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What is hemp? For our purposes, hemp is the plant called 'cannabis sativa'. There are other plants that are called hemp, but cannabis hemp is the most useful of these plants. In fact, 'cannabis sativa' means 'useful (sativa) hemp (cannabis)'.
'Hemp' is any durable plant that has been used since pre-history for many purposes. Fiber is the most well known product, and the word 'hemp' can mean the rope or twine which is made from the hemp plant, as well as just the stalk of the plant which produced it.
What is cannabis? Cannabis is the most durable of the hemp plants, and it produces the toughest cloth, called 'canvass.' (Canvass was widely used as sails in the early shipping industry, as it was the only cloth which would not rot on contact with sea spray.) The cannabis plant also produces three other very important products which the other hemp plants do not (in usable form, that is): seed, pulp, and medicine.
The pulp is used as fuel, and to make paper. The seed is suitable for both human and animal foods. The oil from the seed can be used in as a base for paints and varnishes. The medicine is a tincture or admixture of the sticky resin in the blossoms and leaves of the hemp plant, and is used for a variety of purposes.
Where did the word 'marijuana' come from? The word 'marijuana' is a Mexican slang term which became popular in the late 1930's in America, during a series of media and government programs which we now refer to as the 'Reefer Madness Movement.' It refers specifically to the medicine part of cannabis, which Mexican soldiers used to smoke.
Today in the U.S., hemp (meaning the roots, stalk, and stems of the cannabis plant) is legal to possess. No one can arrest you for wearing a hemp shirt, or using hemp paper. Marijuana (The flowers, buds, or leaves of the cannabis plant) is not legal to possess, and there are stiff fines and possible jail terms for having any marijuana in your possession. The seeds are legal to possess and eat, but only if they are sterilized (will not grow to maturity).
Since it is not possible to grow the hemp plant without being in possession of marijuana, the United States does not produce any industrial hemp products, and must import them or, more often, substitute others. (There is a way to grow hemp legally, but it involves filing an application with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the DEA very rarely ever gives its permission.) This does not seem to have stopped people from producing and using marijuana, though. In many of the United States, marijuana is the number one cash crop, mostly because it fetches a very high price on the black market.
How can hemp be used as a food? Hemp seed is a highly nutritious source of protein and essential fatty oils. Many populations have grown hemp for its seed -- most of them eat it as 'gruel' which is a lot like oatmeal. The leaves can be used as roughage, but not without slight psycho-active side-effects. Hemp seeds do not contain any marijuana and they do not get you 'high'.
Hemp seed protein closely resembles protein as it is found in the human blood. It is fantastically easy to digest, and many patients who have trouble digesting food are given hemp seed by their doctors. Hemp seed was once called 'edestine' and was used by scientists as the model for vegetable protein.
Hemp seed oil provides the human body with essential fatty acids. Hemp seed is the only seed which contains these oils with almost no saturated fat. As a supplement to the diet, these oils can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is because of these oils that birds will live much longer if they eat hemp seed.
With hemp seed, a vegan or vegetarian can survive and eat virtually no saturated fats. One handful of hemp seed per day will supply adequate protein and essential oils for an adult.
How can hemp be used for cloth? The stalk of the hemp plant has two parts, called the bast and the hurd. The fiber (bast) of the hemp plant can be woven into almost any kind of cloth. It is very durable. In fact, the first Levi's blue jeans were made out of hemp for just this reason. Compared to all the other natural fibers available, hemp is more suitable for a large number of applications.
Here is how hemp is harvested for fiber: A field of closely spaced hemp is allowed to grow until the leaves fall off. The hemp is then cut down and it lies in the field for some time washed by the rain. It is turned over once to expose both sides of the stalk evenly. During this time, the hurd softens up and many minerals are returned to the soil. This is called 'retting', and after this step is complete, the stalks are brought to a machine which separates the bast and the hurd. We are lucky to have machines today -- men used to do this last part by hand with hours of back-breaking labor.
How can hemp be used to make paper? Both the fiber (bast) and pulp (hurd) of the hemp plant can be used to make paper. Fiber paper was the first kind of paper, and the first batch was made out of hemp in ancient China. Fiber paper is thin, tough, brittle, and a bit rough. Pulp paper is not as strong as fiber paper, but it is easier to make, softer, thicker, and preferable for most everyday purposes. The paper we use most today is a 'chemical pulp' paper made from trees. Hemp pulp paper can be made without chemicals from the hemp hurd. Most hemp paper made today uses the entire hemp stalk, bast and hurd. High-strength fiber paper can be made from the hemp baste, also without chemicals.
The problem with today's paper is that so many chemicals are used to make it. High strength acids are needed to make quality (smooth, strong, and white) paper out of trees. These acids produce chemicals which are very dangerous to the environment. Paper companies do their best to clean these chemicals up (we hope.) Hemp offers us an opportunity to make affordable and environmentally safe paper for all of our needs, since it does not need much chemical treatment. It is up to consumers, though, to make the right choice -- these dangerous chemicals can also be used on hemp to make a slightly more attractive product. Instead of buying the whiter, brighter role of toilet paper, we will need to think about what we are doing to the planet.
Because of the chemicals in today's paper, it will turn yellow and fall apart as acids eat away at the pulp. This takes several decades, but because of this publishers, libraries and archives have to order specially processed acid free paper, which is much more expensive, in order to keep records. Paper made naturally from hemp is acid free and will last for centuries.
How can hemp be used as a fuel? The pulp (hurd) of the hemp plant can be burned as is or processed into charcoal, methanol, methane, or gasoline. The process for doing this is called destructive distillation, or 'pyrolysis.' Fuels made out of plants like this are called 'biomass' fuels. This charcoal may be burned in today's coal-powered electric generators. Methanol makes a good automobile fuel, in fact it is used in professional automobile races. It may someday replace gasoline.
Hemp may also be used to produce ethanol (grain alcohol.) The United States government has developed a way to make this automobile fuel additive from cellulosic biomass. Hemp is an excellent source of high quality cellulosic biomass. One other way to use hemp as fuel is to use the oil from the hemp seed -- some diesel engines can run on pure pressed hemp seed oil. However, the oil is more useful for other purposes, even if we could produce and press enough hemp seed to power many millions of cars.
How can hemp be used as a medicine? Marijuana has thousands of possible uses in medicine. Marijuana (actually cannabis extract) was available as a medicine legally in this country until 1937, and was sold as a nerve tonic -- but mankind has been using cannabis medicines much longer than that. Marijuana appears in almost every known book of medicine written by ancient scholars and wise men. It is usually ranked among the top medicines, called 'panaceas', a word which means 'cure-all'. The list of diseases which cannabis can be used for includes: multiple sclerosis, cancer treatment, AIDS (and AIDS treatment), glaucoma, depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, pruritis, sclerodoma, severe pain, and dystonia. This list does not even consider the other medicines which can be made out of marijuana -- these are just some of the illnesses for which people smoke or eat whole marijuana today.
There are over 60 chemicals in marijuana which may have medical uses. It is relatively easy to extract these into food or beverage, or into some sort of lotion, using butter, fat, oil, or alcohol. One chemical, cannabinol, may be useful to help people who cannot sleep. Another is taken from premature buds and is called cannabidiolic acid. It is a powerful disinfectant. Marijuana dissolved in rubbing alcohol helps people with the skin disease herpes control their sores, and a salve like this was one of the earliest medical uses for cannabis. The leaves were once used in bandages and a relaxing non-psychoactive herbal tea can be made from small cannabis stems.
The most well known use of marijuana today is to control nausea and vomiting. One of the most important things when treating cancer with chemotherapy or when treating AIDS with AZT or Foscavir, being able to eat well, makes the difference between life or death. Patients have found marijuana to be extremely effective in fighting nausea; in fact so many patients use it for this purpose even though it is illegal that they have formed 'buyers clubs' to help them find a steady supply. In California, some city governments have decided to look the other way and allow these clubs to operate openly.
Marijuana is also useful for fighting two other very serious and wide-spread disabilities. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, caused by uncontrollable eye pressure. Marijuana can control the eye pressure and keep glaucoma from causing blindness. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where the body's immune system attacks nerve cells. Spasms and many other problems result from this. Marijuana not only helps stop these spasms, but it may also keep multiple sclerosis from getting worse.
What other uses for hemp are there? One of the newest uses of hemp is in construction materials. Hemp can be used in the manufacture of 'press board' or 'composite board.' This involves gluing fibrous hemp stalks together under pressure to produce a board which is many times more elastic and durable than hardwood. Because hemp produces a long, tough fiber it is the perfect source for press-board. Another interesting application of hemp in industry is making plastic. Many plastics can be made from the high-cellulose hemp hurd. Hemp seed oil has a multitude of uses in products such as varnishes and lubricants.
Using hemp to build is by no means a new idea. French archeologists have discovered bridges built with a process that mineralizes hemp stalks into a long-lasting cement. The process involves no synthetic chemicals and produces a material which works as a filler in building construction. Called Isochanvre, it is gaining popularity in France. Isochanvre can be used as drywall, insulates against heat and noise, and is very long lasting.
'Bio-plastics' are not a new idea, either -- way back in the 1930's Henry Ford had already made a whole car body out of them -- but the processes for making them do need more research and development. Bio-plastics can be made without much pollution. Unfortunately, companies are not likely to explore bio-plastics if they have to either import the raw materials or break the law. (Not to mention compete with the already established petrochemical products.
The hemp plant, like the hop, which is of the same natural order, Cannabinaceae, is dioecious, i.e. the male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The female plant grows to a greater height than the male, and its foliage is darker and more luxuriant, but the plant takes from five to six weeks longer to ripen. When the male plants are ripe they are pulled, put up into bundles, and steeped in a similar manner to flax, but the female plants are allowed to remain until the seed is perfectly ripe. They are then pulled, and after the seed has been removed are retted in the ordinary way. The seed is also a value product; the finest is kept for sowing, a large quantity is sold for the food of cage birds, while the remainder is sent to the oil mills to be crushed. The extracted oil is used in the manufacture of soap, while the solid remains, known as oil-cake, are valuable as a food for cattle. The leaves of hemp have five to seven leaflets, the form of which is lanceolate-acuminate, with a serrate margin. The loose panicles of male flowers, and the short spikes of female flowers, arise from the axils of the upper leaves.
The height of the plant varies greatly with season, soil and manuring; in some districts it varies from 3 to 8 ft., but in the Piedmont province it is not unusual to see them from 8 to 16 ft. in height, whilst a variety (Cannabis Sativa, variety gigantea ) has produced specimens over 17 ft. in height.
All cultivated hemp belongs to the same species, Cannabis Sativa; the special varieties such as Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Chinensis & Cannabis Ruderalis, owe their differences to climate and soil, and they lose many of their peculiarities when cultivated in temperate regions. Rumphius (in the 17th century) had noticed these differences between Indian and European hemp.
The names given to the plant and to its products in different countries are of interest in connexion with the utilization of the fibre and resin. In Sans it is called Goni, Sana, Shanapu, Banga and Ganjika; Bengali Ganga; Persian Bang and Canna; Arabic Kinnub or Cannub; Greek Kannabis; Latin Cannabis; Italian Canappa; French Chanvre; Spanish Cáñamo; Portuguese Cânhamo; Russian Konoplya; Latvian and Lithuanian Kannapes; Slovak Konope; Irish cnáib and Erse Canab, Anglo Saxon Hoenep; Dutch Hennep; German Hanf; English Hemp; Danish and Norwegian Hamp; Icelandic Hampr; and in Swedish Hampa. The English word Canvas sufficiently reveals its derivation from Cannabis.
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2737 BC: Cannabis referred to as a 'superior herb' in the world's first medical text, or pharmacopoeia, Shen Nung's Pen Ts'ao, in China.
1500 BC: Cannabis-smoking Scythians sweep through Europe and Asia, settling and inventing the scythe.
1400 BC: Cultural and religious use of ganga or cannabis, and charas or hashish (resin) recorded used by Hindus in India.
600 BC: Zend-Avesta, Indian scripture, speaks of hemp's intoxicating resin.
500 BC: Gautama Buddha said to have survived by eating hempseed. Cannabis used in Germany (Hochdorf Hallstatt D wagon burial site). First botanical drawings of cannabis in Constantinopolitaus.
450 BC: Herodotus records Scythians and Thracians as consuming cannabis and making fine linens of hemp.
300 BC: Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in the Mediterranean.
100 BC: Chinese make paper from hemp and mulberry.
70 BC: Roman Emperor Nero's surgeon, Dioscorides, praises cannabis for making the stoutest cords and for its medicinal properties.
30 AD: Jesus teaches: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man (Matthew 15:11). The Gospels refer to the New Wine and declare that it is best when the clusters are ripe.
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100 AD: Roman surgeon Dioscorides names the plant cannabis sativa and describes various medicinal uses. Pliny reported of industrial uses and wrote a manual on farming hemp.
400 AD: Cannabis cultivated for the first time in the UK at Old Buckenham Mere
500 AD: First botanical drawing of hemp in Constantinopolitanus.
600 AD: Germans, Franks, Vikings etc all use hemp fibre.
800 AD: Mohammed allows cannabis but forbids the use of alcohol.
1000 AD: The English word "hempe" first listed in a dictionary. Moslems produce hashish medicine and social use.
1150 AD: Moslems use hemp to start Europe's first paper mill. Most of the paper is made from hemp for the next 750 years, including Bibles.
1379 AD: Emir Soudon Sheikhouni of Joneima prohibits cannabis consumption amongst the poor, destroys the crops, and punishes offenders by pulling out their teeth.
1484 AD: Inquisitor Pope Innocent VIII outlaws hashish.
1494 AD: Hemp paper industry starts in England.
1545 AD: Hemp agriculture arrives in China.
1554 AD: The Spanish grow hemp in Peru.
1563 AD: English Queen Elizabeth I decrees that land owners with more than 60 acres must grow hemp or be fined 5 pounds.
1564 AD: King Philip of Spain orders hemp grown throughout his empire from modern Arhentina to Oregon.
1600 AD: Dutch achieve the "Golden Age" through hemp commerce. Explorers find "wilde hempe" in North America.
1606 AD: The British take cannabis to Canada for maritime uses.
1611 AD: The British start growing cannabis in Virginia.
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1619 AD: Virginia colony makes hemp cultivation mandatory, followed by most other colonies. Europe pays hemp bounties.
1621 AD: The Anatomy of Melancholy claims cannabis is a treatment for depression.
1631 AD: Hemp used as money throughout American colonies.
1632 AD: The Pilgrims take cannabis to New England.
1637 AD: The General Court at Hartford, Conneticut, orders that all families plant one teaspoon of cannabis seeds.
1639 AD: Massachusetts Courts follow Hartford.
1753 AD: Cannabis Sativa classified by Linneaus.
1763 AD: New English Dictionary says cannabis root applied to skin eases inflammation.
1776 AD: Declaration of Independence drafted on hemp paper.
1791 AD: President Washington sets duties on hemp to encourage domestic industry. "Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed" ........President George Washington. (Library of USA Congress 1794 vol. 33 p.270). President Jefferson calls hemp a necessity and urges farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.
1800 AD: Cotton gins make cheaper fibre than hemp. Napoleon prohibits his men in Egypt from using cannabis, but to little effect.
1835 AD: The Club de Hashichines is founded.
1839 AD: Homeopathy journal 'American Provers' Union' publishes first report on effects of cannabis.
1840 AD: "Prohibition.. goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans' appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded"... Abraham Lincoln (December 1840).
1841 AD: Dr. W.B. O'Shaughnessy, "On the Preparation of the Indian Hemp or Ganja" introduces cannabis to western science.
1845 AD: Psychologist and inventor of modern psychopharmacology and psychotimimetric drug treatment, Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours documents physical and mental benefits of cannabis.
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1850 AD: Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulphite and chlorine processes make paper from trees: steamships replace (hemp) sails; tropical fibres introduced.. USA census records 8327 hemp plantations of over 2000 acres each.
1854 AD: Bayard Taylor essay Visions of Hashish.
1857 AD: Fitz Hugh Ludlow publishes "The Hasheesh Eater".
1857 AD: Smith Brothers of Edinburgh market cannabis indica extracts.
1860 AD: First governmental commission study of cannabis and hashish conducted by Ohio State Medical Society. It catalogues the conditions for which cannabis is beneficial: neuralgia, nervous rheumatism, mania, whooping cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, muscular spasms, epilepsy, infantile convulsions, palsy, uterine hemorrhage, dysmenorrhea, hysteria, alcohol withdrawal and loss of appetite.
