6,000 BCE Cannabis seeds and oil used for food in China.
4,000 BCE Textiles made of hemp are used in China and Turkestan.
700-300 BCE Scythian tribes leave Cannabis seeds as offerings in royal tombs.
500 BCE Hemp is introduced into Northern Europe by the Scythians. An urn containing leaves and seeds of the Cannabis plant, unearthed near Berlin, is found and dated to about this time.
200 BCE Hemp rope appears in Greece. Chinese Book of Rites mentions hemp fabric.
100-0 BCE The psychotropic properties of Cannabis are mentioned in the newly compiled herbal Pen Ts’ao Ching.
23-79 Pliny the Elder’s The Natural History mentions hemp rope and marijuana’s analgesic effects.
47-127 Plutarch mentions Thracians using cannabis as an intoxicant.
70 Dioscorides, a physician in Nero’s army, lists medical marijuana in his Pharmacopoeia.
105 Legend suggests that Ts’ai Lun invents hemp paper in China, 200 years after its actual appearance (see 100 BCE above).
130-200 Greek physician Galen prescribes medical marijuana.
200 First pharmacopeia of the East lists medical marijuana. Chinese surgeon Hua T’o uses marijuana as an anesthetic.
1155-1221 Persian legend of the Sufi master Sheik Haydar’s personal discovery of Cannabis and his own alleged invention of hashish with its subsequent spread to Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. Another of the earliest written narratives of the use of Cannabis as an inebriant.
1171-1341 During the Ayyubid dynasty of Egypt, Cannabis is introduced by mystic devotees from Syria.
13th Century Ibn al-Baytar of Spain provides a description of the psychoactive nature of Cannabis. Arab traders bring Cannabis to the Mozambique coast of Africa.
1300 Ethiopian pipes containing marijuana suggest the herb has spread from Egypt to the rest of Africa.
1532 French physician Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel mentions marijuana’s medicinal effects.
1549 Angolan slaves brought cannabis with them to the sugar plantations of northeastern Brazil. They were permitted to plant their cannabis between rows of cane and to smoke it between harvests.
c. 1550 The epic poem, Benk u Bode, by the poet Mohammed Ebn Soleiman Foruli of Baghdad, deals allegorically with a dialectical battle between wine and hashish.
1563 Portuguese physician Garcia da Orta reports on marijuana’s medicinal effects.
1578 China’s Li Shih-Chen writes of the antibiotic and antiemetic effects of marijuana.
1606-1632 French and British cultivate Cannabis for hemp at their colonies in Port Royal (1606), Virginia (1611), and Plymouth (1632).
1616 Jamestown settlers began growing the hemp plant for its unusually strong fiber and used it to make rope, sails, and clothing.
1621 Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy suggests marijuana may treat depression.
1753 Linnaeus classifies Cannabis sativa.
1764 Medical marijuana appears in The New England Dispensatory.
1794 Medical marijuana appears in The Edinburgh New Dispensary.
1800- Marijuana plantations flourished in Mississippi, Georgia, California, South Carolina, Nebraska, New York, and Kentucky.
1846 French physician Moreau publishes Hashish and Mental Illness
1850 Cannabis is added to The U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
1850-1915 Marijuana was widely used throughout the United States as a medicinal drug and could easily be purchased in pharmacies and general stores.
1854 Whittier writes the first American work to mention cannabis as an intoxicant.
1890 Sir J.R. Reynolds, chief physician to Queen Victoria, prescribes medical marijuana to her.
1906 In the U.S. the Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labeling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others.
1910 The Mexican Revolution caused an influx of Mexican immigrants who introduced the habit of recreational use (instead of it’s generally medicinal use) into American society.
1914 The Harrison Act in the U.S. defined use of Marijuana (among other drugs) as a crime.
1915-1927 In the U.S. cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical use. Prohibition first begins in California (1915), followed by Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927).
1933 The U.S. congress repealed the 21st Amendment, ending alcohol prohibition; 4 years later the prohibition of marijuana will be in full effect.
1936 The American propaganda film Reefer Madness was made to scare American youth away from using Cannabis.
1937 U.S. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized the drug. In response, Dr. William C. Woodward, testifying on behalf of the AMA, told Congress that, “The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug” and warned that a prohibition “loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis.”
1941 Cannabis is removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and its medicinal use is no longer recognized in America.
1951 The Boggs Act and the Narcotics Control Act in the U.S. increases all drug penalties and laid down mandatory sentences.
1960 Czech researchers confirm the antibiotic and analgesic effects of cannabis.
1970 The US National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) forms. That same year the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act repealed mandatory penalties for drug offenses and marijuana was categorized separately from other narcotics.
1971 First evidence suggesting marijuana may help glaucoma patients.
1972 The Nixon-appointed Shafer Commission urged the use of cannabis to be re-legalized, but their recommendation was ignored. U.S. Medical research picks up pace. Proposition 19 in California to legalize marijuana use is rejected by a voter margin of 66-33%.
