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June 20, 2010


Towards the end of 2009, I promised my readers, a "History of Marijuana" and this is it. 

This is currently, a WORK IN PROGRESS. There is a vast amount of information/data to consider and  it's been my pet project of mine since the early 1970's. Sinced I worked at colleges, I had access to research and history i'd have never found had i simply been going to to library back then to look things up. I knew educators who were cool, and i learned from them too. I have books, photocopies of articles, and references everywhere, but unfortunately, they are hidden in boxes for now, for the most part.  

Most people alive today never knew cannabis was legal until 1937. But it was. Not only was it legal, it was sold like tobacco is sold, and it appears, didn't cause a whisper of concern, as other "drugs" did, like morphine, opium and alcohol... those were the Big 3.

I present this history because I believe the true history of "marijuana" betrays the true "madness" associated with the plant's use today, both as a medicine and for spiritual or recreational use. I strongly believe that the use of  cannabis is essentially safe to use and mostly beneficial. I don't believe there ever has been a proven scientific basis for the "dangers of marijuana", the "Gateway Theory", or that stoners are demons and dangerous. In fact, I am convinced none of that is true, and quite untrue.

To prohibit the use of cannabis today, under whatever slang-name one might choose, is not only unfortunate, but also the cause of much human suffering. The person-hours, money, and brain-power used to "combat" an essentially harmless commodity doesn't make sense to me. We have legal intoxicants and stimulants, to buy without question, as long as you're 18 or 21, that are scientifically shown to be far more dangerous, yet we tolerate it. We do so under the mantra - "Pursuit of Happiness" and "Freedom of Choice". The truth however we have a booming set of industries, and many addicted victims.

Cannabis is not perfect... and I'll get to that topic too. But it has far less a personal or health issues than the legal alternatives. 


The History of Marijuana is rather brief... in that, until Aug 02, 1937, it was known as . It'd been vital and in use for thousands of years, and no evidence of any problems associated with it.

Marijuana was literally created overnight. The same year the infamous McCarthy Era began, with the founding of the HUAC or "The Un-American Activities Committee" . Many of us recall it from when, Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, gave a speech... that rocked the US, and soon after I was born.

America was recovering from the Great Depression; alcohol prohibition; memories of a World War....

Sadly, due in large part to an in the south, and a few  questionably crafty politicians, a frenzied, racist media mogul, and a company/corporation that literally owned a BIG stake in seeing the  cannabis commodity burn; who by the way, actually owned the State of Delaware; prior to, the enactment of Anti-Trust Laws. You can read about it all in Jack Herer's, "The Emperor wears No Clothes". (Listed in my Media Recommendations).

And not to over-look; a tired, touchy, gullible public - think "War of The Worlds" hearing horror stories of children, young adults "jumping out of windows", "raping women", committing devious crimes.

"REEFER MADNESS" was born, and there's been no going back. Marijuana, was Mexican slang for cannabis, and would replace the time honored Ameri-European slang/name ganja.

Cannabis, and even it's THC free cousin, hemp, would be banned, more completely than alcohol could have ever been. It began with a tax, like the one that made owning a machine-gun illegal, or impossible to procure. The fact that ganja had no connection whatsoever to owning or using a machine gun, was lost on the American public. The fact that it was ultimately found unconstitutional to require a tax-stamp for marijuana while in possession of it, which was illegal, and thus, impossible to buy without being arrested became hugely popular among law enforcement and do-gooder politicians. It also became the number one illegal obsession which further fueled it's newfound notoriety. It also helped fuel the idiocy that alcohol and tobacco were okay, and therefore safe, because they were legal, and the notion that ganja was not okay or safe because it was illegal.

It was to me, the biggest blow to democracy as a whole, and a victory to propaganda in the guise of misleading the American public. People were downright terrified or marijuana and/or exceedingly interested in "trying it". Until 1930, as you'll see, ganja was simply "smoked like tobacco", and when ganja became a demon, it also became the seed to the future - to the "Beat Generation" of authors and writers, musicians, "love-children of the 60's, hippies, and me, in the 1970's... in hindsight, it created a demon worst than Hitler and the Third Reich, although, a much more mellow reality, it inspired armies of anti-drug, right-wing laws and the means to ruin countless lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens, and it continues to today.

To find out how ganja became marijuana, listed in my "Media Recommendations", I suggest you watch the following:

"HOOKED: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way" (2000);


The term marijuana, or marihuana - as Congress understood it, is of Mexican origin. It's slang Mexicans used for cannabis. It was commonly used in the United States, both as an essential medicine listed in the U.S. Pharmacopedia until the 1940's, as well as recreationally, without much thought. In medicine it was called "cannabis"; in public it was called, "ganjah, or ganja".

The following references document these facts:

The American Agriculturist Family Cyclopaedia, 1888

Note: the word "marijuana" is not included in the reference below, in 1888. Nor in other references I've ever seen, prior to the 1930's:

However, note the use of the term "ganjah" here in the same reference:

Close-up view:

"It is sold like tobacco..."


In 1862, and 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued two executive orders, known together as the "Emancipation Proclamation", entered into the US Constitution under Article II, Section 2.