1868 AD: The Emir of Egypt makes the possession of cannabis a capital offence.
1869 AD: Tales of Hashish by A.C. Kimmens.
1870 AD: Cannabis listed in US Pharmacopoeia as a medicine.
1870 AD: South Africa worried about cannabis use among Indian workers, passes a law forbidding the smoking, use or possession of hemp by Indians.
1876 AD: Hashish served at American Centennial Exposition.
1877 AD: The Sultan of Turkey makes cannabis illegal, to little effect.
1894 AD: British Indian Hemp Drugs Commission studies social use of cannabis and comes out firmly against its prohibition.
1895 AD: First known use of the name "marijuana" for smoking, by Pancho Villa's supporters in Sonora, Mexico.
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1909 AD: Shanghai Conference: first international meeting on drugs is held to discuss opium. The USA passes an act to prohibit the buying or selling of opium for non-medicinal purposes.
1910 AD: African-American "reefer" use reported in Jazz Clubs in New Orleans, said to be influencing white people. Mexicans smoking marijuana in Texas. South Africa prohibits cannabis.
1911 AD: Hindus reported to be using ganja in San Francisco.
1911 AD: South Africa bans cannabis.
1912 AD: "Essay on Hasheesh" by Victor Rolson. Possibilities of putting controls on cannabis use is first raised.
1912 AD: Hague Conference; second international meeting on drugs. 46 nations discuss opium, morphine, cocaine, heroin and cannabis. The Hague Convention for the Suppression of Opium and Other Drugs, was drawn up, requiring parties to confine to medical and legitimate purposes the manufacture, sale and use
of opium, heroin, morphine and cocaine; Cannabis was not included. (From Mandeson, D. From Mr Sin to Mr Big, A history of Australian Drug Laws, Oxford University Press Melbourne 1995).
1912 AD: First suggestions that cannabis should be banned internationally, at the First Opium Conference.
1915 AD: Utah State, then California and Texas outlaw cannabis. Cocaine banned in the USA.
1916 AD: USDA Bulletin 404 calls for a new program of expansion of hemp to replace uses of timber by industry.
1919 AD: Texas outlaws cannabis. Alcohol is prohibited throughout the USA. Cannabis is still legal in most States.
1920 AD: DuPont experiments with petrochemicals. Gang war takes over the alcohol industry, homicides increase drastically.
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1923 AD: South African delegate at League of Nations calls for international controls on cannabis, claiming that it makes mine workers less active. Britain insists on further research.
1923 AD: Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington outlaw cannabis.
1924 AD: At the Second International Opiates conference Egyptian delegate claims serious problems are associated with hashish use and calls for immediate international controls. Sub-committee listens to Egypt and Turkey. Cannabis declared a narcotic. Cannabis Ruderalis identified by Lamarck.
1925 AD: International, Geneva Convention. Cannabis is outlawed and put under the opium act. Only to be used for medicinal purposes.
1927 AD: New York outlaws cannabis.
1928 AD: UK Dangerous Drugs Act (September 28th) 1925 becomes law and makes cannabis illegal.
1929 AD: The Panama Canal Zone Report concludes that there is no evidence that cannabis use is habit-forming or deleterious, recommending no action be taken against cannabis use or sale.
1929 AD: South West states make cannabis illegal as part of a move to oust Mexican immigrants.
1930 AD: Henry Ford plays with bio diesel, cars out of hemp with hemp paint and hemp fuel. New machines invented to break hemp, process the fibre and convert the pulp or hurds into paper, plastics etc. 1200 hash bars in New York City. Racist fears of Mexicans, Asians and African-Americans lead the cry for cannabis to be outlawed.
1930's AD: New mechanised hemp harvesting methods invented.
1930 AD: Louis Armstrong arrested in Los Angeles for possession of cannabis.
1931 AD: Federal Bureau of Narcotics formed with Anslinger at the head. By now 29 US states have banned non-prescription cannabis
1934 AD: Anslinger refers to "ginger-haired niggers" in FBI official circulars.
1936 AD: South Western states call for FBI to ban cannabis.
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1937 AD: Marijuana Tax Act forbids hemp farming. The Act was based on the Machine Gun Transfer Act which made it illegal to pass on machine guns without a government stamp - there being no such stamps available. By applying this strategy to marijuana, Anslinger was able to effectively ban hemp without contravening constitutional rights.
1937 AD: DuPont files patents for nylon, plastics and a new bleaching process for paper. Anslinger testifies to congress that Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug known to man. The objections of the American Medical Association are ignored. The Marijuana Transfer Tax Bill (14th April) introduced to US House,
Ways and Means Committee, passed December, prohibits industrial and medical uses and calls flowering tops a narcotic. Violations attract 200 dollar fines. Birdseed, rope and cordage are exempted from tax.
1937 AD: DuPont patents plastics, seizing the opportunity created by cannabis hemp prohibition
1939 AD: LaGuardia Report started.
1941 AD: Cannabis dropped from USA Pharmacopoeia.
1941 AD: Henry Ford's Hemp car is reality and runs on hemp fuel.
1943 AD: Hemp for Victory program urges farmers to grow hemp to help war effort.
1943 AD: US Military Surgeon magazine declares that smoking cannabis is no more harmful than smoking tobacco.
1944 AD: New York Academy of Medicine reports marijuana use does not cause violent behaviour, provoke insanity, lead to addiction or promote opiate usage. Anslinger describes the authors as dangerous and strange.
1944 AD: New York Mayor's La Guardia Report "The Marijuana problem in the City of New York" concludes that smoking marijuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word, that juvenile delinquency is not associated with marijuana smoking and that the publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marijuana smoking in New York is unfounded.
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1944 AD: Anslinger threatens doctors who carry out cannabis research with imprisonment.
1945 AD: USA 'Newsweek' reports over 100,000 Americans use cannabis.
1948 AD: Anslinger now says cannabis users are peaceful and that cannabis could be used during a communist invasion, to weaken American will to fight.
1948 AD: United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948 AD: Hollywood star Robert Mitchum arrested for cannabis.
1951 AD: UN Bulletin of Narcotic Drugs states over 200 million cannabis users in the world.
1952 AD: First UK cannabis arrest at Number 11 Club, Soho, London.
1955 AD: Hemp farming outlawed again.
1960 AD: Hippies, Vietnam Veterans, pop fans adopt cannabis.
1961 AD: UN Treaty 406 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs seeks to outlaw cannabis use and cannabis cultivation worldwide and eradicate cannabis smoking within 30 years (by 1991). USA representative is Anslinger.
1962 AD: President Kennedy sacks Anslinger. Kennedy using cannabis as a pain relief.
1963 AD: Kennedy assassinated.
1964 AD: Thelin Brothers open first US 'Head Shop'.
1964 AD: THC, tetrahydracannabinol, first isolated from the plant.
1966 AD: Donovan becomes first UK celebrity to be busted for cannabis.
1967 AD: SOMA Times Petition in the UK urges legalisation of cannabis. The Beatles sign it. 3,000 people hold a 'smoke-in' in Hyde Park.. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones are arrested and imprisoned for cannabis. This prompts a Times editorial 'Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?'. The convictions are quashed on appeal.. In the UK 2,393 persons arrested for cannabis offences.. In the USA over 3,000 joints mailed to addresses at random by Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies.
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1968 AD: John Lennon arrested for cannabis possession.
1968 AD: 1 November, UK Government Wootton Report recommends cannabis possession should not be an offence. "Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893-94)
and the New York Mayor's Committee (1944 - LaGuardia) that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects."
1968 AD: Campaign to stop US soldiers in Vietnam from taking cannabis - they switch to heroin.
1969 AD: James Callaghan, UK Labour Prime Minister, rejects the findings of the Wootton Report.
1969 AD: George Harrison arrested for cannabis.
1970 AD: Social use of cannabis receives widespread acceptance despite illegality; policy of decriminalisation sweeps across USA and Britain.
1970 AD: LeDain Report (Canada) recommended that serious consideration be given to the legalisation of personal possession of marijuana. It finds that cannabis use increases self-confidence, feelings of creativity and
sensual awareness, facilitates concentration and self-acceptance, reduces tension, hostility and aggression and may produce psychological but not physical dependence. The report recommends that possession
laws be repealed.
1970 AD: R. Keith Stroup founds NORML 'National Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws', in UDSA.
1970 AD: USA Marijuana Transfer Tax declared unconstitutional.
1971 AD: British Misuse of Drugs Act classifies cannabis as a Class B drug with stiff sentencing. This bans the medical use of cannabis, ignoring the Wootton Report.
