FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Did George Washington Smoke Pot?

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

Did George Washington raise hemp? Did he smoke it? Was he gay?

The easy answers are definitely, probably, and maybe.

The questions arise with pre-publication of the shocking satire PASSIONS OF THE PATRIOTS by “Thomas Paine,” which opens with Le General in the hemp-filled embrace of his beloved Marquis de Lafayette.

As Washington’s February 22 birthday approaches, his personal habits say much about today’s America.

Like virtually every Revolutionary farmer, the Father of Our Country grew prodigious quantities of hemp. It was (is) a profitable cash crop, easy to grow, with scant demands for cultivation, watering or fertilizing. As a hardy perennial, it needs no year-after-year replanting, nor pesticides or herbicides.

Early American farmers used cannabis for cloth, rope, sails, paper and much more. At various times its cultivation has been mandatory. Kansas was virtually carpeted with it during World War Two. In today’s conversion to a Solartopian economy, the cellulose of its stems and leaves, and the oil from its seeds, could be essential for green ethanol and bio-diesel fuels.

Washington and his fellow planter/presidents Tom Jefferson and James Madison would be astonished to hear that hemp is illegal. These early chief executives would certainly have told President Obama that a re-legalized cannabis crop would mean billions of dollars in desperately needed farm revenue throughout the United States.

As for smoking, I know of no significant communication among the Founders extolling their “great weed.”

But in one of his meticulous agricultural journals, dated 1765, Washington regrets being late to separate his male hemp plants from his females. For a master farmer like George, there would be little reason to do this except to make the females ripe for smoking.

The medicinal uses of cannabis were known to the ancient Chinese. Thousands of years later, it’s inconceivable American growers would not indulge in its recreational powers.

As for Washington’s sexual preferences, his marriage to Martha was sometimes suspect. Historians joke that he did not marry her for her money, but rather for her stocks, bonds, land and slaves. In a letter to a friend, he complained that there was “not much fire between the sheets.”

Ben Franklin, the ultimate liberal, loved so many women he joked that the great miracle in his life was that he contracted no related diseases. Tom Jefferson impregnated his slave mistress Sally Hemings as many as seven times. From Andrew Jackson to Bill Clinton, American presidents have been infamous for their sexual dalliances.

George Washington did not lack for female companionship. But his deepest affections may have been for his fellow warriors. His beloved brothers in arms included Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. Both were married with children, but both excited his strongest comradely devotion.

That the general had no biological children of his own may have been due to a fever early in his life that could have rendered him sterile.

Or maybe not. It’s hard to imagine a gay George Washington in the 1790s. But in the 1990s, things might have been different.

The modern anti-choice assault, including California’s Proposition 8, flies in the face of all Washington and the Founders dreamed of for this nation.

Today’s Puritannical “sunshine patriots” seem hell-bent on running our personal lives. But America has NEVER been about that.

Let them contemplate an image of our first president, fresh from the battlefields and the hemp fields, desperate to marry his fellow winter soldier.

HARVEY WASSERMAN’s HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.harveywasserman.com, as is PASSIONS OF THE PATRIOTS by “Thomas Paine”. This article was originally published by http://freepress.org.

=

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

More articles by:
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Bluffing, He’ll Deport 11 Million People
Kent Paterson
Death in a Shopping Aisle: Jonathan Sorensen’s Fatal Encounter with Kmart
Clancy Sigal
Trump’s Rasputin: What the Donald Learned From Roy Cohn
Lisa Sullivan
Venezuela’s Crisis From Up Close
Manuel E. Yepe
Think Tanks and the US Power Elite
Kathleen Wallace
$25 vs $30, Hats Off to the Two-Party System!
Terry Simons
Mob Politics: the Democrats Have a Problem and It’s Not the Sandernistas
Franklin Lamb
U.S. Financial Regulations Increase Starvation Among Syria’s Children
James Cronin
The Pope and Mercy: the Catholic Church has not Abandoned Its 400 Year War on Science
Linn Washington Jr.
Islamophobia on the Rise in England
Thomas Mountain
25 Years of Struggle Building Socialism in Eritrea; Fighting the Cancer of Corruption
David Wilson
Who Speaks for the Refugee Children of Calais?
Michael Welton
Terry Eagleton: the Cheeky Marxist
David Mattson
Disserving the Public Trust: the Despotic Future of Grizzly Bear Management
Rick Sterling
Bernie Comes to Vallejo
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail