After 5,000 years that we know of, during which humans reaped Cannabis for every utilitarian scenario you can think of – clothing, rope, oil, building materials, paper, sacred rituals and medicine, it took a bunch of old white men afflicted with racism and greed to bring that momentum to a grinding halt.
While those old white guys are now dead and gone, 80 years of Cannabis Prohibition has taken a wrecking ball to everybody’s Quality of Life. As an evolved Cannabis industry tries to take root, during a raging opioid crisis, with U.S. states legalizing it for medicinal use vs. recreational use, and as stigmatized seniors turn to Cannabis as a way of alleviating pain and easing palliative passage, one common denominator remains. The Cannabis Farmers.
It is those farmers who have preserved the seeds and cultivars that are still being destroyed across the world by authoritarian figures who think they are upholding the law. What they are really doing is taking medicine away from people who need it.
It is the farmers who have stood up for Cannabis, even at the cost of their homes, their livelihoods, their families, and even their lives. Some have served time in prison for cultivating a plant. Some are still in prison to this day. That is a travesty.
As more people reach an understanding about the relationship between humans and the Cannabis plant – and it’s truly profound – these “pot busts” really look more and more like the old Keystone cops aka a buncha idiots. Just Google the “Endocannabinoid System” and how it relates to Cannabis, and you may find yourself rapidly emoting through the five stages of grief. Anger, shock and depression at how our own government perpetuated untrue myths about Cannabis. Once you accept how helpful Cannabis can be when used correctly, the only bargaining you may wish to conduct may be at your local dispensary.
Dan Herer, the son of Jack, who wrote “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” showed me a ten-dollar bill from the early 1900s.
In and of itself, upon first glance you see good old Andrew Jackson gracing the front. But when you look on the back of the bill, what’s that? Oh my. It’s a hemp farm. Maybe you already know our first President, George Washington, grew hemp. And, some speculate, cultivated a small patch of flowers that could be smoked. Let’s call that strain “Presidential Cherries.”
I think that most people alive today descended from farmers somewhere in our ancestral chain. It is those farmers, and the farmers of today to whom I tip my hemp hat. But it’s the Cannabis farmers who have fought on the front lines for 80 years to protect plant medicine for us and for our future generations. Thank you all for your service to our world.