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Did George Washington smoke pot?

Posted by ROBERT KOSSACK on

Did George Washington smoke pot?  Dis George Washington smoke weed?  Did George Washington smoke marijuana?  No matter how you ask the question, the answer seems to be yes.  Read on.

George Washington was the first President of the United States and the “Father of Our Country.”  Representative Henry Lee III of Virginia said of Washington at the time of his death that he was, "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

Washington was a great man, especially since he declined to hold on to power after the Revolutionary War, and he failed to hang on to the presidency setting the precedent of a two term limit that lasted until World War II.

Obviously, if Washington smoked marijuana, it didn't effect his ability to run a country.  So let's explore Washington's life and writings in seeking to answer the question of whether it is more likely than not that George Washington smoked pot.

Washington grew cannabis like every other farmer. Here is a painting of Mount Vernon after the hemp harvest.

And here is a painting of Washington standing between his harvested hemp plants and his hemp plants still growing in the field.  In 1770, there was no prejudice against cannabis. It could have been hemp for fiber or marijuana for smoking. No one would have cared.  The hemp in this picture looks like it was being grown for fiber because the plants are planted close together to cause them to grow tall and without side leaves.

In 1611, King James I ordered his subjects in Virginia to grow hemp because the English Navy was starved for hempen rope and sails.

In 1633, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed Act VIII requiring “every planter as soone as he may, provide seede of flaxe and hempe and sowe the same.”

In 1660, Virginia Company Governor William Berkeley offered two pounds of tobacco for every pound of hemp the colonists brought to market.

The cannabis sativa Washington grew for hemp fiber was probably too low in THC to get you high.  Cannabis sativa potent in THC is now widely available in marijuana dispensaries, but potent THC strains of cannabis sativa may not have been available to the English colonists.  May as well say it now, Washington's biggest fault is that he owned slaves.  More on that later.

Although lacking in THC, the flowering parts of Washington’s cannabis sativa hemp crop would probably have been rich in cannabidiol (CBD).  Smoking Washington’s hemp flowers may have provided therapeutic relief of the type attributed to cannabis since ancient times.

Legendary Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung included the medical benefits of cannabis in a book written in 2737 BCE, and traditional Chinese medicine lists cannabis as one of its 50 "fundamental herbs."

Egyptologists believe the Ebers Papyrus dates from 1550 BCE.  Its writings prescribe cannabis to ease inflammation.

Examination of Egyptian mummies has revealed the use of hemp suppositories to relieve hemorrhoidal pain.

More than 3,500 years later, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant properties were cited by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in its patent application for synthetic CBD. CBD extracted from hemp cannot be patented as it is a natural substance.

This is a conte of Swiss botanist Carl Linnaeus who in the 1750's invented the method scientists use to classify plants and animals.

The argument Washington never grew cannabis high in THC relies on Carl Linnaeus assigning the name “cannabis sativa” to hemp plants grown in Europe solely for their fiber and seed. The error in this argument is that Washington’s hemp seed did not all come from Europe.

This is a lithograph of French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who in the 1780's developed the theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics. Lamarck was the first to classify psychoactive varieties of hemp grown in India as “cannabis indica.”

Washington valued cannabis indica seeds imported from India, and the proof is found in his August 17, 1794 letter to William Pearce who managed his Mount Vernon farms.  Washington wrote Pearce,

Washington was growing cannabis indica seed imported from the marijuana capital of the world, India.  This only makes sense if he was growing recreational marijuana.

If we explore Washington's life, his smoking marijuana should come as no surprise.

Everything about Washington’s personal history is consistent with his propensity to experiment with psychoactive substances.  He was born into a family with a long established membership in Virginia’s landed gentry.

Seen here with his father, Augustine Washington, George came from a long line of land and slave holders, most of whom were involved in Virginia politics.  George Washington’s great grandfather, Lt. Col John Washington, first emigrated to Virginia from England in 1656 and married the daughter of a wealthy land owner.

Washington’s father was a partner with the Principio Company operating one of the first iron furnaces in the South that was built on land he owned near iron deposits along Acokeek Creek.  This painting shows young George Washington peeking at the furnace from behind his father.

In 1743 when George Washington was 11 years old, his father died at age 48.  Washington inherited Ferry Farm’s 580 acres and his first 10 slaves.  Without his father’s guidance, Washington’s formal education ended.  So it is fairly safe to say that as a young man, Washington was allowed to run wild.

George’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, was George’s father’s second wife.  She managed Ferry Farm and its 10 slaves until George Washington came of age.

