Ever wonder how marijuana became what it is today and who are the personalities of “high” regard that have influenced, one way or another, cannabis sativa as what it is today? Yes, hashish, dope, Mary Jane, weed, call it what you want to call it, but it doesn’t change the fact that man’s use of marijuana started way before the 20th or even the 19th century. So who are these men and/or women considered as important markers of the marijuana timeline? And how did their “high” influence on decisions with regards to the drug affected the history of marijuana?

For starters, the plant called the hemp has been used by different men and women and their societies eons ago. About 7,000 to 8,000 before the Common Era (BCE), our ancestors had the ingenuity and skill to utilize. We can just imagine one of the cavemen sitting around the camp fire and smelling the unique scent of dried marijuana leaves burning.

Soon, he will be getting that feeling of great excitation and discover “the wisdom of the weed”. From those prehistoric period of exploration and experimentation up to the current trend of the changing cultural attitude people have over marijuana usage, here are a few of the personalities and their stories which exerted, in one way or another, their “high” positions of influence to make the story of marijuana what it is today.

These Are Marijuana’s Milestones

The Prehistoric Pusher (around 8,000 BCE). Mankind owes a big deal to you for rolling that first joint and stoking the flame which showed us the path to “highness.”

The Chinese Connection (3,000 BCE). Kudos to the Eastern wise-guy who saw the potential of hemp seeds as an edible delicacy which promises financial rewards rather than the meditational rewards put to the fore by the prehistoric pusher. This then led to the refinement of the product of the marijuana as an alternative form of medication and the one responsible for such a medicine to be concocted was then called as the herbalist.

Christopher Columbus (1400s). The man who is credited for discovering America should also be given the honor of bringing the seeds of marijuana to the “Land of the Hippie and the Home of the Hashish”.

George Washington (1700s). This great American president and war general was also a great farmer during the 1700s and grew hemp, so did Thomas Jefferson and this fact alone shows why the presidents of countries themselves can also act as “prime pushers” of agricultural development. And we are not just talking about Latin American nations here.

Napoleon Bonaparte (late 1800s). Ever wondered why Napoleon has portraits which have one hand hidden inside his shirt. Unreliable sources say he is actually clutching a teabag of marijuana and a piece of rolling paper. It makes sense because who in the world will try to conquer the world by all means and in a “drugged” sort of way.

Napoleon Bonaparte
An image of Napoleon Bonaparte

Anyway, his real influence on the story of marijuana milestone is that during the late 1700s, Napoleon banned hemp production after realizing much of the Egyptian class majority at that time were habitual smokers and made them see mirages in the desert most of their waking hours which, in turn, made the conquest of Egypt a little bit difficult for Napoleon since his army laughed their hearts out against the lowly Egyptians instead of fighting them.

There are still more personalities in “high” positions of influence we can add to this catalogue of marijuana’s milestones. So, in another article, we can list down the American “heroes of the hashish” from the 1800s up to President Barack Obama’s time. We can set that for a later “jamming session,” okay?