History of Marijuana: Long History of Legal Use Until Prohibition

Authorities busy cracking down on medical marijuana use by sick patients want you to believe they are just enforcing the law as it’s always been. They don’t want to listen to voters. And they don’t want to abide by the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

But the truth of the matter is that marijuana was grown on large plantations in the United States until the 1920s. Not until after prohibition, when the nation banned alcohol, did marijuana become illegal. Alcohol was re-legalized a decade later — medical marijuana remained illegal until California became the first state to legalize it shortly before the turn of the century. 5666_green_wonder_.jpg

Our Southern California medical marijuana attorneys want you to have the truth. And the truth is that marijuana has been used legally by residents of nations the world over for thousands of years. It was illegal for about 50.

Time Magazine reports marijuana was used in China as early as 2737 B.C. for the treatment of a number of ailments, including gout and malaria. There is even some evidence that marijuana was the first crop grown using the founding techniques of modern agriculture. Agriculture, in term, gave birth to modern society.

Not until the end of the 1800s, when as much as 5 percent of the population became unwittingly addicted to morphine used in medicines, did the tide begin to turn. In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was created. The act brought the distribution of opium and morphine under the control of doctors — it was this regulation of chemical substances that was a major shift in U.S. drug policy.

In 1914, drug use was defined as a crime under the Harrison Act. To bypass the rights of states, the feds used a tax of non-medicinal use of drugs and punished those who used drugs without paying the tax. By 1937, 23 states had outlawed marijuana and the federal government passed the Marihuana Tax Act. Even if they couldn’t spell, the act made nonmedical use of marijuana illegal.

In World War II, the government grew huge hemp crops to supply the Navy with rope. Not until the 1950s, when Congress passed the Boggs Act and the Narcotics Control Act, were criminal penalties for marijuana defined.

Less than 50 years later, California became the first state to take back its rights — legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes. Since then, 16 states have legalized medical marijuana: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.