1975 Nabilone, a cannabinoid-based medication appears.
1976 The U.S. federal government created the Investigational New Drug (IND) Compassionate Use research program to allow patients to receive up to nine pounds of cannabis from the government each year. Today, five surviving patients still receive medical cannabis from the federal government, paid for by federal tax dollars. At the same time the U.S. FDA continues to list marijuana as Schedule I meaning: “A high potential for abuse with no accepted medical value.”
1977 Carl Sagan proposes that marijuana may have been the world’s first agricultural crop, leading to the development of civilization itself: “It would be wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization.” Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden, Speculations on the Origin of Human Intelligence.
1977-1981 U.S. President Carter, including his assistant for drug policy, Dr. Peter Bourne, pushed for decriminalization of marijuana, with the president himself asking Congress to abolish federal criminal penalties for those caught with less than one ounce of marijuana.
1978 – First medical marijuana bill adopted. Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards signed into law legislation legalizing medical marijuana only for patients with glaucoma and those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
1986 President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, reinstating mandatory minimums and raising federal penalties for possession and distribution and officially begins the U.S. international “war on drugs.”
1988 U.S. DEA administrative law Judge Francis Young finds, after thorough hearings, that marijuana has a clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. His recommendation is ignored.
1992 In reaction to a surge of requests from AIDS patients for medical marijuana, the U.S. government closes the Compassionate Use program. That same year the pharmaceutical medication Dronabinol is approved for AIDS-wasting syndrome.
1996 California became the first U.S. State to then re-legalize medical marijuana use for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. A similar bill was passed in Arizona the same year. This was followed by the passage of similar initiatives in Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
1997 The American Office of National Drug Control Policy commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a comprehensive study of the medical efficacy of cannabis therapeutics. The IOM concluded that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine, patients should have access, and the government should expand avenues for research and drug development. The federal government completely ignored its findings and refused to act on its recommendations.
1997-2001 In direct contradiction to the IOM recommendations, President Clinton, continuing the Regan and Bush “war on drugs” era, began a campaign to arrest and prosecute medical cannabis patients and their providers in California and elsewhere.
1999 Hawaii and North Dakota unsuccessfully attempt to legalize hemp farming. The U.S. DEA reclassifies Dronabinol as a schedule III drug, making the medication easier to prescribe while marijuana itself continues to be listed Schedule I as having “no accepted medical use.”
2000 Legalization initiative in Alaska fails.
2001 Britain’s Home Secretary, David Blunkett, proposes relaxing the classification of cannabis from a class B to class C. Canada adopts federal laws in support of medical marijuana, and by 2003 Canada becomes the first country in the world to approve medical marijuana nation-wide.
2001-2009 Under President G.W. Bush the U.S. federal government intensified its “war on drugs” targeting both patients and doctors across the state of California.
2009 President Obama made steps toward ending the very unsuccessful 20-year “war on drugs” initiated during the Regan administration by stating that individual drug use is really a public health issue, and should be treated as such. Under his guidance, the U.S. Justice Department announced that federal prosecutors will no longer pursue medical marijuana users and distributors who comply with state laws.
2010 Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in California is placed back on the ballet (named The Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010). Current voter poles suggest that the proposition has about 50% population support and will likely win or lose by a margin of only 2%.
Oct 2010 Just weeks before the November 2nd California election on Prop. 19, Attorney General Eric Holder said federal authorities would continue to enforce U.S. laws that declare the drug is illegal, even if voters approve the initiative, stating “we will vigorously enforce the (Controlled Substances Act) against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana for recreational use.”
Nov 2010 California Proposition 19, also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, was narrowly defeated by 53.6% of the vote. This would have legalized various marijuana-related activities in California, allowing local governments to regulate these activities, permitting local governments to impose and collect marijuana-related fees and taxes, and authorizing various criminal and civil penalties.
Nov 2012 The States of Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana/cannabis for recreational use; promises are made to the people that these new initiatives will have no impact on medical marijuana in those states.
July 07, 2014, Cannabis City becomes Seattle’s very first legal marijuana shop for over-the-counter purchase & recreational use. This generated world-wide media attention and a serious discussion over the legalization of marijuana and a possible end to the American “drug war.” The first purchase, by Deb Green a 65-year old marathon-running grandmother from Ballard, is part of the collection of the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, Washington.
2015 Louisiana Sen. Fred Mill sponsored Senate Bill 143, which gives power to three state agencies to establish the framework for legal medical marijuana growth, dispensary, and prescription system in Louisiana.
June 30, 2015, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signs HB 149, which sets up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes in Louisiana.
August 6, 2019, Medical cannabis was dispensed in the state of Louisiana for the first time, supplied by cannabis grower GB Sciences.
June 2018 “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Dec. 20, 2018 – President Trump Signs Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp.
Sep. 19, 2019 – US Government Allocates $3M for Research on CBD and Pain
Adapted from the following sources:
Understanding Marijuana, a New Look at the Scientific Evidence by Mitch Earleywine
The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
Original posted by Advanced Holistic Health: