Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Pentagon Of Hemp

Irony of ironies. The Pentagon was built on ground that used to house a government hemp farm.

Never-before seen journals found recently at a garage sale outside Buffalo, N.Y., chronicle the life of Lyster Dewey, who tended a United States government hemp farm in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Dewey, a botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrote in detail about growing strains of hemp called Keijo, Chinamington and others on a tract of government land known as Arlington Farm, reports Manuel Roig-Franzia of the

If the “Arlington” part of that name sounds familiar — as in Arlington National Cemetery — that’s because the acreage used to grow the hemp was handed over to the War Department in the 1940s for construction of the world’s largest office building: the Pentagon.

So in addition to the already-known intertwining of the noble hemp plant and U.S. history, now it is revealed that the very location of the Pentagon itself was once covered with verdant fields of cannabis.
History is more ironic than any novelist would dare. Try this one on for size. After outlawing hemp cultivation in 1937 the government was encouraging farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. Right here in Illinois even.

BTW the top link is safe for work. The home page is definitely Not Safe For Work.

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