Cannabis History: Jamestown, Virginia 1619 the first cannabis laws in the United States required farmers to grow cannabis hemp. This 400 year old law only adds to the confusion over its introduction in the United States, as the plant was well known from the early 1600s, but did not really reach public awareness as a recreational drug until the early 1900s.
America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were numerous other “must-grow” laws over the next two centuries (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was considered legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp—try that today!). Cannabis hemp was an important and critical crop for a number of purposes (including war essentials like canvas, rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth. The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.
Even today all you have to do is drive across the Midwest in the late summer and fall, it’s everywhere on the sides of the roads. Just ask any farmer in rural farmland America. Get off the highway and just drive along most any rural country road and you’ll likely encounter miles and miles of this remarkable plant lining the fence lines, and covering open acres of un-tilled land.
Cannabis hemp has been on this continent long before “civilization” ever showed up. It’s time to wake up 🌎🌍 this sacred plant is was and will be here for all of humankind’s industrial needs, medicinal uses and recreational enjoyments - 22 days ago