History of Marijuana in 420 seconds

Anti-immigrant sentiment sparked the first legal attacks against marijuana, and in 1913 California became the first state to make pot illegal.

By Janetta Carter

The first mentions of weed in the ancient history were the personal scripts of the Chinese Emperor Shenong 5000 years ago, who also used the plant for its medical values which varies from gout to malaria passing by rheumatism.


It can sound very ironic but it helped also cure absent mindedness which was and still a great issue.
And we cannot talk about the effect of marijuana in Asia without bringing the Indian Civilization ( Hindus ), whom used it not only for recreation purposes but also to pray God, as a sacred plant.

And with the colonization of the far east, marijuana was spread in Europe by 5 A.D.
Europeans were smoking the Herb by 5 A.D. The Muslims also liked to get stoned. The Quran bans the use of alcohol so they created hashish. You can dig deep in this with the Haschischine movement.

Its use spreading through Persia and North Africa and the 12th century. And with the discovery of America, Portuguese and Spanish Conquistadors brought with them their strains of marijuana and thus crossed the Atlantic in 1545.

“In 1910 the Mexican Revolution brought many immigrants to the United States. They brought with them: recreational marijuana use.”

The hemp movement in the United States

Olé! The English brought weed to Jamestown in 1607 where it became – alongside tobacco – an industrial and commercial corp. Its fibers used for rope and sometimes called hemp,used also as cloth and paper.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both marijuana farmers Jefferson indeed wrote the “Declaration of Independence” on paper made from the plant. The first American flag was woven from marijuana fibers. God bless America. Between 1850 and 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia.

And just as Emperor Shennong had realized almost 5,000 years earlier, it could be used to help with rheumatism along with relieving nausia and labor pains. During this time cotton overtook marijuana as the major bankable crop in the southern US.

In 1910 the Mexican Revolution brought many immigrants to the United States. They brought with them: recreational marijuana use. Anti-immigrant sentiment sparked the first legal attacks against marijuana, and in 1913 California became the first state to make pot illegal. In the Roaring Twenties cannabis really hit its recreational stride. Jazz musician and more generally “showbiz types” were the main users, spreading its use through clubs called Tea Pads, sprouting up in cities around the country.

These clubs were not initially considered a threat, as patrons caused no problems in the community, and the drug wasn’t illegal. This soon changed as racism again raised its ugly head. The white establishment believed that marijuana was causing white girls to sleep with black man, breaking down the social order.

By the 30s, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics claimed marijuana was addictive and that was a gateway to stronger narcotics. In 1936 the infamous, and now-cult movie “Reefer Madness” was released, financed by a church group. Who else? The movie claims smoking marijuana would lead to manslaughter suicide, rape and insanity.

The Renaissance of new era

By the 1950s marijuana became part of american high culture with Beat Generation writers and tokars like William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg forming the vanguard. The 1960s saw marijuana ‘break on through’ to the new counter-cultural mainstream.

Smoke by hippies, dropouts, war protesters, students and The Beatles. It became an enduring symbol of rebellion against conformity and authority. Insanity took hold of the U.S. Congress in 1970, when they passed the Controlled Substances Act: the law that classified heroin, LSD and marijuana as a Schedule 1 drugs.

In 1975 the Mexican government destroyed the entirety of its country’s marijuana crop. Columbia became the main weed supplier to the U.S., and the drug cartels were born. During the Reagan-Bush years, the war on drugs created a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use. Mandatory sentencing for possession explodes the prison population.

Millions of young men – mostly black and hispanic – are incarcerated for nonviolent drug-related crimes. The prison industrial complex rises.

The roots of 420 movement

Today the United States has 25 percent of the world’s prison population, and incarcerates more of its citizens than any country in the world. In 1993 Bill Clinton becomes President the United States. He admits to having used marijuana. During the ’90s marijuana use comes back into fashion.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Alaska, Oregon, and Washington follow suit in ’98. Maine does the same in ’99, as do Nevada, Colorado and Hawaii in 2000. In 2001 George W. Bush is given the Presidency of the United States. He also admits to using marijuana.

During W’s presidency, Montana, New Mexico Michigan, Vermont and Rhode Island legalize medical marijuana. Marijuana goes mainstream world-class athletes, politicians and entertainers all come out of the marijuana closet, the stigma fading. In 2009, Barack Obama becomes President. He indeed admitted to smoking a lot of weed. Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and D.C. all make medical marijuana legal during the Obama presidency.

In 2012, Washington and Colorado become the first states to legalize recreational Marijuana use. In 2014 Florida goes to the polls on Nov. 4. and failed before passing in 2016. Lot more states had passed the marijuana legalization amendment bill but much more are against it. What happens next is up to us.

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