1971 AD: UN Convention on Psychotopic Substances.
1972 AD: US President Richard Nixon says 'I am against legalising marijuana'.
1972 AD: Baan Commission presents report to Dutch Minister of Health and suggests that cannabis trade below a quarter of a kilo ought to be considered as a misdemeanour only.
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1973 AD: Oregon considering legalisation.
1973 AD: US Shafer Commission, appointed by Nixon, declares that personal use of marijuana should be decriminalised as should casual distribution of small amounts for no or insignificant renumeration.
1973 AD: UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances: cannabis is a narcotic.
1973 AD: Wernard Bruining opens first coffee shop in Amsterdam, 'Mellow Yellow'.
1974 AD: US Senate report on Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and its Impact on US Security claims that cannabis use cause brain damage, a-motivation and genetic and reproductive defects.
1975 AD: Hundreds of US doctors call for more research on cannabis.
1975 AD: Alaska legalises cannabis for personal use. Limit on amount is one ounce.
1975 AD: After 3 years of campaigning to abolish penal sanctions for the consumption of drugs, Pannella forces the police to arrest him, by smoking a joint in public.
1975 AD: Jamaica Studies reveal good health amongst prolific cannabis users. "No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style, and tests of memory."
1976 AD: Holland adopts tolerant attitude to cannabis and many coffee shops and youth centres allowed to sell cannabis.
1976 AD: USA New York Times (Jan 5) declares 'Scientists find nothing really harmful about pot'.
1976 AD: Ford administration bans medical research on cannabis. Research on synthetic cannabis analogues allowed to continue. Robert Randal is the first US citizen to receive cannabis from Federal supplies made under the Investigational New Drug (IND) Program.
1976 AD: DuPont declares cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and calls for its decriminalisation.
1976 AD: USA President Ford bans medical research on cannabis.
1977 AD: President Carter thinks cannabis should be legalised.
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1977 AD: The Australian Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare (the Baume Committee) recommends treating drug use as a social/ medical rather than legal problem. Also that criminal sanction of possession
of cannabis be replaced by fines while retaining penalties for possession of hashish, oil and purified THC.
1978 AD: New Mexico allows cannabis sale for medical use.
1978 AD: The New South Wales Joint Parliamentary Committee upon Drugs recommends eliminating criminal sanctions for personal use of cannabis, implementing bond and probation penalties for first offenders and expunging records upon successful completion of these punishments. Also suggest retaining penalties for trafficking in cannabis.
1980 AD: Paul McCartney arrested for cannabis and spends 10 days in prison in Japan.
1980 AD: Costa Rica study reports good health in cannabis users.
1980 AD: May 10, Smokey Bears in Hyde Park.
1981 AD: The Coptic Study claims 'No harm to human brain or intelligence' through cannabis use.
1982 AD: An Analysis of Marijuana Policy, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, concludes that "a policy of prohibition of supply is preferable only to a policy of complete prohibition of supply and use".
1983 AD: In the UK over 20,000 convictions for possession.
1983 AD: The USA government (Reagan / Bush)orders American Universities to destroy all 1966-76 research work on cannabis.
1985 AD: Winters and DiFranza reveal radioactive material in tobacco may account for half the lung cancer deaths; no radioactive material in cannabis.
1986 AD: 8 July, UK Drug Trafficking Offences Act introduced to enable confiscation of assets from drug dealers.
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1987 AD: The USA Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy says: "Cannabis can be used on an episodic but continual basis without evidence of social or psychic dysfunction. In many users the term dependence with its obvious connotations, probably is mis-applied... The chief opposition to the drug rests on a moral and
political, and not toxicologic, foundation".
1988 AD: 6 September: DEA chief administrative judge, Judge Young, rules the US government should allow the medicinal use of cannabis. He says "Marijuana in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active
substance known to man". DEA rejects report.
1988 AD: The First 'Official' Hightimes Cannabis Cup is held in Rotterdam.
1988 AD: 20 December, UN Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances, Vienna, includes cannabis.
1988 AD: UK 23,229 people arrested for cannabis offences.
1989 AD: Presidents Reagan and Bush declare war on cannabis; shops selling smoking apparatus outlawed. Urine testing introduced. Recriminalisation, asset and property seizure, armed forces, prison camps, 'Just Say No' campaign, PFDA, DARE, tobacco and nuclear subsidies. Price - per - ounce cannabis worth more than gold. Worldwide prohibition entices organised crime to take control of the cannabis market and make huge profits. Reagan declares victory in War on Drugs. Secretary of State James A Baker reports global war on narcotic production is 'clearly not being won'.
1990 AD: Jack Herer, in his book 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes' offers $10,000 reward to anyone who can disprove his assertion that hemp can 'save the planet'.
1990 AD: Alaska recriminalises cannabis possession .
1990's AD: USA voters pass regional measures to allow medicinal use of cannabis. Interest in this and other uses of hemp add new support to campaign for the legal right to social/ recreational use of cannabis.
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1991 AD: THC receptors found in the brain.
1991 AD: UK 40,000 people arrested for cannabis.
1991 AD: 'Mr. Marijuana', Howard Marks, arrested, taken from Spain to USA, and given 25 years imprisonment for trafficking in cannabis.
1991 AD: UK Judge Pickles advocates legalisation of drugs.
1991 AD: UK MP Tony Banks (labour) advocates legalisation of cannabis.
1991 AD: IND program dropped in USA.
1992 AD: January 22, California Research Advisory Panel reports that prohibition has a more harmful effect on society and the individual than illegal drugs themselves.
1992 AD: February 19, UK Government issue licenses to grow cannabis for industrial uses or scientific research.
1992 AD: "Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political"... The Economist March 28th 1992.
1992 AD: USA over 340,000 arrests for cannabis.
1992 AD: Australia licenses hemp farm.
1992 AD: US Investigational New Drug (IND) Program dropped.
1992 AD: USA President Clinton admits he smoked cannabis but did not inhale. Howard Marks admits that he smoked cannabis but never exhaled.
1992 AD: 17 European Cities sign Frankfurt Charter agreeing to tolerate social use of cannabis.
1992 AD: USA Jim Montgomery, a paraplegic who smoked cannabis to relieve muscle spasm, busted for two ounces of marijuana in Oklahoma, arrested and sentenced to life plus 16 years.
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1993 AD: Britain eases restrictions on hemp farming. Hempcore is first British company to get a license. Hemp clothes sold in High Street shops.
1993 AD: Commander John Grieve of the Metropolitan Police calls for decriminalisation of cannabis.
1993 AD: Raymond Kendall, Head of Interpol, calls for decriminalisation of cannabis.
1993 AD: British Law Lord, Lord Woolf calls for legalisation of cannabis.
1993 AD: 22 British MP's call for the establishment of a Royal Commission.
1993 AD: 44 British MP's call for a Royal Commission.
1993 AD: German High Court in Kruhe rules that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional.
1993 AD: 19 British MP's 'welcome' the German court ruling.
1993 AD: 55 British MP's call for cannabis to be recognised and allowed for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
1993 AD: British Home Secretary Michael Howard declares 'War on drugs' and increases maximum fine for possession of cannabis to £2,500.
1993 AD: Over 72,000 UK citizens arrested for cannabis offences.
1993 AD: Canada permits a hemp farm in Ontario province.
1995 AD: Holland lowers the amount one can possess without prosecution to 5 grams (from 30) as a result of powerful international pressures from neighboring countries.
1995 AD: UK Channel 4 Pot Night (March) and BBC Panorama's High Risk (April).
1995 AD: UK Home secretary Michael Howard increases penalties for cannabis offenses.
1995 AD: Clare Short MP (Labour) calls for a Royal Commission on Cannabis and is reprimanded by her party bosses. (October)
1995 AD: European Cannabis Consumers' Union founded in Amsterdam.
1995 AD: USA Dan Perron forms Cannabis Buyers Club to distribute cannabis to the sick.
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1995 AD: The European Council which defines political guidelines, orders a study of drug legislation and practice in the Union.
1995 AD: September 16, First CHIC (Cannabis Hemp Information Club) conference in London.
1995 AD: Under the Clinton administration 1,450,751 people had been arrested for cannabis, 86% being for possession only
1995 AD: November 11, British journal of the medical profession, The Lancet, states that "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health".
