In the Beginning Marijuana ...
High everyone ! Today I will be doing another High History episode, and we are going to be looking at the beginning of marijuana. So Im doing this because with everything going on with marijuana in the news and more and more states legalizing ... I think before we get into this new era of marijuana we should see where she came from.
So the first cannabis findings are from 6000 B.C they are cannabis seeds which were used for food in China. Also a finding in China from 4000 B.C, textiles made of hemp were used. The first recorded use of cannabis is from the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, and was used as a medicine in Chinese pharmacopeia in 2727 B.C. (*Every part of the world has used cannabis for a wide variety of health problems) In 1500 B.C Cannabis is cultivated in China for food and fiber. Scythians cultivated cannabis and used it to weave fine hemp cloth. There is mention of cannabis in Hindu's sacred text called Aharveda (translates to Science of Charms) as "Sacred Grass" (one of the five sacred plants of India) which was offered to Shiva between 1200-800 B.C. The Indians created a drink in 1000 B.C called Bhang, a mix of marijuana, milk, and other ingredients which is used as an anti-phlegmatic and anesthetic. The drink is still used in India today. There's an ancient Persian religious text of several hundred volumes, one in particular is called Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta where they refer to marijuana as a "Good Narcotic" all the way back between 700-600 B.C. Then between 700-300 B.C Scythian tribes leave cannabis seeds as offerings in royal tombs. 500 B.C They find a Scythian couple who had died and were buried with two small tents, attached to the one tent stick was a decorated leather pouch containing wild cannabis seeds much like the story of Herodotus (whose grave was discovered in the 1940s). Hemp was then introduced into North Europe by the Scythians, an urn containing leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant, was unearthed near Berlin. It started in Asia as medicine, burned cannabis seeds have been found in the graves of Shamans in China and Siberia. Herodotus reports on both ritual and recreational use of cannabis by the Scythians in 430 B.C. The psychotropic properties of cannabis are mentioned in the newly compiled herbal Pen Ts'ao Ching which is attributed to an emperor in 100 B.C.
And now we are going to start going into A.D. So from 2700 B.C-100 A.D Construction of Samaritan gold and glass paste stash box for storing hashish, coriander, or salt, was buried in the Siberian Tomb. Dioscorides mentions the use of cannabis as Roman Medicament in 70 A.D. Roman medical texts listed it as a cure for ear aches and to suppress sexual desire. A roman, Galen alludes to the psycho activity of cannabis seed confections around 170 A.D. And later on between 500-600 the Jewish Talmud mentions the euphoriant properties of cannabis. Hashish which is normally smoked with a pipe was widely used throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia in 800 A.D. Between 800-900 A.D the Ariabians used it for migraines, pain, and syphilis. In Khorasan, Persia, Hasan ibn al-Sabbah, the old man of the mountain recruits followers to commit assassinations in the years 900A.D-1256. Legends developed around their supposed use of hashish, Where legends are earliest written tales of the discovery of the inebriating powers of cannabis and supposed use of hashish. In The early 1200s hashish smoking was very popular throughout the middle east. Later Cannabis is introduced into Egypt during the reign of the Ayyubid Dynasty. In the years 1155-1221 Persian legend of the Sufi Master Sheik Haiders of Khorasani personal discovery of cannabis and its spread to Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt, and Syria. Which is another of the earliest written narratives of the use of cannabis as an inebriant. Hashish was introduced to Iraq in the reign of Caliph Mustansir in 1231. Journeys of Marco Polo in which he gives second hand reports of the story of Hasan ibn al-Sabbah and his "assassins' ' using hashish between 1271-1965. First time reports of cannabis have been brought to the attention of Europe. In the 1300s the oldest monograph of hashish was created and since then it has been lost. Baytar of Spain provides a description of psychoactive cannabis and Arab traders bring cannabis to the Mozambique coast of Africa. In 1378 Ottoman Emir Soudoun Schiekhouni issued one of the first edicts against eating hashish. And so it begins ...
