Marijuana In the New World

According to Richard L. Lingeman in his book Drugs from A to Z, page 146, “Marijuana smoking was known by the Indians before Columbus.” After the Spanish conquest in 1521 the Spaniards recorded that the Aztecs (Mayans) used marijuana.

The present day Cuna Indians of Panama use marijuana as a sacred herb and the Cora Indians of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico smoke marijuana in this course of their sacred ceremonies.

In the Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L by William A Emboden, Jr., pages 229 and 231, is the following: “A particularly interesting account of a Tepehua (no relationship to “Tepecana”) Indian ceremony with cannabis was published in 1963 by the Mexican ethnologist Roberto William Garcia of the University of Veracruz, northernmost branch of the Maya language family.

“In his account of Teehua religion and ritual, William Garcia (1963:215-21) describes in some detail a communal curing ceremony focused on a plant called santa rose, “The Herb Which Makes One Speak”, which he identified botanically as Cannabis Sativa: According to Garcia it is worshipped as an earth deity and is thought to be alive and comparable to a piece of the heart of God.”

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