“The plan? Whip the public into a frenzy over ill effects of marijuana, the psychoactive leaves and flowers of the hemp plant; the reputation of the fibers and seeds used by industry would be posing little threat to society emerged as the ‘assassin of youth.’ The strategy worked. In 1937, with virtually no warning, Congress announced a prohibitive tax on hemp, effectively ending the production and sale of the plant in the United States.
The scientific debate regarding taxonomy has had little effect on the terminology in widespread use among cultivators and users of drug-type Cannabis. Cannabis aficionados recognize three distinct types based on such factors as morphology, native range, aroma, and subjective psychoactive characteristics. Sativa is the most widespread variety, which is usually tall, laxly branched, and found in warm lowland regions. Indica designates shorter, bushier plants adapted to cooler climates and highland environments. Ruderalis is the informal name for the short plants that grow wild in Europe and Central Asia.