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    It should be noted that, even though 50-80% of all their displayed fibers for paper and cloth from their “Life in America: 1780s to the 1800s” exhibit and “American Maritime Exhibit, 1492-1850” were made of hemp, the Smithsonian Institution has removed all mention of cannabis hemp as it was used in paper, textiles, ropes, and sails, referring to it only as “other fibers” while cotton, wool, flax, sisal, jute, Manila hemp, etc. are specifically mentioned. Cotton was less than 1% of all fibers prior to 1800. Hemp was about 80% of all fibers.

    Museum curator Arkadero’s response when questioned on this topic was that, “Children don’t need to know about hemp anymore, it confuses them,” and the director of the Smithsonian said that even though hemp was the primary fiber, “We are not a fiber museum.”

    He did not mention how they had determined that children do need to know about the minor fiber crops in American history.

    Were children’s innocent questions about hemp and marijuana making the Smithsonian tour guides uncomfortable?

    And in a June 20, 1989, letter, Institution secretary Robert McCormic Adams wrote that, “We do not see a cataloging of fibers in early America as part of our task,” in presenting these exhibits.

    “At times this focus does lead curators to mention fabrics—such as linen, wool or others.”

    He returned copies of this book and the U.S. government’s own 1942 pro-marijuana film, Hemp for Victory to us, apparently without reviewing any of the information.

Holy Moly

illustration © 1996 Ian Worth (photographer); Holy Moly (model); photograph courtesy of the Hempstead Company, 1534 East Edinger #7, Santa Ana, CA, 92705, 1-800-284-4367.

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the authorized on-line version of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”
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