#1. Several presidents of USA have past associations with cannabis, but which was quite open about it when he declared, "When I was a kid, I inhaled. That was the point."?
Obama has talked several times about smoking marijuana, especially during his time at college.
George W. Bush hasn’t admitted smoking pot, but when secretly taped by one of his father’s aides, the unfortunately named Doug Wead, he said, “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana question. “You know why? ‘Cause I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
Clinton admitted to smoking marijuana while a student at Oxford University in UK, but continued by saying he didn’t like it and he didn’t inhale.
Reagan is the odd one out here as he was very anti pot, saying marijuana was “probably the most dangerous drug in the United States today” during his 1980 election campaign.
There are several tales regarding early presidents such as George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson talking of their pot smoking days, but whilst it is true that these men certainly grew hemp, the stories of them smoking it all seem to originated in the 1970s or later. In fact Thomas Jefferson’s supposed quote that “Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see” didn’t start circulating until the early 2000s and the non-profit organisation that runs Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia home, assert that the quote does not appear in any of Jefferson’s official writings, and first appeared online in 2008.
#2. In 1938, while under oath, the U.S. government's "official expert" on cannabis, Dr James Munch, asserted that marijuana had had what effect on him?
Between 1930 and 1962, the head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was Harry Anslinger, a man who, in order to portray marijuana in a bad light, regularly exaggerated its effects. He claimed that marijuana was “an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death”, a statement which was seized upon by defence lawyers as they claimed that their clients were temporarily insane and marijuana had diminished their ability to act responsibly.
In 1938, Dr Munch, while acting as expert witness for the FBN, admitted under oath to experimenting with the drug for purely scientific purposes and stated that, “After two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat.” He went on to testify that “he flew around the room and down a 200-foot-deep inkwell.”
Shortly after his bat testimony, Munch was barred by Anslinger from appearing as an expert witness.
#3. Since 1968, stoners everywhere have delighted in the adventures of Phineas, Fat Freddy, and Freewheelin' Franklin. By what collective name are these guys known?
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers first appeared in an underground newspaper in Austin, Texas in 1968 and became an immediate hit, being reprinted in similar publications throughout the USA.
The first compilation of their adventures, “The Collected Adventures of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” was published in 1971 and new adventures were published in magazines such as “High Times” and “Playboy”.
Although the comic strip had its heyday in the 1970s, it continues to be popular and in 2017, creator Gilbert Shelton published a new magazine, “Fifty Freakin’ Years with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”.
The trio are not actually siblings, as evidenced by their names, Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek, Phineas T. Phreak and Fat Freddy Freekowtski, but they are brothers in their pursuit of weed.
#4. "He causeth the grass for the cattle, and herb for the services of man." (Psalm 104:14) is a biblical passage used as a cornerstone of which religion known for marijuana consumption?
Marijuana is used in Rastafari reasoning sessions, communal meetings involving meditation where it assists in providing heightened feelings of community and helps produce visions of a religious and calming essence.
It is often referred to within the religion as “wisdom weed” or “holy herb” and before being used, the following prayer is said by all participants;
“Glory be to the father and to the maker of creation. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be World without end: Jah Rastafari: Eternal God Selassie I.”
#5. The first recipe for "edibles", or cannabis based food, is credited to Bartolomeo Platina circa 1465. What nationality was Platina?
Circa 1465, Platina, an an Italian Renaissance food connoisseur, began writing down popular recipes, which were eventually published in “De honesta voluptate et valetudine” (On honest indulgence and good health). This is credited with being the first cook book, and was published sometime between 1470 and 1475, being so popular that it was translated from its original Latin into French, German and Italian over the following years.
His edibles recipe is for a drink using cannabis or hemp flower products in “nard oil”, an essential oil derived from a flowering plant of the valerian family.
The English Translation of the recipe is:
“To make cannabis yourself known as flax for thread [the fibre hemp variety]
Use a mallet to crush clods [buds] collect after good harvest
Taken as food in wine or cake
Add cannabis to nard oil in an iron pot
Crush together over some heat [decarboxylated to convert any nonpsychoactive THCa to psychoactive THC] until juice
A health drink of cannabis nectar
Carefully treat food and divide for the stomach and the head
finally remember everything in excess may be harmful or criminal.”
