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Answered 2011-09-12 20:43:53

In 1762, "Virginia awarded bounties for hempculture and

manufacture, and imposed penalties upon those who did not

produse it."

George Washington was growing hemp at Mount Vernon three years

later--presumably for its fiber, though it has been argued that

Washington was also concerned to increase the medicinal or

intoxicating potency of his marijuana plants.*

The asterisk footnote:

* The argument depends on a curious tradition, which may

or may not be sound, that the quality or quantity of marijuana

resin (hashish) is enhanced if the male and female plants are

separated *before* the females are pollinated. There can be no

doubt that Washington separated the males and the females. Two

entries in his diary supply the evidence:

May 12-13 1765: "Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp."

August 7, 1765: "--began to separate (sic) the Male from

the Female Hemp at Do--rather too late."

George Andrews has argued, in _The Book of Grass: An Anthology of

Indian Hemp_ (1967), that Washington's August 7 diary entry

"clearly indiactes that he was cultivating the plant for medicinal

purposes as well for its fiber." [7] He might have

separated the males from the females to get better fiber, Andrew

concedes--but his phrase "rather too late" suggests that he

wanted to complete the separation *before the female plants were

fertilized*--and this was a practice related to drug potency

rather that to fiber culture.

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Answered 2020-04-06 18:09:42


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