With the legalization of hemp on a federal level, many people are asking themselves just how it got banned in the first place. Now that the majority of people are realizing that hemp and marijuana are actually different plants, and that hemp was unfairly banned because the government took issue with its THC-filled cousin, some questions are coming up about what the deal was with the ban in the first place. To begin, we will need to address one very relevant truth: hemp was not always banned in America.
If you assumed that hemp has been banned forever, you would actually be incorrect. The truth is that hemp used to be a favored crop within America. In fact, all the way back in the 1700s, hemp was a major crop on American soil. The Founding Fathers actually had farmers growing a ton of hemp. At the time, banning hemp would have been an inconceivable thought to them. Sure, they didn’t mention hemp in any of the songs from Hamilton, but the revolutionary war was going on while farmers were growing hemp on the side. In fact, the Declaration of Independence is actually written on hemp paper!
What you might be surprised to learn is the fact that hemp wasn’t actually illegal for the majority of United States history. In fact, in the early 1900s, it was used to make all kinds of things. People found that it could be used to make paper, clothes, and Henry Ford even made an experimental car body out of it. For the first couple hundred years after the United States was founded, hemp was an amazing product that people were using with really great results.
If you are wondering how this could possibly have changed, the answer is the historical “War on Drugs” that came with a wide variety of new laws. In 1970, hemp was classified in the same way as marijuana. The Controlled Substances Act changed to classify marijuana, as well as hemp, as a Schedule I drug, which made it completely illegal. This carried on for literal decades with people petitioning all the while until just recently in 2018 when hemp was declassified as a Schedule I drug and people were allowed to use it once again. Now, we are living in a new hemp age and it is being used in a variety of ways all around the country from everything ranging from clothing to CBD production.
It is funny how we tend to assume that things that have been illegal or banned have always been that way, but the truth is that marijuana and hemp have been around for ages. All of the negativity surrounding these products is a fairly recent development that has been brought forth by a mass marketing campaign and changing laws. Fortunately, hemp is legal once again.