You might think marijuana use is a recent phenomenon, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in actual fact. The history of marijuana is a long and storied series of events, dating back thousands of years, and it has gone back and forth between being legal and illegal in places all over the world. Today cannabis has varied state-by-state laws, with dispensaries such as Shango able to provide both recreational and medical cannabis to customers. Here are a few notable occurrences in the history of marijuana, which explain how we arrived at the present day situation.

Beginnings – Who Discovered Marijuana?

Who discovered marijuana? This is a difficult question to answer. The Cannabis plant is indigenous to Central and South Asia, and there’s evidence that people may have smoked marijuana as early as the 3rd century BC. During pre-modern times, marijuana: “for the most part…was widely used for medicine and spiritual purposes” according to Professor Barney Warf, from the University of Kansas. Vikings and medieval Germans even used cannabis to relieve the pain of childbirth, and for afflictions such as toothaches.

Marijuana History in the USA

Marijuana history in the USA involved its two forms – marijuana and hemp (with marijuana referring to cannabis used as a drug, and hemp the name for cannabis used for cloth, paper or rope). Hemp was an important crop during the early days of colonization; and many clothes, rope, and more were crafted using this fabric. By the late 1800s people were discovering the medicinal qualities of the plant, but recreational use would later be frowned upon.

Much of this was because of an influx of Mexican immigrants into America following the Mexican Revolution. These people brought their native culture and customs with them, and one of these was the use of cannabis, both as medicine and as a recreational substance. The media demonized these immigrants and their use of “marihuana”, which Americans didn’t realize was a plant they already used.

When was Cannabis Made Illegal?

By the early 20th century, cannabis had been deemed illegal in several countries, and the US would soon follow suit. Various restrictions were placed on it, until it was made illegal in the 1930s with the Marihuana Tax Act – though this was largely down to propaganda and racial stereotypes rather than actual scientific evidence. In the 1970s weed was classified as as Schedule I drug (the same category as substances such as Heroin and LSD), and though a commission recommended removing it from this category, it has remained so ever since.

Why is Marijuana Legal in some States Now?

The legalization of marijuana in the US is tied to both state and federal regulations. While the federal government still classifies cannabis as an illegal substance, they have made it legal for an individual state to decriminalize weed use for both medicinal and recreational purposes, with some restrictions. Liberalizing cannabis laws began in Oregon in 1973 with decriminalization, and in 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington became the first states to make recreational use of marijuana legal, in 2012. Since then, various other states have followed suit, though there are large disparities from state to state.

Where Can You Buy Weed Legally?

From Shango, of course! We’ve got locations all over Nevada and Oregon, so check out our great specials that we offer at your nearest store!