Hemp has been documented in history all the way back to the year 8,000 B.C. Hemp is the cannabis plant when it is grown for fiber. By the year 1895 the word “marijuana” is the first time hearing the term. The term was first known by Pancho Villa’s supporters in Sonora Mexico. Fifteen years late in the year 1910 there are reports of African-Americans using “reefer” in clubs in New Orleans. It was later reported that the white race was being influenced to use reefer as well. During the same year it was said that Mexicans were smoking marijuana in Texas. In a very short period of time it becomes apparent that cannabis is traveling rapidly into multiple places across the country. Not only is the plant traveling over multiple locations it is called a number of different names and is being used by different races. The plant is not confined to one location or one race.

By 1911, reports in San Francisco report that the Hindus people are using the plant cannabis. The plant was referred to as “gunjah” among the group of people. In the very same year Massachusetts adopts the very first marijuana ban.

Much like any other medicinal plant, the energy of the plant needs to be harnessed in such a way to promote health and healing to a person. When the cannabis medicine is used in the correct way it will provide an enlightening feeling to the person. Sects within Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Sufism and a variety of other religious groups have used cannabis to help with spiritual practices.

Every major pharmacy in America offered cannabis tinctures as medicine until the 1930s. During the 1930s cannabis prohibiton began in the United States. Not only has cannabis been used in the United States it has been used worldwide as a form of medicine. It is also important to know that in many ancient cultures cannabis is recognized as an aid to spiritual practice.

New machines were invented to break hemp, process the fiber and convert pulp or hurds into plastics, paper, etc. 1200 hash bars in New York City. From this new machine racists started to fear Mexicans, Asians and African-Americans ultimately leading to an outcry for cannabis to become outlawed. In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act is established and forbids hemp farming in the United States, unless a license form is given from the Treasury Department Du Pont files patent for nylon.

A few years later in 1943-1945 Hemp for Victory was urging farmers to grow cannabis. This brings a shed of light for a few years but is shattered in 1955. By the mid-1950s hemp farming is banned.

Hippies become more main stream during the 1960s. Hippies, pop music and Vietnam vets adopt cannabis. This is where the Beatles become icons for marijuana smoking.

Almost a decade later a man by the name Timothy Leary, sues the United States over the Marijuana Tax Act. Leary won saying that the act was unconstitutional and ultimately overturned.

Back in the United States decriminalization of cannabis was on the rise and peaked in 1978. By the late 1970s almost half of the states had approved cannabis for medical use, decriminalized it for recreational use, or completely legalized it. Arguments that were being made to legalize the plant included freeing up billions of dollars used to prosecute users, provide several billions in tax revenues, free a substantial amount of law enforcement to allow the forces be used for more serious crimes, and potentially reduce the income of street gangs whom grow, import, process, and sell cannabis.

In 1976 Holland adopts tolerance to cannabis. In both Oregon and California marijuana is decriminalized. Now the offense would be considered a misdemeanor to possess less than an ounce with a fine of one hundred dollars and no jail time.

In California itself there have been multiple compromises in a many legislative, legal, and cultural events involving the use of marijuana, hashish, and cannabis. California was the first state to bring about a medical marijuana program. This was enacted by Proposition 215 in the year 1996 and Senate Bill 420 in the year 2003. Proposition 215 is also known as the Compassionate Use Act. The act allows people with cancer, AIDS, and other chronic illnesses to legally obtain or grow marijuana for medical purposes with the recommendation of a doctor. The Medical Marijuana Protection Act was passed and signed into law by California State Governor of the time Governor Gray Davis. An identification card system was also established for these medical marijuana patients.

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  1. Conrad, Chris. Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum, “History: Cannabis Chronolgy.” Accessed April 16, 2013. http://oaksterdamcannabismuseum.com/?page_id=35.
  2. San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, “Spiritual Use of Cannabis.” Accessed April 30, 2013. http://sparcsf.org/spiritual-use-of-cannabis.
  3. “Compassionate Use Act (11362.5 H&S).” Last modified 1996. Accessed April 30, 2013. http://www.kubby.com/00-215-text.html.


     Considering the topic of Oaksterdam was quite difficult because it is known for marijuana a drug that many use but I do not. I was mostly influenced to write about Oaksterdam because a very close friend of mine was deeply involved with the company. This led to my curiosity to learn more about the company and its history.
     Back in the year 1937 the government passed the Marijuana Tax Act. This act forbade hemp farming in the Unites States without a license from the Treasury Dept. Du Pont files patent for nylon.
     As the decades go on, during the 1970s, congress passes the Controlled Substances Act. This is to replace the MTA and launch national commission on drugs. By this time marijuana is the most restricted class of drugs pending a report from the national commission. The DEA was then put in charge of rescheduling drugs based on scientific research. The social use of cannabis during the 1970s received widespread acceptance and led to a policy of legal decriminalization that ultimately sweeps the United States.
     President Richard Nixon declared “War on Drugs” sealing off Mexican borders with Operation Intercept, thus lead to domestic cultivation taking root in the United States. The government sponsored studies claimed to show new risks from marijuana smoking.
     By the time of the 1980s the Reagan/Bush war on cannabis said the “Head shops” that sold smoking apparatus were outlawed. Imposing on this was urine testing, decriminalization, asset and property seizure, the armed forces, prison camps, Just Say No, PDFA, DARE, tobacco and nuclear subsidies, etc. This led to the beginning of indoor gardening on a national level. In 1988 the DEA’s chief administrative judge ruled that the government should allow marijuana’s medical use, and in 1989 the price for an ounce of cannabis was higher than gold. Marijuana was the biggest cash crop in multiple states.
     During the 1990s voters passed regional medical cannabis measures. The interest in that and in the industrial hemp added new support to campaign for legal right to social use, thus leading to the Hemp Movement taking off. The Human Rights and the Drug War project launched in 1995. In the year 1996 California passed Proposition 215 stating that medical marijuana legalized. The Federal and state law enforcement agencies began criminal conspiracy to overturn the law and undermine the will of the voters. California law enforcement agreed to ignore State Constitution and the separation of powers. There was a claim that the federal law overridden state law, which the US Supreme Court had finally rejected in 2010 in the San Diego v California case.
     Around the year 2000 former cannabis consumer Al Gore refused to support medical marijuana. Gore lost the White House bid to former cocaine abuser and alcoholic George W. Bush. Bush later launched a new crackdown on medical use.
The San Francisco County Supervisors and the City Council of West Hollywood passed LLEP measures for possessions. Voters in the cities of Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Saint Monica also passed LLEP measures.

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1. Conrad, Chris. Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum, “History: Cannabis Chronolgy.” Accessed April 16, 2013. http://oaksterdamcannabismuseum.com/?page_id=35.

Hi, my name is Jessica Ortiz.

My first thought for the project is Oaksterdam. I do not know much about it, and I think it would be an interesting topic.