The Canadian Senate voted to legalize Cannabis Tuesday, by an impressive 2 to 1 margin. The bold move makes our reputedly polite, maple syrup-guzzling northern neighbors the first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis on a federal level. That qualification is necessary since tiny Uruguay legalized a few years ago, but it’s really just another way of saying that it’s the first large, powerful, heavily industrialized nation to make the leap. They are the second nation ever to fully legalize.
Viewing entries tagged
Moments in Cannabis History
Considering its global popularity, and nearly universally understood status achieved in the years since legalization, it’s notable that so few of those who celebrate it can explain, with any certainty, the origins of the 420 cannabis holiday. There’s no shortage of myths and legends of course. But it takes some active research to get to the real history of the number 420 as code for cannabis consumption.
Vaporizers are nothing new – the practice has existed for thousands of years. Yet in less than a decade they’ve become vastly more portable, versatile, affordable, and ultimately, popular as a result. According to a Vice article last year, industry insiders have described the growth of the market in that time, from only 5 percent of dispensary sales to as high as 50 percent in some locations. Some vape companies have even reported growth of 350 to upwards of 500 percent in just the last several years alone.
The panic surrounding Jeff Session’s ominous January decision to revoke the Cole Memo that protected state-legal cannabis operations buried yet another groundbreaking moment in cannabis history. On the same day, January 4th, Vermont became the first state to legalize cannabis through their legislature.
Dabbing, and the hash oil concentrates that make dabbing possible, have become a focus for the emerging medical and recreational cannabis markets. For experienced users, these concentrates open up whole new levels of the THC experience, clocking in at around 75 percent THC - with some high-grade samples apparently testing in the 90s. The market has expanded from modern classic concentrates like budder, to include a range of modern extractions such as high terpene full spectrum extracts (HTFSE’s) and rosin.
The island of Jamaica, perhaps more than any one place, is linked to cannabis in the public consciousness. Where did this start? How exactly did cannabis first arrive in Jamaica and the Caribbean? How did Rastafarian culture come to adopt cannabis? How popular is cannabis in Jamaica, really? Fewer people know these details behind the history.
As recently as 5 years ago, a trip to Amsterdam was the best option for an American looking to experience legal cannabis. As such, it was a mythical place in my eyes growing up on the east coast, and that legendary status will remain immortalized in such timeless works as Pulp Fiction. But Amsterdam wasn’t always the cannabis mecca it is today.
With the right people, a smoke session can have a bigger, further reaching impact on society than the average person may realize. One of the best examples of this occurred on one summer day in 1964 in New York City. The session changed both the musical and cultural contributions of one of the most popular music groups of the 60s and 70s.
The first bill to legalize cannabis was introduced in 1973, by Republican legislator Michael Strang. It proposed legalizing cannabis possession for anyone over the age of 18. The bill proposed a 6-dollar tax on every ounce of cannabis sold, for which the current price was about 15 dollars. It would have licensed growers, wholesalers, and retailers. The bill never passed out of committee, although just 2 years later the Colorado State Legislature decriminalized private use and possession of cannabis, reducing penalties to a maximum fine of 100 dollars.
In November of 2012, Colorado became the first state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis use. After more than 70 years of draconian prohibition laws, the passing of the measure came as a shock to both supporters and opponents. States had voted on similar measures before, and a number of states already had successful medical cannabis programs, but still, Colorado’s Amendment 64 signified the start of a new era in the fight to end prohibition. And, despite the fact that the fight continues today, Colorado’s experiment has been widely considered successful - with Oregon and Washington putting similar legalization measures into effect since then. In fact, California will be voting on its own recreational legalization, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA, in less than a month.
With CBD research gaining ever more ground, it seems that we hear less about the story behind Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. THC has spent decades as a focus of discussions surrounding cannabis, but how long has it been in the public consciousness? How has it seemingly been known about since so long before cannabis research was conducted in the US? What effect did an understanding of cannabis’s primary psychoactive chemical have on efforts to reform prohibition laws? What effect did it have on public opinion surrounding cannabis? So many of these questions come to mind when thinking about the history of the molecule.