And while he hasn’t openly admitted to marijuana use, he did say that while attending Harvard university in the 70’s, he was “not unusual” with regard to the drugs and music popular at the time. And according to his college roommate Sam Znaimer, “marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice.”

3. Francis Crick. Crick was awarded the Nobel prize, along with James Watson, for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA molecules in 1953. His later years were devoted to the scientific study of human consciousness. He was a founding member of the Soma Research Association in the 60’s, which conducted cannabis trials and advocated for the reform of marijuana laws. Crick freely admits that he smoked weed himself, and claimed that it enhanced his capacity for abstract thought.

4. Richard Feynman. A brilliant theoretical physicist and one of the developers of the atomic bomb, Feynman later won the Nobel Prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was also the first to conceive of nano-technology. Feynman admitted to using cannabis and psychedelics while immersed in a sensory deprivation tank, to induce hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.

5. John Lennon. Not all earth-shaking ideas have to do with science and technology. The Beatles changed the world with their music – turning Western culture on to psychedelics, meditation and Eastern philosophy. And more than any of the Fab Four, John was a tireless advocate for peace, non-violence, individual freedom and universal human rights. His music and his message lives on in the hearts of millions.

6. Louis Armstrong. You can’t talk about musicians changing the world without paying homage to the great Louis Armstrong. Affectionately known as “Satchmo,” Armstrong essentially invented the jazz solo, and his style influenced every one of the great musicians to follow in his footsteps, from Ella Fitzgerald to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Like many musicians, then and since, Armstrong loved to partake in marijuana. He payed tribute to the herb with his instrumental composition “Muggles” (a 1920’s slang term for weed).

7. Maya Angelou. The recent passing of Maya Angelou clearly revealed just how much of an impact she has had on the world. She was a phenomenally popular author, poet, playwright, dancer and musician, a leading figure in the American civil rights movement and a powerful voice speaking out on behalf of women and minorities. She wrote freely and openly about her marijuana use in her autobiographies, saying “I lost myself in a sensual haze of pleasure.” Her work has empowered generations of oppressed and marginalized artists, and inspired some of the most influential women in the world today – including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson.

8. William Shakespeare. Arguably the most influential artist of all time, Shakespeare has shaped the use of the English language for the last four centuries. His work has influenced not only poetry and literature but theater, film, storytelling and performance art. In 2001, a team of researchers led by Professor Francis Thackeray found traces of cannabis and other drugs in clay pipes dug up at Shakespeare’s home, Stratford-upon-Avon. Does this prove that the bard smoked weed? No. But it shows that pot was smoked by his contemporaries at least – and perhaps by the master himself.

9. George Washington. Often hailed as the “father of his country,” Washington commanded the Continental Army and led them to victory in the Revolutionary War, winning the American colonies independence from British rule. He presided over the convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution, and he established many of the forms and traditions of government still in place today.

He also grew acres of hemp on his farm in Virginia – presumably for it’s durable fibers, which were made into rope and cloth. But an entry in his diary states that he separated the male plants from the female, which has led to speculation that Washington did intend smoke his crop (as male plants have the best fiber, and female plants have high concentrations of THC).

Here again, we are dealing with possibility more so than proof. But marijuana’s intoxicating qualities were well known by this time, and it is not so far-fetched that America’s first president did indeed smoke the sweet leaf on occasion. That’s yet another presidential tradition that continues to this day, carried on by fellow smokers Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.

10. Benjamin Franklin. World renowned philosopher, inventor, statesman and social scientist, Ben Franklin was crucial to the framing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the formation of the new American nation, and the developing ideal of the egalitarian republic. He was also the first to understand the basic properties of electricity. He served as ambassador to France from 1776 – 1785, and according to his letters and correspondence he enjoyed visiting the hash parlors that were then so common in Paris.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Countless authors, artists, musicians and great thinkers have turned to marijuana as a source of inspiration and creativity. The symbiotic relationship between humans and cannabis is powerful indeed, and these remarkable people truly demonstrate the plants potential to uplift and advance the individual and society as a whole.


This President's Day, Remember that George Washington Raised Hemp & Probably Smoked it

George Washington raised large quantities of hemp. So did Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and virtually every other 1700s American farmer.

It is also highly likely at least some of them smoked its potent sibling, now known as marijuana.

Perhaps we should commemorate the upcoming President's Day by honoring George Washington with a National Celebration to Re-Legalize Hemp and Marijuana.

Indeed, in the Age of Obama, this old news has a new meaning. It is time to end Hemp/Marijuana Prohibition. With Bush gone and a new generation taking charge, we may finally have a chance to do it. Our nation's famous Founders are our key allies.

