Uma Breve História da Cannabis em Portugal! [OnJack Ed. 224#]

OnJack

hempadao 10 junho, 2013

As cordas de cânhamo são proeminentes na janela manuelina da Sala do Capítulo, no Convento de Cristo, em Tomar.

O relacionamento lusitano com o cânhamo-de-cannabis tem tanto de ancestral quanto de paradoxal — outrora, decretou-se entre nós que era obrigatório cultivar esta planta; passados séculos, que era proibido fazê-lo.

Espero que o primeiro sucesso deste ensaio será de animar as pessoas mais hábeis a refletirem com mais cuidado, já sobre tudo que diz respeito a esta preciosa olartta, já sobre a diversidade dos seus usos, que ainda com muita imperfeição conhecemos.
Tratado Sobre o Canamo, Martini Francisco Ribeiro d’Andrade (tradutor),1799

Nota: No passado, em Portugal os termos "linho" e "cânhamo" sempre foram usados indistintamente, referindo-se ambos a cannabis sativa l.; veja-se o que a propósito diz o historiador Telmo Verdelho em "A Cultura do Cânhamo em Moncorvo": "A liamba é tradicionalmente designada também pelo nome de cânhamo e no século XVII era conhecida pelo nome linho cânhamo (…) O cânhamo ou liamba era geralmente considerado como um linho, em 1656. Ao de todo o Regimento (decreto real aplicando-se à Feitoria de Moncorvo) as designações de linho e linhaça são geralmente usadas para referir o cânhamo. Do mesmo modo as operações de cultivo e sua industrialização são também referidas pelos termos usados para o linho"; ver outras variantes do nome da planta em "A Cannabis na Língua Portuguesa".

Se há país para a formação de cuja identidade uma planta contribuiu decisivamente, ele é Portugal — e a plan­em causa é, doa a quem doer, a cannabis. De fato, tendo a alma nacional sido forjada pelos Descobrimentos, cons­ta-se que estes só foram possíveis porque o cânhamo-de-cannabis forneceu fibra com que se fabricaram as velas e cordames das naus que desbravaram os oceanos do mundo, criando o primeiro império à escala planetária. E se à época dos eventos que definiram Portugal a cannabis era justamente considerada a cultura mais importante do país, hoje em dia o seu notável currículo entre nós só raramente é referido em estudos acadêmicos ou compêndios escolares — o que em grande medida se explica pelos efeitos da demonização de que a planta tem sido vítima nas últimas décadas.

LOGO DESDE O INÍCIO

Em Portugal, a cannabis terá sido in­troduzida pelos romanos, embora te­nham sido posteriormente os mouros quem, na sua expansão pela Península Ibérica a partir do século VIII, dissemi­nou a cultura desta planta e o leque com­pleto dos seus usos, inclusive os psicoativos (ver "Os Mil e Um Segredos de Fá­tima").

Segundo o Tratado Sobre o Canamo, publicado em Portugal no século XVIII, na Antiguidade não havia praticamente nada que não se fizesse com cannabis: "Além do uso que antigamente se fazia do Canamo para teas, fios, e cordas, fabricava-se ainda grande quantidade de obras de grande consumo, como fios, redes, linhas de pescadores, e laços para caça (…); cordões, silhas, escadas, pontes, calçados, vestidos, capacetes, escudos, cota de armas, urnas, quartas, cestos, cabos, e apprestos de navios (…) Depois destes ainda não multiplicamos muito seus usos, com a fatura de papel, e papelões, cujo con­sumo he assaz grande (…)".

No tocante a Portugal, o cânhamo-de-cannabis acompanha-nos desde o início — ele era, a par dos cereais e da vinha, um dos três pilares em que assentava a subsistência das populações rurais quando D. Afonso Henriques proclamou a independência do Condado Portuca­lense, em 1143; dois séculos após a funda­ção da nacionalidade, a situação mantinha-se, como nos dá conta o Livro 4o del--rei D. Diniz ao mencionar o aforamento de uma herdade em 1306, concedida na condição da coroa receber anualmente em troca um quinto do pão, vinho e linho cânhamo ali produzidos.

Segundo a Nova História de Portugal, “[a] cultura do linho na área de Guimarães parece ter-se prati­cado desde tempos bem remotos. A mais antiga informação que possuímos (ou conhecemos) data de 1014 e diz respeito aos lenzarios de Guimarães, ou seja, aqueles indivíduos que trabalhavam na tecelagem do linho”.

Em Portugal, o cânhamo começou por ser usado domesticamente em contexto rural. De fato, para além dos rendimen­tos derivados da produção de fibra, no campo o versátil cânhamo colmatou durante séculos as mais diversas necessidades, nomeadamente a falta de oficinas rurais, ao permitir o abastecimento do lavrador com artefatos que ele próprio produzia. Como se diz no Tratado Sobre o Cártamo setecentista, “A manufatura do Canamo he, a que convém mais natu­ralmente aos campos, e como a todos he necessária, a todos deve ser universal, o fabricante, no tempo próprio de cultura, he lavrador, e o lavrador, depois de acabada a colheita, he do mesmo modo fabricante".

Segundo a História Agrária da Europa Ocidental 500-1850, “[Na Baixa Idade Média], havia necessi­dade, mesmo nas empresas exploradas por cam­poneses, de muitos mais panos de linho do que atualmente, para os panais dos malhadouros, para os sacos do grão e da farinha, para o vestuário e para pagar o salário à criadagem e aos servos. O óleo da semente de linho empregava-se na iluminação, e o bagaço proveniente da prensagem servia para ali­mentar o gado”. Acrescenta o jornal agrícola Archivo Rural em 1863 que “[u]ma circumstancia impor­tante e de muita consideração nas localidades em que o combustível é raro e dispendioso, é que n’estes estabelecimentos não é necessário outro combustí­vel mais do que a parte lignosa do canamo, que se separa no trabalho das machinas".

Durante séculos a cannabis foi também sinôni­mo literal de papel; assim, em 1789 escreve-se nas Memorias Econômicas da Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa: "Que cousa he papel? He uma composição feita de trapos de linho, desfeitos na agoa quasi em pó, por meio de huma máquina, e unidos outra vez no que chamamos papel (...)". Segundo o filólogo brasileiro António de Franco, citado na Internet, a Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha comunicando a descoberta do Brasil, "foi escrita em papel ‘Florete’, utilizado em documentos oficiais da Península Ibérica a partir do século X. Esse tipo de papel era feito de linho ou cânhamo fino, um material variante da cannabis sativa, a fibra de onde se extrai a maconha".

O Tratado Sobre o Canamo informa também que, no século XVIII, a cannabis erautilizada na cozinha (“os homens pobres usão do óleo do Canamo para o tempero do caldo das panellas”), na medicina (“cura as tosses, icterícia e gonorrhea; seu óleo entra composição das pomadas próprias para as bexigas tem a virtude resolutiva”); quanto aos seus efeitos psicoativos, eles eram conhecidos (“sua farinha misturada com qualquer bebida embebeda, e hebeta a todos, que delia usão; sabe-se geralmente, que os Árabes fazem huma espécie de vinho, que embebeda”). Ao que parece, em Portugal só havia uma coisa que não se podia fazer com cannabis — segundo o Tratado Sobre o Canamo, “prohibio-se o sepultar os mortos envolvido em têas feitas de Canamo; por isso que ha manucfaturas de estofos de lã, unicamente destinados a este uso”.

O OnJack publica, semanalmente, trechos da tradução do livro de Jack Herer, The Emperor Wears no Clothes.



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