Timeline


Discussing the past has always been a vital component within education. Listed below are cited quotes and facts throughout history from some of the most credible references possible. This is a part of marijuana history.

Medical Cannabis Consultants agrees there are benefits, risks, and a need for more research. In the meantime, please follow Rhode Island state law regarding the use of medical marijuana.

Please follow Rhode Island state law regarding the use of medical marijuana. Below is a part of marijuana history only.

 

1911:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts becomes first state to ban cannabis in the United States of America
 

1934:

Marijuana’s 
use 
as 
a
 legal 
medicine 
ended 
in
 1937
 by
 the
 Marijuana
 Tax 
Act 
Bill. 

Federal 
Bureau 
of 
Narcotics 
Director
 Harry 
Anslinger 
(who 
was 
also 
the 
former 
prohibition 
official)
 led 
the 
attack 
on 
Marijuana 
with 
bogus
 charges 
of
 madness
 and
 violence that 
focused
 on 
Hispanics, 
African 
Americans, 
and
 other 
minorities. 

During 
this 
time 
the 
most 
vocal 
group 
to
 oppose 
the 
bill 
was
the 
American
 Medical 
Association

. Dr.
 William
 Woodward
 was 
the 
AMA 
spokesperson
 and 
argued
 that 
cannabis 
was 
not
 dangerous 
and 
that
 its 
medicinal 
use
 would 
be 
severely
 curtailed 
by 
the 
proposed
 measures.
 

1937:

Assistant US Surgeon General Walter Treadway told the Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee of the League of Nations that, “IT (cannabis) may be taken for a relatively long time without social or emotional breakdown. Marijuana is habit-forming, in the same sense as sugar or coffee.”
 

1937:

President Franklin Roosevelt signed federal legislation that banned cannabis use, production, and sales, including for industrial hemp.
 

1941:

President Franklin Roosevelt signs an executive order that allows for emergency hemp production for industrial uses during War World II for canvas, cordage, rope, oil, and fodder. Numerous Midwest states were subsidized to produce industrial hemp in support of the war effort.
 

1942:

The Federal Government started to promote the plant and created a film called “Hemp for Victory” in order to produce uniforms and rope for WWII. After the war the plant was again made illegal, only this time the official reason was because it turned men into pacifists.
 

1943:

Medical products derived from cannabis were removed from the US Formulary and physicians could no longer prescribe it.
 

1944:

The Government sponsored panel of The NY Academy of Medicine concluded that Marijuana was not addictive and that it did not lead to the abuse of other drugs and that public hysteria over it was unfounded. Commissioner Anslinger vigorously denounced the report and sought to destroy as many copies as possible.
 

1970:

The Controlled Substance Act placed Cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. This means that it is a dangerous substance that has no recognized medical use and that has a high potential for abuse.
 

1971:

President 
Nixon 
appointed 
the 
Presidential
 Commission 
on 
Marijuana 
and 
Drug 
Abuse, 
led 
by
 Pennsylvania
 Governor 
William
 Shafer.

 When
 the
 Commission 
unexpectedly 
recommended 
the
 repeal 
of 
laws 
against 
adult 
use
 of 
marijuana,
 Nixon
 promptly
 disavowed 
the 
report.
 

1976:

Robert 
Randall, 
a
 Glaucoma 
patient,
 persuaded 
the 
Federal 
Government 
to 
supply 
Medical
 Marijuana 
under 
a
 new
FDA 
“Compassionate 
Use”
 Protocol.

 His 
medicine 
is 
cultivated
 on 
a 
Government
 Research
 Farm 
in 
Mississippi. 

Today
 there
 are
 4
 surviving 
patients 
still 
receiving 
medical 
marijuana 
in the
 US 
for
 Glaucoma, 
Multiple
 Sclerosis
, and 
rare
 genetic
 diseases.
 

Late 1970’s:

35
 states 
passed 
legislation 
to
 establish
 Medical 
Marijuana
 research
 programs.

 Each 
program
 was 
smothered 
by 
Federal
 Drug 
Regulations,
 which 
made 
it
 impossible 
to 
conduct 
Medical
 Marijuana
 research.
 

1988:

The
 DEA’s
 own 
administrative
 Judge 
Francis
 Young
 wrote
 “Marijuana 
in 
its
 natural
 form 
is
 one
 of 
the
 safest 
therapeutically 
active 
substances
 known 
to 
mankind.” Hhe 
ruled 
that
 marijuana’s
 medical 
benefits 
were
 “clear 
beyond 
question
 and
 it 
should 
be
 reclassified 
as 
a
 schedule 
2 
drug.”
 

