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The Cannabis Portal

Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing.jpg

Cannabis (/ˈkænəbɪs/) is a genus of flowering plant that includes three species (and seven taxa) or subspecies, sativa, indica, and ruderalis. The plant is indigenous to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, for hemp oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Industrial hemp products are made from cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber. To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent. Many plants have been selectively bred to produce a maximum of THC (cannabinoids), which is obtained by curing the flowers. Various compounds, including hashish and hash oil, are extracted from the plant. Globally, in 2013, 60,400 kilograms of cannabis were produced legally. In 2013 between 128 and 232 million people are thought to have used cannabis as a recreational drug (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65).

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Ralph Bakshi, the director of Fritz the Cat
Fritz the Cat is a 1972 American animated film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi (pictured) as his feature film debut. Based on the comic strip of the same name by Robert Crumb, the film was the first animated feature film to receive an X rating in the United States. It focuses on Fritz (voiced by Skip Hinnant), an anthropomorphic feline in mid-1960s New York City who explores the ideals of hedonism and sociopolitical consciousness. The film is a satire focusing on American college life of the era, race relations, the free love movement, and left- and right-wing politics. Fritz the Cat was the most successful independent animated feature of all time, grossing over $100 million worldwide. The film had a troubled production history and controversial release. Creator Robert Crumb is known to have had disagreements with the filmmakers, claiming in interviews that his first wife signed over the film rights to the characters, and that he did not approve the production. Crumb was also critical of the film's approach to his material. Fritz the Cat was controversial for its rating and content, which viewers at the time found to be offensive.

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FBN public service announcement used in the late 1930s and 1940s
Credit: Federal Bureau of Narcotics

The use of cannabis and other drugs came under increasing scrutiny after the formation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in 1930, headed by Harry J. Anslinger as part of the government's broader push to outlaw all recreational drugs. Anslinger claimed cannabis caused people to commit violent crimes and act irrationally and overly sexual. The FBN produced propaganda films promoting Anslinger's views and Anslinger often commented to the press regarding his views on marijuana.

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