The Prohibition of Hemp in the United States: A Historical Overview

Hemp production was declared illegal 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 produce hemp, a plant that is cultivated for its fibers and health-promoting compounds called cannabinoids. Hemp is also used for practical purposes, from clothing to concrete, whereas marijuana has no practical uses. Conspiracy theorists believe that certain industries financed disinformation campaigns to open a path for new technologies to replace hemp.

Unfortunately, despite the clear distinction between marijuana and hemp, the propaganda of the 1930s is still based on the view that people have about hemp. The DEA, in this recognition, explained that hemp includes both hemp plants and cannabidiol, which do not contain more than 0.3% THC. There is speculation that hemp was banned because it looks the same as marijuana, but based on their chemical differences, it's clear that the two are not the same thing. Although hemp offered enormous economic value, there was nothing that could be done to overturn the 1937 judgment. In the 1930s, new industries such as cotton, synthetic plastics, liquor and wood were able to replace hemp.

Hearst and William DuPont were threatened by hemp because they had a strong interest in using wood to produce paper. William DuPont, who was dedicated to creating chemicals that allowed the production of paper from wood, was also threatened by hemp. Making it even more difficult to grow hemp, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 placed hemp in the same category as marijuana. Today, hemp is slowly being re-legalized in many states across the US. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and allowed states to regulate its production and sale.

This has opened up a new market for hemp-based products such as CBD oil and other health supplements. Hemp is also being used for industrial purposes such as paper production and construction materials. The prohibition of hemp in 1937 was a major setback for farmers and businesses alike. Despite its potential economic value, it was impossible to overturn this decision due to misinformation campaigns and powerful industries that sought to replace it with their own products. Fortunately, with recent changes in legislation, hemp is slowly being re-legalized across many states in the US.

Lloyd Pintello
Lloyd Pintello

Incurable pizza nerd. Coffee lover. Wannabe web enthusiast. General music lover. Infuriatingly humble sushi evangelist.