1992:

In the US, The Economist states: “Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical, they are political.”
 

1994:

The 
oldest 
archeological 
evidence 
of 
the
 medical 
use 
of 
cannabis 
was 
discovered
 from 
an 
Egyptian 
tomb
 dating 
back
 to 
the
 3rd 
century
 A.D.
 

1996:

Compassionate Use Act / Proposition 215
First 
state
 law 
legalizing 
Medical 
Marijuana 
in 
California
 –
 Proposition
 215 
exempted 
patients
 from 
prosecution 
from
 possession 
or 
cultivating 
marijuana 
for 
medical
 use 
if
 they 
had
 a 
physician’s
 recommendation.

 The 
Federal 
Government, 
led
 by 
Drug 
Czar
 Barry
 McCaffrey, 
attacked 
the 
initiative 
and
 threatened 
to
 have 
physicians 
arrested 
for 
recommending
 medical
 marijuana.

 This 
was 
blocked 
by
 a 
Federal 
Court
 decision 
Conant
 vs. 
Walters
 which 
held 
that 
physicians
 were
 protected 
under
 the
 First 
Amendment.
 

1997:

A study by Kaiser Permanente, “Marijuana Use and Mortality,” published in the American Journal of Public Health concludes: “Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans.”
 

1997:

Drug 
Czar
 McCaffrey 
commissioned 
the
 National 
Institute
 of
 Medicine 
(IOM) 
to
 review
 the 
scientific 
evidence
 on 
the
 health
 benefits 
and 
risks
 of 
marijuana 
and
 drugs
 derived 
from 
It 
known
 as
 Cannabinoids.


 In 1999 The
 IOM 
reported 
that 
Cannabinoids 
had therapeutic 
value,
 especially 
for 
nausea
 reduction,
 appetite
 stimulation, 
anxiety
, and 
pain 
relief. 

The 
Federal
 Government
 ignored 
the 
report
 and 
continued 
to
 oppose 
Medical
 Marijuana.
 

1997:

In the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. George Annas of the Boston University School of Medicine demands that seriously ill patients be given immediate legal access to medical marijuana. Annas writes: “Research should go on, and while it does, marijuana should be available to all patients who need it to help them undergo treatment for life threatening illnesses.”
 

1999:

National 
Institute 
of 
Medicine 
issued
 a
 report
 on 
Medical 
Marijuana 
finding
 that
 It 
had
 unique 
benefits
 and
 urged

 further 
research. 

However, 
conclusions
 were 
ignored.
 

2003:

Rhode Island on Tuesday 1/3/06 became the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana and the first since the US Supreme Court ruled in June that patients who use the drug can still be prosecuted under Federal Law. The House overrode a veto by Gov. Don Carcieri, 59-13, allowing people with illnesses such as cancer and AIDS to grow up to 12 marijuana plants or buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Those who do are required to register with the state and get an identification card.
 

2006:

Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Act
The 
Rhode 
Island 
Legislature 
enacted
 the 
Edward
 O.
Hawkins
 and 
Thomas 
C. 
Slater 
Medical 
Marijuana 
law
 on 
January 
3,
 2006.
 This 
law 
protects 
registered
 medical 
marijuana 
patients
 and 
their
 caregivers
 from 
arrest 
and 
jail
 for 
growing, 
obtaining
, and
 acquiring 
cannabis.
 The 
RI 
Medical
 Marijuana 
program
 includes 
8 
diseases 
and 
5 
qualifying 
conditions:
 Alzheimer’s,
 HIV/AIDS,
 Cancer,
 Crohn’s,
 epilepsy,
 glaucoma, 
Hepatitis
 C,
 multiple
 sclerosis,
 or 
any
 debilitating,
 chronic 
condition 
that
 produces 
spasms, 
wasting,
 seizures, 
or 
severe 
pain
 or 
nausea.
 This 
law 
had
 a 
”sunset 
clause” 
and 
on
 June 
21,
 2007,
 the
 legislature
 made
 this 
law
 permanent.
 

2012:

Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized the recreational use of cannabis following the approval of state referenda in the 2012 elections.
 

2013:

I visited the Blarney Castle in Ireland and more specifically the Poison Garden. Listed on the guidebook was Cannabis Sativa or marijuana. Some facts cited in the book were, “it’s scientifically proven that there is no such thing as a toxic dose of cannabis.” And,”The plant is a one of the most complicated plants with over 400 compounds identified.”