Have you ever been to a wedding without alcohol? Chances are, unless there was some amazing food or a really great band, you probably found yourself wishing for a stiff drink at some point during the event.
This is not uncommon. Weddings can get a bit boring, especially if you’re not close to the couple who’s getting married, which is one of the many reasons alcohol is so often served at weddings. After all, it’s the best way to make sure everyone has a great time. Right?
Well… no. No, it’s not. It turns out there’s an alternative to serving alcohol at your wedding: serving cannabis.
Why Hate on Alcohol
We’re not. We’re just saying, having an open bar, or any kind of bar at your wedding, can sometimes be a very negative experience. Some guests may take unlimited access to alcohol and the promise of a designated driver or nearby hotel room a little too far. Before you know it your cousin has nabbed and chugged half a bottle of vodka, knocked over a buffet table, mooned your grandmother, and run off with one of the bridesmaids.
Not exactly the classiest thing to do but hey, open bar means drink all you want, right?
Why Cannabis May be a Better Choice for Your Wedding
Yes, drinking is fun but, as most of us know all too well, it can have a plethora of downsides: pounding headaches, lowered inhibitions, and, in severe cases, alcohol poisoning.
Cannabis, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of these downsides. It lightens the mood and provide guests with a fun way to party, without risking anyone feeling like crap the next day.
If you’re still not sure about why and how cannabis can be a better option for your wedding than alcohol, consider the following:
- Unlike alcohol, cannabis isn’t going to make your guests do things they (and you) will regret the next day
- Cannabis is cheaper than alcohol. Like, way cheaper.
- Just a little bit of cannabis can help take away the nerves if your guests are feeling nervous about conquering the dance floor or you’re anxious about talking to people you haven’t seen in years. It would take at least a couple drinks to accomplish this and by then you may be too drunk to do anything!
- With cannabis, you tend to become more aware of your surroundings, instead of less aware as you would when drinking. It also tends to make music sound better, food taste better, and often evokes a warm, loving feeling that’s perfect for weddings.
- Cannabis is perfect for Jewish weddings because it’s totally Kosher, whereas some alcohols, like wine, gin, and vodka, are not.
Cannabis is an excellent alternative for those looking to have a super chill wedding without the risk and expense that comes with alcohol. That said, it’s your day. Do what you want.
Just note that mixing the two can make the effects of each feel stronger. If you choose to offer both, consider asking guests to make a choice between alcohol and cannabis in their RSVP and providing colored wristbands so bartenders and budtenders can tell who is supposed to have what.
There’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding. Flowers, food, clothes, venues, invitations; the list is virtually endless. As different as all these different aspects of wedding planning are, there’s one common theme: money.
In the United States, the average cost of a wedding is $26,720. That’s pretty crazy, considering the fact that some people are spending enough to buy a car in just one day.
There are definitely parts of the wedding that cost more than others. For instance, party favors and invitations are cheap compared to the cost of things like jewelry and photography. But alcohol is, by far, the priciest part of a wedding. In fact, in that average wedding we mentioned earlier, nearly 20 percent is spent on providing an open bar. And for what? So your guests can get too drunk to remember your big day?
If this seems like a waste, it is. Swapping alcohol for cannabis is a much better way to make sure your guests have a good time. Plus, it can be much, much cheaper.
Don’t believe us? Let’s break it down.
The Cost of Alcohol for a Wedding
For all of these calculations, we’ll assume you’re going to have a pretty small wedding with just 100 guests. On average, bars at weddings are usually open for about five hours. It’s safe to say your guests are having at least one drink per hour, but since you always want to overestimate these kinds of things, we’ll assume they’re going to have more and plan for each consuming 9 drinks during the reception.
Everyone drinks something different, so we’ll plan as though each of these guests is going to have 3 beers, 3 glasses of wine, and 3 liquor-based drinks. Each beer is 12 oz., each glass of wine is 5 oz., and each cocktail contains 1.5 oz. of liquor. We used a wedding alcohol calculator to help with the math.
