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Cannabis
Timeline
by Erowid
6000 BCE Cannabis seeds used for food in China.   
4000 BCE Textiles made of hemp are used in China. Remains have been found of hemp fibers from this period and from Turkestan a century later. 1, 2  
2727 BCE First recorded use of cannabis as medicine in Chinese pharmacopoeia. In every part of the world humankind has used cannabis for a wide variety of health problems. 3  
1500 BCE Scythians cultivate cannabis and use it to weave fine hemp cloth. (Sumach 1975)   
1500 BCE Cannabis cultivated in China for food and fiber   
1200 - 800 BCE Bhang (dried cannabis leaves, seeds and stems) is mentioned in the Hindu sacred text Atharva veda (Science of Charms) as "Sacred Grass", one of the five sacred plants of India. It is used by medicinally and ritually as an offering to Shiva. 4  
700 - 600 BCE The Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta, an ancient Persian religious text of several hundred volumes, and said to have been written by Zarathustra (Zoroaster), refers to bhang as Zoroaster's "good narcotic" (Vendidad or The Law Against Demons)   
700 - 300 BCE Scythian tribes leave Cannabis seeds as offerings in royal tombs.   
700 BCE A grave dating from circa 700 BCE in Yanghai Tombs near Turpan, China contains psychoactive cannabis (not fiber-source hemp). 5, 6, 7  
500 BCE Scythian couple die and are buried with two small tents covering censers. Attached to one tent stick was a decorated leather pouch containing wild Cannabis seeds. This closely matches the stories told by Herodotus. The gravesite, discovered in the late 1940s, was in Pazryk, northwest of the Tien Shan Mountains in modern-day Khazakstan.   
500 BCE Hemp is introduced into Northern Europe by the Scythians. An urn containing leaves and seeds of the Cannabis plant, unearthed near Berlin, is dated to about this time.   
500 - 100 BCE Hemp spreads throughout northern Europe.   
430 BCE Herodotus reports on ritual, cleansing, and recreational use of Cannabis by the Scythians. 8   [Details]
100 - 0 BCE The psychotropic properties of Cannabis are mentioned in the newly compiled herbal Pen Ts'ao Ching which is attributed to an emperor c. 2700 B.C.   
0 - 100 CE Construction of Samartian gold and glass paste stash box for storing hashish, coriander, or salt, buried in Siberian tomb.   
70 Dioscorides mentions the use of Cannabis as a Roman medicament.   
170 Galen (Roman) alludes to the psychoactivity of Cannabis seed confections.   
500 - 600 The Jewish Talmud mentions the euphoriant properties of Cannabis. (Abel 1980)   
900 - 1000 Scholars debate the pros and cons of eating hashish. Use spreads throughout Arabia.   
1090 - 1256 In Khorasan, Persia, Hasan ibn al-Sabbah, the Old Man of the Mountain, recruits followers to commit assassinations...legends develop around their supposed use of hashish. These legends are some of the earliest written tales of the discovery of the inebriating powers of Cannabis and the supposed use of Hashish. 1256 Alamut falls   
Early 12th Century Hashish smoking very popular throughout the Middle East.   
12th Century Cannabis is introduced in Egypt during the reign of the Ayyubid dynasty on the occasion of the flooding of Egypt by mystic devotees coming from Syria. (M.K. Hussein 1957 - Soueif 1972)   
1155 - 1221 Persian legend of the Sufi master Sheik Haidar's of Khorasan's personal discovery of Cannabis and it's subsequent spread to Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. Another of the ealiest written narratives of the use of Cannabis as an inebriant.   
13th Century The oldest monograph on hashish, Zahr al-'arish fi tahrim al-hashish, was written. It has since been lost.   
13th Century Ibn al-Baytar of Spain provides a description of psychaoctive Cannabis.   
13th Century Arab traders bring Cannabis to the Mozambique coast of Africa.   
1231 Hashish introduced to Iraq in the reign of Caliph Mustansir (Rosenthal 1971)   
1271 - 1295 Journeys of Marco Polo in which he gives second-hand reports of the story of Hasan ibn al-Sabbah and his "assassins" using hashish. First time reports of Cannabis have been brought to the attention of Europe.   