George Washington was born into privilege and deservedly felt a sense of entitlement.  Here as a young boy, George is seen gesturing with a toy sword as his friends line up pretending they’re his soldiers.  No one was going to tell George Washington what to do.

Young Washington had few responsibilities and had time to do what he wanted.  He loved riding horses.  Thomas Jefferson would later describe Washington as “the best horseman of his age.”

Washington loved fox hunting and learned the value of putting on aristocratic airs.  He instructed William Pearce to treat the other overseers at Mount Vernon civilly but to “keep them at a proper distance, for they will grow upon familiarity, in proportion as you will sink in authority, if you do not.”

Lord Thomas Fairfax (1693-1781) inherited more than 5 million acres and was Virginia’s largest landowner.  George Washington became best friends with Fairfax’s son, George William Fairfax, and liked visiting the richer and more impressive Fairfax estate.

George William Fairfax invited Washington to join a surveying party laying out large tracts of land in western Virginia.  George Washington was 16 years old and enthusiastically accepted the invitation.

When Washington was only 17 years old, Lord Thomas Fairfield appointed him Culpeper County Surveyor.  That cushy job paid Washington as much as if he had been a lawyer.

Two years later, Washington began surveying for the Ohio Company and began speculating in land.  His first land purchase was 20,000 acres in the Shenandoah Valley after he discovered its most fertile acreage.

Washington’s first experience smoking marijuana from India, called ganga or bhang, was likely in 1751 when he and his half-brother, Lawrence, sailed to Barbados on the Success, a small trading sloop owned by Captain Croftan.  Washington was 18 years old, and Lawrence was 29.

When they landed in Bridge Town, Washington and his brother were in the largest metropolis they had ever seen.  This Parliament Building in George Town was built in the 1650's.  The architecture in Barbados was significantly beyond that found in Virginia.

And this Bridge Town plantation home was built in 1658 almost one hundred years before George and Lawrence landed in Barbados on the Success.

The English first settled Barbados in 1627, and by the1650's the cultivation of sugar cane and the need for cheap labor supported the transatlantic slave trade. The major planters in Bridge Town became rich beyond what Washington had ever witnessed, far beyond that of the Fairfaxes, and the island’s leading colonial gentlemen treated him and Lawrence as equals.

Barbados was the most profitable English colony in the New World and a transportation hub visited by people from around the world. By the 1750's, travelers from India were well represented in the Caribbean population.

Ganga had been grown in India for its psychotropic properties since 2000 BCE, and India farmers made the first hashish by having boys run through the cannabis fields wearing leather chaps that were then scraped of accumulated resins.  India ganga flower and hashish were widely exported.

Ganga flower and hashish from India producing a euphoric high would have been perfectly legal and available in Barbados when George Washington arrived there in November 1751.

William Fairfax had lived in Barbados and arranged for George and Lawrence to stay with Captain Croftan at his home.  George Washington dined with the island’s leading politicians, military men, and landed gentleman.  He would leave Barbados with permanent social aspirations and a burning desire to affirm his status as a colonial gentleman.

When touring Barbados, Washington was impressed with its defenses, especially the 36 cannons at Charles Fort protecting the entrance to Carlisle Bay and Bridge Town’s harbors.  Young Washington dined with the fort’s commander several times.

Washington kept a detailed diary throughout most his life from the time he was a surveyor.  Shortly before leaving Barbados, Washington wrote he was,

Washington’s language is consistent with a young man describing his surroundings after having smoked some ganga from India. The “delightful green” part is a dead give-a-way.

Lawrence had tuberculosis, and George William Fairfax’s cousin, William Fairfax, suggested Lawrence spend the winter in Barbados.  Unfortunately, the change of climate did not improve Lawrence’s condition.

George and Lawrence left Captain Croftan’s house and rented a modest home outside the city on a cliff overlooking the ocean.  After they returned to Virginia, Lawrence died within a year.  George Washington then inherited another six slaves.

When Lawrence Washington’s wife, Anne Fairfax Washington, died in 1761, George Washington inherited Mount Vernon, its 2,500 acres, and Anne’s 18 slaves.  George was sweet on Anne, but the Fairfaxes were Royalists who fled to London after the war and lost their 5 million acres to Virginia. Washington never saw Anne again.  She died in London at age 32.

This is a painting of Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie.  Lawrence Washington had introduced George to Dinwiddie, and after Lawrence’s death, Dinwiddie became George Washington’s mentor.

