How Harry Hated Hemp

How Harry Hated Hemp

One of the most celestial types of textiles is a byproduct of cannabis. Hemp is more durable than paper, nylon, and even cotton. The industrial form of cannabis is almost too perfect of a textile. This is what a few barons and moguls in the early 20th Century believed. Furthermore, it would be the main reason for the mass propaganda prohibition of cannabis and industrial hemp. Gather ‘round, friendly tokers! Let’s talk about how one guy almost ruined cannabis forever. 

Cannabis, pre-propaganda

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 good 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 allow the production of the industrial component of cannabis. 

Furthermore, hemp is a fiber a hundred times stronger than timber. Hemp parchment was also more durable than paper made from wood. This was when America (as well as other large countries) began producing more industrial material. Steel was a significant 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.

When Harry met Willy

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 moment in history. Even a film produced during the Great Depression showcased the ‘dangers’ of consuming cannabis. This onslaught was led by a bastard named Harry Anslinger with the prominent timber baron William Randolph Hearst. The latter is best known for creating the most famous 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 Hearst’s help and finances, decided to run the most vigorous smear campaign ever orchestrated against a plant.

Plant propaganda

During this time, cannabis was driven by propaganda and an overload of incorrect information presented as 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 people are misinformed of cannabis as much as it is taboo. The political and social advancement of cannabis was halted for decades thanks to a man’s delicate ego and unwavering desire to remain employed.

Weed almost went 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 adverse effects 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. Think about all of that the next time you take your doobie or dab pen for granted.

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