Here we are in modern day times and it is clear we are in some trouble when it comes to how we treat our environment. The resources and practices we use today for energy as well as product creation is very harmful and toxic to not just our planet but ourselves also. Despite the full awareness that exists surrounding hemp as an option to transform how things can be done on this planet, governments continue to have the plant banned and it is still often mistaken for marihuana due to how it looks.
The fact is Hemp was very popular throughout the 1800’s and 1900’s since it was incredibly useful for so many reasons. Hemp does nothing more than act as an amazing resource to virtually any industry and any product. As you can imagine, this was also a big reason for the push to ban Hemp as it was a serious threat to many of the big industries out there. At the time it was mainly plastics, oil and paper.
Hemp used to be used for many things: clothes, cars, plastics, building materials, rope, paper, linens, food, medicine and so on. In fact, it used to be mandatory in the United States for farmers to grow hemp if they had the land. There are plenty more stats regarding hemp you can find HERE.
But one day that all changed, and now it is illegal.. so how did this happen?
During Hoover’s presidency, Andrew Mellon became Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury and Dupont’s primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J. Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go.
This then led these men to take an obscure Mexican slang word: ‘marihuana’ and push it into the consciousness of America. The reason why they changed the name was because everyone knew of hemp and how amazing it was for the world. They would never be able to get away with banning hemp, so they used a name they knew no one would care about.
Not long after this plan was set in place, the media began a blitz of ‘yellow journalism’ in the late 1920s and 1930s. Yellow journalism is essentially journalism where stories with catchy headlines are put into the mainstream media to get attention, yet these stories are not well researched or backed up. They are often used simply to create public opinion. Many newspapers were pumping stories emphasizing the horrors and dangers of marihuana. The “menace” of marihuana made headlines everywhere. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to losing morality and it wasn’t long before public opinion started to shape.
Next came several films like ‘Reefer Madness’ (1936), ‘Marihuana: Assassin of Youth’ (1935) and ‘Marihuana: The Devil’s Weed’ (1936) which were all propaganda films designed by these industrialists to create an enemy out of marihuana. Reefer Madness was possibly the most interesting of the films as it depicted a man going crazy from smoking marijuana and then murdering his family with an ax. With all of these films, the goal was to gain public support so that anti-marihuana laws could be passed without objection.
Have a look at the following regarding marihuana from ‘The Burning Question’ aka Reefer Madness:
A violent narcotic
Acts of shocking violence
Under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an ax
More vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs (heroin, cocaine) is the menace of marihuana!
Unlike most films with a simple ending, Reefer Madness ended with bold words on the screen: TELL YOUR CHILDREN.