So, for your wedding of 100 guests at 9 drinks each, you’d need:
- 13 cases of beer containing 24 bottles each
- 60 bottles of wine able to pour 5 glasses each
- 18 bottle of liquor able to pour 17 drinks each
Let’s make one more assumption and say you’re probably not going to go with bottom shelf liquor. To get our final total, let’s say that:
- Each case of beer costs $20
- Each bottle of liquor costs $20
- Each bottle of wine costs $15
What’s this add up to? You’re looking at a bar tab of around $1,500. Again, this is assuming your bar is open for 5 hours and each of your 100 guests consumes 9 drinks during that time. Your actual cost may be a bit more or a bit less, but this is a good ballpark figure to go on.
The Cost of Cannabis for a Wedding
The easiest way to supply your wedding with cannabis, is to hire a budtending service. These companies will supply budtenders, glass accessories, and however much flower, edibles, and concentrates you think you’ll need.
In a recent interview with Mic, Andrew Miuere, owner of Top Shelf Budtending, said that his company’s services start as low as $250. That’s flower, glass, and budtenders for an entire night for just $250.
But maybe you’re not interested in a budtender and want to do everything yourself. If so, our friends at Love and Marij have some tips on planning the cost of flower, edibles, and concentrates.
Many couples choose to serve flower at their wedding. After all, that’s what most people think of when they picture cannabis and it’s the cheapest way to serve it. Half a gram each is likely more than enough to get your guests lifted, so for 100 guests you’re going to need 50 grams.
There are 28 grams in an ounce, so let’s go ahead and assume you purchase 2 ounces, just to be safe. In most places, you can get a high quality ounce of flower for around $150, which means you can have plenty of flower to last the whole night for a modest $300.
If you’re looking to mix it up by providing edibles, the pricing changes a bit. Most people who have never had edibles don’t need more than 5-10 mg to last the whole evening, whereas regular users may need up to 50 mg to feel an effect. To ensure there is plenty to go around, we’ll plan for each guest eating 25 mg total.
Again, if we’re overestimating, we can assume that a 100 mg edible will cost around $30. Since each will accommodate 4 guests, you’ll need a total of 25 edibles which will cost you $750. That means your guests can basically eat all the edibles they want and you’re still only spending half what you would on a bar tab.
If you and most of your guests are experienced users, you can step it up a notch by providing concentrates. Wax is one of the most popular cannabis concentrates, so we’ll use that in this example. The half a gram per guest rule works well with wax. Even for an experienced user, a half gram dab is going to do the trick nicely. So for your 100 guests, you’d need 50 grams of wax.
Wax can vary in its pricing, so we’ll calculate two figures based on wax that costs $50/gram and wax that runs $100/gram.
If you go with the lower end, and assume $50 per gram, you’re looking at spending $2,500. Double that for high end wax at $100/gram, and the grand total for the night would be $5,000.
Cannabis or Alcohol – The Choice is Yours
So there you have it. As promised, providing cannabis for your wedding can be way cheaper than serving alcohol. Flower is definitely the most efficient way to go, plus it’s pretty fun to see your guests lighting up. Edibles cost more than flower, but are still much cheaper than booze.
Concentrates are definitely costly, so if you want to include them, you might consider offering mostly flower and have some concentrates available for heavier users to partake in. No matter what you decide, you can have a nice mix of flower, edibles, and concentrates and still pay less than you would for an open bar. At the end of the day, you should choose whatever you think will ensure your guests have a great time and you have a wedding you’ll never forget.
The next installment in our “How to Get Medical Marijuana” series takes us to California.
With the combined enactment of Proposition 215 in 1996 (also called the Compassionate Use Act) and California Senate Bill 420 (the Medical Marijuana Program Act) in 2003, California became the very first state to establish a medical marijuana program.
Despite California’s reputation for being a state which enjoys its weed, Proposition 215 barely passed with 55.58% yes votes and 44.42% no votes. Thankfully, enough Californians realized the medical benefits that cannabis can have. Since then, those suffering from a variety of debilitating medical conditions have gained access to medical marijuana.
Whether you’re a California native or new to The Golden State, if you wish to obtain medical marijuana, you probably have some questions. We’ve pulled together some information to make the task easier, including an overview of state law, how to get a medical marijuana recommendation/card, and some frequently asked questions regarding medical marijuana in California.