In response to the French expanding into the Ohio Valley, Dinwiddie appointed Washington a Major in the Virginia Regiment and sent him into the Ohio Valley to confront the French.   Washington was only 21 years old.

Washington traveled to Fort Le Beouef near present day Waterford, Pennsylvania, where he met with Captain Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, the regional commander.  Legardeur politely received Washington but told him the Ohio Valley had been claimed by France, and the French claim was “incontestable.”

George Washington wrote a journal of his experiences exploring the Ohio Valley and his rebuff by the French commander.   Washington’s journal was published in Britain and America, made him a celebrity, and helped instigate the French and Indian War.

 

Dinwiddie promoted Washington to the rank of Colonial, and in March 1754, ordered Washington to lead 160 members of the Virginia militia into Ohio.  Dinwiddie wanted Washington to "act on the defensive," but he also clearly empowered Washington to kill and destroy all those who resisted British control.

Washington was ordered to evict the French from Fort Duguesne, a fort the French established at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers where Pittsburgh now stands.

On his way, Washington’s men discovered a French scouting party of 35 men. Washington ordered his men to ambush the scouting party killing 13 including the French commander.  Washington later described his feelings as the bullets whizzed past him, “believe me there is something charming in the sound."

Washington returned to fight the French and gained fame for rallying General Braddock’s regular British troops retreating in disarray during the Battle of the Monongahela.  Washington would later describe Braddock’s troops as “cowardly Dogs of soldiers.”  Washington had two horses shot out from under him, had his coat pierced by four bullets, was the only Virginia militia officer not shot off his horse, and walked away without a scratch.

Finding charm in the sound of bullets whizzing past him reveals Washington had an unusual affection for war.  He led from the front, was reckless with his life, feared nothing, enjoyed the rush of battle, and was just the kind of man who would experiment with marijuana.

This is a map of Ceelys on the James, a plantation owned by Colonel Wilson Cary who was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.  Colonel Cary inherited one of Virginia’s largest fortunes.

This is a painting of Sally Cary who was Colonel Cary’s beautiful daughter.  She was considered the grande belle of Virginian society and married Washington’s best friend, George William Fairfax, in 1748 when she was 18 years old.  Washington was 16 at the time and infatuated by her.

This is the iconic painting of Martha Washington in her frumpy mop cap. Her maiden name was Martha Dandridge.

This is a painting of young Martha Dandridge.  According to this artist, she had an extremely prominent nose.  Other paintings of Martha are more forgiving, but she clearly did not possess the beauty of Anna Fairfax or Sally Cary.  So what did Martha have going for her to attract a tall, dashing, war hero, landed gentleman like George Washington?

This is a painting of Daniel Parke Custis who was Martha Dandridge’s first husband and one of the richest men in Virginia.  When Custis was 37 he began courting Martha who was only 16.  Two years later they were married.  After seven years of marriage, Daniel Parke Custis died leaving Martha a very rich 25-year-old widow.

Martha Parke "Patsy" Custis and her brother, John Parke "Jacky" Custis, were Martha Dandridge’s only children from her first marriage to survive early childhood.  Upon Daniel Parke Curtis's death in 1757, he left an estate consisting of 288 slaves and 17,779 acres spread over 5 farms.  Patsy received a third in trust, Jacky received a third in trust, and Martha received a third for life.

In March 1758 when Washington was on leave from the French and Indian War, he traveled to Williamsburg where Virginia’s landed gentry gathered.  There, Washington learned the news of Custis having died nine months prior leaving behind a very wealthy widow.

Sight unseen, Washington traveled 35 miles to the Custis Plantation in New Kent County and arranged to be introduced by mutual friends to Martha Dandrige Custis who Washington towered over by 15 inches.  Martha was five feet tall.

After visiting Martha once, Washington proposed marriage during their second meeting nine days later, and Martha accepted as George impressed her by generously tipping her household slaves.  George visited Martha one more time three months later before returning to fight the French.

During his nearly two year absence, Washington wrote nothing to Martha but, instead, wrote love letters to Sally Cary Fairfax.  Washington wrote in response to having received a letter from Sally,

Meanwhile, Martha ordered a new dress “grave but not Extravagent nor to be mourning” and some purple silken shoes to wear to her wedding.

John Adam’s wife, Abigail Adams, would later describe Martha Washington as, "plain in her dress, but that plainness is the best of article…. Her manners are modest and unassuming, dignified and feminine.”

