Something that was treasured – NOT growing was an offence, an essential part of making homes. How did 4 centuries later, thousands get fined and sent to prison?
- Facts About Hemp – Used today by 100’s of manufacturers but remains illegal
- Hemp 100% Organic V CottonResponsible for 50% of Global Chemical use
- 10th century – utilised for its durable fibre to make textiles and ropes,
- 1271: The first reports of cannabis being used as a psychoactive drug in Europe
- 1533: a hemp cultivation Law – Must Grow – quarter of an acre for every 60 acres
- 17th Century- 1670: Robert Knox, an East India Company merchant, discovered the anti-sickness properties of cannabis
- 18th Century – Indica and Sativa Classified by Botanist
- 19th Century – No Homegrown- All Imported
- 1901: a Royal Commission concluded that cannabis is relatively harmless and not worth prohibiting,
- 1925: Britain signed the Geneva International Convention on Narcotics Control
- 1928: Britain introduced the Dangerous Drugs Act. Cannabis, including hemp crops, were criminalised.
- 1928 – 21st Century – Cannabis becomes “Marijuana” akin to Cocaine Millions arrested for possession and “Illicit” Sales
How Cannabis AKA Hemp is used today
10th century. Cannabis seeds were found in a well of what once was a Viking settlement in Micklegate, York. It is believed that the plant was utilised for its durable fibre to make textiles and ropes, but there are no sources that confirm or deny the use of cannabis for its psychoactive properties.
1271: The first reports of cannabis being used as a psychoactive drug in Europe, where Marco Polo told stories of Hasan ibn al-Sabbah and his assassins using hashish, or hash, which is made from compressed trichomes in the cannabis plant.
16th century: The golden age of hemp in Britain the reign of Henry VIII saw a hemp heyday in Britain.
1533: a hemp cultivation law was introduced and it was declared that those with land must dedicate a quarter of an acre for every 60 acres to grow hemp, or they would face a fine. This hemp fibre was then used to produce durable and rot-resistant sails, rope, and nets for the navy.
17 & 18th century: most accounts of medical cannabis use in Britain were from the diaries of voyagers who learned about the plant’s therapeutic wonders when abroad.
1670: Robert Knox, an East India Company merchant, discovered the anti-sickness properties of cannabis when in the Sri Lankan kingdom of Kandy. He met with Robert Hooke in 1689 to obtain a sample of the plant, which he called the “intoxicating leaf and seed” that was “accounted wholesome, though for a time it takes away the memory and the understanding”.
1753: the cannabis plant was formally classified as Cannabis sativa by the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus.
1785 A second species of cannabis was then described by Jean-Baptiste Lamark, called Cannabis indica. The two strains differ in their cannabinoid content and physiological effects on the body; industrial hemp, in particular, is a class of Cannabis sativa with low levels of the psychoactive compound, THC.
1800s: Though hemp was still used in small-scale farming, it became cheaper for it to be imported from overseas. Soon, much of the machinery used to make hemp fibre was shipped abroad, and local hemp textile production was lost.
1840s. William O’Shaughnessy first introduced Cannabis, as a medicine to Britain. He witnessed first-hand the positive medical applications of hemp while treating cholera patients in India.
1890: Cannabis was believed to have been prescribed to the Queen Victoria to relieve her menstrual cramp by Sir J. Russell Reynolds, her doctor.
1900s: Cannabis went from a treasured plant to a demonised drug.
1901: a Royal Commission concluded that cannabis is relatively harmless and not worth prohibiting, but the political events that followed completely disregarded this statement. In the US, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 kickstarted a series of drug restrictions enforced by Western governments. By 1920, the UK had made opium and cocaine illegal, but cannabis was not considered dangerous enough to be added to the list.
1925: Britain signed the Geneva International Convention on Narcotics Control. Egypt and Turkey requested for cannabis to be added to the list of controlled substances. This was the first time that cannabis fell victim to global drug controls.
1928: Britain introduced the Dangerous Drugs Act. Cannabis, including hemp crops, were criminalised. The nation saw a sudden rise in cannabis prosecutions. However, there was a little known relaxation during WWII as the UK needed canvas and rope to supply the armed forces.
By 1950: there were more prosecutions for cannabis in the UK than for opium and other manufactured drugs combined. Ironically, this was mirrored by a rise in recreational cannabis use by middle-class, Western citizens. In retaliation, governments began to crack down on cannabis restrictions in the 60s.
1961: The United Nations Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs treaty was organised and cannabis was said to have the same risk to public health as opiates and cocaine, and the World Health Organisation claimed that it had ‘no medical value’.
1965: In the UK, cannabis convictions rose by 79%.
1971: US President Nixon declared the ‘war on drugs’ in 1971, the United Nations estimated that there were between 200 million and 250 million global cannabis users. The UK soon followed in the footsteps of the US in their approach to drug policy; cannabis was classified as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – it became illegal to grow, produce, possess, or supply cannabis.
1988: the endocannabinoid system was discovered and researchers were learning more and more about the effects of cannabis on the body;
1990: CB1 receptors discovered
1993: CB2 receptors discovered
1993: Hemp was re-legalised, provided the grower had a Home Office license and the THC content of the plant was below 0.2%.
1997: The Independent newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalise cannabis.
2001: The Home Secretary at the time, David Blunkett, announced that cannabis would be reclassified from class B to class C.
2009: fears of a link between cannabis use and psychosis prompted the government to move the drug back into class B.
2016: legalisation of CBD for its medicinal properties.
2018: in November, the UK government changed legislation to permit the prescription of cannabis. But during this time, only three NHS cannabis prescriptions have been given on the NHS.
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