Cannabis has been in use for thousands of years. From medicinal herbs in Asia in 500 BC to the colonists who relied on hemp for its durable fiber, cannabis has always been intrinsically linked to many global cultures. And, we’re sure that over those thousands of years, there were landmarks in cannabis cultivation and use that were unquestionably significant, but the first real game changer for the western world occurred when Irish doctor Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy found that cannabis extracts could ease the symptoms of cholera. This act introduced cannabis to western medicine, where synthetic versions of THC are still prescribed to cancer patients who suffer those same symptoms.
Marijuana wasn’t reportedly a very popular recreational drug in America until the early 1900s, but it was in 1965 when Allen Ginsburg led a pro-weed protest in front of an NYC women’s jail that recreational weed caught the attention of America’s provincial lawmakers. Just three short years later, marijuana would be classified as a schedule 1 narcotic alongside heroin and cocaine. The iconic image of Ginsberg wearing a sign proclaiming “Pot Is Fun” is a quintessential relic of the 60s, as is the controlled substances act.
In 2005, 40 years after Allen Ginsberg told America how much fun pot was, Seattle celebrated their 25th Hempfest, an annual event advocating for Washington state’s right to use cannabis. 2005 was the year that recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington, making that year’s Hempfest an epic smoke out that pretty much hot-boxed all of the Pacific Northwest.
Look out for more great moments in Pot History on La Cannaisseur’s blog.
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