5 Facts About How Cannabis Was Used in the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a long, costly, and divisive conflict between the communist government of North Vietnam and South Vietnam, which had help from its principal ally, the United States. The war was especially intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union. With multiple wars and conflicts to fight and keep soldiers safe and protected, the Military, Navy, and Air Force required all resources, including marijuana which many soldiers relied on in Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War, cannabis was consumed because the plant grew in the wild in Vietnam. For that reason, many soldiers had their first experience smoking the drug, and it helped them continue fighting, “You get really stoned…. Then, you know, who like, who cares about the war?” Many military leaders also encouraged cannabis consumption when there were problems among their soldiers. Unlike alcohol, which was still the drug of choice, marijuana kept the soldiers mellow and focused, which helped resolve conflicts between men. When the soldiers smoked together, they used an unorthodox method involving a firearm by packing a bowl of marijuana in a shotgun chamber, soldiers smoked long drags together. We do not ever condone attempting this method to smoke, but we do condone smoking marijuana.

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It’s no secret that my husband and I are longtime cannabis and hemp advocates. We’ve cheered as the majority of Americans have come around to supporting legalization, and applauded as cannabis law reform spreads from state to state. Still, decades of prohibitionist propaganda have left many in the dark about the powerful wellness potential of these long-demonized plants.

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