Clammy mists clung bitterly to the rolling hills of a brisk autumn morning, but the panting grower ignored them as he hurried on. His employer, one of the top cannabis growers in the region, would be devastated by the news the man so hurriedly carried that crisp fall morning, but he was also a man who should not be kept waiting. In an unfortunate turn of events, this dutiful gardener had learned that an unaccounted male plant had popped off, pollinating an entire field of sinsemilla in the process. This grower didn’t think his employer would be pleased.
It’s a scene that could have occurred countless times in the U.S., in any state or during any year. This particular occasion, however, would prove historic. Indeed, modern historians know about the incident because of the personal diary of the man’s employer, a very imminent farmer of his time, written in 1765: the diary of George Washington.
These days, standard history textbooks no longer mention that the man who would go on to become the first president of the United States began his career as a “gentleman” farmer of some of Virginia Colony’s top cash crops, including cannabis. The fact is hardly controversial; Washington wrote extensively about his cannabis crop in his own handwriting – especially in the period before the Revolutionary War when his career was primarily focused on cash crop agriculture. The entry dated Aug. 7, 1765, in which the future president bemoans the fact that he began to “separate the male and female plants… rather too late” has been the focus of much debate.