Since 1937 the US has suffered through a period of hemp persecution that all the Founders -- from Washington to Franklin, from Adams to Madison -- would have deemed absolutely insane.

In their honor, in renewed protest against this absurd Prohibition, Passions of the Patrios, by "Thomas Paine," is now being published. As we approach President's Day, this "based on true history" novel shows Washington and his cohorts in their natural state, growing and smoking what we now call "pot" in mass quantities.

In his farm journal of August 7, 1765, Washington notes that he "began to separate the male from the female hemp. rather too late." An astute agronomist, Washington could only have been seeking a crop with stronger "medicinal" qualities. Founders who smoked bales of tobacco and consumed oceans of beer (Washington was young America's leading brewer) could not have missed the recreational properties of a crop well known for five millennia.

As for industrial hemp, growing it has actually been mandatory at various times in our history. Most recently Kansas was virtually carpeted with it as part of the effort to win World War Two.

For more than 5,000 years, dating back at least to ancient China, hemp has been used for paper, rope, sails, cloth, clothing, fuel, food, and much more. Today the rich oil in hemp seeds should be a staple of our conversion to clean, green bio-diesel fuels. Its stems and leaves could be a core crop for making cellulosic ethanol. Re-legalized hemp cultivation could quickly become a multi-billion-dollar bonanza for American farmers, just as it was immensely profitable for George Washington and his cohorts.

Hemp is great for the environment because it is a hardy perennial. It needs no annual re-seeding, no plowing, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no herbicides. Its seeds are loved by birds of all varieties, and are so full of vitamins and protein they comprise a pure, clean supplement for the modern human diet.

An acre of hemp produces five times as much paper as an acre of trees. The product is more durable and easier to manufacture. At least one draft each of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were written on it.

Hemp growing is legal in Canada, Germany and China, among other places, where it is productive and profitable. Desperate for income, farmers in the Dakotas and elsewhere throughout the Great Plains have been organizing to get this time-honored plant re-legalized.

They have America's Founders on their side. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and the entire early American farm community -- about 90% of the populace back then -- would be astonished to hear that industrial hemp or its smokaeble sister are illegal.

With the coming of a president who has admitted to smoking marijuana and liking it, it's time to link Number 44 with Numbers one through four, and beyond.

With our economy on the ropes, there are billions of dollars to be made from growing industrial hemp, and from taxing legalized marijuana. This great plant belongs in our national stimulus package.

On this coming President's Day, Barack Obama should take a hint from our First President by kicking off a national campaign to end Prohibition and re-legalize both hemp and marijuana. It's time to honor our ancestors.


Was George Washington a Gay Pot Smoker?

Did George Washington raise hemp? Did he smoke it? Was he gay?

The easy answers are definitely, probably, and maybe.

The questions arise with pre-publication of the shocking satire Passions of the Patriots by Thomas Paine, which opens with Le General in the hemp-filled embrace of his beloved Marquis de Lafayette.

As Washington's February 22nd birthday approaches, his personal habits say much about today's America.

Like virtually every Revolutionary farmer, the Father of Our Country grew prodigious quantities of hemp. It was (is) a profitable cash crop, easy to grow, with scant demands for cultivation, watering or fertilizing. As a hardy perennial, it needs no year-after-year replanting, nor pesticides or herbicides.

Early American farmers used cannabis for cloth, rope, sails, paper and much more. At various times its cultivation has been mandatory. Kansas was virtually carpeted with it during World War Two. In today's conversion to a Solartopian economy, the cellulose of its stems and leaves, and the oil from its seeds, could be essential for green ethanol and bio-diesel fuels.

Washington and his fellow planter/presidents Tom Jefferson and James Madison would be astonished to hear that hemp is illegal. These early chief executives would certainly have told President Obama that a re-legalized cannabis crop would mean billions of dollars in desperately needed farm revenue throughout the United States.

As for smoking, I know of no significant communication among the Founders extolling their "great weed."

But in one of his meticulous agricultural journals, dated 1765, Washington regrets being late to separate his male hemp plants from his females. For a master farmer like George, there would be little reason to do this except to make the females ripe for smoking.

The medicinal uses of cannabis were known to the ancient Chinese. Thousands of years later, it's inconceivable American growers would not indulge in its recreational powers.

As for Washington's sexual preferences, his marriage to Martha was sometimes suspect. Historians joke that he did not marry her for her money, but rather for her stocks, bonds, land and slaves. In a letter to a friend, he complained that there was "not much fire between the sheets."

