has brought people together for centuries.
In early Eurasia, festivals celebrated hopes for bountiful harvests with participants dancing in the hemp fields. The toast “To have hemp in your pocket” was a toast for good luck in days to come. Hemp seeds were sprinkled on new brides as well wishers blessed the couple with good fortune. (I suspect this is likely the root of throwing rice at weddings now-a-days.)
Herodotus wrote in 440 B.C. about the Scythians ‘howling with pleasure” during their marijuana infused vapor baths in his famous book Histories.
The “fragrant-cane” kanna-bosm is mentioned in the Old Testament as an ingredient in the anointing oil used by early Christians. The Greeks were known to mix the herb into wine served at large banquets to increase social good will. (It is common today to observe that a room full of ‘stoners’ is a much friendlier crowd than one of ‘drunkards’!)
Northern European peasants gathered around burning hemp to protect themselves against disease. Women in the Germanic regions supported birthing mothers with sprigs of cannabis to help them through an easier delivery.
It has crossed all boundaries laid out by man and wherever it lands, it stays, treating the independant thinker to it’s encircling qualities of both healing and coming together in a peaceful manner.
The historical clash against cannabis use began when Pope Innocent VIII demonized cannabis as an ingredient for witches’ potions in 1484. He pushed to outlaw hemp’s use as heretical and used the wrath of the Holy Inquisition to place fear into the villagers who continued to use hemp as a part of their traditions and medicinal practices rather than succum to the spreading Christian belief of control through a divine papal leader.
The history of cannabis use is long and deeply rooted in cultures around the world.
I found one of the best accounts of the facts on marijuana in Martin Lee’s book, Smoke Signals – A Social History of Marijuana – Medicinal, Recreational and Scientific. This is an in depth accounting of mankinds dance with this ancient herb and how it has shaped our history. I highly recommend this read for an eye opening view of how we were mislead concerning this most resourceful of plant.
It is ludicrous to me that an herbal plant that grows so prolifically, creates good feelings among its consumers and has a ZERO next to ‘deaths caused by’ has had such a long trend of tearing people apart politically. It has been more about controlling the masses than about protecting them.
The modern day War on Drugs is not really a war ON drugs, but a war FOR pharmaceutical drugs and against people and our freedom to do with our bodies as we choose.
I recently heard a politician voice his concern over the validity of marijuana used medicinally. His argument against it was that since there is a pharmaceutical drug to treat all the ailments marijuana patients claim they use pot for, there is no need for the use of pot as a medicine. I wonder how much big-pharma had to put under his pillow to sell that line.
And unlike the booze laden ‘happy hour’ which lands upon the work weary most weekdays, the cannabis community must still gather in private quarters as they celebrate non-violent civil disobedience.
Cheers to the ‘pot party’ where cerebrally enhanced ideas flow and an abundance of good will and community is supported.