Cannabis (drug)  

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"Hashish, like all other solitary delights, makes the individual useless to mankind, and also makes society unnecessary to the individual."--Les Paradis artificiels (1860) by Baudelaire

"I am led to believe, that among the Ismailites, those only were termed Hashishin, who were specially educated to commit murder, and who were, by the use of Hashish disposed to an absolute resignation to the will of their chief; this, however, may not have prevented the denomination from being applied to Ismailites collectively, especially among the Occidentals." --Silvestre de Sacy cited in The History of the Assassins: Derived from Oriental Sources (1818) by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall

"The first time that we met Baudelaire was towards the middle of the year 1849, at the Hotel Pimodan, where we occupied, near Fernand Boissard, a strange apartment which communicated with his by a private staircase hidden in the thickness of the wall, and which was haunted by the spirits of beautiful women loved long since by Lauzun."--Théophile Gautier's preface to Les Fleurs du mal

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Cannabis, also known as marijuana) among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug. The word marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish marihuana. According to the United Nations, cannabis "is the most widely used illicit substance in the world."

Cannabis use has been found to have occurred as long ago as the third millennium B.C. In modern times, the drug has been used for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. The UN estimated that in 2004 about 4% of the world's adult population (162 million people) use cannabis annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million) use it on a daily basis. The possession, use, or sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids became illegal in most parts of the world in the early 20th century. Since then, some countries have intensified the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, while others have reduced it.


In film and literature


Hashish (from Arabic, lit. grass; also hash or many slang terms) is a preparation of cannabis. It contains the same active ingredients as cannabis (but in higher concentrations) and produces the same psychoactive effects

Hashish is solid, of varying hardness and pliability, softening under heat. Its colour can vary from reddish brown to black or it can be golden coloured or greenish if it contains surplus plant material. It is consumed in much the same way as Cannabis buds, often being smoked in joints mixed with tobacco.


Cannabis has been used for its psychoactive effects since ancient times.

France, 19th century

19th century subculture

During the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, the French army suffered from what was called 'cannabisme', i. e. too many soldiers being addicted to cannabis. On 7 vendémiaire an ix (9 octobre 1800), Napoleon ordered by decree the prohibition of 'haschisch'.

Art. I. L'usage de la liqueur forte faite par quelques musulmans avec une certaine herbe forte, nommée haschisch, ainsi que celui de fumer la graine de chanvre, sont prohibés dans toute l'Egypte : ceux qui sont accoutumés à boire cette liqueur et à fumer cette graine perdent la raison et tombent dans un violent délire qui souvent les porte à commettre des excès de tout genre.

After the Egyptian campaign was over, cannabis was introduced more widely in France.

In the 1840s, the Club des Hashischins was founded. It was an informal club in Paris, dedicated to exploring the effect of drugs, specifically hashish. Charles Baudelaire, a member of the club would in his Les paradis artificiels (1860) describe the effects of opium and hashish.

United States, 20th century

1920s and 1930s subcultures

Hash first became well known in the United States during the jazz music scene of the late 1920s and 1930s. Louis Armstrong became a prominent and life-long devotee. It was popular in the blues scene as well, and eventually became a prominent part of 1960s counterculture.

see also

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cannabis (drug)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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