Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pilgrims, Indians and Cannabis

Cannabis came over to the Americas first to South and Central America by the Spanish and Portuguese. The first cannabis reported in North America was in 1606 by a Herbert, a French agriculturist that brought it to the Canadian colonies of what is now Nova Scotia.

King James the First gave a proclamation to the pilgrims in Jamestown Colony in 1611 to grow hemp. No record shows that Pilgrims brought cannabis over on the Mayflower. Most pilgrims originated from England and Holland where hemp in these Old World areas were well known for cultivating “state of the art” botanicals in the sixteen hundreds. Cannabis was part of early colonial New England life used for barter and fiber for many materials.(Source)

The Native American indians did not smoke cannabis in their peace pipes. The common smoking of choice was tobacco or kinnikinnick. Kinnikinnick was a mix of various leaves, mostly the bearberry leaves, being prevalent as much as 1000 years before tobacco was introduced to the Native Americans. Tobacco was believed by the Native Americans to float up to the Great Spirit carrying oaths and prayers. Cannabis for smoking was introduced in North America in the early 1900's when the Mexicans migrated north.(Source)


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