from The Columbia History of the World:
"The first of the major new techniques were probably weaving and pottery making. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, which began to be worked in the eighth millenium."
from Merriam Webster's Dictionary:
"Canvas (kan`ves) n. 1. A firm closely-woven cloth usually of linen, hemp, flax or cotton used for clothing and forerly much used for tents sails 2. a. A piece of cloth backed or framed as a surface for a painting b. the background, setting or scope of an historial or fictional account or narrative [< L cannabis hemp]"
from Doubleday Dictionary:
Canvas (kan`ves) n. 1. Strong close-woven cloth of hemp, flax or cotton, used for tents, sails, etc. 2. A piece of such cloth used for a painting [< L cannabis hemp]
from Hemp & the Marijuana Conspiracy:
"In 1619, America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, ‘ordering’ all farmers to ‘make tryal of’ Indian hemp seed. More mandatory hemp cultivation laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, in Connecticut in 1632 and in the Chesapeake Colonies into the mid-1700’s. Cannabis hemp was legal tender in most of the America's from 1631 until the early 1800’s, and you could pay your taxes with cannabis hemp for over 200 years."
from The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs:
"There is no record that the pilgrims brought marijuana with them to Plymouth, but the Jamestown settlers did bring the plant to Virginia in1611, and cultivated it for its fiber. Marijuana was introduced into New England in 1629. From then until after the Civil War, the marijuana plant was a major crop in North America, and played an important role in both colonial and national economic policy. In 1762, ‘Virginia awarded bounties for hemp culture and manufacture, and imposed penalties upon those who did not produce it."
from The Encyclopaedia Britannica, VIII Edition:
"But it is not as a narcotic and excitant that the hemp plant is most useful to mankind; it is an advancer rather than a retarder of civilization, that its utility is made most manifest. Its great value as a textile material, particularly for cordage and canvas, has made it eminently useful; we might with justice call it the ‘accelerator of commerce’ and the ‘spreader of wealth and intellect.’ For ages man has been dependent upon hempen cordage and hempen sails for enabling his ships to cross the seas. There is one other useful quality in the hemp plant; it produces an abundance of seed, which not only yields a valuable oil, but the seed is extensively used in feeding singing birds."
from The 1900 Report of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the USDA Yearbooks 1896-1914:
"Hemp is one of the oldest fiber–producing crops and was formerly the most important. Hemp was cultivated for fiber in very early times in China. The history of the distribution of hemp from Asia to other continents indicates its relationships and the development of the best fiber –producing types. Hempseed oil is used to a considerable extent in the preparation of paints and varnishes. In the Old World it enters largely in the composition of soaps, an illuminate and food.
There is a reasonable prospect of establishing an extensive hemp industry in the United States on new lines. Hemp improves the physical condition of the soil, destroys weeds, and when retted on the ground, as is the common practice, does not exhaust fertility. Fertilizers are not generally used in growing hemp, but barnyard manure applied to previous crops is recommended. Insects or fungous diseases rarely injure hemp. The price of hemp has been generally increasing over the last 30 years. The market would expand if manufacturers could be assured of larger supplies. The value of hemp for fiber, birdseed and oil would seem to make its cultivation a very profitable one."
from USDA 1942 film Hemp for Victory:
"For thousands of years this plant has been grown for cordage and cloth. For centuries all the ships that sailed the western seas were rigged with hempen ropes and sails. For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable. A 44-gun frigate like our cherished Old Ironsides took over 60 tons of hemp for rigging, including an anchor cable 25 inches in circumference. The Conestoga wagon and prairie schooners of pioneer days were covered with hempen canvas. Indeed the very word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp. When Manila hemp, from the Navy’s rapidly diminishing supply, is gone, American hemp will go on duty again: hemp for mooring ships, hemp for tow lines, hemp for tackle and gear, hemp for countless Naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for Victory."
from Clinton M. Hester, U.S. Treasury Dept., during the senate hearings that produced the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937 (which made cannabis illegal):
"The purpose of H.R. 6385 is to employ the federal taxing power not only to raise revenue from the marihuana traffic, but to drive the traffic into channels where the plant will be put to valuable industrial, medical and scientific uses.
The form of this bill is such, however, as to not interfere materially with any industrial, medical, or scientific uses which the plant might have. Since hemp fiber and articles manufactured therefrom are obtained from the harmless mature stalk, all such products have been completely eliminated from the purview of the bill by defining ‘marihuana’ in the bill, so as to exclude from it provisions the mature stalk and its compounds or manufactures.
There are also some dealings in marijuana seeds for planting and for use in manufacture of oil that is ultimately employed by the paint and varnish industry. As the seeds, unlike the mature stalk, contain the drug*, the same complete exemption could not be applied in this instance. But this type of transaction, as well as any transfer of completed paints and varnish products, has been exempted from transfer tax. Any medical use which marijuana may have will also be left largely unrestricted by this bill."
*“It is significant that none of the millions of people who use this drug have ever, since the dawn of civilization, been found using the seed of this plant or using the oil as a drug.” Ralph Loziers, National Oil Seed Institute at the Tax Stamp hearings. The hemp seed produces no observable high for humans or birds. Only the most minute traces of THC are in the seed.
from Popular Mechanics, "Billion Dollar Crop", 1938 (four months after the enactment of The Marihuana Tax Stamp Act):
"Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane."
from The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency Publication:
"Cannabis, Cannabis Sativa L, the hemp plant, grows wild throughout most of the tropic and temperate regions of the world. Prior to the advent of synthetic fibers, the cannabis plant was cultivated for the tough fiber of its stem. In the US, cannabis is legitimately grown only for scientific research. In fact, since 1980, the US has been the only* country where cannabis is licitly cultivated for scientific research."
*The US is the only industrialized nation in the world that prohibits the licit cultivation of cannabis hemp for industrial purposes.
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