History of Medical Cannabis and Hemp in the USA - Part 2

Pot of my Life

Photo- Pot of my Life

Marijuana Wars - Hemp vs Cotton, Petroleum and Pharmaceutical Interests.

1860 to Present.

Anti-Hemp Industry Cartels Amalgamate.

1850-90: Hemp gradually lost ground to cheaper products made of cotton, jute, sisal and petroleum. The problem was effective manufacturing machinery, for whatever reason,was not available to process Hemp fiber, while innovation in equipment to processing cotton and other materials advanced rapidly.  There is considerable speculation that Hemp processing technology was deliberately stymied. 

1883: Oriental style Hash houses are common in every major city including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago.  Houses are reported to be frequented by a large clientele, including males and females of the better classes. New York hosted about 500 Hash establishments alone.

1890: Hemp was still the main product used in ropes, canvas, lighting oil, paints, and varnishes. The wagon train of fame used Hemp canvas and cowboys, Hemp lassos.

1892: Rudolph Diesel, inventor of the diesel engine, intended that vegetable and seed oils be the primary source of fuel.

1892: The Shely Fiber Breaker is reported in Scientific American,  "Designed to break six to eight thousand pounds of Hemp or similar fiber per day. Takes up to nine people to assist with processing".

1907-1913:  The Poison Act was passed in an amendment that made possession of  extracts, tinctures, or other narcotic preparations of Hemp, or locoweed, their compounds a misdemeanor.

1905:  US Department of Agriculture listed twenty-nine states with laws mentioning Cannabis. Eight states recognized Cannabis as a poison and is regulated as a pharmaceutical substance, regulated by prescription by a physician.  

MMJDOCTORONLINE Note: Today, Medical Cannabis is similarly regulated.  In the State of California, a 420 Doctor Evaluation is required before a citizen can possess and use Medical Marijuana.  MMJDOCTORONLINE provides patients with handy Medical Marijuana Cards that are presented at their local Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.

Hemp Processing Innovations never get off the Ground

1913: Hemp production methods are still in the dark ages.  The USDA reported that more than three-fourths of the Hemp fiber produced in Kentucky was broken by hand.

1915: California outlaws Cannabis.

Fed Scientists Predict that Hemp can save the Nation's Forests

1916 :  USDA reports that Hemp produces four times more paper per acre than timber. This report calls for the expansion of Hemp as a way to protect the nation's non-infinite timber resources.  At this time, forestry companies joined and merged with the cotton and petroleum cartels, which had by this time, amalgamated overwhelming force and won hands down the propaganda war against Hemp.  Contrary to the USDA's sober warning, most of the United States remaining virgin forests would be eradicated.

Did Rockefeller Stymy the Hemp Industry?

1917: George W. Schlichten patented a new machine for separating the fiber from the core. His invention reduced labor by 90% and increased yields by 600%. In combination, with technology to fashion paper and plastics from Hemp cellulose, a grand new future was at hand for the Hemp industry.  J. D. Rockefeller commissioned Schlichten to supply manufactured Hemp and tried to buy exclusive rights to Schlichten's patents.  Schlichten preferred to commercialize his technology with other backers, but got in way over his head.  For reasons "unknown" financing was pulled and the inventor died a broken man in 1923. 

1919: Texas outlaws Cannabis.



1920-1940: Competitors of Hemp products consolidated and came to dominate the marketplace. Petroleum based fuels, lubricants, synthetics such as nylon, cellophane and plastics were pushed to the forefront of the market. Products made from natural and renewable resources such as Hemp were gradually forced out of the marketplace for the most part. 

Anti-Marijuana Lawmen and Politicians

1931: Andrew Mellon, The Treasury Secretary, Dupont financier and Hemp competitor appoints anti-Marijuana man, Harry Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (precursor to the DEA).

1925:  The  International Opium Convention. banned exportation of "Indian Hemp" or hash, derivatives, to countries that prohibited use and required importing countries to specify that the shipment is required "exclusively for medical or scientific purposes. The US Fed of the time supported the convention, but wishes punitive action and regulation to be more stringent.

1890-1940s:   USDA has a grow-op, with five varieties of Hemp, on the current site of the Pentagon. 

How to handle an On-site Weed test situation


1930s: All states in the union have some form of regulation for Cannabis.

1930: Federal Bureau of Narcotics pushed to outlaw all recreational drugs. Boss-man Anslinger vigorously claimed Cannabis causes violent crimes, irrational acts and deviant sexuality.

1937:  The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively made possession or transfer of Cannabis illegal throughout the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses, through imposition of an excise tax on all sales of Hemp.

1930s: William Randolph Hearst, in league with the new petroleum-based synthetic textile manufacturers is at the forefront of the propaganda war against Hemp from companies with vested interest in the new petroleum-based synthetic textiles.

1930s:  Reefer Madness scare campaigns focused on associating Hemp with neurotic notions of badly behaving Latinos, Blacks, Mexican immigrants.  These campaigns were effective with the portion of the US population that had no experience with Marijuana.

1937-1960: US government official position is that Industrial Hemp and Marijuana are not the same.

1938: Popular Mechanics magazine touts Hemp as a billion dollar crop and lists over 25,000 uses.

1938: Canada prohibits Marijuana, Hemp production, under the Opium and Narcotics Control Act.

Hemp Rebounds with Support from the Fed, Scientific American and Henry Ford

1940: World production of Hemp peaks at 832,000 tons of fiber.

1941: Popular Mechanics Magazine reports on Henry Ford's plastic car made using Hemp and fueled by Hemp oil.  Ford grew Hemp illegally grow Hemp for some years after the Federal ban, in a scheme to become independent and a competitor of big oil.

1941-1945: Hemp for Victory.  During World War II, Japan cut off vital Hemp supplies.  The US Department of Agriculture released an educational propaganda film called "Hemp for Victory", which educated farmers on growing industrial Hemp. Hemp harvesting machinery was made available at little to no cost. From 1942 to 1945, farmers and their families who agreed to grow Hemp, were exempt from military service.  At this point, the Federal government was never a bigger ally.  Sadly, this arrangement would sour and without the Fed's blessing, the Hemp industry fell into a fatal tailspin.

1942-1946: American farmers from Kentucky to Maine to Wisconsin harvest over 150,000 acres of Hemp under the USDA’s Hemp for Victory program.

Hemp and Medical Marijuana lost the Battle, but not the War?

1957:  Hemp is last grown legally in the U.S., as government confuses Hemp commodity and Medical Marijuana issues and makes it criminal to grow, possess or use any  type of Cannabis.   Meanwhile, industry is provided with monetary incentives to replace natural fibers with plastics and other synthetic materials.  Opponents of big business, speculate that special interests, with their powerful lobby groups working through Washington, were ultimately responsible for the demise of the Hemp industry.

1958 - Present: Fast forward (covered in another article).

Marijuana makes a Comeback

2016: Many states have now legalized Medical Marijuana. Most Presidential candidates favor the legalization or at least leave the issue of Medical Cannabis in the hands of the individual states.

MMJDOCTORONLINE Note: In California, with a Medical Marijuana Card or Growers Recommendation, patients can legally possess, use or grow Medical Cannabis. The application process for a Medical Marijuana Recommendation can be completed on our website now.



Interesting Posts