Cannabis Through the Ages
1.75 Million BCE: Homo Erectus migrates into Asia, coinciding with first probable case of “the munchies.”
1500 BCE: First written reference to cannabis appears in the Rh-Ya, a Chinese pharmacopeia.
1000 BCE: Bhang, a milk, butter and cannabis drink and food ingredient, is widely used in India (see Goode (Pot) Cookery in this issue).
1611 AD: English settlers bring cannabis to the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.
1840 AD: Sir Robert Russell, Queen Victoria’s personal physician, writes about the usefulness of cannabis in relieving menstrual cramps. Which obviously means that Queen Victoria got high when she was on her period. (Maybe.)
1911: Massachusetts, riding a tide of general Prohibitionist and teetotalling sentiment, becomes the first state to outlaw cannabis.
1914: Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is signed into law by President Wilson. It regulates the use of opium and becomes a model for future drug laws.
1936: Reefer Madness, a film denouncing cannabis as a dangerous, psychosis-inducing poison that leads to sexual promiscuity and an appreciation of jazz, is released.
1937: Influenced by propaganda like Reefer Madness, public opinion turns against cannabis. Congress passes the Marijuana Tax Act, which effectively criminalizes cannabis.
1944: New York Academy of Medicine releases a report that finds that use of cannabis does not induce violence or sex crimes and that the substance is non-addictive.
1970: The Controlled Substances Act declares that marijuana has “no accepted medical use.”
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is founded in Washington, DC.
1971: President Nixon declares a “war on drugs.”
1978: New Mexico establishes the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Research Program, which provides cannabis to cancer patients and finds that the substance is an effective antiemetic for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
1991: The nation’s first medical marijuana initiative passes in San Francisco.
1996: California becomes first state to legalize medical marijuana.
1999: New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson advocates for legalized marijuana.
2007: New Mexico legalizes medical cannabis.
2012: Colorado and Washington state legalize cannabis for recreational use.
2014 Aug. 30: New Mexico Secretary of Health denies recommendation to add dementia to list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.
A petition calls for the question of lowered penalties for marijuana posession to be included on the upcoming election ballot in Albuquerque. The petition is rejected due to not having enough signatures, but City Council votes to include the advisory initiative anyway. Mayor Berry vetoes the bill that would add the question to the ballot. The Bernalillo County Commission votes to include it on the county ballot, but Secretary of State Dianna Duran declares the move unconstitutional. The matter is sent to the NM Supreme Court to decide on. And who knows what the hell happens next.