 Note in the following image the cannabis leaves underneath Lincoln:



Documented evidence exists that as of 1888, and even 1921, cannabis use was not perceived as a crime, nor a contributing factor towards any public problems. The following references are included to provide insight into what the genuine concerns, problems,  like, drug problems there were. 

WIKIPEDIA: "In May of 1657, the General Court of Massachusetts made illegal the sale of strong liquor “whether known by the name of rumme, strong water, wine, brandy, etc.”
In general, informal social controls in the home and community helped maintain the expectation that the abuse of alcohol was unacceptable. "Drunkenness was condemned and punished, but only as an abuse of a God-given gift. Drink itself was not looked upon as culpable, any more than food deserved blame for the sin of gluttony. Excess was a personal indiscretion." When informal controls failed, there were always legal ones.
One of the foremost physicians of the late 18th century, Benjamin Rush, argued in 1784 that the excessive use of alcohol was injurious to physical and psychological health (he believed in moderation rather than prohibition). Apparently influenced by Rush's widely discussed belief, about 200 farmers in a Connecticut community formed a temperance association in 1789. Similar associations were formed in Virginia in 1800 and New York in 1808. Within the next decade, other temperance organizations were formed in eight states, some being statewide organizations.
In 1830, the average American consumed 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week, three times the amount currently consumed in 2010."

WIKIPEDIA: "The purpose was to combat the influence of alcohol on families and society. The first president was Annie Wittenmyer. Frances Willard, a noted feminist, was its second president, and made the greatest leaps for the group. They were inspired by the Greek writer Xenophon who defined temperance as "moderation in all things healthful; total abstinence from all things harmful." In other words, should something be good, it should not be indulged in to excess. Should something be bad for you, it should be avoided altogether; thus their attempts to rid their surroundings of what they saw (and still see) as the dangers of alcohol. The WCTU perceived alcoholism as a consequence of larger social problems rather than as a personal weakness or failing."

WIKIPEDIA: "In April 1865, Pemberton was wounded in the Battle of Columbus, Georgia, and like many wounded veterans he became addicted to morphine. After the war Pemberton knew he had a problem so he became a pharmacist at the Eagle Drug & Chemical Company in Columbus. Searching for a cure for this addiction, he began experimenting with coca and coca wines, eventually creating his own version of Vin Mariani, containing kola nut and damiana, which he called Pemberton's French Wine Coca."

With public concern about drug addiction, depression and alcoholism among veterans, and 'neurasthenia' among 'highly-strung' Southern women, his medicinal concoction was advertised as being particularly beneficial for "ladies, and all those whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration, irregularities of the stomach, bowels and kidneys, who require a nerve tonic and a pure, delightful diffusable stimulant".

It should be noted that Mr. Pemberton, for all best intentions, died in 1888 from a combination of morphine addiction and cocaine.

The over-whelming fact is that alcohol use was then and still is a major public concern, and that Mr. Pemberton, like the Women's Temperance Movement, were dedicated to find an alternative to alcohol use, or for total prohibition of it's use. 

Another alternative at the time was ganja, however, ganja, sadly, did not have the addictive comparison, nor potency required to be a substitute towards the use of alcohol, which is why Coca-Cola was born...

During the American Civil War, the WTM suffered severe setbacks, due to the lack of attention to the problems associated with alcohol, and a military need to use alcohol on the battlefield.

It wasn't until the 18TH Amendment to the US Constitution, that alcohol was finally prohibited on a national scale. The act resulted in widespread violence and opposition, understandably, considering it's right-wing origins. The resulting violence and loss to public tax coffers led to early repeal of the amendment by 1933.


Prior to the 18TH Amendment, Other drugs got targeting and regulated. First in 1906, then again in 1914, two acts that would forever change America, since until that time, anything medinal, herbal or with spirit confidence was legal, and not given a second thought. 

Subject to federal regulation under two new acts adopted by the US Congress:

and the:

These acts regulated and/or prohibited the public consumption of drugs such as cocaine, opium and morphine, but notably did not include cannabis, as stated previously, called ganja. The "Acts" were highly controversial at the time, as the public perceived such prohibitive acts as a violation of personal rights and individual freedom. It also placed a burden on the medical establishment, which routinely used such drugs. But the acts held firm.



 Webster's "New International Dictionary" if you'd like a close-up let me know:

Cannabis is still listed as "ganja", though it dropped the "h".:

And it's still listed as... "smoked like tobacco." , marijuana is still absent, an still an unknown in a Webster's World Dictionary!

No marijuana or marihuana

What I'd really like to know, is why, if this cannabis plant was as dangerous as it appeared in 1937,  why didn't my greater grand-parents know about this? They knew by 1914 what was dangerous and addictive. Yet, cannabis wasn't included in this list.  

To the American public, cannabis use never was an issue. But now,  looking back from 2010, it's obvious cannabis became the perfect scapegoat... not only for stopping illegal aliens from Mexico, but also as the kingpin of "illegal drug use"; and the ultimate gateway to hell.


Organic Eggs

"hack, .,., cough,... wow, good stuff... hey, where'd everybody go? All I see are eggs... hey! Is that my brain???

Wow... nice eggs! And I'm still stoned on Sarah Silverman!!!

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