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Old 31 May 2008, 08:16 PM
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Icon24 Jefferson on hemp

Comment: "Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda,
smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see."
- Thomas Jefferson


Is this a real quote by Jefferson?
The pro-hemp lobby is using this quote left and right and I'm curious to
whether it's authentic or not?
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  #2  
Old 01 June 2008, 05:59 PM
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I think they heard that Jefferson and the other founders grew hemp(for ropemaking, mind you) and took it from there.
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  #3  
Old 05 June 2008, 01:42 AM
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I think the pro-pot crowd just made it up. Hemp is used for rope making, and Jefferson grew it for that purpose. There's no evidence that he ever made it into marijuana cigarettes and smoked them.


B. A. Rainey
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  #4  
Old 05 June 2008, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbrainey View Post
I think the pro-pot crowd just made it up. Hemp is used for rope making, and Jefferson grew it for that purpose. There's no evidence that he ever made it into marijuana cigarettes and smoked them.
Oh yeah? Well, I think the anti-pot crowd made it up. How do you like them apples?

I think dg61 is on the right track. Does anyone even refer to marijuana as hemp? Not in my day, though we're talking ancient history and I don't receive the lingo updates anymore.
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  #5  
Old 05 June 2008, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbrainey View Post
I think the pro-pot crowd just made it up. Hemp is used for rope making, and Jefferson grew it for that purpose. There's no evidence that he ever made it into marijuana cigarettes and smoked them.
I should hope not. There was no such thing as a cigarette then.
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Old 05 June 2008, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I should hope not. There was no such thing as a cigarette then.
That's right. He used a bong!
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  #7  
Old 05 June 2008, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
I think they heard that Jefferson and the other founders grew hemp(for ropemaking, mind you) and took it from there.
Iirc, the law mandated that farmers grew a certain amount of hemp, as it was a strategic product used for, among other things, rope, cloth and paper.

It was certainly known how to smoke it and it was a common enough recreational drug, one famous person doing that was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote most of his famous works while under the influence of the stuff.

In other words, it's not unreasonable to think that Jefferson did smoke it. If it's proven or not is another matter...
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Old 05 June 2008, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dg61 View Post
I think they heard that Jefferson and the other founders grew hemp(for ropemaking, mind you) and took it from there.
I can't remember where I read it, and I'm doubtful if it's true but there was a quote by either Jefferson or Washington where he described separating the male and female plants, not needed for making rope, but it would be for making marijuana.
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  #9  
Old 05 June 2008, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
It was certainly known how to smoke it and it was a common enough recreational drug, one famous person doing that was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote most of his famous works while under the influence of the stuff.
Actually, Troberg, Coleridge was an opium addict. He took the alcoholic tincture of opium, also known as laudanum, as a painkiller and became addicted.

I don't think I've ever heard any suggestion that he ingested hemp, or that his use was recreational.

ETA: Here's a cite
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  #10  
Old 05 June 2008, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I can't remember where I read it, and I'm doubtful if it's true but there was a quote by either Jefferson or Washington where he described separating the male and female plants, not needed for making rope, but it would be for making marijuana.
The quote is from Washington's diaries.
Quote:
August 7, 1765: "--began to seperate (sic) the Male from the Female Hemp at Do--rather too late."
Now, I do not know if that is a real quote from his diaries. I have seen it used in multiple spots, but I have no way to check to see if it is made up or an actual quote. If it is a real quote, it would seem to suggest that he was trying to grow smokable weed, rather than hemp.
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  #11  
Old 05 June 2008, 04:25 PM
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Franklin: Hey, Tom, don't...don't Bogart that joint, dude. Where were we?

Jefferson: Let's see...When in the course of human events [giggles] I'm hungry.

Franklin: Aw, yeah...that doesn't, you know, have a good, you know, like...

Jefferson: Ring...

Franklin: ...ring to it. Man, where'd you get those candles? Look at the colors!

Jefferson: No kidding, dude, I could eat a, a....

Franklin: Ground sloth.

