America, Cannabis, and Freedom—Part One: The Founding Fathers
America, cannabis, and freedom: three things that Everyday Cannabis cherishes more than words can describe—it would only make sense to write our first blog about them. Although America's love and adoration of the concept of freedom isn't anything new or unheard of, the inclusion of cannabis into the mix isn't always accepted in typical thought patterns. Thankfully, Everyday Cannabis is not a normal company and often (sometimes quite proudly) does not embrace normal paradigms—especially ones limiting freedom such as cannabis prohibition. We consider ourselves to be nonconformist to the modern authoritarian political agendas and see our participation in the cannabis industry as an act of counter-culture. We believe mainstream (anti-cannabis) culture to be a sad and immoral result of calculated propaganda campaigns and crony capitalism. All of us at Everyday Cannabis take cannabis and freedom seriously and believe that access to legal cannabis is actually a form of freedom. We feel that cannabis prohibition infringes upon various fundamental natural human rights such as access to nature and freedom of consciousness. We're super psyched to be in the middle of a new "green revolution" in which cannabis is once again becoming a huge part of American culture, much like it was 240+ years ago prior to America's authoritarian takeover and subsequent national cannabis prohibition policies. The modern green revolutionaries; much like the revolutionaries key to America's formation, are pushing against corrupt systems and blazing a path to positive change.
The Founding Fathers
We feel as if our Founding Fathers would agree with our staunch devotion to the rights of the individual. Every aspect of the American Constitution is focused on maximizing the freedom of the American people and minimizing the reach of government. The Federal government our libertarian Founders envisioned and created was necessary for the defense and maintenance of freedom via a minarchist system of oversight. This system of oversight included a Supremacy Clause within the Constitution intended to secure Constitutional protections of freedom throughout the entirety of the country. States were essentially allowed the capacity to self-govern, providing they operated within the boundaries of the Constitution.
Cannabis was very much a factor in all of this. Prior to gaining independence from Britain, the colonists were forced to grow cannabis for export and use by their foreign masters. The authoritarian British processed colonial cannabis into ropes, fabric, and paper—often using these products to further tread on their American underlings. The slave/exploited labor force present throughout colonial America allowed low cost cannabis cultivation and harvesting, eventually leading to a cannabis surplus. Colonial American cannabis processing facilities began to emerge—making essentials such as cloth for sails and clothing, rope (used extensively in shipping), and paper—all products which would all eventually be used against their foreign oppressors. Early drafts of both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were likely written on hemp paper. There is no doubt that some of the profits from the pre-revolutionary American cannabis industry were used to purchase arms that would later be used against the tyrannical British. Here's a little bit about some of our Forefathers and their relationships with cannabis:
George Washington and Cannabis
We like the above quote because we feel that we are fulfilling a moral duty by promoting cannabis normalization since cannabis has been both anecdotally and scientifically associated with human happiness. Our mission of promoting cannabis normalization and acceptance is driven by our desire to seek positive meaning from life through a moral existence—which makes us feel a sense of "happiness".
During the Revolutionary War, George Washington quite possibly wore a uniform made from cannabis and fought under a flag made of cannabis. He liked cannabis so much that he grew it on all five of his farms making up Mount Vernon. Some people have hypothesized that Washington was a fan of smoking cannabis because of his numerous quotes referencing the separation of male and female cannabis plants such as,
"Began to seperate the Male from the Female hemp at Do.—rather too late."
"Began to pull Hemp at the Mill and at Muddy hole—too late for the blossom Hemp by three Weeks or a Month."
Our favorite George Washington quote is,
“In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.”
George Washington is considered to have had a genius level intellect.
Thomas Jefferson and Cannabis
We like the quote above because we feel that it's better to have "dangerous" freedoms (such as legal access to cannabis) more than "peaceful" compliance to tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson was a huge fan of cannabis. He grew it at both his Monticello and Poplar Forest plantations. President Jefferson, in 1809, signed a patent for a cannabis processing machine. James Madison, acting as Secretary of State, also signed the patent. Here are a few of our favorite Thomas Jefferson quotes,
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”
and of course...
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
Thomas Jefferson is also thought to have been a genius.
John Adams and Cannabis
We like this quote because we feel that; as a new cannabis company, we're better off losing in our efforts of promoting cannabis acceptance and normalization, than not trying to change something that we believe to be immoral. We love America— and we are trying to make it better for everyone.
John Adams was America's first vice-president, second president, and a passionate hemp farmer. One of his most famous hemp quotes is:
"We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption."
Here are a few other great and famous John Adams quotes:
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
James Madison and Cannabis
We like this quote above because it makes us remember how this country was started, and the type of libertarian thinkers who started it. We believe that history needs to be as truthful as possible, because it is so often undermined and manipulated.
James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was a cannabis grower who also drafted the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, earning him the nickname, "Father of the Constitution." Some of our favorite President Madison quotes are:
“The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”
“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance.”
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits
it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.”
and of course...
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
James Madison is thought to have been one of America's smartest presidents ever- with an estimated IQ of 160 (another genius).
Benjamin Franklin and Cannabis
The Benjamin Franklin quote above speaks to us in the sense that America is currently in a state of war against drugs, and that modern revolutionaries are challenging the Government's war machine and deciding a different, better way forward.
Benjamin Franklin is easily one of Everyday Cannabis's favorite Founding Fathers. He is the only person to have signed all four of the documents that helped to create the United States: the Declaration of Independence (1776); the Treaty of Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France (1778); the Treaty of Peace between England, France, and the United States (1782); and the Constitution (1787). While we adore George Washington: the warrior; we love and cherish Ben Franklin: the philosopher, scientist, and inventor. Unlike many other Founding Fathers, Franklin was an active abolitionist later in life after making his fortunes as a printer and owner of a factory which made paper from cannabis. He strongly opposed authoritarianism and deeply valued freedom- especially the open exchange of ideas and speech. The pro-cannabis organization NORML goes so far as to credit Benjamin Franklin's passion for the exchange of ideas as the basis of their existence saying that is was, "Ben Franklin’s brilliant organizational legacy that led directly to NORML." in a blog titled Benjamin Franklin Invented NORML (and the marijuana law reform movement)!. Some of our favorite Benjamin Franklin quotes are:
"Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins."
"Thus may the first Principles of sound Politics be fixed in the minds of youth."
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
"But our great security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth; ... unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit ...; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you."
"I think opinions should be judged of by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me."
None of us at Everyday Cannabis can imagine a situation in which Benjamin Franklin (another genius, btw) would support the viciousness and authoritarianism so paramount to the modern anti-drug paradigm in America. He would; in our opinion and supported by his quotes and actions, support cannabis and freedom as a staple of everyday American life. We feel the same way about many of the other Founding Fathers.
We can only guess that the thought of cannabis prohibition never entered the minds of the Founding Fathers. Why would anyone want to outlaw such a beneficial aspect of nature? We'll cover the events that led to some of the most egregious violations of personal cannabis freedom in our next blog post. Sadly; common with so many aspects of American history, strong aspects of racism and propaganda are involved.
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