When last we visited this topic, we covered Dr. Will O’Shaughnessy discovered medicinal uses of cannabis, how Alan Ginsberg put everyone’s spot on blast arguably instigating the controlled substances act, and when Seattle Hempfest blew a solid cloud of marijuana smoke across the nation. This time around we’ll revisit Oregon’s landmark decriminalization, the discovery of cannabinoids and Cali’s game-changing measure 215 that legalized medical marijuana in the most recreational adjacent way possible.
The Oregon Decriminalization Bill of 1973 was in direct conflict with the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act which criminalized all narcotics; cannabis was roped into the bill as a casualty. The decriminalization bill removed criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana, making Oregon the first state in the country to take a chill stance on marijuana consumption.
Rewind to 1964, the lab of scientist Raphael Mechoulam (pictured), where the clever Mechoulam not only isolated and synthesized THC but also blessed us with the term cannabinoids which we use to describe the strength, flavor, and appearance of modern cannabis.
It would be more than 40 years after Mechoulam’s discovery that California would pass a statewide referendum, legalizing medicinal marijuana, inspiring thousands of retail dispensaries and loose regulations regarding prescriptions. California’s experience with medicinal legalization conceivably paved the way for Colorado, Washington and Oregon’s recreational success.
For more cannabis fun facts, visit La Cannaisseur’s blog.