California Medical Marijuana Law
In California, all that is required to be able to purchase medical marijuana is a doctor’s recommendation.
There is no special kind of doctor you need to visit. All physicians, osteopaths, and surgeons licensed to practice medicine in California can recommend marijuana for a patient.
However, those who practice more holistic medicine, such as chiropractors, herbal therapists, and acupuncturists, are not authorized to issue medical marijuana recommendations.
Applicable Medical Conditions
Under Proposition 215, doctors can recommend or approve medical cannabis for patients living with cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, chronic muscle spasms, arthritis, migraines, cachexia, seizures, severe nausea or, “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.”
This phrasing is intentionally forgiving so as not to exclude individuals who have another condition. So don’t worry, if your condition is not listed, you’re not out of luck. Physicians in California have recommended marijuana for other conditions, like insomnia, PTSD, depression, PMS, and more.
With a medical marijuana recommendation, California residents and/or their caregivers are allowed to cultivate bud, hash, concentrates, and edibles for personal medical use. Proposition 215 also allows for cannabis to be transported on California roads by the individual in possession of the recommendation or their caregiver.
Interestingly, California legislation does not explicitly permit the sale of medical marijuana. According to Prop. 215, caregivers and collective/co-op members may charge patients for the expenses they incur while growing cannabis if they operate on a “non-profit” basis. Both of these entities are also protected from being arrested or charged with possession for sale, transportation, or operating a center designed to distribute a controlled substance.
In terms of possession, medical marijuana patients in California are technically allowed to have “whatever amount of marijuana is necessary for their personal medical use.” That said, it should be noted that medical marijuana laws can vary based on the city or county you’re in. So in some places, there are certain amounts of cannabis that are considered “reasonable” and, when these limits are exceeded, patients and caregivers risk being cited or fined under local jurisdictions.
It’s crucial that you understand the specific laws in your local area. In general though, according to Health and Safety Code Section 11362.77, qualified patients or caregivers can possess up to 8 ounces of dried marijuana at a time and grow no more than 6 mature or 12 immature plants.
Additionally, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (formerly known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act) that came into effect on January 1st, 2016, states that qualified patients can grow in up to 100 square feet of space. Primary caregivers who have five patients or less are allowed to grow in an area up to 500 square feet. But remember, these laws are mandated by the state and do not include or exclude those established by local governments.
How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in California
If you haven’t already realized it, getting medical marijuana in California isn’t exactly hard. You aren’t even required to have a card if you have a valid doctor’s recommendation, as the California Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) program is completely voluntary.
There is no legal difference between having a MMIC or just having a recommendation from a doctor. The only real difference is that once you voluntarily register with the state, police can search your ID number in the California database and confirm your patient-status. This decreases the chance you’ll face legal ramifications for possessing marijuana if pulled over with it, but who wants to be in a database when the alternative option of going through a private company protects you the same? We’ll get to that shortly.
For now, whether you want a state-registered medical marijuana card or not, you’ll first need to get your doctor’s recommendation. If you can, it’s best to work with your primary care physician to obtain a recommendation. Not all primary care providers are believers of medical marijuana however, so you may need to find another doctor or one that specializes in medical marijuana. California NORML offers an easy to use medical cannabis specialist finder to help locate a qualified doctor near you.
We recommend NuggMD, a website that lets you chat live with a California licensed physician, who helps determine if medical cannabis is right for you, and issues you a doctor’s recommendation on the spot if you qualify. You can complete your evaluation from anywhere and can access the service from any internet-connected device during their open hours between 8:00am and 10:00pm.
With your doctor’s recommendation in hand, getting your ID card is fairly simple. While you can get your card through both private or public entities, Californians are able to have their MMJ cards issued by the state through the health department in the county they live in, which may provide a level of added comfort and security. Once you’ve identified your local health department, you’ll need to apply in person, bringing along the following documentation:
- A copy of your doctor’s recommendation
- A filled out Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form
- Proof of identity (California driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID)
- Proof of residency (rent/mortgage agreement, utility bills, or California vehicle registration)
While submitting your information, you’ll also be required to pay an application fee. At the time of writing, the state fee for a medical marijuana card was $66 for non Medi-Cal patients and $33 for Medi-Cal patients. There are also additional fees assessed by local government entities, which vary from county to county It should be noted that Medi-Cal patients will also need to provide proof that they are currently enrolled in the program.