Washington resigned his commission in the Virginia Militia and began to renovate and improve Mount Vernon in anticipation of receiving his bride. At the time of his marriage, Washington owned 36 slaves and had achieved the status of a major planter.

Washington purchased Martha a necklace made with garnets, one of the most fashionable gemstones of the time.  What Washington received from Martha in return was a fistful of cash allowing him to triple the size of Mount Vernon.  Washington also received the use of Martha's 96 dower slaves and 5,926 acres of land upon which they could toil.  He would also manage in trust his stepchildren’s inheritance.

George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis at the Curtis plantation on January 6, 1759 when they were both 27 years old.   Washington assumed control over all of Martha’s assets pursuant to the doctrine of seisin jure uxoris.  Two weeks later, George put Martha on an allowance.

Jacky and Patsy immediately took to their new stepfather, and Washington raised them as if they were his own.  Patsy died of seizures when she was 17.  Washington then inherited half of Patsy’ inheritance entitling him to receive 48 more slaves and 2,963 more acres of land.

After George Washington was elected our first President, he left Martha behind at Mount Vernon and rode into Philadelphia greeted by roaring crowds.

Fine, young lasses spread flower petals before him.

And after Washington was sworn in as our first President,

he danced with all the most beautiful women at his inaugural ball.  George Washington was known to become “quite merry” after drinking champagne, was quite the party animal when he wanted to be, wrote love letters to his best friend’s wife, married for money, and enjoyed flirting with pretty women.  He was not the kind of man who would have resisted smoking pot.

George Washington owned slaves from the time he was 11 years old.  To become rich in the South, one needed to expand their land and slave holdings.

His father had taught Washington well.  When buying slaves, Washington insisted, “all of them to be strait limbed and in every respect strong and healthy with good teeth.”  Washington expected his slaves and indentured workers to do “as much in 24 hours as their strength, without endangering their health or constitution, will allow.”

Washington would sometimes resort to corporal punishment; however, "no whipping [was] allowed without a regular complaint and the defendant found guilty of some bad deed," wrote Washington’s personal secretary, Tobias Lear.

George Washington preferred means of control was manipulation.  He would offer finer quality blankets and clothing to slaves "most deserving" and sometimes give cash rewards as a means of encouragement.  When confronted with poor work, Washington would threaten to assign the slave to a harder task or sell them in the West Indies where they would never see their family again, which he did on four separate occasions.

Washington was conflicted when it came to slavery.  In 1794, as President he signed into law the Slave Trade Act limiting American’s involvement in the international slave trade by prohibiting the shipping of slaves to any foreign country.  But it was not until 1807 when Thomas Jefferson was President before the importation of slaves into the United States was also prohibited.

In George Washington’s 1799 Will he inventoried all 123 of his slaves working on Mount Vernon.  Washington was the only founding father to free his slaves upon his death or, if he predeceased Martha, then upon her death.  Washington died two years before Martha, but Martha freed George Washington’s slaves before her death fearing assassination by one slave to free the rest.

Martha’s dower slaves remained and reverted to the Curtis estate upon her death.  At the time of George Washington’s death, there were 317 slaves working on Mount Vernon of which 40 were rented from other owners.

When Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and was elected President two years later, he began to believe slavery was a flawed, economically inefficient, morally indefensible system. Washington felt reliance on a slave economy hindered agricultural progress by preventing evolution of new farming methods and machinery.

More importantly, Washington feared continuing the institution of slavery would seriously threaten the unity of the United States.  Washington’s fear came to fruition 73 years after he left office when South Carolina succeeded from the Union and attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor leading to the beginning of the Civil War.

Here, George Washington is seen with his personal body servant, William Lee, who was not freed until after Washington’s death.  Washington may have suffered from a moral dilemma, but when it came to his own comfort, he exercised his legal prerogative to benefit himself, not his slaves.

This is where George and Martha Washington lived in Philadelphia after George was elected President.  They brought with them a contingent of free and indentured servants along with seven slaves.  The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition of Slavery law required any slave who entered and remained in Pennsylvania for six months be freed.  Washington considered this law a major headache and sought to circumvent it by rotating his slaves in and out of Pennsylvania.

Slavery was legal, widely accepted, and considered an ordinary state of affairs. Southerners came to think slaves actually accepted their lot in life.  When Martha’s personal body servant, Oney Judge, escaped from their Philadelphia home, Washington’s steward placed an ad that offered a $10 reward to anyone who would “bring her home” claiming there was no “provocation” for her to leave.  Judge successfully hid out in New Hampshire and later became a spokesperson for the abolitionist movement.