[Both giggle, not noticing the Redcoats slipping into the room.]
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  #12  
Old 05 June 2008, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
The quote is from Washington's diaries.
Now, I do not know if that is a real quote from his diaries. I have seen it used in multiple spots, but I have no way to check to see if it is made up or an actual quote. If it is a real quote, it would seem to suggest that he was trying to grow smokable weed, rather than hemp.
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...@lit(mgw1b651))
The Library of Congress website has all of his diaries, and this quote checks out. But why does it suggest it's being used for smoking?
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  #13  
Old 05 June 2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...@lit(mgw1b651))
The Library of Congress website has all of his diaries, and this quote checks out. But why does it suggest it's being used for smoking?
What other reason would you separate male and female plants? The purpose of separating the males from the females is to prevent pollination of the females and to prevent seeding, which increases the levels of active ingredient in the plant.
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Old 05 June 2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banrion View Post
What other reason would you separate male and female plants? The purpose of separating the males from the females is to prevent pollination of the females and to prevent seeding, which increases the levels of active ingredient in the plant.
Could be cultivating a plant with a stronger fiber, as well.
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  #15  
Old 05 June 2008, 05:08 PM
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Maybe the implication is that separating the sexes of the plant means the purpose is for drug use. (If I recall correctly, the female is the one that produces what people would be smoking and its buds stop producing when they become fertilized by nearby males. No?) There are plenty of other possibilities for why a farmer would want to separate males and females of any plant, though. In particular, from the quotes on Steve's page (you've got to include that last parenthesis), it seems he was interested in breeding different varieties of the plant so it would be a prudent thing to do even if he weren't trying to pick the drug. Here's a quote about the process:
Quote:
Hemp normally is dioecious having both staminate (male) and pistillate (female) plants, each with distinctive growth characteristics. Staminate plants are tall and slender with few leaves surrounding the flowers, while pistillate plants are short and stocky with many leaves at each terminal inflorescence (Figure 1.). Staminate plants senesce and die soon after their pollen is shed, while pistillate plants remain alive until the seeds mature. Relatively stable monoecious varieties have been developed through breeding and selection.
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/sb/sb681/

So it looks like he was probably just being a good farmer.
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  #16  
Old 05 June 2008, 06:55 PM
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It is not the separation of males and females that indicates smokable weed to me, it is his comment that he did it too late. That would mean that he was afraid of pollination, not just that he did not want to take up space with inferior males that could be used for females instead. I have not seen any sort of information that suggests seedless hemp is somehow better than hemp with seeds. Not wanting to lower crop output by having males that yeild less hemp than females per plant I can see, but not wanting seeds for next years crop?
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  #17  
Old 06 June 2008, 12:05 AM
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I think without further info it would jumping to conclusions to ascribe a reason to the "rather too late" comment. Farming is all about timing.
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  #18  
Old 06 June 2008, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
It is not the separation of males and females that indicates smokable weed to me, it is his comment that he did it too late. That would mean that he was afraid of pollination, not just that he did not want to take up space with inferior males that could be used for females instead. I have not seen any sort of information that suggests seedless hemp is somehow better than hemp with seeds. Not wanting to lower crop output by having males that yeild less hemp than females per plant I can see, but not wanting seeds for next years crop?
If he was trying to breed certain desirable characteristics, he wouldn't want natural pollination to occur. This is why horticulturists sometimes protect blossoms with plastic baggies both before and after controlled pollination, to avoid accidentally allowing pollen from undesirable varieties to contaminate the process.

And, while we're on the subject let's not forget, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." - Dorothy Parker (Not that this has any relevance whatsoever, but I can't use the word horticulturist without thinking of this quote.

ETA The above quote was not in any, way shape or form intended as a comment on any of the previous discussion or posters!
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  #19  
Old 06 June 2008, 02:34 PM
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Well, I don't know if our founding fathers did or didn't actually get high, but I like to imagine that they did. And I like to imagine it looked a little bit like this. A little NFBSK, but mostly for language.
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  #20  
Old 06 June 2008, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I think without further info it would jumping to conclusions to ascribe a reason to the "rather too late" comment. Farming is all about timing.
Why do you assume I haven't thought about it?

If by timing you mean that he would not now have been able to plant more seeds to attempt to replace the males with females, that is unlikely. Hemp has a pretty long sprouting season so it is unlikely a few days or even weeks would affect that. If the timing was that narrow most farmers would not gamble on losing half their crop by pulling males that they may not be able to replace, because while males may yield less per plant, they do still yield some.

In fact, if you are growing from seeds then pulling males would not make sense anyway, because even if you do plant more seeds to replace them there is no way of knowing whether those seeds are male or female. You could end up with nearly the same amount of males again. Better to just stick with what you have.
The only way the "rather too late" quote makes sense is if pollination is his concern. At least to me; if you have some other interpretation I would love to hear it. But please, if you do, offer it, don't just assume that I am thoughtlessly supporting the notion that he was a smoker. (And honestly; even if my interpretation is correct, it says nothing about whether he smoked it himself. Only that he was attempting to produce smokable weed which may have been just as much for market as the non-smokable hemp.)
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