Marijuana Trivia – Facts
Marijuana Trivia and Interesting Facts.
There have been books, articles, and lengthy research papers written on this subject. We have tried to collect and summarize some interesting facts and trivia about hemp, cannabis, and marijuana (marihuana) that most of our readers have probably never heard. If you have additional trivia or facts, please email them to us.
Keep in mind, this page is not intended to be an authoritative treatise, nor published in a professional journal. Although we believe the information is accurate, please — check it out yourself! If you find an error or a misstatement, please let us know and we will correct it. We want to provide you with interesting, obscure, historical trivia and facts about this most controversial substance called marijuana.
Now then, let's get on with it!
• Industrial hemp has 4 times more fiber per acre than timber (trees), is naturally creamy white, grows in every kind of good or bad soil, requires little water, has few pests, and produces a harvest every 4 months (compared to 10 – 15 years).
• Industrial hemp has less than 1% THC and is banned by the U.S. Government. Industrial hemp is currently being grown in Germany, France, and Canada.
• Prior to the late 1880's, most documents and books were made from hemp fiber.
• Marijuana is created from the dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa L. Contrary to the label given to it by the government, marihuana is NOT a narcotic.
• It has been estimated that were marihuana legalized, it would cost about $75 a pound in today's dollars for quality medical marihuana.
• "Cannabis indica is one of the best additions to cough mixtures that we possess, as it quiets the tickling in the throat, and yet does not constipate or depress the system as does morphine." — Practical Therapeutics (1895)
• The December, 1941 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine (Vol 76. No. 6) reported that the Ford Motor Company had completed 12 years of research and had assembled a prototype plastic body car made from 70 percent fiber (wheat straw, hemp) and 30 percent resin. The plastic panels could withstand a blow 10 times greater than steel without denting; the car weighed 1000 lbs less (see picture above).
• The term 'marihuana' was a slang Mexican term for cannabis or hashish and was not used to describe pot until the feds coined this term in the Marihuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937. It is thought the term was used to confuse the medical community and the booming hemp industry to avoid heated opposition to passage of the bill in Congress.
• In early 1942, Japan cut off the US supply of vital hemp and fibers. Hemp and marijuana, which was outlawed in the United States as the "Assassin of Youth" just five years earlier, was suddenly "safe enough" for our government to ask the kids in the Kentucky 4-H clubs to grow the nation's 1943 seed supply. It is estimated that the U.S. Government distributed 400,000 pounds of cannabis Sativa seeds to American farmers in 1942 to aid the World War II war effort.
• For thousands of years (until 1842), marijuana and hashish extracts were the most widely-used medicines in the world.
• You could pay your taxes in this country with hemp until the early 1800's.
• It was a crime in some states to refuse to grow hemp in the 1700's.
• Many of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew hemp. Benjamin Franklin owned a paper mill that used hemp to make paper.
• Until the cotton gin was invented in the 1820's, about 80% of fabrics, clothes, curtains, textiles, etcetera, were made from hemp fiber.
• Most of the early canvas paintings were painted on hemp linen (Van Gogh, Rembrandt).
• Cannabis is a Latin word 'cannapaceus' (made of hemp) originated from the Greek word 'kannibis'. Old English: 'hænep'.
• The first Bibles, maps, flags, and ship sails were made from hemp paper.
• The first draft of the Declaration of Independence (June 28, 1776) was written on hemp paper, as was the second draft (July 2, 1776). This was the document agreed to and released two days later on July 4, 1776. On July 19, 1776, Congress ordered the Declaration be copied and engraved on parchment (animal skin); this was the document actually signed by the delegates on August 2, 1776.
• Hemp paper lasts 50 to 100 times longer than most preparations of papyrus and is one hundred times easier and cheaper to make.
• Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag from hemp.
• Hemp was poised to become a billion dollar crop in the U.S. in 1938 (just before World War II).
• The cannabis plant can survive in nearly any environment and can grow one to two inches per day to a height of 18 feet.
• Marijuana was America's number one analgesic for 60 years until the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900. From 1842 to 1900 cannabis compounds made up half of all medicines sold.
• Today in the Philippines, possessing 1.5 lbs of marijuana calls for the death penalty.
• Marijuana cultivation is thought to have began in the United States around 1600 with the Jamestown settlers, who grew hemp because it had unusually strong fibers used to make rope, sails, and clothing.
• Marijuana was a source of major revenue for the U.S. until the late 1870's. During the 1800's marijuana plantations flourished in many states such as Mississippi, Georgia, California, South Carolina, Nebraska, New York, and Kentucky.
• Fiorello La Guardia, mayor of New York, was against the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Skeptical of the government's propaganda, he a commissioned a six-year study by a group of 31 scientists. His commission published a report that scientifically disproved all of the propaganda and ridiculous claims that had been made about smoking marijuana. FBN Head Anslinger used the press to discredit the report and destroyed every copy of this report his agents could locate. He then blocked further research by restricting the availability of marijuana for medical study.
• In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte declared a total prohibition in France after realizing much of the Egyptian lower class were habitual smokers of marijuana.
• In 1928, the recreational use of marijuana was banned in Britain.
• A research study found that it would take 800 chain-smoked marihuana cigarettes to kill you…of course the cause of death would be from carbon monoxide poisoning.
• In 2003, Canada became the first country in the world to legalize medical marihuana.
• The well known movie "Reefer Madness" was originally released under the name "Tell Your Children." The movie was purchased, edited, and released under various different names, including: "The Burning Question," "Dope Addict," "Doped Youth" and "Love Madness." The movie was thought to have been lost until 1971, when a copy was discovered in the Library of Congress by The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). The movie soon became a cult classic, and is revered by pot smokers and others who find the poor acting and production quality rather hilarious. The movie has remained so popular that a colorized version was released in 2004.
• In 1972, twenty-five year old Vietnam veteran Don Crowe was convicted of selling marijuana to an undercover cop. It was his first offense and the amount of marijuana was under an ounce. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
• In 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Law held hearings to determine the medical benefits of marijuana. He found that it clearly had medical applications and urged that it be reclassified as a prescription drug. No action was ever taken.
• Marijuana remains on the federal government's "Schedule I" list of narcotics. Schedule I drugs are those that have a high likelihood for abuse; have no current medical use in treatment, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision (21 USC 812). The U.S. government still spells Marihuana with an 'h' and lists it right alongside opium, morphine, peyote, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and other heavy duty narcotics.
• Christopher Columbus is thought to have brought cannabis to the new world in 1492.
• In 1872 the Sultan of Turkey gave hashish to the United States as a gift.
• Queen Victoria of England was proscribed marijuana to relieve menstrual cramps in the late 1800's.
• About every minute, somewhere in the world someone is arrested for a marijuana crime.
• In the country of Malaysia, the death penalty is mandatory for someone convicted of being a 'drug trafficker.' You are presumed to be a drug trafficker if you possess 1/2 ounce of heroin or seven ounces of marijuana.
• Before the 1978 "War on Drugs," was declared, there were about 300,000 Americans in prisons for all crimes combined.
• Current federal law mandates a one-year minimum prison sentence for distributing or manufacturing controlled substances, which includes marijuana, within 1000 feet of a school, university, or playground. The 1000 feet distance is measured 'as the crow flies,' which means that most urban houses in an average city will fall within the “drug-free zones.” And unlike most state laws that give you a slap on the wrist for a first offense, the feds don't play around; minimum 1-year prison sentences are common.
• President Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was prescribed cannabis for her nerves following his assassination.
The illustrations on this page are provided as a courtesy. No claim of copyright is made as to any original works. They are provided to assist the reader understand the historical context of the information provided on this page.
Bruce Alan Block, PLC
Attorney and Counselor at Law
1155 East Paris Ave. SE Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 458-8585
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