The ‘drug wars’ of the twentieth century have often obscured the important uses of the marijuana plant, driven often by competing private interests, most notably big alcohol, big tobacco, and big pharma. Cannabis has been present in global society for over 12,000 years.
Hemp fiber was an important industrial resource used in paper, fishing nets, rope and clothing. Hemp has been an integral part of the United States since its founding, as the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, and the first flag was sewn with hemp fabric.
Ancient civilizations used the plant medicinally to treat a wide variety of ailments, and ritually as part of many religious ceremonies.