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.