According to archaeologists, cannabis was among the earliest crops purposely planted by human beings around 6,000-12,000 years ago.
The earliest recorded historical entry about cannabis can be traced back as early as 2737 BC. A Chinese pharmacology treatise written by Emperor Shen Nung mentioned cannabis as medicine for gout and rheumatism.
In one of his writings, Homer alluded that Helen brought cannabis to Troy from Egypt.
An ancient Egyptian annals called Fayyum Medical Papyrus recorded that cannabis was used to cure cancer.
Apparently, even animal benefitted from the healing benefits of cannabis. Greeks used cannabis to treat wounds and sores of their war horses after each battle.
Herodotus wrote that there were certain people dwelling in an island who gathered in groups to inhale together the odor from pyre with burning cannabis plants. According to the ancient historian, the odor so intoxicated them that they rose, danced and sung around the fire.
An urn dating back from 500 BC was unearthed in Berlin. Guess what they found inside: cannabis leaves and seeds.
Suto women in South Africa smoked cannabis before giving birth.
During the early 1900s, South African mine workers were allowed to smoke marijuana because it made them overcome fatigue. They were given three ‘cannabis breaks’ within the day – just like coffee breaks – for rejuvenation.
In Congo, tribe members who committed a misdeed were punished by compelling them to smoke pot from a huge pipe until he or she passed out.
The first law in the American colonies regarding marijuana was passed in 1619. It required farmers to grow the hemp plant. Once harvested, hemp was useful for clothing, sails and rope.
Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy was a pioneer in introducing cannabis for medical treatment in England in the 1830s. He studied the effects of cannabis during a trip in India and observed that it can treat muscle spasms, epilepsy, rheumatism and pain.
Marijuana was still listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a recommended medicine for nausea, labor pains and rheumatism from 1850 to 1942. It could be easily purchased at most local pharmacies and general stores.
In 1937, Samuel Caldwell was the first U.S. citizen arrested and charged under the Marihuana Tax Act. Caldwell sold marijuana without paying the newly mandated tax. Aside from the $1,000 fine, he was sentenced to four years of hard labor in Leavenworth.
In 1890, upon the prescription of Sir Russell Reynolds, the queen’s personal’s physician, Queen Victoria of England used cannabis to relieve her menstrual cramps.
A report stated that it would take 800 marijuana joints to kill a person.
Canada was the first country to legalize medical marijuana in 2003.
California was the first US state to legalized medical marijuana in 1996. But it can only be obtained by patients with valid recommendation from a doctor.
In 2012, 749,825 people were arrested for marijuana law violations.
Seven-in-ten or 69% of Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana.