Fun Cannabis Facts
What was the last thing you bought on Amazon? An inflatable swan for your pool? A finger spinner? These days, you can find just about anything online, but that wasn’t always the case. Americans spend almost $400 billion shopping the web annually, and, according to The Dark Net author, Jamie Bartlett, it can all be traced back to this: “In 1972, long before eBay or Amazon, students from Stanford University in California and MIT in Massachusetts conducted the first ever online transaction. Using the Arpanet account at their artificial intelligence lab, the Stanford students sold their counterparts a tiny amount of marijuana.” That’s right. The first thing ever bought and sold online was a baggie of weed.
Turns out, there’s a lot more interesting cannabis trivia to be learned. Here are five more little-known tidbits that are sure to amuse your friends:
The Mayflower was built green.
We all know the Founding Fathers were big advocates of hemp, but the colonists’ relationship to the plant began long before. In 1620, the first Pilgrims were delivered into Cape Cod by a ship with billowing sails and riggings made of hemp. In fact, settlers and voyagers would make the journey to the New World on similar ships all the way up until 1800. Our forefathers literally sailed into this country on hemp. Ironic, considering growing it would later become illegal.
The trapped Chilean miners’ wives sent them weed.
Trapped underground for an unfathomable 69 days in 2010, the 33 miners had two small sources of stress relief: pot smuggled down to them in handwritten letters and porn. In fact, all the weed that was going into the shaft began to worry government officials, who considered bringing in a sniffer dog to check the mail. One surviving miner, who was left out of the smoke sessions, said that because there was never enough to go around, the weed actually created more tension than it relieved.
Hemp is legal in the Hermit Kingdom.
North Korean farmers are being encouraged by the regime to replace their soybean crops with hemp. This will produce biofuel for the dictatorship’s military vehicles and decrease their dependence on Chinese oil. Workers are also known to smoke hemp as a cheap tobacco substitute. Don’t believe the hype about the nation being a “weed smoker’s paradise,” though. People who say that are confusing marijuana and industrial hemp. Marijuana itself remains a controlled substance in North Korea, just like any other drug.
Icelanders are the world’s #1 potheads.
When it comes to cannabis consumption, Iceland is quite literally blazing past the rest of us. 18% of their population uses pot, even though it is illegal there. It might have something to do with the fact the nation didn’t fully end alcohol prohibition until 1989. The country’s attitude is so relaxed that visitors often order their bud in advance and pick it up at the airport. But don’t start planning an Icelandic vacation unless you’ve got deep pockets. Prices can often run over $30 for a gram and $150 for an eighth.
Richard Nixon once smuggled pot for Louis Armstrong.
One of the worst American presidents once did something cool, but it was a total accident. In 1958, Armstrong was returning home from a trip abroad with three pounds of cannabis in his bag. He was a Goodwill Ambassador at the time, and had been waived straight through customs before. This time, however, he was made to wait in line. Thankfully for him, then-Vice President Nixon was passing through and seized a photo opportunity. Armstrong seized an opportunity, too: he told Nixon he was stuck waiting in line. Just as he’d hoped, Nixon replied, "Ambassadors don't have to go through customs and the Vice President of the United States will gladly carry your bags for you.” And that’s how Richard Nixon unknowingly carried three pounds of pot through United States Customs.
There you have it. Six oddball facts from the weird world of cannabis. Keep checking our blog to learn everything you ever wanted to know about cannabis throughout history and around the globe.