Robert Hooke Gets Hooked on Cannabis


After a long day of working in Boston, it’s always great to come home for a Netflix & Chill night.  There’s a lot more choices to find through Netflix rather than changing the channel every second.  One show I recently got into lately was Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.  Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted this 13-episode science documentary that chronicles various aspects of the cosmos.  Tyson discusses groundbreaking phenomena that fundamentally shaped the ideas of science.

Each episode chronicles a certain category about the cosmos.  From discussing the first original species that walked the earth to the public battle against lead, Cosmos: A Space Odyssey gives viewers a glimpse into what earth was like millions of years ago.  It’s a real mind-blowing science series that teaches you the origins of how life came to be (I HIGHLY recommend smoking some cannabis with your friends while watching this because you will NOT regret it!).

A funny incident happened when I was watching the show.  I was on the episode titled ‘When Knowledge Conquered Fear’ and was learning about Robert Hooke’s battle with Isaac Newton.  Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed various things that Hooke was experimenting with and one of those things just happened to be…CANNABIS.  Seriously you guys…Robert Hooke, a famous scientist during the 17th century, experimented with cannabis during his free time.

My jaw INSTANTLY dropped to the floor when I heard this!  I couldn’t believe that Robert Hooke was actually experimenting with cannabis.  Here’s how the story goes: Hooke’s friend Robert Knox brought back “a strange intoxicating herb like hemp” (a.k.a ‘Indian hemp’ or ‘bangue’) from one of his trips and gave it to Hooke for him to try.  His sea captain friend Knox mentioned that there wasn’t any cause of fear, but that there would be laughter.  This story didn’t sound real to me, so I did some research that shocked me even more.

Seriously guys… it gets better!  Not only was this fact true, but it’s also interesting to point out that Carl Sagan was a major cannabis advocate.  Sagan’s wife Ann Druyan, who also co-wrote both of the series, is currently on the NORML Advisory Board.  You guys…what…the FUCK.

I consumed some cannabis before watching this episode and was blown away by this random cannabis reference within the series.  Here I was, watching this cool science mini-series that is teaching me about the origin of the cosmos and I randomly get hit with this fun fact.  One of the greatest scientists of the 17th century, Robert Hooke, experimented with cannabis during his free time.  It’s ironic that teachers around the country (especially those that teach science!) demonize cannabis use when history has shown time and time again that cannabis has a special place here in society.

This was an interesting fact to find out on Cosmos: A Space Odyssey!  Science has always been my favorite subject in school and I always found it fascinating to learn about how certain ideas were discovered.  It wasn’t until I was in college that I discovered various historians have used cannabis during their line of work. From George Washington to Carl Sagan, many historic figures regularly used cannabis on a daily basis.

Maybe this fact is proof that cannabis has always had a place here in America.  If George Washington grew hemp in his backyard, then how did we stray so far from the lessons of our founding fathers?  How did we go from openly using cannabis to becoming so taboo about it among our friends and family?  Robert Hooke, as well as his friend Robert Knox, would roll over in their graves if they saw how we treat cannabis in our society.

Science is about questioning every moment that happens and creating experiments based on our hypothesis on what we think might happen.  Sometimes that outcome doesn’t match our hypothesis,but that’s OK because we’ve discovered something unique in our study.  I believe that Robert Hooke still would’ve struck gold with his scientific discoveries, regardless of whether or not he tried cannabis.  But in the end, we’ll have to become more liberal about our cannabis culture here in society if we ever want to discover something amazing for the sake of science.

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