Cannabis Myth?


“George Washington smoked cannabis.”


Ruling:
False. As far as we know, he farmed hemp for economical purposes.

Analysis:
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp at their farms. In Virginia, hemp was promoted at the time as an alternative cash crop to tobacco, since it did not deplete the soil as much. Hemp was also useful for rope, paper, and clothing. Now, even though there was no social stigma attached to smoking pot at the time, there is no evidence to suggest Washington also smoked the plant. Having said that, Thomas Jefferson did at some point trade hemp seeds with another farmer in Missouri, which by many modern standards would qualify him as a dealer.

See other: Mythconceptions?

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Parallelomania


In comparative mythology, parallelomania is the phenomenon in which scholars perceive similarities, parallels and analogies between myths. Ironically, the term is often used in a derogatory manner to describe non-religious scholars.

Examples of parallelomania include, for instance, the fact that many cultures have believed in a deus otiosus, a personal god who interferes with humanity; flooding myths are common also; as are creation myths in which a group of younger, more civilized gods struggle against a group of older gods who represent the forces of chaos; there are also many stories about divine figures whose death creates an essential part of reality; and many mythologies mention a place that sits at the centre of reality and acts as a point of contact between different levels of the universe.

“He was a saviour, Mithras, sent to earth to live as a mortal, through whom it was possible for sinners to be reborn into immortal life. He died for our sins, but came back to life the following Sunday. He was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a manger or perhaps a cave, attended by shepherds, and became known as ‘the light of the world’. He had twelve disciples, with whom he shared a last meal before dying. His devotees symbolically consumed the flesh and blood of him. Because Mithras was a sun god, he was worshipped on Sundays. […] There’s a great deal in Christianity that is traditional. And however wonderful people think the story is, it’s, frankly, not original.”

– Stephen Fry