Timeline created by Jake Mosqueda
  • Hemp Production

    Hemp Production
    American production of hemp was encouraged by the government in the 17th century for the production of rope, sails, and clothing. This continued up to the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Mexican Revolution

    Mexican immigrants flooded into the U.S., introducing to American culture the recreational use of marijuana.
  • Creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN)

    Creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN)
    Harry J. Anslinger was appointed its first commissioner. Under Anslinger, the bureau lobbied for harsh penalties for drug usage. The FBN is credited for criminalizing drugs such as cannabis with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
  • Hemp for victory

    Hemp for victory
    During World War II, imports of hemp and other materials crucial for producing marine cordage, parachutes, and other military necessities became scarce. In response the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its "Hemp for Victory" program, encouraging farmers to plant hemp by giving out seeds and granting draft deferments to those who would stay home and grow hemp. By 1943 American farmers registered in the program harvested 375,000 acres of hemp.
  • Marijuana gains popularity!

    A changing political and cultural climate was reflected in more lenient attitudes towards marijuana in the 1960s.
  • The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act

    Congress repealed most of the mandatory penalties for drug-related offenses. It was widely acknowledged that the mandatory minimum sentences of the 1950s had done nothing to eliminate the drug culture that embraced marijuana use throughout the 60s, and that the minimum sentences imposed were often unduly harsh
  • ational Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) founded

    NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.
  • Anti-Drug Abuse Act

    President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, instituting mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes. A later amendment to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act established a "three strikes and you're out" policy, requiring life sentences for repeat drug offenders, and providing for the death penalty for "drug kingpins."
  • Medical Use Legalized in California

    California voters passed Proposition 215 allowing for the sale and medical use of marijuana for patients with AIDS, cancer, and other serious and painful diseases. This law stands in tension with federal laws prohibiting possession of marijuana.