History of Marijuana

Marijuana has been used for various purposes by both old and modern groups of people. During the ancient times, cultural groups used marijuana as an agent to achieve euphoria, which they believed to be a state where they can interact with their gods and raise their spirituality in order to drive disease and sickness away. A medical compendium by the ancient Chinese claimed that cannabis was widely used for this purpose during this period. The medical compendium dated back to 2737 B.C.

Marijuana use had apparently spread across the globe during this period. Based on the medical compendium, historians claim that China was amongst the first countries of the world that accepted marijuana as a means to alter the spiritual and conscious awareness of people so as to communicate with their gods as well as treat illness and disease. cannabis use subsequently spread from China to India. Afterwards, marijuana was widely used in Africa during the same period. Finally, cannabis use became widely popular during A.D. 500 in various European countries.

North America considered cannabis as a major crop during the colonial times. Marijuana was initially grown in order to produce hemp, which was a good source of fibre. It was extensively cultivated during the time that Asian sources of hemp were cut off due to World War II.

Marijuana was considered by American medical professionals as an agent that can be used to treat various illness and disease from the mid 1800s up to the early years of World War II. During 1850 to 1942, the United States Pharmacopeia listed cannabis as a plant that can be prescribed for various medical conditions. These include nausea, labor pains, and rheumatism among others.

The reference for cannabis as an intoxicating substance was widespread in various North American regions from the 1850s to the early years of the 1900s.

The 1930s campaign by the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics was intended to advocate marijuana as a substance with highly addictive narcotic elements. This campaign claimed that marijuana use can lead to powerful narcotic addiction. The aforementioned government institution is now known as the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

During the modern times, cannabis was still considered by various authorities as a “gateway” drug. Marijuana use was a distinctive element of the beat generation during the early 1950s.

Marijuana was considered as a representation of the “hippie” era during the mid 1960s since most “hippies” or college students used it as a symbol of their defiance against authority.

Marijuana was classified as a substance without medical use and with the highest potential for abuse during the 1970s. This was the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. It categorized marijuana as a Schedule I drug amongst illegal narcotics such as LSD and heroin.

During the early 1970s, Mexico was the initial supplier of marijuana in North America. However, the Mexican government conducted a campaign against cannabis during 1975. The campaign of the Mexican government involved Paraquat, a herbicide, in eliminating marijuana. This obviously raised fears of medical side effects due to the toxic herbicide. This allowed Colombia to become the top cannabis supplier of various North American regions.

The Reagan and Bush government administrations launched a “zero tolerance” campaign during 1981 to 1983. This resulted in the imposition of mandatory provisions and strict laws against marijuana use during this period. These strict laws include severe penalties for marijuana possession and illegal cultivation of the plant among others. This also resulted in an improvement on the measures being used to prevent cannabis smuggling in the southern borders of North American regions during this time.

All this evidently resulted in the development of domestic marijuana cultivation as the primary option when it comes to producing marijuana in various North American regions during the early 1980s. The main instigators of this domestic cultivation trend were California and Hawaii. However, heightened vigilance was directed towards American cannabis farms due to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This caused domestic large-scale cultivation of marijuana to give way for indoor marijuana cultivation. The marijuana strains used for this purpose were small-sized plants with high-yielding capabilities. However, this also resulted in a reduction of marijuana use for over a decade during this period.

But marijuana use experienced an upward trend during the early 1990s. This may be due to the development of efficient systems of growing marijuana indoors with increased yield. Most marijuana users during this time were teenagers, which can probably be accounted for the teenage lifestyle prevalent during this time in the US. However, this upswing retracted into low levels of marijuana use yet to be experienced for over a few decades since the early 1960s.