History of Cannabis
Since cannabis is the only plant on the planet that yields both a drug and a useful fiber its no surprise that it has been used for thousands of years. The cannabis plant is said to have originated in Asia over 12,000 years ago, specifically Northern China and the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. Cannabis is considered to have been among the first plants to ever be cultivated by humans, next to wheat and barley. Over time this plant has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes, food, rope, clothing, fuel and much more.
Cannabis was already in China as a source of cloth, rope, fiber and cooking oil.
The earliest medicinal records from Chinese physicians were recommending a tea made from cannabis leaves to treat conditions like gout and malaria.
Cannabis pollen is found on the mummy of Ramesses II, who died in 1213 BC. Prescriptions for cannabis in Ancient Egypt include treatment for the eyes (glaucoma), inflammation, and cooling the uterus, as well as administering enemas.
Bhang, a cannabis drink generally mixed with milk, is used as an anesthetic in India. Cannabis begins to be used in India to treat a wide variety of human illnesses.
The Scythians brought Cannabis to Europe through Russia then into Germany.
TheVenidad, one of the volumes of the Zend-Avesta, the ancient Persian religious text written around the seventh century BC purportedly by Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), the founder of Zoroastrianism, and heavily influenced by the Vedas, mentions bhang and lists cannabis as the most important of 10,000 medicinal plants.
Hemp rope appears in southern Russia.
First evidence of hemp paper, invented in China.
Greek physician Galen who became the most famous doctor in the Roman Empire and whose theories dominated European medicine for 1,500 years prescribes medical cannabis.
Vikings take hemp rope and seeds to Iceland.
Ethiopian pipes containing cannabis suggest the herb has spread from Egypt to the rest of Africa.
King Henry VIII fines farmers if they do not raise hemp for industrial use.
In America the Virginia Assembly passed legislation requiring every farmer to grow hemp. Hemp was allowed to be exchanged as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.
Irish physician O'Shaughnessy publishes cannabis research in English medical journals.He began to use it with patients suffering from rabies, rheumatism, epilepsy, and tetanus
The first cannabis seeds arrived in Australia on the First Fleet at the request of Sir Joseph banks, who marked the cargo "For Commerce".
Governor king wrote to Sir Joseph banks describing the ten acres of cannabis he was cultivating the Lowlands of the Hawkesbury and the Nepean rivers, which were growing with the "utmost luxurience".
Prohibitionists in the United States succeeded in getting the government to criminalize the drug, beginning with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
By the 1930s the word cannabis was seldom if ever used, and American newspapers had substituted it with the word marijuana. Some suggest that the lawmakers themselves were so confused by the wording that they did not even know they were outlawing a common medicine. False horror stories were spread and more and more states passed prohibition laws.
The plant "cannabis sativa" was outlawed in Australia as a result of a reefer madness style campaign.
The discovery of hundreds of acres of wild hemp growing in the Hunter Valley.
The authorities responded with a massive eradication campaign and another "evil sex drug marihuana" propaganda campaign.
Queensland premier Bjelke-Petersen called for a police-crackdown to drive cannabis users out of Queensland. The result was the Cedar Bay raid on a commune in far north Queensland where houses were burnt to the ground and orchards chopped down as the Queensland police went on a rampage.
American DEA administrative law Judge Francis Young finds, after thorough hearings, that cannabis has a clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. His recommendation is ignored.
California (the first American state to ban cannabis use in 1915 became the first American state to then re-legalize medical cannabis use for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses.
Canada becomes the first country in the world to approve medical cannabis nation-wide.
2003 A.D – present
Numerous other countries have now followed Canada’s lead and have now access to cannabis for medicinal use. These include 24 American states, Israel, North Korea, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Uraguay, Chille, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy and Iran.