By Stephen Young
Distillers continue their work at Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, trying to make whiskey like the first US President used to make it.
As initially reported by Reason a couple years ago (and recently updated as, Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday, Drink Some Whiskey), a group using historical recipes and methods have been patiently testing ways to accurately recreate the drink that helped fuel a revolution.
I appreciate efforts to preserve history in a way that is interesting, so cheers to anyone who attempts to make history literally intoxicating.
But I propose a more family-oriented way to relive the past that gives a different sense of Washington’s entrepreneurial spirit: bring back hemp to Mt. Vernon.
As noted in The Cannabis Papers, a book I helped to write, Washington succeeded at his hemp business, and he expressed interest in it that seemed to go beyond mere profit. In his journals Washington described visiting the hemp plots regularly and seemed disappointed when he missed certain aspects of the crop’s growth.
That interest is easy to understand today: hemp was crucial to the colonies just as it was very important to a young nation. And hemp could be crucial now to the current American economy, if only it were allowed to be grown by American farmers. What better place to start a new tradition than at Mt. Vernon? Sure, the crop could be restarted at other estates of founding fathers, say Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for example, but the first should be the first.
In the wake of discoveries about cannabinoids, hemp has even more potential uses than in the late 18th Century. Even uncultivated wild hemp, once derisively referred to as ditch weed, is now seen as life-saving medicine packed with therapeutic CBD that can stop maladies from epilepsy to cancer.
Washington played many roles with great success, such great success that he must be considered visionary. His revolutionary tactics baffled his enemies in battle. His understanding of representation aimed to ensure a continuing Republic. He put his efforts into businesses he knew would succeed. It’s clear Washington recognized the practical applications of hemp in his time, but I wouldn't be surprised if also he had some sense how important hemp would be in the future.
More Hemp from Mr. Young:
Part I ~ Government Grown: How Polo Illinois Helped Win the War
Part II ~ Government Grown: How Polo Illinois Helped Win the War
posted by bwb