This Presidents’ Day, we’re bringing you Peter Gorman’s July, 1988 feature on hemp in colonial times.

Hemp was one of this country’s most important crops during the colonial era. Washington was a fanatic seed collector and grower of cannabis; Jefferson, another cannabis farmer, invented a machine to reduce the labor involved in farming the plants; Franklin begged the British Parliament to allow the colonists to keep their cannabis crop rather than turn it over to England.

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