1995 AD: Dutch Policy in the Netherlands Studies
1995 AD: Henrion Commission Report, the official French State Commission in charge of drug policy supports decriminalisation of cannabis and calls for a two-year trial period of regulated retail trade in cannabis. The French Government reject these proposals.
1996 AD: Victoria (Australia) State Council urge decriminalisation of cannabis.
1996 AD: May 17, Sow the Seeds Day, London. 1996 AD: CLCIA announce parliamentary candidates in forthcoming General Election
1996 AD: UK Liberal Democrats Party calls for a Royal Commission on cannabis.
1996 AD: Lord McCluskey calls for consideration of decriminalisation in UK.
1996 AD: The Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence - Drug Notes - Cannabis 1996, p.8 says: "All that can be said definitely is that 1) Cannabis use generally precedes the use of other illegal drugs. 2) Cannabis use does not necessarily (or even usually) lead to the use of other illicit drugs."
1996 AD: UK Janet Paraskeno, magistrate and director of National Youth Agency calls for 'legalisation and not decriminalisation'.
1996 AD: George Howarth MP (Labour) says his party do not want a Royal Commission because it might conclude that cannabis should be legalised which a Labour Government would not do anyway.
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1996 AD: The Parliament of Luxembourg passes a motion calling for a program 'of common measures for the liberalization of cannabis and its derivatives' along with Belgium and the Netherlands, and the harmonisation of drug laws in Benelux countries.
1996 AD: UK Cannabis Awareness Month (September) on 68th anniversary of the law.
1996 AD: Ireland announces their plans to use cannabis as fuel to replace the use of the dwindling supplies of peat
1996 AD: Dutch town council at Delfzijl decides to sell cannabis through their own coffee shop. They name the shop 'Paradox'. Profits used to provide information campaigns against 'soft drugs' in Dutch schools. Meanwhile the Dutch close many coffee shops, bowing to pressures from Germany and France.
1996 AD: The Canton of Zurich calls for legalisation of cannabis.
1996 AD: UK Crown Prosecution Service dropping cases of possession and cultivation against some ill people (MS) as 'not in the public interest to proceed'.
1996 AD: California and Arizona pass Propositions allowing the use of cannabis in the treatment of certain illnesses, Clinton is re-elected and the FBI threaten Doctors with prosecution.
1996 AD: A Swiss man, Zimmermann, is given a life sentence in the Maldives, for importing three cannabis seeds, found in his luggage as he flew in from India.
1996 AD: Legalise Ganja Jamaica formed.
1996 AD: In the New Zealand general election the legalise cannabis candidate in Mittertond received 30% of the vote. Overall they received 1.4% of the votes, insufficient to gain a seat under proportional representation.
1996 AD: 100 Italian MP's call for legalisation of cannabis in Italy.
1996 AD: The Sunday Times, 1 Dec, says that out of 45 UK judges questioned 16 wanted to see cannabis legalised.
1996 AD: CLCIA offices are destroyed by fire
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1996 AD: June, Scottish Nationalist conference votes to allow cultivation for personal use and research into medical uses of cannabis Sates "Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of marijuana use may itself be a health
hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity."
1997 AD: An 8-year study at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, concluded that long-term smokers of cannabis do not experience a greater annual decline in lung functions than non-smokers. Researchers said: "Findings from the present long-term follow-up study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that the continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant factor for the development of [chronic lung disease]" "No difference were noted between even quite heavy marijuana smoking and non- smoking of marijuana." Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine 1997
1997 AD: January16, A court in Texas, USA, sentences medical marijuana user, William J. Foster to 93 years imprisonment for cultivation of one plant.
1997 AD: Two Swiss Cantons decide to legalise possession of cannabis in small amounts and ask the national Government to do the same.
1997 AD: The German State of Schlewig-Holstein legalise possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis.
1997 AD: After appeals for clemency from the Swiss Government and letters from CLCIA supporters, the Maldives releases Zimmermann, the man given life for three seeds.
1997 AD: Norwich City Council ban the CLCIA from more stalls because seeds had been given out at previous stalls, the seed being fishing bait. After a letter campaign the council agree that CLCIA can have the stall provided they agree not to give out 'anything which can be used to grow or take an illegal substance'.
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1997 AD: In the USA a $2 million study to prove cannabis smoking can cause cancer fails and announces that it does not. The release of the report is delayed due to 'lack of supplies'.
1997 AD: Paul Flynn MP introduces an early Day Motion calling on the Government to recognise the medicinal uses of cannabis and to make it available in tablet form, also congratulating the citizens of California and Arizona.
1997 AD: February 11, USA Federal Government Authorities, led by Barry R. McCaffrey, Director of National Drug Control Policy, resists the medical supply or cannabis in California and Arizona, threatening to prosecute Doctor's who prescribe or supply it.
1997 AD: UK Legalise Cannabis Party, sponsored by the CLCIA, nominates Howard Marks as Parliamentary Candidate for Legalising Cannabis in the General Election. He receives an average 1.3% of the vote over the four constituencies where he stands.
1997 AD: The UK elects a new Labour Government and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says he will not legalise cannabis.
1997 AD: Scottish Kirk (Church) comes out in favour of legalising cannabis.
1997 AD: Rob Christopher, founder of CHIC - the Cannabis Hemp Information Club - in London, changes his name to Free Rob Cannabis and invites arrest by distributing cannabis cookies on the steps of the Department of Heath in London. He is not arrested.
1997 AD: USA marines use helicopters to destroy marijuana crops in Hawaii despite objections from the people.
1997 AD: The Kaiser Permanente Study (USA) - "Marijuana Use and Mortality" April 1997 American Journal of Public Health concludes "Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of marijuana use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity."
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1997 AD: Researchers at the University of California (UCLA) School of Medicine announced the results of an 8 - year study into the effects of long-term cannabis smoking on the lungs. In Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. D.P. Tashkin reported: "Findings from the present long-
term, follow-up study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant risk factor for the development of [chronic lung disease. ..Neither the continuing nor the intermittent marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different rates of decline in
[lung function]" as compared with those individuals who never smoked marijuana. Researchers added: "No differences were noted between even quite heavy marijuana smoking and nonsmoking of marijuana."
1997 AD: June, A plaque placed on a park bench in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich, commemorates Howard Marks stand as a Legalise Cannabis Candidate.
1997 AD: July, The British Medical Association (BMA) recommends the provision of medicinal cannabis in the UK.
1997 AD: July, The Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Australia, JW Shaw QC MLC, announced the end of prison sentences for young cannabis offenders, saying that "I believe many parents would see the imprisonment of their son or daughter for using cannabis as particularly harmful."
1997 AD: July, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD July 21 1997 p5 reports "A survey of a traditionally conservative NSW electorate has shown overwhelming community support for the decriminalisation of cannabis." New South Wales then decriminalises possession of cannabis - up to 5 plants, 30 grams of leaf, 3 grms of resin and 2 grams of oil.
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1997 AD: August, UK, After the shooting of a five-year old boy in Bolton in a drug- related attack, Labour MP Brian Iddon calls for a Royal Commission on drugs with a view to decriminalisation. The Sun conducts a poll that showed that over 40% of its readers are in favour of decriminalisation. Labour Home Office spokesman
George Howarth says on Radio 4 News that cannabis causes harm and that Labour will never have dialogue on legalisation and that the only solution is to stamp it out.
1997 AD: On September 19th, Marco Pannella is sentenced by the Rome Court to 4 months imprisonment commuted to 8 months on probation, for distributing hashish at the Porta Portese.
1997 AD: September, Sir Paul McCartney, ex-Beatle, reconfirms his call to decriminalise cannabis.
1997 AD: September 28th, UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday, starts their committed campaign to decriminalise cannabis backed by over 100 names of celebrities, doctors, academics etc.
1997 AD: September 28th, A picnic in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, to commemorate the sad prohibition laws is attended by over 100 people and cannabis is openly smoked on film by TV cameras. On this the 69th anniversary of the Dangerous Drugs Act, Rob Christopher and some 300 others gather in Hyde Park, London, to distribute cannabis cakes free to medical users. Rob then unsuccessfully attempted to turn himself in to the police.
1997 AD: October 8, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the most senior judge in England and Wales backed calls for a public debate on the legalisation of cannabis. Just days after Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, ruled out moves
to legalise cannabis.
1997 AD: November 5, EU Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties suggests that soft drugs should be legalised.
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1997 AD: December 3, The French secretary of State for Public Health, Bernard Kouchner, in favor of the supply of heroin to people suffering from severe heroin addiction. He also supports the medical application of cannabis, according to an interview with Dr Kouchner MD in the newspaper Liberation.
