Hemp has a long history in America and despite the nation’s nearly 80-year-long Federal ban on cannabis, it’s been an important part of American history since the colonies were first formed. The Founding Fathers were well known hemp lovers and they used it for countless purposes in colonial America, especially when it came to their revolutionary ideas. Check out some of our favorite facts about Hemp's Patriotic History.
Hemp Combated British Taxes – Benjamin Franklin himself was a well know hemp head and an integral part in America’s fight for freedom. The 1765 Stamp Act inflicted exorbitnate taxes on all business and legal paper as well as all printed materials in the colonies. Franklin, with the help from his wife, built the first hemp papermill, freeing colonists from their dependency on the highly taxed British paper. We can also thank hemp for acting as Franklin’s kite string during his infamous experiments with electricity.
Revolutionary Literature – Thomas Paine, an American revolutionary and patriotic writer, printed his famous freedom fighting manifesto on hemp. Paine’s “Common Sense” was printed on the same hemp Franklin was printing in defiance of British taxation, a truly poetic pairing. Paine was a vocal proponent of cannabis and spoke highly of all it could do for America, including clothing Washington’s army in hemp uniforms and its potential to become the largest cash crop in the colonies.
Declaration of Independence – As a successful cultivator of hemp, Thomas Jefferson was both a founding father and a founding farmer. “Some of my finest hours have been spent sitting on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” As one of his most popular quotes, Jefferson’s belief in the benefits of hemp and cannabis are regularly used to fight against modern cannabis prohibition around the world. How could he draft the first version of the Declaration of Independence on anything other than hemp? While the final version of the Declaration was not written on hemp, just 14 years later the United States Constitution was printed on hemp paper.
Hemp Flag – Talented seamstress Betsy Ross is best known as the creator of the original American flag featuring 13 white stars and 13 red and blue stripes. Ross wanted to use the strongest fiber available in colonial America to sew this iconic symbol of patriotism at the request of George Washington. That fiber was, you guessed it, also made from hemp of the homespun variety. Hemp was a popular and prolific fiber used to make ropes, canvas and up to 80% of all clothing at the time.
At Higher Leaf we believe very strongly in personal freedoms and the right to responsibly enjoy marijuana and know the fight for cannabis freedom has just begun. As Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” So get out there and enjoy your 4th of July weekend like a Founding Father! Visit our Newsletter archive to see our 4th of July Deals running Thursday, June 29th through Tuesday, July 4th at Higher Leaf in Kirkland And Bellevue!