Cannabis (aka Marijuana or Hemp) is a fibrous, flowering plant known from ancient times for its ability to induce euphoria through consumption or smoking. Pot or Grass typically refers to the dried flowering buds. Hashish is a more concentrated form, consisting almost entirely of the resin from the buds and stems.
The active narcotic ingredient is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. It is concentrated in the flowering buds of female cannabis plants only, and there are several varieties of cannabis plants that produce little or no THC. Most modern commericial hemp products are made from these varieties.
Because it produces strong, soft fibers (typically from the stems and leaves), the use of the cannabis plant for hemp products such as rope and textiles is found through the ancient and medieval world.
Marijuana in the SCA
The most common use of marijuana in the SCA is as a recreational drug, usually smoked in one form or another. However, it is important to note that the use and/or possession of marijuana is a criminal offense in most countries, including all of North America and Europe (with the exception of licensed hash bars in the Netherlands) and can result in criminal prosecution. In some countries, users of marijuana with a legal prescription for its use are exempted from these restrictions.
For this reason, marijuana use at an SCA event is greatly frowned upon, and could cause mundane law enforcement to enter an event site, causing great disruption. Therefore, most Kingdoms are strictly opposed to marijuana at events, and may take steps to have offenders removed from the premises and/or turned over to law enforcement rather than risk such difficulties.
Should a particular SCAdian require the use of medicinal marijuana at an event, it is generally considered polite to inform a chirurgeon or autocrat ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of unpleasantness.