After submitting your paperwork, your county has 30 days to verify your application, though it may take less than this. After verification, they have five days to provide you with your Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC). Remembering to provide all of the required information the first time will keep your MMIC from being delayed. If you do forget to submit something, your local health department will contact you directly.
MMICs are valid for one year before they need to be renewed. The renewal process is exactly the same as the initial application process. Whether or not you’ll need a new doctor’s recommendation depends on how long the original document was valid for. They are typically only valid for a year but some can run longer, so keep this in mind as you approach your renewal date. Once the renewal application has been completed, you’ll be issued a new MMIC as well as a new ID number.
California Medical Marijuana FAQs
We hope that you’ve found this information useful and that it helps you obtain medical marijuana in California! If you still have questions, check below to see if they’re answered in our FAQs. You can also visit the California NORML website for more in-depth information and specific details on state law.
Q. Can I buy a gun while being a medical marijuana patient?
A. This one is a little tricky because you will be asked whether you use illegal drugs or medical marijuana when you try to purchase a firearm. If you say yes, you will not be allowed to buy a gun. Saying no may get you the gun, but it could also get you punished for perjury.
Q. Does California practice reciprocity with other states?
A. Generally, dispensaries in California will not accept a medical marijuana card from another state. The good news is, if you’re traveling, your California medical marijuana recommendation or card should be valid in Arizona, Montana, Rhode Island, and Michigan.
Q. As a MMJ patient, can I be drug tested at work?
A. Yes. Employers do not have to recognize that you are a medical marijuana patient and can drug test you and fire you for testing positive for cannabis.
Q. Can I fly with medical cannabis?
A. While you may come across an understanding TSA agent, you may not. It’s best to leave your medicine at home to avoid being turned over to local law enforcement.
Q. Can I still be arrested for possession?
A. Unfortunately, yes. Since marijuana is still illegal federally, you can be arrested for possession, sale, or cultivation. Federal officials have stated they will not go after individual patients however, so you should be fine unless you’re on federal park or forest land.
Q. Where can I smoke weed?
A. It’s recommended that you consume marijuana in the privacy of your own home or another private residence, especially if you are smoking it. It is technically ok to smoke outside of your house as long as you’re not in a no smoking zone, operating a boat, on a school bus, in a moving vehicle, or are more than 1,000 feet from a school or youth center, but discretion is advised.
Q. Is medical marijuana covered by insurance?
Q. Can minors be medical marijuana patients?
A. Yes. Those 18 and under can become a MMJ patient with parental consent and proof of identity, such as a government-issued photo ID, California driver’s license, and, in some cases, a certified birth certificate.
Q. What happens to the information I provide in my MMIC application?
A. Under HIPPA, information like your name, address, and social security number, is safe. The Medical Marijuana Application System does not store this information and the only thing that will appear on your card is your photo and a unique patient ID number.
Q. Should I get my recommendation from the 420 Evaluations center down the street?
A. While some 420 Evaluation centers may seem sketchy (indeed, they can be), to our knowledge most of the 420 Doctors they have on-staff are in fact licensed by California’s medical board, but if you have any hesitancy at all, you should request to see their proof of license, or simply look their license up through the Medical Board of California’s website.
A lot of things can happen in 900 days. You could get a new job or buy a new house. You could get a college degree. Hell, in 900 days, a woman could theoretically conceive and give birth to at least 3 children. The point is, there’s no shortage of what can be accomplished given that amount of time.
Except in Maryland. The Old Line State legalized medical marijuana over 900 days ago and guess what? Not one patient has yet had access to cannabis.
Why? Where should I begin…
Cannabis Chaos without the Cannabis
Here’s the thing. Most of us were taught from a young age to stick to your word. When you say you’re going to do something you should do it. It’s pretty simple, and yet it’s a concept that individuals, companies, and government alike seem to struggle with.
