By: cannabound.io Marijuana wasn’t always illegal. Very early back in time, people were aware of its benefits and used it for medical purposes. Just like now that cannabis products such as CBD oil are used. These products can be found in many countries around the world including Europe. For example, CBD in Switzerland is […]
Marijuana wasn’t always illegal. Very early back in time, people were aware of its benefits and used it for medical purposes. Just like now that cannabis products such as CBD oil are used. These products can be found in many countries around the world including Europe. For example, CBD in Switzerland is widely used.
Let’s take a look back…
The first-ever recorded use of marijuana for medical purposes was by Emperor Shen Neng of China in 2737 B.C. He prescribed marijuana tea to treat malaria, gout and poor memory. We can agree with the two first ones but treating poor memory with marijuana is quite surprising.
In 1619 in Jameson, Virginia King James I required all American colonists to grow Indian hemp to export to England. In 1862 Vanity Fair advertised marijuana-infused “Hashish Candies” as a treatment for melancholy and nervousness. It sounds crazy how a cannabis product could be advertised so easy but it was all normal since it was legal and used widely.
What triggered the Illegalization of cannabis?
It all started with the Mexican revolution in 1910 when Mexican immigrants flooded the U.S. labor market. They went to Texas and Louisiana bringing with them the cultural tradition of smoking marijuana in cigarettes and pipes for medicinal purposes. Mexicans used the term “marihuana” which was unknown to Americans who were using only the term “cannabis”.
Heavy tensions arose regarding the influx of immigrants and the rising use of cannabis. Media turned against the use of marijuana and many anti-drug campaigns appeared.
A man called Harry Anslinger who was a Prohibition Agent fought the use of marijuana the most and is considered the one to put the first barrier to use marijuana. He said that whoever smoked cannabis would turn into a “wild beast”, causing violent crimes and acting overly sexual.
With Anslinger pushing it, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 which made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal in the entire U.S. excluding industrial or medical use.
So, this is where it all started and since then there is an ongoing “war” on the subject of legalizing marijuana or not.
Although we have to mention that between 1916 and 1931, there were 29 states that outlawed marijuana, but the Tax Act in 1937 basically banned it nationwide.
The federal government and the states continued enforcing punishments until the late 1960’s when laws started touching upper-middle-class students who were using cannabis.
The 1970’s and the “Controlled Substances Act”
President Richard Nixon in 1970 passed the Controlled Substances Act which outlawed marijuana federally. This act put marijuana in the same tier of drugs like heroin and cocaine. Later, state governments who fought for legalization started decriminalizing marijuana and Oregon was first to start in 1973
In 2012 Colorado and Washington became the first two states who completely legalized marijuana. Now, cannabis is legal in 11 states in the U.S. with Illinois being the last state to legalize it in January of this year.
The battle for legalization or re-legalization is still going on and it seems like it will remain for a while. But, from 2000 onward marijuana is perceived differently. Many people already consume it for various reasons including health reasons. It is already a large industry with many companies selling products and running large cannabis marketing campaigns.