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Compared to other plants of human use, cannabis has made a particularly interesting journey through human culture. From being accepted to being completely illegal, this plant has been the basis for a lot of political change in the USA. It is now coming full circle again, with the 21st century seeing the legalization movement of cannabis accelerating.

We think the history of cannabis is so interesting, that we’ve compiled a list of facts about marijuana that every enthusiast should know! Use them to re-educate cannabis haters and bring them to the side where the grass is greener!

1. Hemp is illegal because it threatened a billion dollar enterprise

history hemp 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know
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The reason hemp is illegal in the USA is because it threatened the billion dollar paper industry. When it was discovered that the hemp plant could produce paper (among a plethora of other things) much faster than a tree, it was made illegal so as not to threaten the paper industry!

2. Pot used to be patriotism

In the 17th century it was actually required by the patriots of the 13 colonies to grow hemp. It was required by law, and the materials were used to build ships, sails and fabric.

3. Cannabis was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1851 – 1941

history pharmacy 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know
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The United States Pharmacopeia each year released a list of acceptable medicines. For the most part, cannabis was recognized in the early publications. However, it became less prevalent as synthetic drugs became available, and then completely removed after criminalization.

4. The Temperance Movement

In the 1890s, there was a temperance movement that suggested marijuana as an alternative to alcohol. Because of the amount of alcohol-related domestic violence, marijuana was actually encouraged. Alcohol companies have since been the biggest anti-marijuana advocate, and marijuana seriously threatens alcohol sales.

5. Over the counter

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Until 1942, cannabis was available for sale over the counter at stores and pharmacies. Even smoke was permitted there. The United States Pharmacpeia recommended cannabis as useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and pain.

6. The word marijuana comes from the Mexican revolution

history mexico 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know

The word marijuana is actually another mixture of herbs that comes from Mexico that does not contain cannabis. During the Mexican revolution, people were bringing a lot of marijuana across the border. The US government mistakenly called the herb marijuana.

7. Weed was the catalyst for the worst film in the world

haters reefer 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know
Photo credit: Cannasseur Magazine

Well, we don’t like saying weed is the reason for anything terrible in the world, but this may be the one exception. Reefer Madness. It was the US government’s lame attempt at telling everyone that marijuana is very, very, bad.

8. Cannabis was never taxed… until now

history tax 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know

Despite being a registered medicine in the USA, it was never actually taxed until now. It has made billions of dollars in revenue since it has been taxed, and continues to feed the economy.

9. Marijuana has been legal for personal use in the USA since 1975

There are probably a lot of Americans out there who did not know that marijuana has been legal in Alaska for personal use since 1975. It has since been completely decriminalized, and is now available medically, too.

10. There were pot presidents!

history dollar 10 Marijuana History Facts You Should Know

There is a question to the truth of whether George Washington and Abe Lincoln smoked pot or not. However, it is well known that they both owned hemp farms and used it for agricultural purposes.

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