When the news came that Maryland lawmakers had passed an initiative legalizing medical marijuana, people were thrilled. Now, patients with debilitating conditions that could be helped by cannabis would have access to this life changing plant. Or so they thought.
You see, Maryland has had an… interesting approach to deciding who should be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana. If you wanted to become a grower or processor, you had to request a license. At this point I should note that, in and of itself, this method is really no different from what growers and processors have had to do in other states where cannabis is medically legal.
Where things get weird is that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission formed a panel to hand pick who would be granted licenses and who would not.
Yes, you read that right.
The recipients of licenses were hand picked. There was no lottery. The decision was not made based on abilities or past experience. Growers and processors were selected by a bunch of people (with little to no experience with cannabis themselves, I might add) in an effort to choose a group they could feel comfortable calling “diverse.”
While I personally think this is a really strange way to handle this, it could have worked if the panel had stuck to their original decision; but they didn’t. Just ask the folks at Green Thumb Industries in Prince George’s County. In July, they were elated when told they had made the list of pre-approved growers. Everything changed a month later, when Green Thumb was removed from the list. The supposed reason? A lack of geographic diversity amongst applicants.
Green Thumb Industries protested this decision, but to no avail. Now the company is filing a lawsuit against the state. “The path we’re pursuing now is a last resort; we feel like we’ve exhausted all other remedies,” said Pete Kadens, CEO.
So one company had a bad experience. No big deal right? Wrong. Why? Because Green Thumb Industries wasn’t the only company to have this problem. Maryland Cultivation and Processing will be joining the Baltimore City Circuit Court lawsuit as well. And, for all we know, more companies could end up joining them.
Diversity or Uniformity?
If this is all being done in the name of diversity, you’d think that some of the growers and processors chosen would be owned by a variety of races, right?
Nope! In fact, there is so little racial diversity in the commission’s choices that the Legislative Black Caucus is going to introduce emergency legislation during the next General Assembly that calls for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to start over.
That decision comes in the wake of Alternative Medicine Maryland, an African-American owned company, being denied a license. “Sometimes I wonder if our application was even reviewed,” commented John Pica, an attorney for Alternative Maryland Medicine.
“The statute states the commission shall actively seek to achieve ethnic, racial and geographic diversity in awarding medical cannabis grower licenses, so they went out of their way to achieve geographic diversity but didn’t do anything to achieve racial diversity,” Pica stated in an interview.
By attempting to restart the process, the hope is to stop the commission from awarding licenses until it adheres to their promise to consider diversity in all forms. “We are not going to let anybody get licenses under the scenario that exists now,” state Delegate Cheryl Glenn (D), added.
If you aren’t livid right now, you should be. Why? Because people who can be helped by medical marijuana are suffering; and it’s all because of bureaucratic nonsense.
Don’t get me wrong; diversity, racial, geographic, and otherwise, is definitely important. While it is a noble cause to want to create an environment in Maryland that fosters diversity when it comes to medical marijuana, we have to remember that there are sick people who have been promised relief and are still waiting for it to come.
Kate Bell, legislative council for the Marijuana Policy Project, urged Maryland to keep their priorities straight moving forward, saying, “We are very concerned with the lack of diversity that is in the current pre-approvals. But we have to remember that, fundamentally, this is about protecting sick patients.”
We also have to consider what these patients have had to do in the meantime. Since Maryland won’t allow people to grow their own marijuana, many patients are having to find alternate routes to get the medicine they need to treat themselves.
Some have had to move to states that actually have their act together. Others have to find ways to have their medicine sent or delivered to them by friends or family, which is risky to say the least. Others still have had no choice but to go the old fashioned route and buy marijuana from a dealer; an option that’s not only risky but also doesn’t provide the same high quality experience or product that purchasing from a licensed dispensary would.
And the rest? They’re just left to suffer.
So How Can Maryland Fix the Problem… and Why Should They?
Aside from the fact that there are sick people in anguish, this kind of fiasco isn’t exactly encouraging to the states that have yet to legalize marijuana in some capacity. When a state thinks about legalizing marijuana, medicinally or recreationally, they often look to other states that have already legalized for encouragement and help.
