Hemp has played a vital role in the history of America, and more so the world. The pilgrims sailed to America on ships rigged with tens of tons of hemp fabric, sails, ropes and rigging. Rope factories were in full swing in colonial days, as were laws imposed to not only encourage hemp farming, but mandate it cultivation and allow citizens to pay their taxes with hemp.
“Hemp/industrial hemp” and “marijuana” are two distinct varieties of the same plant species. “Hemp” is a fiber crop. “Marijuana” is a drug crop. However, these definitions have become confused in the last 60 years. Recently, a movement has begun to distinguish the terms again. It is important to understand the history of usage of these terms in order to eliminate the confusion.
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