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History of Marijuana
Marijuana, cannabis, weed, pot, grass, hemp, are some of the words associated with the marijuana plant. Though marijuana has been cultivated for thousands of years, only within the last 150 years has cannabis been prohibited.
The hemp plant is one of the most unique plants on the planet. Growing on just about every continent. In a wide variety of temperatures and soil types. From the tropic climate of Africa, equatorial climate of Columbia and Mexico, to the northern climes of Afghanistan and highest mountain tops of the Kush region.
It's safe to say, marijuana is a diverse hardy plant.
Two very unique marijuana types exist. Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. Cannabis indica is a short squat plant that grows best in northern climates. Some examples of cannabis indica include, Afghani #1, Northern Lights, Hindu Kush and Hash Plant. Cannabis sativa is a tall lanky marijuana plant that requires a lengthy growing season such as those found in Mexico and Thailand. Examples of this marijuana strain are, Haze, Columbia Gold, Panama Red and Thai.
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to relieve a variety of medical illnesses. For medical purposes marijuana is prepared as an ointment, oil or in food. A cannabis chef will create a weed concoction that is baked into cookies, cakes or even ice cream. These marijuana laced foods are excellent to ingest in public as no one will know your inhaling cannabis.
Marijuana is most often inhaled in a joint, bong or vaporizer.
When smoked, weed is a pleasant mood altering substance. Cannabis produces a euphoric effect known as a marijuana high. Depending on the type of weed inhaled a user will either become energetic or lethargic. With the marijuana high lasting a variable amount of time. How long someone is 'stoned' is based on the marijuana plant's strength and tolerance level of the toker.
Most recently the oldest stash of marijuana was found in the mummified remains of a Shaman in China. Scientist estimate the marijuana to be from 2500 BC. Their efforts to germinate seeds from the cannabis stash failed. However this is more excellent proof pot has been used for thousands of years and its prohibition is silly.
The Chinese culture was first too discover marijuana was a viable substance around 6000 BC. They began by eating hemp seeds. Soon discovering how to weave hemp into fine fibers and ultimately by 2727 BC understanding marijuana's medicinal value.
Cannabis for spiritual enlightenment began between 1200 - 800 BC with the Hindu sacred text Athara Veda suggesting the marijuana plant is one of the five sacred plants of India that can be used as a sacramental offering to Shiva. The text explains how to make Bhang. A drink of dried cannabis leaves, spices and milk. An ancient Perisian text Zend-Avesta written by Zarathustra refers to Bhang as a "good narcotic."
Scythian tribes left cannabis seed offerings (700 - 300 BC) in the royal tombs as tributes to their gods. Nomadic Scythian tribes people brought marijuana seeds to Northern Europe around 500 BC. Remains of a Scythian urn containing dried marijuana leaves was unearthed in Berlin, Germany and dated from this time period.
Intense research and debate commenced in the Arab world surrounding eating hashish between 900 - 1000 AD. Scholars argued about hashish while its use spread throughout the middle east.
Cannabis was brought to Egypt during the Ayyubid dynasty (12th Century) via religious people fleeing floods from Syria. Arab traders ultimately brought their strains of cannabis and hash making equipment as far as Mozambique Africa.
Trader and explorer Marco Polo returned to Europe with grandiose tales of marijuana use. Polo's accounts of hashish "assassins" are the first reports of cannabis use that gained wide spread attention throughout Europe. However, it's centuries later that the term "assassins" was wrongly translated.
The first efforts to ban cannabis happened during the Ottoman empire. With hashish and cannabis inhaling getting out of control Emir Soudoun Scheikhouni issued a War on Drugs decree against his citizens eating hash or smoking cannabis.
During this time Western European nations began using hemp fiber for textile products. French and British colonies established large marijuana plantations to grow fields of hemp between 1606 and 1632. French soldiers returning from Egypt brought with them boatloads of hashish which they consumed in great quantities.
Napoleon is the second ruler to declare an outright prohibition against pot. However the short leader fails to win his War on Drugs. By 1840 hashish has become so popular in France the first cannabis cafe opens in Paris, Hashish Eaters Club, dealing to upscale aristocrat French nobles.
Medicinal marijuana is used widely across America during the 1800s. Hemp oil preparations are prescribed by doctors. With patients filling their prescription at the nearest pharmacy. Cannabis based preparations are the most commonly prescribed pain killer.
The booming British empire taxes ganja in India as an effort to control the population. By 1890 hashish is made illegal in Turkey. The India Hemp Drugs Commission Report is issued in 1893. Determining 70,0000 - 80,0000 kg of hashish is transported between India and Central Asia legally each year.
The banning of cannabis begins in 1915 with the state of California declaring marijuana a prohibited substance. It's disguised effort to control the Mexican migrant population. Texas follows up four years later (1919), Louisiana (1924) and finally New York (1927) ban marijuana use. Recreational use of cannabis is prohibited in Britain after the first world war (1928).
Propaganda flick "Reefer Madness" is released(1936) driving pot paranoia to dizzying new heights. Teens are told they'll go insane with just one puff of a marijuana cigarette. Cannabis is made illegal throughout the United States (1937) with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act.
The Brotherhood of Love, a marijuana smuggling ring located in the USA distributes large amounts of cannabis and hashish during the '60s and '70s. The Nixon administration is urged to legalize and tax marijuana, but instead President Nixon creates Drug Enforcement Agency to control the population.
First grow books (1970s) suggest methods of marijuana seed free growing. These early books show marijuana growers how to pull male marijuana plants before pollinating female marijuana plants. This method eliminates cannabis seeds and produces amazing marijuana buds. Afghanistan marijuana plants are bred with Mexican marijuana plants to create marijuana strains suitable for North American climate.
The War on Marijuana continues with nearly a million Americans incarcerated every year for growing or consuming cannabis.
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