The History of Hemp Prohibition in the US

Learn about the history of hemp prohibition in the US and why it was made illegal in 1937 with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act.

The History of Hemp Prohibition in the US

Hemp production was outlawed in the United States in 1937, with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act. As reported by PBS, this law made it difficult for farmers to cultivate hemp, and is considered by the Hemp Industries Association as the beginning of the hemp ban. Conspiracy theorists suggest that certain industries financed disinformation campaigns to make way for new technologies to replace hemp. In addition to prohibitive legislation, corporate interests have also played a role in the prohibition of hemp.

Despite this, there are still strict restrictions on hemp, as the DEA continues to recognize it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance and oversees some aspects of hemp cultivation. HEMP for Victory is a 14-minute black and white film designed to encourage farmers to grow hemp. Hemp is used for practical purposes, from clothing to concrete, whereas marijuana has no practical uses. Although marijuana and hemp have different chemical properties, the two varieties of the cannabis plant look and smell the same.

William DuPont, who was dedicated to creating chemicals that allowed the production of paper from wood, was threatened by hemp. He published made-up stories in his newspapers telling stories about the dangers of cannabis. Despite this fact, it's important to note that state departments of agriculture and the USDA will continue to regulate hemp production. Less than a year later, John Birrenbach, the founder of The Institute for Hemp, recovered a copy of the National Archives from the Federal Narcotics Office (FBN), which had previously banned marijuana but encouraged the cultivation of hemp during World War II. HEMP is cultivated for its fibers and health-promoting compounds called cannabinoids, unlike marijuana which has no practical uses.

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