1997 AD: December 11, Independent on Sunday hold their "Should cannabis be decriminalised?" conference in Westminster, London. Although all the MPs have been invited only 5 turn up. The conference was overwhelmingly in favour of legalisation.
1997 AD: December 19th, DEA formally asked the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs. This DEA request of HHS means that the DEA has for the first time made
its own determination that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I is supposed to be limited to hard drugs with addictive propensities and with no legitimate medical usage.
1997 AD: December 20, British Home Secretary, Jack Straw (Labour) is told by the Daily Mirror that his son, William, sold 10 pounds worth of cannabis to a reporter Dawn Alford. Straw immediately escorts his own son to a police station to turn himself in. The lad is cautioned several weeks later.
1998 AD: March, Madrid - European and American scientists defended medical marihuana at an International Symposium on Cannabis and the Brain held at the Fundacion Ramon Areces. According to them, the plant is effective in treating people with cancer and multiple sclerosis, but is not addictive.
1998 AD: Australia, March, Victoria's police commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, has admitted the fight against drugs has failed and is set to introduce a radical statewide plan to keep drug users out of courts.
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1998 AD: Conservative MP David Prior becomes the third British MP to publicly admit having smoked cannabis. He is against legalisation.
1998 AD: MORE than 100 French artists and intellectuals signed a petition admitting to taking soft drugs and offering themselves for prosecution.
1998 AD: March 28 About 20,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in the Decriminalise Cannabis March organised by the Independent on Sunday, CLCIA and others. Speakers in the Square included Howard Marks, Rosie Boycott, Paul Flynn MP and Caroline Coon. The new UK Anti-Drugs Coordinator, Keith Hallawell, arrogantly stated that the march was a Red 'Herring'.
1998 AD: UK, Times 24 March 1998, A judge allowed a liver transplant patient to go free after he admitted growing and using cannabis to ease his pain. Sympathising with him, Judge John Hopkin said: "I accept that's why you were growing it; to relieve the considerable pain you must suffer. That is against the law as it stands at the present time, but there is very substantial mitigation in your case." Richard Gifford, 49, a father of 6 was given a two year conditional discharge at Nottingham crown court after pleading guilty to producing and possessing cannabis. The judge said "Whether this substance should be obtained by prescription is a matter for parliament, but it does seem from a number of cases that appear before me that it is benefit to a number of persons." Paddy Tipping, PPS to Jack Straw, the Home secretary said the government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis "People like Judge Hopkin say the acknowledge there is a valuable medical effect, but there has been no compelling research done to suggest that".
1998 AD: April, Czech Republic - President Vaclav Havel vetoes a law banning possession of drugs for personal use and sent it back to Parliament, citing human rights concerns. "The President reached the opinion that the law would lead to the prosecution of victims rather than culprits," said spokesman Ladislav Spacek. Drug experts have warned that the legislation could lead to an increase in crime and drug prices and a decline in the willingness of addicts to be cured. - Reuters.
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1998 AD: 4 April, A man accused of growing and giving cannabis to his wife, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, was cleared by a jury's majority verdict of cultivating, cultivating with intent to supply, and supplying cannabis. Cab driver Alan Blythe, 52, of Runcorn, Cheshire, had used the defence of duress of circumstances, which
the jury at Warrington Crown Court accepted. He claimed he had grown the cannabis and supplied it to his wife Judith, 48, because he was afraid that without it the acute symptoms of MS could trigger her suicide. The jury ignored the judge's suggestion that Mr Blythe had failed to prove duress of circumstances for the charge of cultivation. But they followed this advice in relation to possession, for which Mr Blythe was fined £100.
1998 AD: 21 April, Belgium officially decriminalises cannabis after a decision by Minister de Clerck of Justice. That is you will not be prosecuted for possession for personal consumption.
1998 AD: The Foundations to Self-Hemployed are made, somewhere on a house-boat in Amsterdam.
1998 AD: SAN FRANCISCO April 22, 1998 -- A San Francisco marijuana club reopened under another name just a day after a court order shut down its predecessor.
1998 AD: Italy decriminalises possession of drugs and permits small scale cultivation of cannabis for own use.
1998 AD: Danny Tungate polled 7.6% of the vote as a Legalise Cannabis Candidate in the UK local elections, Catton Grove ward, Norwich.
1998 AD: June 12, The UK Government has granted a license to grow and possess cannabis for the purposes of medical trials, to Dr Geoffrey Guy of GW Pharmaceuticals. The crop at a secret location in south-east England, is guarded by electrified razor-wire fences, security cameras and guard dogs.
1998 AD: Whilst US Federal Authorities make threats and arrests of Californian doctors who recommend cannabis and force the closure of most medical marijuana clubs in the state, Oakland by-pass federal law by appointing medical marijuana suppliers as deputies thereby making them immune from arrest.
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1998 AD: Germany, A petition of 30 thousand signatures organised by the "Selbsthilfegruppe Cannabis als Medizin" in Berlin was handed in to the Senat of Berlin in March 1998. All governing parties (CDU, SPD, PDS and Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen) discussed the issue and unanimously support it! The signaturess being collected currently, will be handed to the "Petitionsausschussdes Deutschen Bundestages" together with the 30 thousand from Berlin.. ACM,Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin (Association for Cannabis as Medicine).
1998 AD: June 5; Colin Davies acquitted of cultivation in the UK after informing the jury of his medical need and despite instructions from the judge that they had to rule on law and evidence alone. See Rights of Jurors.
1998 AD: A group of Welsh Cannabis Smokers headed by Chris Rawley lays prosecution papers upon Jack Straw, Tony Blair, Lord Bingham, a Crown Court Judge and Tenby Magistrates, in the process of a public prosecution for crimes against humanity and peace, and crimes against children, for upholding an illegal prohibition of cannabis.
1998 AD: September 5, Release and The Lindesmith Instituteorganise the symposium "Options for Control in the 21st Century", with experts from around the world gathering in London.
1998 AD: October, CLCIA Chairman challenges local Judge on cannabis safety.
1998 AD: November 11, UK. The House of Lords rule that based upon the evidence presented for them the Government should make cannabis available to the sick without further delay, but that they are against legalisation for recreational use. Jack Straw, Home Secretary, immediately rejects the House of Lord's Report saying that cannabis will not be made available until a suitable pharmaceutical standard preparation has been thoroughly tested.
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1998 AD: November, "We.. say that on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations.": The Lancet, vol 352, number 9140, November 14 1998.
1998 AD: December 24: Prince Charles tells a sufferer of Multiple Sclerosis that he has heard that cannabis can help.
1999 AD: January 21, USA: Medicinal Marijuana Advocate, Steve Kubby and Wife Busted.
1999 AD: February 23, UK: 55-year-old arthritis sufferer jailed for one year for using cannabis to relieve his pain.
1999 AD: March 4, ALASKA: Medical Marijuana Law Starts.
1999 AD: March 15, USA: Federal Judge Gives OK to Pot Case.
1999 AD: March 21, USA: Government Study Labels Marijuana A Useful Medicine.
1999 AD: March 21, Only 8 People Can Legally Use Pot As Medicine.
1999 AD: March 23, GERMANY: Health Minister Supports Medical Marihuana.
1999 AD: March 30, CANADA: Pot Users Take Fewer Road Risks Than Drunks Study Says.
1999 AD: April 1, USA: Farmers Lobby to Legalize the Growing of Hemp.
1999 AD: April 7, USA: Florida Supreme Court Hears Medical Marijuana Case.
1999 AD: March, The LEGALISE CANNABIS ALLIANCE becomes an official political party in the UK.
1999 AD: April 9, UK: Pro-Cannabis Lobby To Stand in Norwich.
1999 AD: April 23, SWITZERLAND: Legalising Cannabis.
1999 AD: May 1, Many thousands march for legalisation around the world.
1999 AD: May 6, UK: Local Election Results, May 6 1999, Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidates poll average 3.5%.
1999 AD: May 10, USA: NV Assembly Bill Eases Marijuana Penalties.
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1999 AD: May 20, UK Government objects to cannabis bill 95 MPs support Medical Marijuana bill. Eric Mann's parole revoked to silence him.
