Marijuana History, A Brief Look at the Cannabis Timeline

Cannabis aka marijuana is one of the most enjoyed substances on the planet. When it comes to marijuana, just about everybody out there knows what it is. Today marijuana has finally regained ground and support around the world. This is helping marijuana prohibition come to an end, and we are starting to see, as Bob Marley so eloquently put it, the healing of the nations. Cannabis has been a part of history for thousands of years.

If We’re Free Then Cannabis Should Be Our Choice

Many people enjoy the act of smoking a joint, bowl, blunt, taking a rip off a bong, hookah or however else they can manage to enjoy some good ole Mary Jane. Then there are those that require cannabis for medicinal reasons that do not fall in the realms of recreational consumers. Marijuana is a natural substance that should be available to anyone who chooses to utilize it whether it be medicinal or recreational. Let’s take a look at history and see where cannabis started and its journey at and some of what helped it get to where it is today.


Nearly 5000 Years Ago Marijuana Began Being Utilized Medicinally

In 2700 BC, there was a Chinese emperor. He was known by the name Shen Nung. He is dubbed the father of Chinese medicine by many. Shen Nung discovered that marijuana had healing attributes to it and spread this knowledge to others. Another major event on the cannabis timeline took place in 1500 BC, when marijuana was first referenced. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia has written documentation referring to cannabis as a medication in the Rh-Ya.


Mummy’s and Daddy’s Know the Importance of Cannabis, Especially Mummies

In 1213 BC bee pollen of cannabis was found on the mummified remains of Ramesses II. Even the Egyptians utilized cannabis for glaucoma. In 1000 BC cannabis shows up in India and was considered a great anesthetic. It was commonly mixed with milk and used to treat a variety of conditions. By 200 BC cannabis was a common remedy in Greece. It was utilized for things such as inflammation and ear aches.

Marijuana Begins Being Documented

By 180 BC Chinese text had documented over a hundred elements in which marijuana was recommended as a treatment. According to the calendars in year 30 Jesus was also one who utilized cannabis. It was utilized in the form of anointing oil. There is much truth to this as many specialists throughout various fields have determined that one of the main ingredients in anointing oil is cannabis. It went by the Hebrew name Kaneh-Bosem.


Another Few Hundred Years of Advancement

Over the next 600 years, cannabis popped in and out of the scene everywhere from Muslim doctors in the 1500’s believing cannabis decreased one’s sexuality all the way to the 1600’s where William Shakespeare allegedly favored a good cannabis pipe for poetic inspiration. By 1762 cannabis was in North America thanks to the Jamestown settlers. By 1775, George Washington was growing hemp.

Marijuana Was making Its Way Around the Globe

At the beginning of the 1800’s marijuana had made its way from Egypt thanks to Napoleon‘s forces. In 1840, marijuana showed up in the United Kingdom where it was utilized as a treatment for the Queen. It’s rumored that she used it to treat menstrual cramps. In the 1840s marijuana was in every medicine cabinet throughout the West. In 1850, America finally added marijuana to the Pharmacopoeia.

Early Americas Government See Cannabis as a Threat

Heading into the early 1900s, the government was in full swing and lobbying began. This was when the first steps towards prohibiting cannabis took place. In 1911, Massachusetts was the first in the US to outlaw cannabis. By the time 1927 rolled around, ten other states had followed this path set by Massachusetts. In 1936 new medications were developed that stood to profit the future for those in control and marijuana was scheduled to be eradicated.


Marijuana Prohibition Begins

During 1936, the Reefer Madness campaign began which gave way to the 1937 MJ Tax Act. Throughout the next decade, marijuana prohibition was enforced, and the birth of private prisons began. By the mid-1980s incarceration for marijuana arrests were out of control and prisons were filled with those who were caught in possession of cannabis. In 1985, the FDA approved Marinol in their attempt to control cannabis. There were many hopeful individuals that thought they had the profit for the future in their hands.

Leading up to Today

By the end of the 1980s science was in full force investigating cannabis potentials. Cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system were discovered in the early 1990’s. By the turn of the century states for passing medical marijuana laws. 2012, Colorado was the first state in America to legalize recreational marijuana.  2014, Colorado saw the first recreational marijuana dispensaries open their doors.


Today as we are going into 2016 there are 4 states in the United States that have recreational marijuana laws and 23 states that have medicinal marijuana laws in place. As well as the nation’s capital Washington DC. 16 more states are looking into passing marijuana laws in the new year. I hope by the end of the 2016 year, this timeline will hopefully have a major pop of information that will need to be added to it.

Article courtesy of Expert Contributor: JamesP from Marijuana Writers (