Was George Washington a gay pot smoker?
February 15, 2009
Did George Washington raise hemp? Did he smoke it? Was he gay?
The easy answers are definitely, probably, and maybe.
The questions arise with pre-publication of the shocking satire PASSIONS OF THE PATRIOTS by “Thomas Paine,” which opens with Le General in the hemp-filled embrace of his beloved Marquis de Lafayette.
As Washington’s February 22 birthday approaches, his personal habits say much about today’s America.
Like virtually every Revolutionary farmer, the Father of Our Country grew prodigious quantities of hemp. It was (is) a profitable cash crop, easy to grow, with scant demands for cultivation, watering or fertilizing. As a hardy perennial, it needs no year-after-year replanting, nor pesticides or herbicides.
Early American farmers used cannabis for cloth, rope, sails, paper and much more. At various times its cultivation has been mandatory. Kansas was virtually carpeted with it during World War Two. In today’s conversion to a Solartopian economy, the cellulose of its stems and leaves, and the oil from its seeds, could be essential for green ethanol and bio-diesel fuels.
Washington and his fellow planter/presidents Tom Jefferson and James Madison would be astonished to hear that hemp is illegal. These early chief executives would certainly have told President Obama that a re-legalized cannabis crop would mean billions of dollars in desperately needed farm revenue throughout the United States.
As for smoking, I know of no significant communication among the Founders extolling their “great weed.”
But in one of his meticulous agricultural journals, dated 1765, Washington regrets being late to separate his male hemp plants from his females. For a master farmer like George, there would be little reason to do this except to make the females ripe for smoking.
The medicinal uses of cannabis were known to the ancient Chinese. Thousands of years later, it’s inconceivable American growers would not indulge in its recreational powers.
As for Washington’s sexual preferences, his marriage to Martha was sometimes suspect. Historians joke that he did not marry her for her money, but rather for her stocks, bonds, land and slaves. In a letter to a friend, he complained that there was “not much fire between the sheets.”
Ben Franklin, the ultimate liberal, loved so many women he joked that the great miracle in his life was that he contracted no related diseases. Tom Jefferson impregnated his slave mistress Sally Hemings as many as seven times. From Andrew Jackson to Bill Clinton, American presidents have been infamous for their sexual dalliances.
George Washington did not lack for female companionship. But his deepest affections may have been for his fellow warriors. His beloved brothers in arms included Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. Both were married with children, but both excited his strongest comradely devotion.
That the general had no biological children of his own may have been due to a fever early in his life that could have rendered him sterile.
Or maybe not. It’s hard to imagine a gay George Washington in the 1790s. But in the 1990s, things might have been different.
The modern anti-choice assault, including California’s Proposition 8, flies in the face of all Washington and the Founders dreamed of for this nation.
Today’s Puritannical “sunshine patriots” seem hell-bent on running our personal lives. But America has NEVER been about that.
Let them contemplate an image of our first president, fresh from the battlefields and the hemp fields, desperate to marry his fellow winter soldier.
Harvey Wasserman’s HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.harveywasserman.com, as is PASSIONS OF THE PATRIOTS by “Thomas Paine”. This article was originally published by http://freepress.org.
Email this article to a friend
"Obama, another rook on the Grand Chessboard"
December 2, 2009
"Al-Gathafi's big tent"
November 24, 2009
" On voter registration, the Columbus Dispatch gets it right, almost"
November 17, 2009
"Why Wright State is wrong: the controversial appointment of Dr. Larry James"
October 14, 2009
"Why the right wing hates and wants to smash ACORN"
September 27, 2009
"Bob Blog: Roll over Damschroder and tell Rove the news"
September 16, 2009
"The resurrection of Antioch College: A small victory for humanity"
September 6, 2009
"Rekindle the spirit of Kennedy’s 1980 run: Social democracy"
August 30, 2009
"Give me a ticket for an aeroplane – Ken Blackwell just wrote me a letter"
August 10, 2009
"Senator Dewine's Run for Ohio Attorney General: Return to the Scene of the Crime"
August 7, 2009
"The passing of Aquino, the rigging of elections and the need for People Power"
August 2, 2009
"Cindy Sheehan takes on the Robber Class"
July 11, 2009
"Kasich's quixotic crusade"
June 1, 2009
"Democratic Socialists? Democrats not half that good"
May 24, 2009
"NEW FREE PRESS STUDY REVEALS: More than a million Ohio voters purged in run up to 2008 election – Republican Party wanted 800,000 more purged"
March 25, 2009
"Latest news of Antioch College"
March 9, 2009
"Bob Fitrakis remembers Cornell McCleary"
February 15, 2009
"Reading the Dispatch 4"
January 31, 2009
"The Free Press Inauguration Coverage"
January 23, 2009
"Reading the Dispatch 3"
January 22, 2009
"Reading the Dispatch 2"
January 19, 2009
"freepress.org with Bob Fitrakis: Reading the Dispatch"
January 9, 2009
"The disturbing death of Michael Connell"
January 1, 2009
Read Articles by Year:
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000