1999 AD: June 9, CANADA: Two Patients Get Federal Go-Ahead To Smoke Pot.
1999 AD: June 11, US Kentucky: Hemp Museum Opens Doors To History Of Versatile Plant.
1999 AD: June 11, NEW ZEALAND: Advice To Review Dope Law Repeated
1999 AD: June 13, UK: Cannabis Inhalers In First Legal Health Test
1999 AD: June 21, CANADA: Compassion Club To Grow Pot In Homes Of Members
1999 AD: June 21, SCOTLAND: Doctors Back Legalising Cannabis.
1999 AD: June 24, JAMAICA: Official Encourages Cultivation Of Hemp.
1999 AD: June 30, UK: Jails Chief Says Drug Test Regime Is Useless.
1999 AD: September 6, UK: MS Patients Recruited To Test Cannabis Pill.
1999 AD: Oct. 14, Kingston, Jamaica, The Jamaican Senate has unanimously approved a resolution establishing a commission to explore the decriminalisation of marijuana.
1999 AD: Nov 25, The Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidate in the Kensington and Chelsea By-election, Colin Paisley gained 141 votes, 8th out of 18 candidates.
2000 AD: Jan 12, CANADA: Hepatitis C Patient Wins Right To Smoke Pot.
2000 AD: March 6, UK: First Conference Of The Legalise Cannabis Alliance.
2000 AD: March 25, UK: Inquiry Calls For Softer Line On Hard Drugs- Blair Says No.
2000 AD: March 29, SWITZERLAND: Swiss Parliament Legalises Cannabis.
2000 AD: March 30, Malaysian Gets Life For Growing Cannabis Plant.
2000 AD: April 4, MALAWI: Minister Steps Up Campaign To Legalise Marijuana.
2000 AD: May 4, The Legalise Cannabis Alliance fields 5 candidates in Norwich local elections (Sarah Homes, Mick Pryce, Hugh Robertson, Trevor Smith, Tina Smith), one in Peterborough (Marcus Davies). Derrick Large receives over 400 votes in the Romsey by-election won by a Liberal Democrat.
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2000 AD: May 6, Hundreds of thousands of people march for the end of the War on Cannabis.
2000 AD: June 28, CANADA: Medical Pot Grower Cleared.
2000 AD: June 28, NETHERLANDS: Dutch cannabis vote irks cabinet.
2000 AD: July 17, USA CA: Federal Judge Clears Way for Oakland Club to Distribute Pot to Seriously Ill Patients.
2000 AD: July 31, CANADA: Pot Prohibition Unconstitutional, Rules Court Of Appeals.
2000 AD: August 1: UK: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment From Cannabis.
2000 AD: August 15, USA CA: Appeals Court Approves Marijuana As Medicine.
2000 AD: September 6, EUROPE: Dutch, Swiss and German Governments To Act on Marijuana.
2000 AD: September 8, USA CA: Doctors' Rights Backed Under Pot Law.
2000 AD: September 9, GUAM: High Court Ruling Backs Rastafarian's Sacrament - Cannabis.
2000 AD: September 14, USA CA: Feds Rule Doctors May Recommend Pot
2000 AD: September 28, UK: MS Sufferer Cleared Of Cannabis Charge.
2000 AD: October, Canadian Government Will Legalize Medical Marijuana Use.
2000 AD: October 20, UK: Cannabis Less Harmful Than Aspirin, Says Scientist.
2000 AD: November 24, USA: CA: Study Of Pot's Benefits To AIDS Patients Gets DEA's Blessing.
2000 AD: December 17, The Self-Hemployed.Tk website goes live!
2000 AD: December 22, CANADA: Legal Marijuana Operation Opens.
2001 AD: 4 January, CANADA: Firm Grows Medical Pot In Mine Shaft.
2001 AD: 19 January, BELGIUM: Seen Decriminalising Cannabis Use.
2001 AD: 10 March, SWITZERLAND: Move To Legalise Cannabis.
2001 AD: 21 March, MEXICO: Leader Backs Call To Legalize Drugs.
2001 AD: 22 March, UK: Lords Urge Legal Use Of Cannabis.
2001 AD: 7 April, CANADA: Gravely Ill To Get Medical Pot.
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2001 AD: 26 April, USA: Legalize Marijuana, New Mexico Governor Urges.
2001 AD: 11 June, Pot Smokers Just As Healthy - Study.
2001 AD: 25 June, UK: Home Secretary Praises Cannabis Scheme.
2001 AD: 1 July, UK: Drug Czar Recants: Cannabis Use Does Not Lead To Heroin.
2001 AD: 4 July, CANADA: Legal-Marijuana Users To Get Photo Id Cards.
2001 AD: 5 July, UK: In One Part Of London, Police Turn Blind Eye To Marijuana To Target Harder Crime.
2001 AD: 19 August, FIJI: Marijuana a Fiji Election Issue: A Fijian high chief has said his people should be shot dead if found planting marijuana.
2001 AD: 13 September, FRANCE: Koucher Opposes Drugs Law.
2001 AD: 20 October, THE NETHERLANDS: Dutch Government Plans To Put Cannabis On Prescription.
2001 AD: 14 December, INDONESIA: Marijuana Trafficker Gets Death Sentence.
2001 AD: 16 December, UK: Study Finds No Cannabis Link To Hard Drugs.
2002 AD: 25 January, NORWAY: Commission Set To Call For Decriminalization.
2002 AD: 12 February, Ed Rosenthal is arrested for marijuana cultivation and conspiracy.
2002 AD: 16 February, KENYA: Hashish Traffickers Jailed For 45 Years.
2002 AD: Various governements/countries world wide start 'anonymous' phone numbers to snitch on neighbors, friends and family. In the name of terror and the war on drugs.
2002 AD: 9 March, UK: Lib Dems back radical drug reforms.
2002 AD: 12 March, CANADA: Doctors Want Marijuana Decriminalized.
2002 AD: 14 March, UK: Reclassify Cannabis, Says Official Report.
2002 AD: 1 June, MEXICO: Chihuahua Considers Legalizing Pot.
2002 AD: 4 June, Amsterdam: Self-Hemployed.Com goes live!
2002 AD: 29 June, PHILIPPINES: Death For Marijuana.
2002 AD: 10 July, David Blunkett's Announcement of reclassification of Cannabis, and Oliver Letwin's reply in Parliament.
2002 AD: July, Australian Police Close Cannabis Cafe.
2002 AD: July, UK Drugs Tsar Hellawell Resigns Over Plans To Reclassify Cannabis Possession.
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2002 AD: July, Canadian Judge Says Medical Cannabis Is Not Illegal.
2002 AD: August, Israeli Government Approves Use Of Cannabis By Terminally Ill.
2002 AD: October, Colin Davies Who Opened The Dutch Experience Cannabis Cafe In Stockport, UK, Is Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Cannabis Offences.
2002 AD, November: Kenya Considers Legalising Bhang.
2002 AD: November, UK Doctors Announce Cannabis Extracts Used In Trials On MS And Pain Patients Proving Effective.
2002 AD: November, Czech Doctors Claim Cannabis Helps Sufferers Of Parkinson's Disease.
2002 AD: December, US Study Defies Gateway Theory That Cannabis Use Leads To Use Of Hard Drugs.
2002 AD: December, Canadian Judge Orders Police To Return Medical Cannabis.
2002 AD: December UK, Oakland, US, City Authorities Deputise Medical Marijuana Club Founders.
2003 AD: The beginning of 'The War On Marijuana'.
2003 AD: The federal government has implemented "Operation Pipe Dreams" and "Operation Headhunter," which have resulted in the indictment of at least 50 online paraphernalia distributors.
2003 AD: Dutch Government cracks down on coffee shop policies. Goal is set to minimize the amought of coffee shops in Amsterdam to 100.
2003 AD: February, US Jurors Become Angry That Trial Judge Had Not Informed Them That Ed Rosenthal Was Deputised by City Authorities in Oakland, after they convicted him of cultivation.
2003 AD: February, UN Narcotics Control Board Questions Canada's Policy On Use Of Marijuana.
2003 AD: Dutch Government works on getting 'German Free' zones due to the amount of German tourist coming to get their cannabis just over the border.
2003 AD: February, US Police Arrest 55 Suppliers Of Cannabis Paraphernalia.
2003 AD: Tommy Chong is arrested in "Operation Pipe Dreams", which involved over 2,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers. The operation culminated on February 24, 2003, with simultaneous raids against multiple paraphernalia retailers, distributors and manufacturers, including Chong.