Ben Franklin, the ultimate liberal, loved so many women he joked that the great miracle in his life was that he contracted no related diseases. Tom Jefferson impregnated his slave mistress Sally Hemings as many as seven times. From Andrew Jackson to Bill Clinton, American presidents have been infamous for their sexual dalliances.

George Washington did not lack for female companionship. But his deepest affections may have been for his fellow warriors. His beloved brothers in arms included Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. Both were married with children, but both excited his strongest comradely devotion.

That the general had no biological children of his own may have been due to a fever early in his life that could have rendered him sterile. Or maybe not. It's hard to imagine a gay George Washington in the 1790s. But in the 1990s, things might have been different.

The modern anti-choice assault, including California's Proposition 8, flies in the face of all Washington and the Founders dreamed of for this nation.

Today's puritannical "sunshine patriots" seem hell-bent on running our personal lives. But America has never been about that.

Let them contemplate an image of our first president, fresh from the battlefields and the hemp fields, desperate to marry his fellow winter soldier.

Harvey Wasserman's History of the United States is available on his website, as is Passions of the Patriots, by Thomas Paine.


Hemp and Our Founding Fathers

One of the greatest controversies related to hemp is the origin of it in U.S. history. Although the facts show that hemp was a cash crop that helped build our nation, there are myths to what particular uses the founding fathers had in mind for the hemp plant. From speculative quotes to actual diary entries, more and more people are curious about the connection hemp and the founding fathers and early settlements share.

Germination of Hemp in Colonial America

As far as any record shows we have pretty much depended on hemp, at least for the way greater portion of our history. With a plant that produces not only fiber for clothing and materials, but seeds for food and such, there has been no reason not to cultivate it.

As far as the history of hemp on this rock we now call America, hemp was planted from day one it seems. Arriving with the Puritans in Colonial America, hemp was planted almost immediately to supply materials such as lines, sails and other things for the Mayflower. At that time all sea vessels carried some stock of hemp seed. Being the fiber of choice it was quickly spread throughout the colonies.

In 1619, Jamestown announced the order for all farmers to grow hemp seed, and as more colonies popped up hemp cultivation laws became more mandatory. Cannabis hemp quickly became legal tender in most of the early settler days of 1631 into the early 1800s. Taxes were paid with hemp for over two hundred years, and between the 17th and 18th centuries it was illegal NOT to grow hemp in some areas. Some colonies even enforced jail sentences for those who did not participate in what was quickly becoming a patriotic act, especially during the revolutionary war.

America’s Founding Fathers Spread the Seed

It is well known that a few of our founding fathers were big proponents of growing hemp everywhere. A few in particular such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin not only spoke great things of the plant, but actually took part in the creation of a hemp industry.

Thomas Jefferson received the United States first patent A hemp threshing machine. He also smuggled new strains of the cannabis seed from China, to France, Then to America, all awhile serving as ambassador to France. Jefferson also wrote about the advantages of hemp over tobacco, in use, labor and for the sake of the land, probably on hemp paper.

Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills that processed hemp into parchment, that of which was used in many first drafts that later became the documents that America stands by. The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”, the Federalist (and Anti-Federalist) Papers, the Articles of Confederation, and of course the United States Constitution were all written on hemp paper.

George Washington not only grew hemp for clothes (home spun), he actually has a quote from his diary from August 7, 1765: “— began to separate the male from the female hemp at Do — rather too late.” It is debatable, but today that technique is used solely for drug potency in marijuana. There are a few trace evidences to the idea that our founding fathers smoked hemp for pleasure, but it seems likely.

Were the Presidents Hemp Smokers?

Dr. Burke, who is a president of the American Historical Reference Society, has noted seven of the earliest presidents as hemp smokers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce. According to Dr. Burke, “Early letters from our founding fathers refer to the pleasures of hemp smoking,”

After all Thomas Jefferson smuggled seeds from Asia which is believed to be the origin of cannabis. For thousands of years before Americans were growing hemp, Asians were smoking it. It’s hard to say, but if Jefferson was aware of the hemp culture in Asia, one would think he would have seen the delight in smoking it as well, and thus provoked him to bring the Asian strain of cannibus to America.

It is hard for some people to think of our first presidents and leaders as hemp smokers, especially with today’s view on slow witted people whom smoke marijuana. Yet some people look at the views of those days furiously scratch their head in wonder to why such once necessities to build this nation, are being neglected. The hemp industry today is a vast ocean, and the US will not jump ship and swim freely.


Watch the video: Rasta elder explaining why he does not smoke marijuana. Prof- I