Marijuana’s Legal History: Timeline of US and CA Marijuana Laws


Marijuana has been a controversial topic in the US since its beginning. But it quickly became a highly debated subject after 1937 when marijuana was outlawed by the Marijuana Tax Act.

As time has passed, the law has become more lenient in California. Now, we see recreational cannabis is allowed. But Cali didn’t always have it so good.

In this blog post, we will take a look at how America and California have handled marijuana laws over time, from their first restrictions to today. Let’s dive on in!

Medical Cannabis Legalization in California

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 with the passing of Proposition 215. The Compassionate Use Act allowed for people with serious illnesses to use and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes with a doctor’s recommendation.

Over time, other states followed California’s lead and began to pass their own laws legalizing cannabis for medical use.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana. Since then, many more states have legalized cannabis in some form, including Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and California (recreational).

The federal government has yet to legalize marijuana on a national level. However, they have taken steps towards this goal by removing it from the list of Schedule I drugs in 2016. This change means that researchers can now study marijuana and its potential benefits, which could lead to further legalization in the future.

It’s been a long and winding road for marijuana laws in California and America. But we’re finally starting to see some progress. Stay tuned for more updates on this ever-changing topic!

Timeline of Marijuana Laws in the United States

Curious about how marijuana laws in the United States changed over time? Here’s a timeline you’ll want to see!

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the era when marijuana was completely legal. But it will give you a good idea of how these laws have evolved over the years:

1914: The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act is passed, making it illegal to produce, sell, or possess cannabis.

1937: The Marijuana Tax Act is passed, making it illegal to sell or possess marijuana.

1970: The Controlled Substances Act is passed, placing all drugs into five schedules. This Act aimed to stop drug addiction and substance abuse. Cannabis is placed in Schedule I, the most restrictive category, which is reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse and no medical use.

1996: California becomes the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

2012: Colorado becomes the first state to legalize recreational marijuana.

2013: Washington becomes the second state to legalize recreational marijuana.

2014: Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C legalize recreational marijuana.

2015: Vermont becomes the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through legislation (rather than by ballot initiative). A total of 23 states have legalized medical cannabis; eight states have passed laws allowing for limited use of CBD oil and/or high-cannabidiol extracts on a case-by-case basis in patients with seizure disorders or other specific diseases; four states plus Washington DC allow adults over age 21 to possess small amounts of cannabis and related products such as food oils, tinctures, etc.

Five Native American tribes permit retail sales within their jurisdiction but only one – the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe – has opened its doors so far.The Obama Administration does not take a position on state-level legalization but adopts a hands-off approach to enforcement.

2016: California, Massachusetts, and Nevada legalized recreational marijuana. Maine also legalizes recreational marijuana but the law is not yet in effect. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota legalized medical marijuana.

2018: Michigan becomes the tenth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Oklahoma becomes the thirty-third state to legalize medical marijuana. Utah and Missouri pass laws legalizing CBD oil for certain conditions. The Trump administration rescinds the Cole Memo – a 2013 Obama Administration memo that discouraged prosecution of businesses operating in compliance with state cannabis laws – and takes a more aggressive stance towards enforcing federal drug law in states where cannabis is legal under state law.

Concluding on Marijuana’s Legal History

The timeline in the article is a great reminder of how much has changed in terms of marijuana laws. It also provides insight into what may come next, which could be even more exciting changes to our cannabis industry!

Read more at: Mindsetterz

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