Marijuana has the distinction of being the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. It is now going mainstream, as evidenced by its legalization for recreational use in eight states and the District of Columbia. The vast majority of states allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Even though the drug is widely used, it is not necessarily widely understood. Here are some interesting facts about marijuana that most people do not know:
- The world’s first e-commerce transaction included a bag of marijuana. E-commerce began in 1972 when students at Stanford University involved in the school’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s ARPANET engaged in online selling involving marijuana.
- The term “marijuana” has a racist connotation. It was first used by Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, in reference to weed. He was attempting to associate the use of weed with Mexican immigrants in order to exacerbate the racist fears of American whites.
- Industrial hemp and marijuana plants belong to the same species. Marijuana plants produce the substance tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is the precursor to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in pot. Hemp plants, while belonging to the same species, do not have the genetic makeup to produce THC.
- Marijuana is very popular in the State of Colorado. In fact, there are more marijuana dispensaries in the state than there are Starbucks shops.
- Beer and marijuana are cousins. Hops are a major ingredient in beer brewing. Hops and marijuana belong to the same family of flowering plants.
- Studies have shown marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol and other drugs.
- Just as there are different names for different types of wine, there are nicknames for various strains of pot. These include “purple haze” and “green crack.”
- Pot isn’t as enviro-friendly as some people make it out to be. Lights for indoor growing consume a lot of energy. LED greenhouse-growing lights could help make the drug industry greener. Growing the crop outdoors is also a good solution, but the weather in most parts of the country won’t support year-round pot growth.
As marijuana use becomes more prevalent in the country, we’ll likely be hearing much more about it in the future.