2003 AD: March, Pharmacies in The Netherlands Sell Medical Cannabis More Expensive Than Many Coffeeshops.
2003 AD: March, Danish Drug Dealers Go On Strike.
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2003 AD: Belgium legalizes Cannabis allowing people over 18 to posses 5 grams of marijuana for personal use.
2003 AD: April, The first Official 420 Growers Cup is held organized by Gypsy Nirvana.
2003 AD: Global cannabis industry is experiencing a spectacular, unprecedented boom. On the eve of the latest Million Marijuana March for legalisation, John Walsh introduces a special investigation into one of the burning issues of our time.
2003 AD: July 10, President of the B.C. Marijuana Party, Marc Emery, has been arrested in Winnipeg after smoking pot outside the downtown police headquarters. He spent the night in jail, but Manitoba pot activist Chris Buors paid the $500 bail.
2003 AD: July 21, Marc Emery fired up a large bong in front of an RCMP detachment in Moncton and within seconds was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
2003 AD: July..., Marc Emery gets arrested in over 4 provinces. Do a google...
2003 AD: British Hospitals to Test Use of Cannabis for Post-Operative Pain: August 21, 2003 - The government-funded British Medical Research Council has committed £500,000 for a controversial clinical study to assess the use of cannabis...
2003 AD: Cannabis Cafes opening in Canada. Not selling any Cannabis or Hash, but allowing their customers to 'smoke' if wanted.
2003 AD: A top White House drug policy official is threatening retaliation from the U.S. if Canada relaxes its laws against marijuana possession.
2003 AD: Despite sharp criticisms from the Bush administration, Canada Tuesday introduced federal legislation that removes criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
2003 AD: The Dutch Government wants ban on smoking pot in Coffee Shops.
2003 AD: American Goverment a.o. claim terrorist attacks are funded by Morrocan Hashish.
2003 AD: September, A Boston University study shows $121 million could be made available to local communities if the state stopped arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana trafficking and use. The study, commissioned by Change the Climate, a non-profit organization that uses outdoor advertising to educate people about marijuana issues, also shows that an additional $17 million could be raised if marijuana sales were regulated and taxed.
2003 AD: England OKs Recreational Marijuana. Beginning January, Cannabis will be downgraded to a Class C drug, recreational use of the drug will be free from prosecution
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2004 AD: In Western Australia, possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of up to two plants will be decriminalised, attracting a fine or education session.
2004 AD: The Bush White House, the DEA, and US police forces are arresting more Americans for marijuana than ever before. On October 17, 2005, the FBI revealed 771,608 persons were arrested for marijuana violations in 2004. The total is the highest ever and comprised 44.2 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. Since 1965, 17 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offences, and arrests have skyrocketed in the past 12 years.
2004 AD: Several States in the U.S.A. vote on Medical Marijuana. Voters in seven states are deciding on initiatives expanding the availability of marijuana, including several on medical marijuana and one that would completely legalize the drug for adults.
2004 AD: Novermber, Eddy Lepp, presently facing federal government prosecution for growing marijuana for medical purposes, has been granted permission to go to Amsterdam, Holland by federal Chief Justice Marilyn Hall Patel to accept an international award at the Hightimes Cannabis Cup.
2005 AD: The Return of The Reefer Madness.
2005 AD: March, Student leaders approved a referendumcalling for CU(University Colorado) to acknowledge the drug as a relatively safe alternative to alcohol.
2005 AD: May, Marijuana arrests account for almost half of all drug arrests in the United States, which spends $4 billion a year to catch, prosecute and incarcerate offenders. ince 1990, there have been 6.2 million arrests for marijuana possession and an additional one million for marijuana trafficking. As of 2002, marijuana arrests
comprised 45 percent of all drug arrests.
2005 AD: July 29th, Marc Emery, Leader of the BC Marijuana Party and Cannabis Seed distributor is arrested IN Canada by American DEA and awaits extradition for exporting Cannabis seeds to the United States. Read more
2005 AD: Jenji Kohan created the TV show "Weeds" Kohan, whose writing and producing credits include "Gilmore Girls," "Will & Grace" and "Mad About You,". "I was looking for a subject where I could explore (life's) gray areas,"
2005 AD: August, Lawrence’s police chief thinks it could have “great merit.” The mayor supports it, and so does the county’s top prosecutor. But George Bush’s White House says a proposal to take a streamlined approach to marijuana-possession crimes in Lawrence is a dangerous idea.
2005 AD: October, California -- After decades of trying to make it go away, last month two California law enforcement agencies acknowledged that marijuana is a fact of life.
2005 AD: October, Washington, D.C. -- A new student organization is trying to persuade GW to lessen its penalties for drug violations, particularly for students who lose University housing after being caught with marijuana in their dorm rooms.
2005 AD: November 3rd, Denver on Tuesday became the first city in the nation to wipe out all criminal and civil penalties for adults caught possessing a small amount of marijuana. About 54% of voters supported a ballot measure legalizing possession of less than an ounce of pot by individuals 21 and over.
2005 AD: November 23rd, The first 'Grass-A-Mataz' party is held in Amsterdam, hosted by Self-Hemployed & Ceres Seeds for the High Times Cannabis Cup. Grand opening with the legendary John Sinclair.
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2006 AD: February, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 'Blow Verbod' signs are accepted and placed in several areas throughout Amsterdam to prohibit smoking weed in those areas. The signs are stolen within hours of placement, and so popular, they were produced for commercial purposes the same month. In the first week 1.000 signs are sold for 90 euros a piece. Further more Stickers and T-Shirts are produced.
2006 AD: February, Washington, D.C. -- The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy today launches new creative during the Winter Olympics on NBC that is aimed at parents as part of its anti-drug media campaign.
2006 AD: March, CBS, Marc Emery the "Prince of Pot." appears on 60 Minutes and claims to have sold more marijuana seeds than anyone in the world and, to date, no one has disputed that claim."Yes, I would think that of the say, 120,000 people I dealt with, I’d say certainly 70,000 would have been Americans."
2006 AD: April, Mexico proposes decriminalizing Pot. Owning marijuana,will no longer be a crime in Mexico if the drugs are carried in small amounts for personal use, under legislation passed by the Congress.
2006 AD: May, Washington, D.C. - The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.
2006 AD: July, 'one more time..' - This month, professor Yasmin Hurd of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine released a study showing that rats exposed to the main ingredient in marijuana during their adolescence showed a greater sensitivity to heroin as adults. The wire lit up with articles announcing confirmation for the "gateway theory" — the claim that marijuana use leads to harder drugs.
2006 AD: August, Santa Cruz, A pot-smoking billionaire in Cleveland has bankrolled nearly all the $32,000 raised for the ballot measure to make marijuana crimes the lowest priority for Santa Cruz police.
2006 AD: August, Limburg (The Netherlands), Non profit organization 'Groene Sanering' has found a solution for the more-than 400 'household-trash deposits' throughout Limburg that could mean a serious threat to the local water reserves. The planting of Cannabis makes sure rainwater does not run through the waist/trash into groundlevelwater. Further, Cannabis/Hemp has greatsoil cleansing purposes.
2006 AD: September, Breaux Bridge, La. - Willie Nelson and several members of his band were issued misdemeanor citations for drug possession early today during a traffic stop in Saint Martin Parish.
2006 AD: November 21st, The second Self-Hemployed/ Ceres Seeds 'Grass-A-Mataz' party is held in Amsterdam for the High Times Cannabis Cup. Grand opening with the legendary John Sinclair.
2006 AD: October, Dutch Conservatives Crack Down on Coffee Shops. In recent years the Netherlands, like many countries around the world, has witnessed a rise in conservative power and with that, a corresponding tightening of its once-famous looseness. The legendary Dutch credo "anything goes" is increasingly becoming a thing of the past, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its coffee shops.
2006 AD: November, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a law that essentially says when it comes to marijuana, the city doesn't much care. The proposal passed overwhelmingly today and it gets a second reading same time next week, but that's mostly a formality. So for all intents and purposes, the city has a new pot policy.
2007 AD: January, International Reefer Maddness. Because no organized constituency monitors drug journalism, journalists who file thoroughly uninformed articles on the topic get away with it again and again. The International Herald Tribune's Web site ran the longest version of the AP story.: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=3959052
2007 AD: Hawaii Rejects Federal Funds for War on Pot. With Hawaii County Councilman Bob Jacobson calling for an end to the "marijuana war," the Council rejected three federal grants totaling $582,000 for marijuana eradication........