Cannabis Laws Through The Ages

At True Blue, we know that many of our customers stay aware of current marijuana legislation. But how much do you know about how we got to where we are today? Let’s take a look at the journey of legalizing marijuana.

Government-Encouraged Farming

Now that many states do not allow individual growers to keep more than 4-6 plants, what we’re about to tell you might seem absurd. In 1619, Virginia passed a law that required every farmer to grow hemp. For clarification, hemp is a subspecies of the cannabis plant, and is grown for its fibrous stalk or oil, and not for its psychoactive effects. At the time, hemp was used to produce incredibly durable rope, sails for ships, and clothing and was also allowed to be used as a legal tender in some northeastern states. Soon after the Civil War, the need for hemp products decreased due to an increase in imported materials and domestic goods that were cheaper and easier to manufacture into supplies than hemp.

Fear Of Recreational Marijuana Grows With The Great Depression

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, unemployment rates rose rapidly. This led to an increased use of recreational marijuana the same way that it led to increased alcoholism - people needed a way to cope with all of the negativity happening around them. Since the drug was still relatively new to the population, lawmakers began to initiate research and found that marijuana use was linked to crime and violent behavior. By 1931, over half of the continental United States had made marijuana illegal.

Portrayals Of Marijuana Usage Is Banned In Entertainment

In 1936, a propaganda film titled Reefer Madness was released in American cinemas and dramatized the consequences that marijuana use reaps, including (according to the film) hit and run, suicide, murder, sexual assault, and eventual psychological decline. This film caused the portrayal of any narcotics in films to be banned, which only lead to more fear of the drug.

The Truth Comes Out

It wasn’t until 1944 that someone decided to conduct more research on weed, and it was shown that marijuana doesn’t actually incite violence, sex crimes, or insanity. We know, it’s a shocking revelation.

More Legislation Emerges

Even though marijuana had been proven to be a relatively safe substance, several enacted laws set mandatory sentencing for marijuana possession at a whopping 10 years for a first offense.

However, during the 60s when marijuana use became more socially acceptable among the white upper-middle class, and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson both released reports saying that marijuana is not a “gateway drug”, policy makers began to reexamine previous laws. By the 70s, a majority of mandatory penalties for drug-related offenses were repealed and lawmakers eliminated mandatory sentences for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

During the 1970s, eleven states ended up decriminalizing the drug, and many other states reduced sentencing mandates. But the fight was long from over. Due to a country-wide legion of conservative parents vying for stricter laws to prevent marijuana use by teenagers, the 1980’s “War On Drugs” began, and eventually mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes were reinstated by President Reagan.

Medical Marijuana Is Legalized

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana for patients with diseases ranging from AIDS to cancer. Soon after, other states including Oregon, Alaska, Washington, and Maine legalized the use of medical marijuana, and since dozens of other states have followed suit in legalizing medical and recreational use of the plant. And you know the rest of the story!

True Blue Has Your Favorite Strain Terpenes

As marijuana use became more prevalent, so did new strains and hybrids of the plant. Growers continue to manipulate the flavors and terpene profiles in their cannabis to create new and exciting strains. But sometimes a popular strain isn’t readily available, or you want a legal, THC-free alternative to reap the benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive effects. When that happens, trust True Blue to provide you with the best pure terpenes to enhance or recreate the flavor of your favorite strain. Search our entire selection of terpenes today!