Tripping through time:
a history of marijuana
Cream of the chronic: Cannabis is referred to as a “superior” herb in the world’s first medical text, or pharmacopoeia, Shen Nung’s Pen Ts’ao, in China.
Indians love indo: Cultural and religious use of ganja or cannabis and charas or hashish (resin) by Hindus in India is recorded.
c. 500 B.C.:
Gautama Buddha is said to have survived during his fast of enlightenment by eating hempseed. No wonder he always looked so happy.
Europe introduces hemp butter … so that’s where special brownies came from!
Cannabis for Christ?: Muslims use hemp to start Europe’s first paper mill. Most paper is made from hemp for the next 750 years, including Bibles.
English Queen Elizabeth I decrees that land owners with more than 60 acres must grow hemp or be fined 5 pounds. As a result, she is unofficially declared the hippest queen ever.
Pilgrims bring cannabis to New England; future Thanksgiving feasts are subsequently fueled by munchies, not harvest festivals or gratitude.
The United States Declaration of Independence is drafted on hemp paper; the Founding Fathers decide to eliminate “the pursuit of Funyuns” from the unalienable rights.
Hemp is grown at several Californian missions. Pothead padres, perhaps?
Drugstore dealers: In America, medicinal preparations with a cannabis base are available. The pharmacist becomes everybody’s new best friend.
The Emancipation Proclamation is written under the light of a hemp-oil lamp … yeah, just like that bubbler sitting on your television is a “vase.”
The American propaganda film Reefer Madness is released. Originally intended to put the fear of God into parents and educate them on the imminent dangers of “marihuana,” the film eventually becomes an unintentionally hilarious cult classic.
Israeli professor Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Weizmann Institute of Science isolates tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary active ingredient in cannabis—and one of at least 60 compounds found in cannabis that have therapeutic value. By “therapeutic value,” they mean finding a new appreciation for Pink Floyd laser shows.
Hip! Hip! Hashish!: Smash, the first hashish oil, appears. Red Lebanese reaches California.
High Hefner: With $5,000 in seed money from the Playboy Foundation, Keith Stroup establishes the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Porno for potheads: High Times magazine is founded and makes horticulture cool.
Drug Enforcement Administration administrative law Judge Francis Young finds after thorough hearings that marijuana has clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. So many schedules, so little time.
Herb is the new aspirin: Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, passes, allowing for the sale and medical use of marijuana for patients with a variety of medical conditions.
With a $35 billion market value, official U.S. statistics suggest that marijuana is America’s leading cash crop. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.