Hemp Vs The World:
How the War on Drugs Derailed the Industrialization of Hemp
Did you know that hemp, the industrial form of cannabis, is one of the most useful textiles known to man? Hemp is more durable than paper, nylon, and even cotton. In fact, the industrial form of cannabis is almost too perfect of a textile. This is exactly what a few gentlemen in the early 20th Century believed. Moreover, it would be the catalyst to mass prohibition of cannabis as well as industrial hemp.
Cannabis Use Before the War on Drugs
Cannabis has been around since late 2600 B.C. Cannabis was often used for its medicinal purposes. Moreover, cannabis was made into the quality of life tinctures, teas, and elixirs with promising qualities. During the Colonial era, cannabis was utilized for medicinal as well as industrial purposes. People who were hip to tobacco farms quickly installed hemp farms. These farms would allow the production of the industrial component of cannabis. Hemp is a fiber hundred of times stronger than timber. Hemp parchment was also more durable than paper made from timber. This was the period when America (as well as other large countries) began producing more industrial material. Steel was a huge influence on the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, cannabis was just as prevalent during this time. However, unknown to most, the dark age of cannabis was on the horizon.
Key Figures in War on Hemp
In the early 1900s, the status of cannabis would take a hard left like no other. This was a time of slander and propaganda of cannabis unlike any other time in history. There was even a film produced during the Great Depression that showcased the ‘dangers’ of consuming cannabis. This onslaught was led by a bastard named Harry Anslinger with the help of the prominent timber baron William Randolph Hearst. The latter is best known for creating the largest newspaper publication of then and now: the New York Times. These men feared the versatility of cannabis in its industrial form: hemp. Hemp is many more times stronger and more durable than materials such as cotton, timber, and nylon. These astounding feats intrigued Anslinger, Hearst, and other timber barons. However, instead of harvesting the beneficial properties of cannabis and hemp for consumers, Anslinger with the help and finances of Hearst decided to run the strongest smear campaign ever orchestrated against a plant.
How Propaganda Ruined Hemp
During this time, cannabis was driven by propaganda and an overload of erroneous facts. One of the worst pieces of propaganda of cannabis was an ad stating that ‘allowing your wife to smoke cannabis could lead to her finding African-American men sexually attractive. Anslinger’s smear campaign is the core reason while people are misinformed of cannabis as much as it is a taboo. The political, as well as the social advancement of cannabis, was halted for decades thanks to a man’s delicate ego and unwavering desire to remain employed.
How Hemp almost Became Extinct
In the early 1920s, the United States collaborated with Mexico to eradicate as much cannabis between the two countries as possible. More than $150 million was used for the deforestation of cannabis grown in the wild. This figure was not adjusted for inflation. Today, that would be about 1.9 billion dollars for a campaign against a plant that didn’t induce any of the negative effects that were published by Hearst and other individuals acting in yellow journalism. This was all because Anslinger needed a drug to bash to stay employed and tobacco was absolutely out of the question. Thank goodness these ambitions were not as everlasting as they appeared to be.