Marijuana, the first twelve thousand years
By Ernest L. Abel 1980. Plenum Press, New York US $39, 289 pp.
Marijuana, the first
twelve thousand years is the single most complete and authorative work on the history
of the genus Cannabis. Abel presents his thorough and unbiased
investigation of the history of drug Cannabis, as well as the even more ancient
uses of Cannabis hemp as a source of edible seed and fiber for the manufacture of
paper, rope, and textiles.
The detailed explanations of the spread of hashish by the Arabs, and the introduction of hemp to the New World by European colonists, provide fascinating reading for historians and Cannabis aficionados alike. The section presenting the relationship between hemp and slavery is particularly enlightening. Abel describes the strategic importance of supplies of high quality hemp, especially for naval rigging. The Romans, Venetians, Portuguese, Dutch, and English all used the power of hemp to exert their naval might and build trade routes to the world's corners.
Abel's sources span a wide range of disciplines, and are well referenced in an extensive bibliography. A detailed index allows ready access to the many facts contained in the text.
No Cannabis researchers, nor botanical libraries, could possibly consider their collections complete without including the extensive knowledge contained in Marijuana, the first twelve thousand years. RCC, DPW & HvdW.