Call it weed, cannabis, pot, green, tree, hash, chronic or smoke. The fact is marijuana has deeply embedded roots in Southern culture, especially southern appalachia of east Kentucky and east Tennessee.
I would like to start from the beginning if we may. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Southerners from colonial Virginia and early presidents, both grew hemp. It has been smoked by Southerners in Dixie for over 400 years but in 1937 unfortunately a heartless scalawag southerner named Robert L Doughton (1863 – 1954) also known as ‘Farmer Bob’ of Allegheny County, North Carolina, was born in the heart of Appalachia. Robert’s father was even a captain in the Confederacy. He is the one who started the ‘reefer madness.’ He introduced the Marijuana Stamp Act tax of 1937 which started Federal marijuana prohibition in the Empire. This act created a tax equal to roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt in hemp, or marijuana. The act did not itself criminalize the use or possession of hemp or marijuana, but it included a bizarre penalty and began the persecution of hemp and marijuana growers, seller and consumers. A violation of these laws could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to five years in prison. Two thousand dollars back in 1937 was a huge amount of money. Robert was greatly rewarded by the Empire for helping to make lies such as that only non-White males smoke it, which causes them to rape White women. This went on an on until the mid-60s. In rural Appalachia of eastern Kentucky people began coming back home with marijuana from Detroit, Chicago and the big cities of Ohio. Marijuana growing took off like wild fire. People were dirt poor and they could make so much more money off of marijuana then selling moonshine that ‘marijuana’ became apart of Appalachian culture and still is. Generations of growers of east Kentucky, east Tennessee, extreme southern Ohio, West Virginia, eastern Virginia, western NC, northwest SC, northern Georgia and northern Alabama taught the hippies in the 60s, the Deadheads of northern California, how to grow cross breed. They learned it from Southerners.
Let’s look at marijuana itself, the drug. The effects of marijuana are caused by cannabinoids. The most common known is the chemical substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – what gets people high. Marijuana has both psychological and physiological effects on the body. Because it is psychoactive, it is illegal in most of Dixie and only decriminalized in North Carolina and Mississippi, meaning if someone gets caught with it they get little or no jail time. Now no one on record for thousands of years has ever died of it or has been violent like someone on meth or someone addicted to big pharm pill. I’m sure most of y’all know at least one person in your life that smokes it and I bet you they are not a bad person. Some people like to drink beer. Some like scotch. Some like bourbon. Some like shine. And some just like to drink a Coke. Well, some folks like to smoke a joint or a bowl after working hard all week. Most of these people are not what the media portrays as idiotic vulgar gang-banging gangsters or brain-dead liberal hippies. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Many smokers are doctors, lawyers, pastors, coal miners, factory workers, teachers, etc . Most are God-fearing and are not much different than you or me.
Now I would like to talk too about cultivation of marijuana in Dixie. Tennessee and Kentucky together grow as much as California. And in southern Appalachia more pot is grown then anywhere in the Empire. California has legalised medical marijuana and basically anyone can get a medical card (Mexican, Russian, Honduran and Columbia mafia all have growers with cards). Now in Kentucky and Tennessee it is very different. It is not decriminalised in any way. In fact, the marijuana laws are quite extreme and inhumane. In most cases if you tick someone off and you get caught with a dime bag let’s just say your life is ruined. In many cases they will even throw you in prison – often bunking young adults with hardened criminals and pedophiles. Growers have been risking their lives for almost 50 years. Let’s be honest, way deep in east Kentucky it’s all about who you know. I know that for a fact. It’s like Mexico or something. The police know exactly who grows but if you get anyone on your bad side let’s just say there are some deep hollers and lakes out there. I love Dixie with all my heart but the laws on marijuana are the worst in the Empire thanks to Farmer Bob. This must stop. The only harm about marijuana is the laws.