So we fast forward a couple hundred years and we are in the 1500s where marijuana is brought to North America by the Spanish. And in 1526 Babur Nama, first emperor and founder of Mughal Empire learned of hashish in Afghanistan. The origins of marijuana is the US can be related back to the earliest days of settlement when hemp was grown like any other crop in the 1600s. In the mid 1600s an epic poem deals allegorical with a dialectical battle between wine and hashish. The use of hashish, alcohol, and opium spread among the population of Constantinople in the 1700s. Hashish becomes a major trade item between central Asia and South Asia. In 1765 George Washington was interested in farming hemp but also questioned the potential medical uses of marijuana in his journals. In the late 1800s cannabis extracts were sold in pharmacies and doctors offices throughout Europe and the
US to treat stomach problems and other ailments. Sir William Brooke O'Shaughnessy, an irish doctor studying in India, found that cannabis extracts could help lessen stomach pain and vomiting in people suffering from Cholera in 1830. So in 1840 medicinal preparations with a cannabis base are available in America. Hashish is available in Persian pharmacies. Marijuana became widely accepted in mainstream medicine and was an ingredient in many over the counter products. A couple years later Le Club des Hachichin or Hashish Eaters Club, was established in Paris. Marijuana was added to the US pharmacy in 1850, it was used as a treatment for opioid withdrawal, pain, appetite stimulation, and relief of nausea and vomiting. Sometime after 1850 Hashish appears in Greece. Later on the British tax ganja and charas trade in India. In 1862 Hashish candy was advertised in an issue of Vanity Fair as a pleasurable and harmless stimulant that could cure melancholy and nervousness. So between 1870 and 1880 there are first reports of hashish smoking on Greek mainland and cultivation for hashish is introduced. Later on Kerr reports on Indian ganja and charas trade. Around 1890 the Greek department of interior prohibits importations, cultivation, and use of hashish. And in Turkey hashish is made illegal. 70k-80k kg of hashish were legally imported into India from Central Asia each year.
Okay so bear with me I know I'm throwing a lot at you but now we're in the early 1900s where smoking is very popular throughout the Middle East. In the US marijuana wasn't widely used for recreational purposes until this time. For 3 decades (1900-1930s) marijuana was an ingredient in a variety of medications where it was marketed as a painkiller. During this time period, Mexican immigrants introduced recreational use of marijuana, and because the drug became associated with Mexican immigrants people began to fear the drugs with anti- drug campaigns referring to it as "Mexican Menace." And in 1906 the Food and Drug Act required that any product containing cannabis be labeled appropriately. And between 1914-1927 26 states passed laws against cannabis with little to no public outcry of political debate. Cannabis begins to be prohibited for non-medical use in the US especially in the South West states. (California in 1915; Texas in 1919; Louisiana in 1924; and New York in 1927). Metaxus dictators in Greece crack down on hashish smoking in 1920. While hashish is smuggled into Egypt from Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Central Asia. Lebanese hashish production peaks after World War 1 until prohibition in 1926. Recreational use of cannabis is banned in Britain. And between the years of 1920-1930 high quality hashish was produced in Turkey near the Greek border. The Yarkland region of Chinese Turkestan exports 91,471 kg of hashish legally into the North West Frontier and regions of India. Legal taxed imports of hashish continue into India from Central Asia. And the great depression resulted in job loss for many Americans. more fear of mexican immigrants for taking american jobs which causes more concern over the dangers of marijuana, where media said crime and violence were related to marijuana. And this is where Harry J. Anslinger began a campaign to criminalize marijuana, claiming that it led to insanity. Then the Prohibition era begins, 29 states outlaw cannabis. And the Chinese government moves to end all cannabis cultivation. Both licit and illicit hashish production becomes illegal in chinese turkestan. And by 1936 all the states had some form of marijuana regulation laws. The film Reefer Madness was released and it depicted marijuana as a drug that could lead to violence, rape, suicide, and psychosis. Cannabis is made federally illegal in the US with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act. Which restricted marijuana use to only those that could pay a heavy excise tax for specific authorized industrial and medical uses. Before 1940 the supply of hashish from Chinese Turkestan nearly ceased. The Greek hashish smoking tradition fades. And the Indian government considers cultivation in Kashmir. Marijuana was removed from the US pharmacopeia and doctors began to discredit marijuana as not having any medicinal use in 1942. The New York Academy of Medicine published a report stating that marijuana was only a mild intoxicant. Harry Anslinger responded to this report with a solicited article in the American Journal of Psychiatry that attempted to discredit the information.
