Did Benjamin Franklin Smoke Weed?

Benjamin Franklin is remembered as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and for his work as a scientist, inventor, printer, writer, newspaper owner, and philosopher. Before Franklin became one of the leading figures of early American history, he was born in Boston where he received very little formal education. His lack of education didn’t stop Franklin from becoming an avid reader, which taught him how to be a skillful writer. Franklin eventually began contributing essays to a newspaper published by his brother, but he left for Philadelphia to work as a printer. He went on to start a successful printing business in Philadelphia, where he became very rich and active in public affairs. Franklin helped launch a lending library, hospital and college, and garnered acclaim for his experiments with electricity, among other projects. During the American Revolution, Franklin served in the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In his final significant act of public service in 1787, Franklin was a delegate to the convention that produced the U.S. Constitution.  

Franklin also had an extensive interest in agriculture and farming, which included the cultivation of hemp for textiles. He even proposed offering farmers a financial premium for growing cannabis, so Franklin opened one of the first hemp paper mills in the United States. This paper mill allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England, so when Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, he was signing hemp paper. Also, when Franklin was famously flying a kite during a lightning storm he was flying hemp rope.


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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