October 18, 2009 – Marijuana has been used by people around the globe for thousands of years – here is a brief overview:

2737 B.C.: A Chinese medical treatise discusses medical uses of marijuana.Picture 24

2000-70 B.C.: People in Egypt, Greece, India and Rome use marijuana to treat everything from sore eyes to pain.

1621: British clergyman Robert Burton promotes marijuana as a treatment for depression.

1799: Scientific members of Napoleon’s army investigate marijuana’s pain-relieving and sedative effects.

1839: William O’Shaughnessy writes the first modern medical article about marijuana.

1850-1937: Medical professionals turn to other medications and marijuana loses favor as a remedy, although individual researchers continue writing about its favorable effects on mental and physical illnesses.

1923: Louisiana outlaws marijuana.

1937: Congress passes the Marijuana Tax Act, which effectively shuts down the marijuana trade without specifically making the drug illegal.

1941: Marijuana is removed from the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the-counter medications.

1970: The U.S. Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as a narcotic with no medical value. It replaces the Marijuana Tax Act.

1971-96: Research into the medical uses of marijuana continues. Defendants in a handful of drug cases throughout the United States successfully argue that their marijuana us is a medical necessity.

1996: California voters legalize marijuana for medical use. The state’s Health Department develops rules and a structure for marijuana prescriptions and dispensaries. Federal authorities continue drug busts at the dispensaries and other organizations that handle medical marijuana.

2008: Michigan voters approve medical marijuana.

February 2009: Newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicates the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency no longer will raid California medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with California law.