If you have not read it yet, read my last post that contains the beginning of the story.

In the 1930’s the use of marijuana became linked with violence and crime in people’s mind. It was also associated with “racially inferior” and underclass communities such as mexican immigrants or black people.

In 1931, marijuana is forbidden in 29 states but still, people are concerned with the rising use of it and everyone is convinced it is related to the growing crimes and social problems. At this time, there is a lot of pression on the federal government to take action.

In 1936 a propaganda film called “Refer Madness” (sometimes also called “Tell your children”, produced by afrench director Louis Gasnier is released. This movie shows some people doing bad things after the consumption of marijuana. This movie is a part of a national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed”.

In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act is adopted by the congress. It is the result of a decade of intensive lobbying with a racist tone. It introduces a tax on everything that is related with hemp including importation, production, growth… but also on pharmacies, doctors and dentist that are prescripting hemp-based medecine.

The Marihuana Tax Act discouraged the use of hemp in almost all fields in the USA and the whole world followed.




How hemp and marijuana became illegal in the USA

If you read my previous articles you must now wonder why hemp is not more used nowadays for clothes, paper, gas…

It all starts in the USA. From the 17th century, the  government encourages the domestic production of hemp mainly for producting ropes, sails and clothes. In 1619 the Virginia Assembly even decided that every farmer had to grow hemp. After the Civil War, imports and other domestic materials replaced hemp for several purposes. Just before the 19th century, marijuana (hemp’s flower)  became to be used in medicinal products that were sold openly in pharmacies.

From 1900 to 1930, Mexican immigration started and the USA were flooded by waves of immigrants. Those Mexican immigrants introduced the American culture to the recreational use of marijuana.

A fear of marijuana progressively appeared in the USA. People were afraid of this drug that was associated with the Spanish-speaking immigrants. It was a time of massive unemployment and all of this increased the public resentment and fear of Mexican immigrants who were using marijuana. Crimes and marijuana became connected in people’s mind…

Stay tuned for the rest of the story next week.


How hemp and marijuana became illegal in the USA

Hemp oil

Hemp oil can be extracted from either hemp seeds or directly from the whole plant. Nowadays, hemp oil is only extracted from the industrial hemp which is a hemp variety cultivated specifically for industrial production.  This variety has the lowest concentration of THC which is the psychoactive substance that can get you high. Basically, hemp oil has no psychoactive properties.

The hemp oil has several uses: it can be used to make soap, paints and lubricants and also as a body care product. Indeed, hemp oil can be used as a substitute for petroleum in every petroleum-based skin and hair product.

Here is a few thing you can do with hemp oil:

  • Directly use it on your skin. It nourishes the skin and increases the blood circulation.
  • Use it for cooking but it should never be used in high heat cooking. It can be a substitute for olive oil in salad for instance.
  • Biofuel/biodiesel, as explained in a post several weeks ago.
  • Product more eco-friendly paints.

If you use hemp oil for cooking you must be aware of the side effect. Hemp oil may cause digestive problems if you abuse it. It also have effects on the blood which means that you should really avoid hemp oil if you have a blood clotting deficiency or other cardiac medical condition.

Hemp oil