Until the 20th century, there was no debate about the value of hemp and its derivatives. They used paper made from hemp to print the King James Bible and cloth made from hemp to sew the American flag. Doctors routinely prescribed medicines made from hemp oil to treat a variety of illnesses. Although the plant was freely available and the authorities actually encouraged its cultivation, there was never a drug problem, real or imagined, associated with its use. What changed and why?
The beginning of the end came for both hemp fiber and medical marijuana in 1930 with the formation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. During his first years of tenure, the director of the FBN, Harry J. Anslinger was more interested in creating and enforcing laws related to the distribution and use of opiates. In 1934, however, he changed his tune and under his orders,