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The Illegal Goldmine Hemp also known as Cannabis sativa marijuana grass and by many other names has not been a legal commercial crop in the United States for almost sixty years As common two centuries ago as cotton is today hemp is not seen on the market As many groups fight for hemp to become legalized as a drug many people are battling for the plant to become legalized for its industrial and medical uses From Disney Indiana Jones hats to fuel for our automobile to cures for many medical ailments hemp is a hardworking environmentally sound renewable resource People have become so wrapped up in the drug aspect of marijuana that many are forgetting its uses as an industrial material Hemp is an ancient drug first mentioned in a Chinese manuscript in 2700 BC Its uses included treating gout malaria gas pains and absent-mindedness Hemp was an integral part of early Indo-European religious ceremonies for thousands of years Records from Assyria in 650 BC referred to it as a drug called azulla that was used for making rope and cloth and which was also used for experiencing euphoria Hempen sails brought the Spanish Dutch and British conquerors to the new world Charpentier 18 In North America hemp was planted near Jamestown in 1611 for use in making rope In order to keep a constant supply of hemp available a law was passed in Massachusetts in 1639 requiring every household to plant hemp seed In Maryland Virginia and Pennsylvania hemp was even used as a monetary unit Thomas Jeffersons draft of the Declaration of Independence released by the Continental Congress on July 4 1776 was written on paper made from hemp Whole Earth Review 46 And the 49ers washed gold from California creeks in Levis made from hemp In 1937 the United States government passed the Marijuana Tax Act which prohibited the use of marijuana as an intoxicant and regulated its use
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