Hemp has a profuse history of use within human civilization, dating back to 8,000 BC. It is the single plant that can feed us, clothe us, house us, protect the environment, and support human health. Let us start from the beginning:
The first traces of hemp are found in Asia. Soon after, hemp is found in Europe, Africa, and South America. Commonly used is hemp seeds and oil for pottery and food.
2000 BC-800 BC
Hemp is referred to in Hindu religious documents as “sacred grass” and is considered a gift. Hemp is considered one of the five sacred plants of India.
Hemp use continues to grow across northern Europe with hemp rope found in southern Russia and Greece and seeds and leaves are found in Germany.
Hemp is beginning to be used to make paper in China.
King Henry VII, the King of England, focuses on hemp production and fining farmers if they don’t grow it.
Hemp is discovered as a key ingredient to make clothes, shoes, ropes, paper, and food in North America.
Farmers in America are required by law to grow hemp, with many of America’s founding fathers advocating for the benefits of hemp.
It is believed that Thomas Jefferson wrote Declaration of Independence draft on hemp paper.
Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
The United States Department of Agriculture publishes finding that display hemp produces four (4) times more paper per acre than trees.
Hemp becomes an excuse to search and deport Mexican immigrants. As a result, the word “marijuana” replaced “cannabis” to directly associate the plant with the Mexican population.
The first commissioner of the United State’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, previously stated that cannabis use was “not a big deal.” He then goes on to change his position when the ban on alcohol is lifted and tells the public that cannabis is a “devil drug” that “turned men into wild beasts that would attack women.” Anslinger goes on to contact thirty (30) scientists requesting evidence that cannabis is dangerous, and twenty-nine (29) of the scientists’ state that they cannot find any reasonable proof.
A handful of renowned American businessmen, including Anslinger, decide that cannabis poses a threat to their business. William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, the DuPont family, and Harry Anslinger go on to draft the Marijuana Tax Act to begin taxing the plant.
Henry Ford builds an experimental car body that is made from hemp fiber, finding that it is ten (10) times stronger than steel.
The U.S. government releases a hemp documentary called Hemp for Victory, encouraging farmers to grow hemp to support the war. As a result, over 400,000 acres of hemp are planted throughout the Midwest and Southeast of the United States.
The last U.S. commercial hemp fields are planted in the state of Wisconsin.
President Nixon classifies Marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, in the same group as heroin and LSD.
The United States begins to import food-grade hemp seeds and oil for use.
The first hemp licenses in over fifty (50) years are issued to two farmers located in North Dakota, USA.
President Barack Obama signs the 2014 Farm Bill into law. The Farm Bill legally separates hemp from marijuana and legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill affirms the 2014 Farm Bill and officially removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations on cannabis and its derivatives were approved by the majority of the world’s countries. The WHO had recommended that cannabis be removed form Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention therefore recognizing the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the plant. A supporting statement read that all of the WHO’s recommendations were supported and urged that cannabis production, sale and use, have “a regulatory framework that guarantees good practices, quality, innovation and research development”.