The history of marijuana is a long one. This plant has been interwoven into medicinal and industrial uses for over four thousand years. Grass spread from ancient Chinese medicine to Arabic assassins, to modern American industry, before ultimately having a near-worldwide ban.
2700 BC to 0 AD, The Beginnings.
In the year 2737 BC, the first known mention of cannabis use was recorded by Emperor Shen Nung. From here, it became a staple of traditional Chinese medicine, used for 100 different ailments, including the following:
- digestive ailments
The Scythians (A Eurasian and Iranian nomadic group) began cultivating marijuana soon after to weave cloths and ropes of hemp. By 600 BC, hemp rope would spread to southern Russia, and by 200 BC this invention would spread all the way to Greece. If you are planning to buy your own medical marijuana, please do contact a credible professional dispensary in Portland.
0 to 1000 AD, Spreading Further.
In the year 70 AD, Dioscorides mentions marijuana in his pharmacopeia (a book which lists drugs and their effects.) He writes that it’s good for twisting into a rope, and recommends juicing it to cure earaches. He also makes the first Western references to eating its seeds for psychoactive effect. Galen, a famous Roman physician, born in 130 AD, would confirm his reference. He writes that hemp seeds would be given out at parties “to promote hilarity and enjoyment” while also referencing the use to cure earaches. For more details consult dispensary in Portland.
By the year 650, even Vikings were growing Cannabis on their Norwegian farmsteads. They would keep this up for over 200 years, eventually introducing hemp rope and cannabis seeds to Iceland in the year 800.
1,000 to Present, From Good to Bad
A hundred years later, Arabia discovered Hashish, a product extracted from the resin of cannabis, and this drug quickly became popular with the Arabian people. By 1300, Marco Polo would bring back reports about Arabian assassins using Hashish, gaining Europe’s attention and interest in other uses of Cannabis.
As Hashish use spread it moved west into Egypt, and Napoleon would encounter it as he invaded in 1800. As thousands of his soldiers became introduced to the drug, Napoleon became worried how it would affect them. He put in place the first ban of Cannabis use to his army, commanding them not to smoke or drink the drug. Though, this ultimately wouldn’t work. The soldiers returned to France, and with them brought Hashish.
Meanwhile, Jamestown settlers brought hemp with them to the Americas and began growing it. By 1800, seven different states would be growing marijuana in earnest. In 1910, the Mexican revolution would bring an influx of immigrants to America, bringing with them the recreational use of marijuana. They were met with fear and prejudice. Newspapers all over the country printed stories that smoking marijuana caused men of color to go crazy, and seduce white women.
Mexico soon also became steeped in fear by what the drug could do, and prohibited it entirely in 1920. The rest of the world matched them, and the International Opium Convention treaty was revised and signed in 1925, banning hemp and hashish in over 60 countries for anything but scientific or medical use.
By 1937, America put in place the Marijuana Tax Act which made having marijuana illegal unless for medicinal or farming reasons. In 1970, Nixon declared his war on drugs and The Controlled Substance Act of 1970, banning all but the active use of marijuana.
In the present day, few countries allow recreational use of marijuana. Though, some do allow it for medicinal purposes. There have been many pushes recently for states to legalize it, but rather they will or not- the future of marijuana has yet to be seen.