Legal hashish consumption continues in India. And from 1945-1955 hashish use in Greece flourishes again. And hashish was still smuggled into India from Chinese Central Asia. Moroccan government tactly allows kif cultivation in the Rif Mountains. By 1952 The Boggs Act was passed creating strict mandatory punishments for those involved with marijuana and other drugs. Marijuana gained popularity among the counterculture who considered it a harmless high. It became popular among college students, free spirited, anti-war activists, hippies, and other youths. Even President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson commissioned reports that found that marijuana did not induce violence or lead to the use of other more dangerous drugs in 1960. A few years later Morocco makes their first hashish. And over in Turkey the police seized 2.5 tons of hashish. First reports of cannabis Afghanica use for hashish productions in North Afghanistan. Mustafa comes to Ketama in Morocco to make hashish from local kif. Between the years of 1965-1970 marijuana arrests on the state level increased tenfold as authorities began to crack down on marijuana use and distribution. The moroccan government attempts to purge kif growers from the Rif Mountains. "Smash" appears as the first hashish oil. Red Lebanese reaches California. The brotherhood popularizes Afghani hashish while Lebanese red and blonde hashish of very high quality exported.The Turkish hashish from Gaziantep near Syria appears in Western Europe. Afghani hashish varieties introduced to North American for sinsemilla production. By October 27, 1970 the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which defines a scheduling system for drugs and places most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocin, cannabis) in schedule 1. According to the act, marijuana had no medicinal value and high potential for abuse, giving it harsher criminal penalties. This law made it difficult for doctors and scientists studying marijuana and its many uses. Despite federal efforts to strengthen enforcement of strict marijuana laws, states such as Oregon, Maine, and Alaska decriminalized marijuana. By 1973 huge fields of cannabis cultivated for hashish production in Afghanistan. These were the Last years that truly great Afghani hashish was available. Shafer commission urged use of cannabis be re-legalized but it was ignored by Richard Nixon. Medical research continues. A few years later Nepal bans the cannabis shops and charas exports. The Afghani government makes hashish production and sales illegal. The harvest is pitifully small.
By 1975 the FDA established a Compassionate Use Program for medicinal marijuana. The parents movement against marijuana began as more parents feared the drug and sought
to prevent the use in teens. The Efforts strengthened by the Drug Enforcement Administration and National Institute of Drug Abuse. A few years later Westerners make siered hashish in Nepal from wild cannabis. The increase manufactured of "modern" Afghani hashish. Cannabis varieties from Afghanistan imported into Kashmir for sieved hashish production. By the 1980s Morocco became one of the largest hashish producing and exporting nations. Researchers discovered a receptor for THC and THC related chemicals in the brains of certain mammals, including humans. This finding indicated that the brain naturally produces a THC-like substance that may perform some of the same functions that THC does. Two years later the First Lady Nancy Reagan started the just ''say no '' campaign. The Drug abuse resistance education (otherwise DARE) program was established. And between 1980-1990s the public opinion of marijuana shifted back to it being dangerous. Many considered it a gateway drug to harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. The private stashes of pre-war Afghani hashish in Amsterdam, GOA, American are nearly finished. President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-drug Abuse Act. This law raised marijuana penalties and created mandatory sentences, many of which equated marijuana with heroin. The moroccan government cracks down upon cannabis cultivation in lower elevations of the Rif Mountains. And the DEA Administrative law Judge Frances Young finds after thorough hearings that marijuana has clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. And in 1989 President George H.W. Bush declared a "New War on Drugs' ' and continued anti-marijuana campaigns. In 1990 four other states plus Washington D.C, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Maine legalized marijuana. Cannabis eradication efforts resume in Morocco. By 1995 the introduction of hashish making equipment and appearance of locally produced hashish in Amsterdam coffee shops. California voters approved Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana for medicinal use at the state level. Between 1998-1999 the Clinton Administration spent $25 million on television campaigns that placed anti-drug messages in primetime TV shows.
So coming into the present years .... in the year 2000 eight states passed medical marijuana laws. Since 2010 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws and nine states and D.C have legalized recreational marijuana. Incarceration rates spiked under the Reagan-era policies, mostly with men of color. By the 2000s states began to reconsider the war on drugs. Some chose to combat it by decriminalizing rather than legalizing marijuana. Every state is different in regards to the laws of marijuana.