Washington played by the rules of the day. When it came to slavery, he played by the rules. When it came to marijuana, there were no rules.

After marrying Martha, Washington set himself to farming and other financial adventures including his fishing, weaving, and mule breading operations.  Mount Vernon had been mismanaged when he was fighting the French, and Washington returned to find himself in debt.  He was rich in land and slaves but poor in cash.  Picture credit: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which bills itself as "the oldest first national historic preservation organization and is the oldest women's patriotic society in the United States."  Every American should try to visit Mount Vernon and make a day of it.

Washington became primarily interested in making money, but he outspent himself ordering luxury goods from England so he could present himself as a man of wealth and grandeur.

He expensively entertained other members of the landed gentry and became involved in politics, but when tobacco prices fell, Washington found himself going further in debt.

By better managing Mount Vernon and curbing his purchases of luxury goods from Europe, Washington began pulling himself out of debt by the mid-1760's, but it was Patsy’s tragic death in 1773 that finally allowed him to pay off his English creditors.  Washington’s propensity to live beyond his means is consistent with experimenting with psychotropic cannabis.

At its peak, Mount Vernon fronted 8.3 miles of river beginning at the headwaters of Dogue Creek and turning east contiguous to the north bank of the Potomac River.  Mount Vernon stretched 3.3 miles inland and was comprised of five farms.  All fields were numbered so Washington could better schedule his crop rotations.

Shipping tobacco to England for sale at auction deprived Washington control over its eventual sales price, and he decided he needed to move away from growing tobacco which was ruining his soil.  Growing wheat became his preferred alternative.  With wheat, Washington could grind it into flour, package it into blocks for easier shipping, and sell it for a price certain.

Washington then methodically set out to determine which wheat would grow best at Mount Vernon and provide him with the greatest financial return.  He then grew eight test crops of different species of wheat.  They were,

Early wheat

and Summer wheat,

Double-Headed wheat,

Russian wheat

and Iammas wheat.

Red-Stalk wheat,

Yellow-Breaded wheat,

and White wheat, the wheat Washington finally choose to grow.

Wheat then replaced tobacco as Washington’s primary crop.

Buckwheat became instrumental in Washington’s implementation of crop rotation.  He would grow buckwheat just to plow it back into the soil as he attempted to improve its quality.  Washington’s love of farming, the scientific way he went about it, and his willingness to explore different crops and growing techniques is consistent with his having planted some cannabis seeds from India to grow some marijuana for smoking.

Washington was an inventor.  Here is a drawing of a plow he invented that included a revolving barrel that would drop seed behind the newly plowed earth thereby plowing the earth and sewing the seed in one operation.

Washington was a fisherman.  He maintained five large seine fishing nets to catch fish along the north bank of the Potomac River.  Washington made more from his fishing operations than he did from farming.  His fishing nets were made from hemp fiber.

Washington was a breeder.  With Andalosian donkeys he received from King Charles of Spain, Washington began a mule breading program reshaping Southern agriculture for 200 years as the mules he bred worked longer and harder than horses and required less feed.

Washington was a transportation visionary.  He began to build the Potowmack Canal parallel to the Potomac River.  By connecting the Potomac with the James and Ohio rivers through a series of roads, canals, and locks, Washington sought to create a transportation network between Ohio and Virginia.

A portion of the Potowmack Canal and some of its wooden locks can still be found in Virginia’s Great Falls Park.

Washington’s inventiveness and his willingness to explore and experiment with new things is consistent with his smoking ganga in Barbados and growing some recreational marijuana at Mount Vernon.

By 1765, six years after marrying Martha and 10 years before he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, Washington routinely wrote out detailed instructions for planting and growing his crops.  In George Washington’s diary entry dated August 7, 1765, he notes he made a mistake when he wrote,

Washington was referring to separating male cannabis plants from female cannabis plants at Dogue Run Farm, one of the five farms making up Mount Vernon.

The only reason to separate male from female cannabis plants is to grow a crop of unfertilized female cannabis plants that have not wasted any of their energy growing seeds and, instead, have used all their energy growing large buds of resin-coated flowering parts making for a potent sinsemilla marijuana.

The male cannabis plant can develop pollen pods within a day which can open a day later.  The crop must be carefully checked every day so the male plants can be pulled before they release their pollen. The male plants cannot be economically transplanted so the process has nothing to due with growing a separate crop of male plants, allegedly for the male plant’s softer fiber.

