June 15, 1937: Reefer Madness | Wretched Richard’s Almanac

Originally posted on Wretched Richard’s Almanac.

In 1937, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act which levied a tax of one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in marijuana. The bill had been written using the slang term “marihuana” throughout, obscuring the fact that it covered the plant’s legitimate uses in medicine, where it was broadly known as cannabis and in the fiber industry as hemp. The Act did not itself criminalize their possession, but regulations and restrictions on the sale of cannabis as a drug had been around since the previous century. In effect, the bill made it impossible for anyone to deal with call it what you will in any form.

Conspiracy theorists (remember them?) maintained that business tycoons Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family were behind passage of the Act as a way to reduce the size of the hemp industry. Hemp had become a very cheap…

via June 15, 1937: Reefer Madness | Wretched Richard’s Almanac.

Norwegian Vikings Cultivated Hemp

Cannabis Farm Viking Age Norway

1300 years ago, hemp was cultivated on Sosteli Iron Age Farm in Vest-Agder county. (Photo: Morten Teinum / Visit Sørlandet)

On a secluded Iron Age farm in Southern Norway, archaeological findings show that it was common to cultivate cannabis in the Viking Age. The question is how the Vikings used the fibers, seeds and oil from the versatile plant.

For more than fifty years, samples from archaeological excavations at Sosteli Iron Age Farm have been stored in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, according to an article on research portal Forskning.no.

Analyses show that in the period between the years 650 and 800 AD, i.e. the beginning of the Viking Age, hemp was cultivated on the remote mountain farm.

This is not the first time there are found traces of cultivation this far back in time, but Sosteli stands out.

– In the other cases, it is only…

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