The Love-Hate Relationship of Human and Cannabis

12 Mar 2024

Cannabis use by humans dates back to at least the third millennium BC, there even archeological evidence of cannabis use dating back as far as 8800–6500 BCE or the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era. For Millenia humans use it for rope, fiber, food and medicine purposes, it is even use for religious and recreational practices.
Cannabis was widely use during the ancient times from China, Japan, India, Assyrians, Greece and the Ancient Palestine. The global spread of cannabis began in the 1230 century AD starting from Persia to the Arab world and Africa in 1340 AD. It was already popularly use by Bantu people even before the English settlers arrived 1652, King Henry VIII encourage the cultivation of hemp for its expanding English Navy.

Earliest Recorded restrictions
The earliest recorded jurisdictional prohibition occur in Arabia when Soudoun Sheikouni, the emir of the Joneima prohibited use in the 1300s in his kingdom. King Andrianampoinimerina of Madagascar banned cannabis throughout the Merina Kingdom even implementing capital punishment as the penalty for its use. As European colonial power reach Africa coming into contact with cannabis using indigenous people was inevitable. When Napoleon invaded Egypt he banned the usage of cannabis among his soldiers. Even the Portuguese prohibit the bringing of cannabis into Rio de Janeiro. The Britain implemented a ban on all of its colonial empire.  The Islamic world and its periphery banned cannabis in the 1800's.
In the United States, the first restrictions on sale of cannabis came in 1906 in the District of Columbia in 1906 and in 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act was passed prohibiting the the production of hemp in addition to cannabis but it was forced back to promoting rather than discouraging hemp cultivation during World War II to make uniforms, canvas, and rope it even produced a short film in 1942 "Hemp To Victory" promoting hemp as a necessary crop to win the war In Western Europe.
The Marihuana Tax Act was the result of a campaign led by Harry J. Anslinger the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper empire (the Fox News of the day), In 1927 stories began showing up in major papers telling of the drug’s frightening effects (sounds familiar?), a New York Times headline blared "Mexican Family Go Insane" after eating marijuana. Although the campaign targeted Mexicans the most affected were African-Americans, not surprising given that Anslinger would casually drop racial slurs into conversations and memos in a way that shocked even people at the time. Racism and false narrative was the main driver of Cannabis prohibition in the US. it only got worse when the Controlled Substance Act was passed in 1970, the Shafer Commission was set up to study if cannabis is really dangerous and it recommended the decriminalization and regulation like alcohol, but it was ignored by the Nixon administration. In 1988 again it was ruled that marijuana should be no higher than Schedule II regulated drugs stating that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.” but this was over ruled by the DEA.

Even during the British rule in India a wide-ranging study of cannabis was conducted by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894-1895. The findings stated:
Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation.
Clearly cannabis under gone a lot of study, from the past up to the present, to determine if its harmful and safe for human consumption and all of the study has proven it is safe. Racism and Business profit was the main driver why cannabis was severely restricted in the US and around the world.

YouTube Video:
Cannabis Education w/ J's SmokeHouse
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