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The History of Marijuana in America

A Brief History of Marijuana in America

The legal history of marijuana in the United States relates primarily to the classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug, with no medicinal value. Legal issues and debates over what is considered to be medical marijuana versus illegal marijuana continued to shape the marijuana user's perception of the substance.


  • What is the history of marijuana in America?

  • How has it evolved into an important part of our society?

  • What is the current status of medical marijuana in various states across the country?

  • What is the general view on its use and impact on society?

  • What is the opinion of the growing number of people who use it for recreational reasons?


The history of marijuana in America can be traced back to the late 1800s when it was first used for what the Native Americans believed to be medicinal purposes. It was often smoked as a herbal tonic, and early attempts to grow it resulted in failure. By the early nineteenth century, however, various strains of marijuana had been developed, and production of the drug was soon widespread throughout the United States, except for the coastal regions, where hemp was extensively grown.


By the early twentieth century, marijuana had become a popular addition to the list of popular herbs used in natural medicines. The use of cannabis had become widespread, and it was not long before cannabis was finally banned by the federal government.