Like the old advertisement said, we’ve come a long way, baby. Just a few years ago, marijuana was the outlaw drug, blacklisted for sale and consumption by the state and federal government. Today, according to Governing, the District of Columbia and 26 other states have legalized pot in one form or another. The plant has grown to become a useful and accepted part of American society according to statistics. What are some of the other surprising facts about cannabis that you might not know?
Did You Know These Surprising Facts About Weed?
- Marijuana is one of the world’s oldest plant crops. Scientists date its usage back to 6,000 years ago. It’s been used for fiber, food, paper, and oil. In 2700 BC, the Chinese were using the plant to treat rheumatic pain, malaria, and “female disorders.”
- The Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2014 that said seven of every 10 Americans believe alcohol consumption is more harmful than eating or smoking marijuana.
- Ironically, the federal government still lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which means it’s not only illegal to consume the plant, but it’s on the same list as heroin as having no beneficial or medical use. USA Today reported as recently at 2016, that the feds are still refusing to acknowledge the growing scientific evidence that shows pot cures disease.
- To add to the irony, voters in the District of Columbia passed one of the most expansive legal marijuana laws in the nation, allowing limited recreational and personal use, along with growing, and medical sales. Given that the men and women who line the halls of Congress most often hang out in Washington, D.C., this is an ironic tidbit that will make you either chuckle or roll your eyes.
- True to form, Congress added a clause this year to an appropriations bill that blocked the District from spending any money on reducing the penalties tied to the sale, possession, or use of pot.
- According to Mother Jones, 22 million pounds of pot will be legally grown this year. 80% of all of this weed comes from five states: California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Washington.
- One-third of the legal U.S. marijuana crop that will be harvested this year will have been grown indoors.
- The pot business has grown so fast, it’s putting a strain on our electrical grid. Fortune reports that indoor growers now account for one percent of all national electrical costs at a cost of $6 billion annually. The next closest industry-wide energy consumer is big pharma at $1 billion annually. Remember this the next time you complain about the cost of that smoke!
- Today, pot is being prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety, depression, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress, and a host of other disorders.
- Florida still has the harshest penalties for growing marijuana; less than 25 plants is a felony and will get you five years in prison.
Love it or hate it, the fact remains that marijuana is a useful plant that human beings have been cultivating for centuries.