Maryland is setting a very poor example for its neighbors, like Virginia, where CBD is only available to those with intractable epilepsy, or West Virginia, where marijuana is still absolutely illegal in any form. Why would these states even think about marijuana reform when it’s been so poorly executed in Maryland? Who could blame them for not wanting to try at all?
For other states to have any hope, Maryland needs to change and they need to do it now. The problem is, the process has already started so changing it at this point could be… messy, to say the least. That said, industry leaders are chipping in with ideas for what Maryland’s next move should be.
Like Mike Liszewski, director of government affairs for American for Safe Access. He thinks removing the statutory and regulatory caps that restrict the number of growers and processors allowed to operate in the state may help to ease the tension surrounding the lack of diversity and promote better, healthier competition.
Rachel Perry-Crook, executive director of Maryland NORML, suggested that the state reconsider county-level zoning laws that don’t allow for growing, processing, or vending marijuana in commercial areas. Perry-Crook believes that not doing this could restrict patients’ access to cannabis and cut down on possible revenue. “The supply is not going to meet the demand with how things are laid out right now,” she stated.
There are a lot of people waiting to see what Maryland’s next move will be. Regardless of what that is, legislators need to be aware that they’re under the microscope. Every move they make from here on out will be scrutinized to the nth degree.
Whatever they decide to do to make the best of this situation, they need to remember that in the last 900+ days, countless people who could have had relief with cannabis have died in pain. They need to remember that the number one priority isn’t diversity and it isn’t pleasing everyone; it’s making sure that anyone and everyone who could be helped by cannabis gets access as soon as possible. At the end of the day helping people is what’s important, because helping others is what really matters.
Marijuana has been around for a while. Actually, cannabis and hemp have both been used for a really, really long time. It’s amazing actually, looking back through old historical records, books, and scrolls from thousands of years ago, to see that cannabis has always been extremely popular.
Since the history of weed goes back farther than most of us could possibly imagine, it stands to reason that there is still plenty we don’t know. Even in this day and age, with a plethora of information readily available on the internet, there are a lot of things even the most experienced toker would be surprised to learn. That’s why we thought it’d be fun to delve deeper into the life and times of marijuana to find out just how many facts there are that even we didn’t know.
What was the first mention of weed as far as history is concerned? When and where did it first appear? Who used it and what for? All of this and more will be answered as we begin our grand adventure into weedland by taking a look at the cannabis timeline.
In the beginning…
God created weed and hemp. Well, maybe. The jury is still out on that one, but what we do know is that the first proof we have of cannabis being used to make hemp was sometime between 10,000 and 8,000 BCE.
In what is now modern day Taiwan, once stood a small village. Upon discovering this ancient town, archeologists found a number of pieces of broken pottery. Pressed into these pots were strips of hemp cord, seemingly used as decoration.
Archeologists working on the site also discovered several long, rod-shaped tools that strongly resembled those used to separate hemp fiber from the stalk. This finding is widely regarded to be concrete evidence that hemp is one of the oldest crops there is. In fact, since agriculture is only about 10,000 years old, hemp may well be the crop that led to the development of modern agriculture as we know it.
Let there be weed
After 10,000-ish BCE, as the saying goes, it was all history from there. Trust me, if I went over every minute detail that’s known about the background of marijuana, I’d have to put it in a very thick book filled with very tiny print. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to write that and you probably don’t have the time to read it. So, what follows is an abridged walkthrough of some of the more interesting highlights of cannabis and hemp history through the ages.
- 2737 BCE: Records from the reign of Emperor Shen Neng in China detail the first known use of cannabis as a medicine.
- 2000-800 BCE: Dried cannabis, known as Bhang, is dubbed “Sacred Grass” and named one of the five sacred plants of India.
- 700-600 BCE: Bhang is referred to as the “good narcotic” in Persian religious texts.
- 600 BCE: Hemp rope is used in Russia.
- 500 BCE: An urn containing cannabis leaves and seeds is found near Berlin, suggesting the spread of hemp and cannabis to Northern Europe.
- 200 BCE: Hemp rope makes its way to Greece.
- 100 BCE: Hemp paper is invented in China.
- 100: Imported hemp rope makes an appearance in England.