The female cannabis plants can be identified when they begin sending up their thin pistils.  The female flowering parts become numerous and grow in clusters until they develop large, tight buds.  The buds attract worms and must be tended to daily.

The next year, on August 29, 1766, Washington wrote in his diary about his growing cannabis at his Muddy Hole Farm at Mount Vernon.  Washington wrote,

Muddy Hole Farm was one of Mount Vernon’s five farms.  Washington was referring to the male cannabis plants being pulled too late to keep them from fertilizing the female cannabis plants that had already blossomed.  The cannabis grown from India seed would still have gotten Washington high, but Washington was seeking a more potent sinsemilla smoke.

George Washington was a gentleman farmer and all-round entrepreneur for 16 years and 3 months, from the time he married Martha until American patriots and British regulars battled at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

Three weeks later, Washington waltzed into a meeting of the Continental Congress dressed in full military uniform, and on May 9, 1775, he was unanimously selected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, a position he would hold without pay for 8 years, 7 months, and 7 days.

Washington led his troops into battle as if he was invincible.  At Princeton, he rode to the front in a successful counterattack, came within 30 yards of the British line, and yelled to his troops, “Parade with me my fine fellows, we will have them soon!”

George Washington waited out the enemy at Valley Forge.  He was a great general because of battles he avoided, retreats he made, and those battles he won he won at just the right time to allow him to keep his army intact, encourage other colonial patriots to join the fight, and impress the French.  The France allied, the British surrendered, and many Americas wanted to make Washington king.

Washington said he just wanted to return to Mount Vernon.

King George III would have drawn and quartered Washington if the British had captured him.  After learning of Washington saying he wanted to return to Mount Vernon, King George III said, “If George Washington goes back to his farm, he will be the greatest character of his age.”

On December 19, 1783, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army by tendering his resignation to the Continental Congress gathered in Annapolis, Maryland.

Then Washington rode home to Mount Vernon proving himself the greatest character of his age.

Seen here is the mill at Mount Vernon next to the livestock yards.  It had an interior water wheel fed from a canal linking it to the headwaters of Dogue Run Creek.  It is still maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.  Washington would return to being a gentleman farmer less than three and one-half years before being recruited for a new assignment.  Picture credit:  Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

Washington was once again drawn into public service.  He reluctantly attended the Constitutional Convention as a Virginia delegate and was elected to preside over the convention.  Washington served impartially and offered few opinions figuring he would be elected the nation’s first President.

Washington then returned to Mount Vernon for a little over one and one-half years before being called back to Philadelphia, the nation’s capital at the time, to serve as President.

Upon the Constitution being ratified by the states, on January 10, 1789, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington our first President proving greatness and smoking marijuana are not mutually exclusive.

Washington served as President from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

When President and while contemplating leading four state militias against some western Pennsylvanians refusing to pay their federal whiskey tax, on February 24, 1794, Washington wrote William Pearce,

Washington's concern with saving the India seed had nothing to do with growing hemp for fiber.  The best hemp rope was imported from Russia for use on ships.  Russia and China had the best cannabis seed for fiber.  India had the best cannabis seed for getting high.

Washington imported hemp seed from India hoping to grow better marijuana for smoking, like the ganga he smoked in Barbados, not because he thought it would produce better rope.

Washington was said to only drink in moderation, but he was no stranger to the power of alcohol.  When he first ran for elective office, he failed to ply the electorate with free rum.  The next time, he gave out half a gallon of rum for every vote he received.  Washington would win that election, all further elections, and serve seven years in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Washington would later build a distillery at Mount Vernon.  By 1798, it produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey made from 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley, which grains were all grown on Mount Vernon.  A man who can make and sell alcohol would have no problem smoking marijuana or giving it to his slaves to pacify them.  Photo credit:  Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

After having survived smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, dysentery, pneumonia, and diphtheria, at various times of his life, George Washington died at age 67 of an acute bacterial inflammation after he refused to stay in bed and rode his horse around Mount Vernon in the snow.  Washington had only been back at Mount Vernon two and three-quarter years after leaving office before his death.

The biggest stains on George Washington’s reputation are that he owned slaves

and enjoyed cock fights. Otherwise, he was known for being

honest,

courageous,

and for refusing to seize or hang onto power.  Smoking pot was legal.  Washington should not be blamed for wanting to got back to Mount Vernon to tend to his personal grow.  He was an inventive man.  He wanted to try out all sorts of new ideas and follow through on all sorts of projects, and one of those was growing some decent ganja to smoke.

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