This is a Guest Post from our friends over at Weed Maps.
Looking at the past, there are plenty of times when mankind’s problems could have been solved by marijuana. Here are the top 10 events of Western history where a joint would have come in handy.
1. Cain Killing Abel (Old Testament)
According to Genesis, both of Adam and Eve’s sons went out one day to make burnt offerings to God. Cain, a farmer, offered up “the fruit of the ground,” while Abel, a shepherd, provided “the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” When Cain saw that The Man Upstairs liked his brother’s sacrifice more than his, he lured Abel into a trap and killed him—history’s first murder. Maybe this didn’t actually happen, but we can’t help but think the world might be a better place if Cain had found a more pleasing plant to burn.
2. The Trial of Socrates (399 BC)
Before the internet or rock and roll, people blamed philosophy for “corrupting the youth.” The upstanding citizens of Athens decided to make an example of Socrates, who went around asking dangerous questions like “Why?” They found him guilty and, according to custom, gave him a chance to beg for mercy. Instead, he told them he was doing them all a favor and demanded free meals for life. If the jury had a little weed, maybe they would’ve seen the humor in it. Instead, more people on the jury voted to execute him than had voted to convict.
3. The Death of Cleitus the Black (328 BC)
Alexander the Great loved parties. If he’d had some weed, these would have been pretty laid back affairs. Sadly, the only bowls at these soirees were full of wine—lots of it. Now, Alexander was violent enough when sober, but he was a real mean drunk. Just ask his best friend, a general named Cleitus, who got into a drunken fight with Alexander one night and ended up with a spear through his chest. Alexander never forgave himself.
4. The Cadaver Synod (897)
Pope Stephen VII must have missed the “forgive your enemies” memo. Upon being elected as God’s Vicar on Earth, he had the rotting corpse of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, dug up, placed on a throne in the middle of Rome’s cathedral, and put on trial. Stephen ranted and raved against the late Formosus for some time before ordering the body’s fingers chopped off and having the body cast into the river. We’re not saying a joint could’ve stopped this, but it sure would have made it funnier.
5. The Council of Clermont (1095)
A couple of centuries later, another Pope, Urban II, called a church gathering at Clermont, France and made the first official call for a crusade against the infidels. But Urban was really less interested in conquering Jerusalem than getting his still half-barbarian subjects to just stop beating the hell out of each other for a while. Pot would’ve done the same job, without causing a thousand years of conflict between East and West.
6. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)
In the seventeenth century, Europe suffered from one of the bloodiest wars of all time. The Ottomans invaded the Austrians, who were allied with the Spanish, who went to war with the English, who hated France but allied with them anyway. The Germans fought each other and everyone else. At some point Sweden came out of nowhere and almost conquered everybody. When people weren’t getting killed in battle, they were keeling over from the plague. In short, everything sucked, and we’re sure everybody back then could’ve used a joint.
7. The Beating of Charles Sumner (1856)
When Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts delivered a speech insulting a relative of his, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks reacted like a true Southern gentleman—by beating Sumner senseless with a cane on the floor of the Senate. This incident didn’t exactly help relations between North and South in the years leading up to the Civil War. A joint might have calmed Brooks down, or at least done something for Sumner’s pain.
8. The Treaty of Versailles (1919)
The negotiations ending World War I were notoriously tense. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson wanted to go easy on defeated Germany, but the other winners weren’t having it. The resulting treaty left the Germans hungry for revenge, planting the seeds for World War II years later. America at this time was already starting to outlaw cannabis. That’s too bad—if Wilson had brought some along, maybe his allies would’ve been in a better mood.
9. The Kennedy-Nixon Debates (1960)
Suave, good-looking JFK made short work of Tricky Dick Nixon in America’s first televised presidential debates. Nixon, people said, came across on camera as shifty, nervous, and uncomfortable. We wonder what could’ve loosened him up? On the other hand, Nixon was paranoid enough already. We can only wonder what Nixon would have thought of medical marijuana.
10. The Monica Lewinsky Scandal (1998)
Let’s just say that if Bill Clinton hadn’t given up pot, he might’ve kept some around in the Oval Office to smoke when things got tough. In that case, maybe he wouldn’t have been so desperate to improve the taste of his cigars.