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In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing's army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.  One of the "differences" seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them. However, the first state law outlawing marijuana did so not because of Mexicans using the drug.

Oddly enough, it was because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church was not pleased and ruled against use of the drug. Since the state of Utah automatically enshrined church doctrine into law, the first state marijuana prohibition was established in 1915. (Today, Senator Orrin Hatch serves as the prohibition arm of this heavily church-influenced state.)  Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927).  DrugWarRant.com by Peter Guither.

Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT. A large paper company, which has been paying more than a million dollars a year in duties on foreign-made cigarette papers, now is manufacturing these papers from American hemp grown in Minnesota. A new factory in Illinois is producing fine bond papers from hemp. The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed.  It is generally believed that all linen is produced from flax. Actually, the majority comes from hemp—it is estimated that more than half of our imported linen fabrics are manufactured from hemp fiber. All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home- grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms.  Popular Mechanics, New Billion Dollar Crop, 1937

Cannabis and its preparations and derivatives are covered in the bill by the term "marihuana" as that term is defined in section 1, paragraph (b). There is no evidence, however, that the medicinal use of these drugs has caused or is causing cannabis addiction. As remedial agents, they are used to an inconsiderable extent, and the obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on their use as to prevent such use altogether. Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee.  

The American Medical Association has no objection to any reasonable regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. It does protest, however, against being called upon to pay a special tax, to use special order forms in order to procure the drug, to keep special records concerning its professional use and to make special returns to the Treasury Department officials, as a condition precedent to the use of cannabis in the practice of medicine. in the several States, all separate and apart from the taxes, order forms, records, and reports required under the Harrison Narcotics Act with reference to opium and coca leaves and their preparations and derivatives.  W.C. Williams, Legal Counsel, American Medical Association, July 10, 1937.

1916: This is the year William Randolph Hearst begins using his newspapers as a weapon against "marijuana." The enormous timber acreage and businesses of the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division stand to lose billions of dollars and perhaps go bankrupt. Bulletin 404 is a direct threat to his investments. No one in America knows that "marijuana" is "hemp" because it is Hearst himself who brings the word "marijuana" into the English language via his newspapers. The Spanish word for hemp is "canamo". But Hearst chooses the Mexican Sonoran colloquialism, "marijuana" which guarantees that no one will realize he is talking about the world's chief natural medicine and finest industrial resource. In its Bulletin 404 the USDA announces that 1 acre of hemp will produce as much pulp as 4.1 acres of trees and use 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to breakdown the lignin that binds the pulp fibers. http://www.whutaworld.com/2timeline.html

Murphy, Emily, THE BLACK CANDLE, Thomas Allen, 1922
Booth, Martin, CANNABIS: A HISTORY, Bantam Books, 2004
Mills, James, CANNABIS BRITANNICA: EMPIRE, TRADE AND PROHIBITION 1800-1928, Oxford University Press, 2003
Herer, Jack, THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES, AH HA Publishing, 1985
Deitch, Robert, HEMP- AMERICAN HISTORY REVISITED, Algora Publishing, 2003
Roulac, John, HEMP HORIZONS, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1997
Rosenthal, Ed, ed., HEMP TODAY, Quick American Archives, 1994
Robinson, Rowan, THE GREAT BOOK OF HEMP, Park Street Press, 1996
Bonnie, Richard + Whitebread, Charles H., THE MARIUANA CONVICTION: A HISTORY OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION IN THE UNITED STATES, University of Virginia Press, 1974
Gibson, Kenyon & Nick and Cindy MacKintosh, HEMP FOR VICTORY: HISTORY AND QUALITIES OF THE WORLD’S MOST USEFUL PLANT, Whitacker Publishing, 2006

International Hempology 101 Society

Cannabis Buyers' Clubs of Canada