History in the U.S.

In the early 1600's, hemp (marijuana) was so vital a resource that laws were passed in America that actually ordered farmers to grow it. Hemp was legal tender in most parts of America for about two hundred years; goods could be purchased with it and it could even be used to pay taxes. In 1850, the U.S. Census counted 8,327 hemp plantations that grew marijuana for cloth, canvas, paper and other goods. Two United States presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson even grew hemp on their plantations. In fact, George Washington is on the record, quoted as saying, "Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere" (circa 1794).*(Facts about Hemp)

Since marijuana was mainly used for cloth materials and medical purposes, please refer to Hemp Production and Health Use for more on history.

Marijuana: History, Effects and Controversies

Hemp Production

Physical and Psychological Effects

Religious Use

Health Use


The Case for Maintaining Prohibition v. The Case for Legalization