Over the years, hemp would come to be seen as an important part of American production. While they were part of the British colonies, it was seen as necessary to aid the strength of their navy. After the United States gained independence, hemp was still primarily seen as a valuable crop and the government encouraged its growth.
And while strains of hemp were grown for the purpose of smoking, there isn’t much evidence that George Washington intended to use hemp for anything other than the many useful products that could be cultivated from a harvest. There is no direct evidence that he ever engaged in smoking or consuming hemp for recreational or medicinal purposes.
Kentucky hemp farmer with his harvested hemp plants, 1942. Photo by Bobeocean CC BY-SA 4.0
Marijuana is bred to produce increasingly higher amounts of the psychoactive substance THC.
Oil from the seeds was used to create things like paints or varnishes. Overall, the plant was primarily looked at as a cash crop for all of its uses.
These bounties were what initially interested George Washington in growing hemp as a cash crop. The term cash crop means he was intending to sell the plants harvested instead of using them for his own self.
A cannabis leaf and a bottle of hemp oil
On top of that, the British, still seeing hemp as a necessity for their own naval strength, offered lucrative bounty programs in the hopes of gaining exports from American hemp farmers.
George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1797.
The marijuana legalization debate goes on within America, with both sides working diligently to achieve their own goals. Prohibitionists try to point to
John F. Kennedy would probably be considered a medical marijuana patient if he was alive today. Many of his biographies recount JFK’s marijuana use for dealing with severe back pain. One written account by a Washington Post reporter says that JFK smoked three joints in the White House one night with two colleagues. According to the written account, he refused a fourth joint asking, “What if the Russians did something now.”
In honor of President’s Day, let’s talk about every president of the United States that smoked weed!
Yes, you read that right. The father of the United States grew hemp. How do we know? He wrote about it himself in his meticulous diaries! In one entry, he notes that he began separating female and male plants, a practice still used in cannabis cultivation today. Another entry suggests that President George Washington used hemp as a medicine to battle toothaches.
President Taylor was another military man who smoked marijuana with the troops. He also seemed to understand the therapeutic benefits of the plants way before we started to study it ourselves.
Cannabis consumers know the plant can help spark ideas and creativity. James Madison agreed! He once said that hemp helped him have the insight to help create a new democratic nation. It sounds like all Americans owe weed a “thank you” for helping our founding fathers.
We have all heard Bill Clinton’s famous line he used in response to questions of marijuana use in his younger days. President Clinton claimed to have tried cannabis a couple times, but never inhaled. And he may not have been totally lying. According to Christopher Hitchens, a famed writer and college classmate of Bill Clinton, the President enjoyed pot brownies. Maybe President Clinton really didn’t inhale; he ate his marijuana instead!
The third and final military man on this list, Franklin Pierce was known to smoke marijuana with his troops during the Mexican-American War. He recounted his smoking habit in letters home, saying that being able to smoke hemp was the only good thing about the war.
You may be surprised by how 420 friendly some of our nation’s leaders were. Sure, we have all probably seen the photo of President Obama smoking a joint, but there are some on this list that might really surprise you.
George W. Bush was known for his college cocaine use more than marijuana. But President Bush indirectly admitted to smoking cannabis at some point in his life. He avoided all questions when it came to his pot use until after his Presidency. He finally said that he never answered inquiries about his pot use because he was worried kids might follow his example of experimentation.
Let’s talk about every president of the U.S. Presidents That Smoked Weed! You may be surprised by how 420 friendly some of our nation’s leaders were…