- 500-600: The Jewish text, Talmud, speaks of the euphoric aspects of cannabis.
- 850: Vikings take hemp rope and seeds with them to Iceland
- 900-1000: Scholars discuss the benefits and downsides of eating hashish as its use spreads through Arabia.
- 1000: Hemp ropes are used on Italian ships
- 1200: The aphrodisiac and intoxicating properties of hashish are mentioned in 1,001 Nights
- 1300: Pipes found in Ethiopia indicate cannabis has spread from Egypt to the rest of Africa
- 1378: One of the first bans on hashish is declared by Ottoman Emir Soudoun Scheikhouni
- 1533: Henry VIII requires farmers to raise hemp, assessing a fine for non-compliance
- 1600: England uses imported hemp from Russia
- 1606-1632: Hemp is grown in the colonies in Port Royal, Virginia, and Plymouth
- 1616: Settlers in Jamestown begin using hemp
- 1621: The Anatomy of Melancholy suggest marijuana as a treatment for depression
- 1753: Carl Linnaeus officially classifies Cannabis sativa
- 1798: Napoleon declares total prohibition as French soldiers begin to bring hashish back from Egypt
And that brings us right up to the 1800’s, when hemp plantations across America thrived. The reign of hemp and marijuana in the U.S. didn’t last long however. Little did George Washington know that a little over 150 years after he grew hemp on his own plantation, it and every other variation of the cannabis plant would become illegal in the United States. Within a very short time, we transitioned from a country that knew and reaped the benefits of cannabis to one that feared and vilified it, completely disregarding its use as a medicine and economic cash crop.
And It Was Good
Despite the tumultuous history of marijuana and hemp in the United States, it hasn’t always been bad news for our favorite plant. There are many countries around the world that have always sung the praises of cannabis and held it in high regard. With such widespread use, it’s no surprise that there are some pretty interesting stories surrounding marijuana. So, since we’ve already covered the heavy stuff, let’s take a look at some of the fun facts about cannabis that you probably never knew before!
- Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) are related, both being members of the Cannabinaceae family.
- Marijuana is totally legal in North Korea. In fact, citizens are encouraged to smoke weed in place of tobacco.
- Legalizing marijuana on a federal level would generate an estimated $8.7 billion in tax revenue. It wouldn’t solve the $17 trillion we owe in debt, but it sure would make a dent in it over time.
- Marijuana has been legal for personal use in Alaska since 1975. That’s 41 years.
- Some sects of Judaism consider marijuana to be kosher.
- Massachusetts became the first state to officially ban marijuana in 1911.
- Dr. James Munch, the U.S. Government’s “official expert” on marijuana from 1938-1962, once claimed, under oath, that two puffs of a joint turned him “into a bat.”
- In Bhutan, marijuana grows so readily that it is considered a pest and is used as pig feed.
- Rastafarians are legally allowed to consume cannabis while in Italy, as it is considered a religious act.
- People from India enjoy drinking marijuana milkshakes.
- Despite Colorado’s now relaxed stance on cannabis, the first arrest for marijuana possession in the U.S. was in Denver in 1937.
- The first thing ever sold on the internet was a bag of weed.
- When the 33 Chilean miners were trapped underground for 69 days, weed was dropped to them to help ease the tension.
- Marijuana residue was found on several of the pipes that belonged to William Shakespeare.
- After Tupac was cremated, his ashes were mixed with marijuana and smoked by the Young Outlawz.
- To overdose on marijuana, you’d have to consume 1,500 pounds in 15 minutes. Not only is that impossible but you wouldn’t actually die from the weed, you’d die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Marijuana is actually way less addictive than coffee.
You may have known some of these facts and some were probably a surprise to you. Either way, it’s clear that once you dive into it, the history of marijuana is far more interesting than you might have expected. And the best part? We’re still writing it.
Years from now, our descendants will look back. They’ll read about the fight that is going on in America today and see how hard we fought for common sense marijuana legislation. If you want to contribute to the next chapter of the cannabis history book, now is the time. Stand up, make your voice heard, and push for marijuana reform in your state. There’s power in numbers and, as cheesy as it sounds, when we all band together, we can truly accomplish anything.