#6. In 1969, which member of the Beatles was forced to miss the wedding of Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman due to him being arrested for marijuana possession?
Harrison and his wife Patti Boyd had their London home raided by police on March 12, 1969, the day that Paul and Linda married at Marylebone Town Hall.
The pair were arrested and although bailed the same day, this came too late for them to attend the McCartney’s wedding. At the court case later the same month, the Harrisons were found guilty of possession of cannabis and were each fined £250 as well as ten guineas each in costs.
The court heard how the man in charge of the raid, Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher had found 120 joints in Harrison’s house as well as a large block of hashish inside one of Harrison’s shoes, a claim which was always strongly denied by Harrison, saying, “I’m a tidy man. I keep my socks in the sock drawer and stash in the stash box. It’s not mine”.
Interestingly, Detective Sergeant Pilcher had, the previous year busted John Lennon for hashish and marijuana possession, resulting in a £150 fine and also managed to arrest Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones as well as Donovan, all for drugs possession.
In 1972, Pilcher was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after it was alleged he had committed perjury, and after being found guilty in 1973, served four years in prison.
#7. Bhang Lassi is a cannabis milk shake, very popular among tourists and locals alike. In which country could you find this drink?
Bhang Lassi has been traditionally used in religious ceremonies to connect men with The Great God, Shiva and be purified from their sins. It consists of cannabis buds, yoghurt or a mix of whole milk and coconut milk, mixed seeds such as cashew, pumpkin and melon, mixed spices such as ginger, black pepper and nutmeg and honey.
It is often drunk during the holidays of Shivatri in February and the Holi festival in March and became well known during the 1970s as travellers in search of enlightenment descended upon India and discovered the drink.
#8. In 2011, the prescription drug Nabiximols, containing the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) became available in UK under the trade name Sativex. Which disease is this primarily prescribed for?
Nabiximols, under its trade name Sativex has proved to be effective in relieving the pain of muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis. it is administered as an oral spray and can be used alongside a sufferer’s current anti-spasticity medication.
Since being introduced by the NHS (National Health Service) in UK, Nabiximols has also been approved for MS sufferers in many European countries including Spain, Germany, Sweden and Italy as well as in Canada.
#9. Cannabis and sport may not seem to go hand in hand, but several athletes including record breakers Avery Collins and Jenn Shelton have talked of the benefits of the drug. Which sport is associated with Collins and Shelton?
Let’s be clear here, we are talking about running while on cannabis, not drug running which is very bad and an altogether different thing. Both Collins and Shelton have compared cannabis use while running with the “runner’s high” experienced by ultramarathon competitors and although neither use the drug when competing due to strict anti-doping laws, both advocate its use during training.
It does seem quite a stretch from the generic stoner sat on a couch to an athlete who has completed over 30 ultramarathons as well as winning a 200-mile race through the Rocky Mountains in a time of 65 hours but that is exactly what Collins has done.
Athletes such as Collins and Shelton, who competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and triathlete Clifford Drusinsky advocate cannabis as a way to avoid fatigue or anxiety during long training runs, as well as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory medication during recovery periods.
There has not been much definitive research done to support these claims.
#10. In 2014, which country became the first in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume cannabis?
Prior to Uruguay’s legalisation, the laws were a bit of a muddle as cultivation and supply were illegal, but consumption was not. The reason for the change was brought about by 66-year-old Alicia Castilla, known as the “Reefer Grandmother”, who in 2011 was met at her home by 14 armed police officers, and arrested for the cultivation of cannabis. She insisted that the cultivation was for her personal use, not for supply, and as news of her arrest spread, along with the news that she faced up to ten years behind bars, so the protests grew throughout the country.
The cultivation of cannabis was finally legalised in 2014 and by July 2015, the laws were in full effect, with every citizen allowed to grow up to six plants once they had an easily available permit from the government.
Cannabis strains are limited and capped by the government and all legally available cannabis is not permitted to exceed a concentration of more than 9% THC. The demand continues to grow, with figures from 2019, just five years after legalisation, showing there were 36,487 registered recreational cannabis customers in the country.
The use of cannabis for recreational purposes became legal across Canada on 17 October 2018, making it the second country to legalise the herb.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis use is not legal in Netherlands, merely tolerated in specialist coffee shops while possession of up to 5 g is decriminalized, not legalised.