1378 Ottoman Emir Soudoun Scheikhouni issues one of the first edicts against the eating of hashish.   
1526 Babur Nama, first emperor and founder of Mughal Empire learned of hashish in Afghanistan.   
1549 Angolan slaves brought cannabis with them to the sugar plantations of northeastern Brazil. They were permitted to plant their cannabis between rows of cane, and to smoke it between harvests. 4  
mid 16th Century The epic poem, Benk u Bode, by the poet Mohammed Ebn Soleiman Foruli of Baghdad, deals allegorically with a dialectical battle between wine and hashish.   
Apr 10, 1563 "Conversations on the simples, drugs and materia medica of India" is published by Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta. It discusses Cannabis, Opium, and Nutmeg, among more than 50 medicinal plants and substances.    [Details]
17th Century Use of hashish, alcohol, and opium spreads among the population of occupied Constantinople   
1606-1632 French and British cultivate Cannabis for hemp at their colonies in Port Royal (1606), Virginia (1611), and Plymouth (1632). 4  
Late 17th Century Hashish becomes a major trade item between Central Asia and South Asia.   
1798 Napoleon discovers that much of the Egyptian lower class habitually uses hashish (Kimmens 1977). He declares a total prohibition. Soldiers returning to France bring the tradition with them.   
19th Century Hashish production expands from Russian Turkestan into Yarkand in Chinese Turkestan.   
1809 Antoine Sylvestre de Sacy, a leading Arabist, reveals the etymology of the words "assassin" and "hashishin"   
1840 In America, medicinal preparations with a Cannabis base are available. Hashish available in Persian pharmacies.   
1843 Le Club des Hachichins, or Hashish Eater's Club, is established in Paris. 4  
after 1850 Hashish appears in Greece.   
1856 British tax ganja and charas trade in India   
1870 - 1880 First reports of hashish smoking on Greek mainland   
c. 1875 Cultivation for hashish introduced to Greece   
1877 Kerr reports on Indian ganja and charas trade.   
1890 Greek Department of Interior prohibits importance, cultivation and use of hashish.   
1890 Hashish made illegal in Turkey   
1893 - 1894 The India Hemp Drugs Commission Report is issued.   
1893 - 1894 70,000 to 80,000 kg of hashish legally imported into India from Central Asia each year.   
1906 Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labelling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others. The law went into effect Jan 1, 1907 9   [Details]
Early 20th Century Hashish smoking very popular throughout the Middle East.   
1915 - 1927 Cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical use in the U.S., especially in SW states...California (1915), Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927).   
1920 Metaxus dictators in Greece crack down on hashish smoking.   
1920s Hashish smuggled into Egypt from Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Central Asia   
1926 Lebanese hashish production peaks after World War I until prohibited in 1926.   
1928 Recrational use of Cannabis is banned in Britain.   
1920s - 1930s High-quality hashish produced in Turkey near Greek border.   
1930 Yarkand region of Chinese Turkestan exports 91,471 kg of hashish legally into the Northwest Frontier and Punjab regions of India   
1930s Legal taxed imports of hashish continue into India from Central Asia.   
1934 - 1935 Chinese government moves to end all Cannabis cultivation in Yarkand and charas traffic from Yarkand. Both licit and illicit hashish production become illegal in Chinese Turkestan.   
1936 Propaganda film "Reefer Madness" made to scare American youth away from using Cannabis.   
1937 U.S.: The Marihuana Tax Act is passed, making it illegal to buy, sell, barter, or give away cannabis without paying a transfer tax. This is the first federal law in the U.S. regulating the possession and sale of cannabis. Declared unconstitutional in 1969 in U.S. vs Timothy Leary.   
1938 Supply of hashish from chinese Turkestan nearly ceases.   
1940s Greek hashish smoking tradition fades.   
1941 Indian government considers cultivation in Kashmir to fill void of hashish from Chinese Turkestan.   
1941 - 1942 Hand-rubbed charas from Nepal is choicest hashish in India during World War II.   
1945 Legal hashish consumption continues in India   
1945 - 1955 Hashish use in Greece flourishes again   
1950s Hashish still smuggled into India from Chinese Central Asia   
1950s Moroccan government tacitly allows kif cultivation in Rif Mountains.   
1962 First hashish made in Morocco.   
1963 Turkish police seize 2.5 tons of hashish   
1965 First reports of C. afghanica use for hashish production in northern Afghanistan   
1965 Mustafa comes to Ketama in Morocco to make hashish from local kif.   
Dec 22, 1965 Timothy Leary and 18-year-old daughter Susan searched and arrested by U.S. Customs in Laredo, Texas, after being turned back at the boarder while heading into Mexico. Susan was carrying three ounces of cannabis; Tim said it was his. 10  
1966 The Moroccan government attempts to purge kif growers from Rif Mountains.   
Mar 11, 1966 Timothy Leary convicted on marijuana charges, fined $30,000, and sentence to a maximum of 30 years in Federal prison; his 18-year-old daughter Susan who had also been arrested was ordered sent to a Federal reformatory. 10   [Details]
1967 "Smash", the first hashish oil appears. Red Lebanese reaches California.   
Late 1960s - Early 1970s The Brotherhood popularizes Afghani hashish.   
Aug 21, 1968 Synthetic THCs were placed under control of the DACA in the U.S. 11   [Details]
1970 - 1973 Huge fields of Cannabis cultivated for hashish production in Afghanistan. Last years that truly great afghani hashish is available   
Early 1970s Lebanese red and blonde hashish of very high-quality exported. The highest quality Turkish hashish from Gaziantep near Syria appears in western Europe.   
Early 1970s Afghani hashish varieties introduced to North America for sinsemilla production. Law enforcement efforts against hashish begin in Afghanistan after U.S. and European law enforcement help overthrow a cannabis-friendly regime. 12  
1972 The Nixon-appointed Shafer Commission urged use of cannabis be re-legalized, but their recommendation was ignored. Medical research continues. 3  
1973 Nepal bans the Cannabis shops and charas (hand-rolled hash) export.   
1973 Afghan government makes hashish production and sales illegal. Afghani harvest is pitifully small.   
1975 FDA establishes Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana.   
1976 - 1977 Quality of Lebanese hashish reaches zenith.   
1978 Westerners make sieved hashish in Nepal from wild Cannabis.   
Late 1970s Increasing manufacture of "modern" Afghani hashish. Cannabis varieties from Afghanistan imported into Kashmir for sieved hashish production.   
1980s Morocco becomes one of, if not the largest, hashish producing and exporting nations.   
1980s "Border" hashish produced in northwestern Pakistan along the Afghan border to avoid Soviet-Afghan war.   
Early 1980s Quality of Lebanese hashish declines.   
1983 - 1984 Small amounts of the last high-quality Turkish hashish appear.   
1985 Hashish still produced by Muslims of Kashgar and Yarkland (NW China).   
1986 Most private stashes of pre-war Afghani hashish in Amsterdam, Goa, and America are nearly finished.   
May 13, 1986 Dronabinol is placed into Schedule II by the DEA. 13  
1987 Moroccan government cracks down upon Cannabis cultivation in lower eleations of Rif Mountains.   
1988 DEA administrative law Judge Francis Young finds after thorough hearings that marijuana has clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. His recommendation is ignored.   
1993 Cannabis eradication efforts resume in Morocco.   
1994 Heavy fighting between rival Muslim clans continues to upset hashish trade in Afghanistan   
1994 Border hashish still produced in Pakistan.   
1995 Introduction of hashish-making equipment and appearance of locally produced hashish in Amsterdam coffee shops.   
Nov 1996 California passes Proposition 215, legalizing medical use of cannabis with a doctor's recommendation.    [Details]
Oct 23, 2001 Britain's Home Secretary, David Blunkett, proposes relaxing the classification of cannabis from a class B to class C. As of June 10, 2002, this has not taken effect.    [Details] [More Info]
May 20-22, 2004 The Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics    [Details] [More Info]
Sep 10-11, 2004 Cannabinoids in Medicine    [Details] [More Info]
2008 US Customs first encounters synthetic cannabinoids products using brand names such as “Spice”. 14  


References
  1.   Ott J. Pharmacotheon. Natural Product Co, 1993.
  2.   Escohotado A. A Brief History of Drugs. Park Street, 1999.
  3.   Californians for Compassionate Use
  4.   Courtwright DT. Forces of Habit. Harvard U Press, 2001.
  5.   Russo EB, Jiang HE, Li X, Sutton A, Carboni A, Del Bianco F, Mandolino G, Potter DJ, Zhao YX, Bera S, Zhang YB, Lue EG, Ferguson DK, Hueber F, Zhao LC, Liu CJ, Wang YF, Li CS.
  6.   "Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia".
  7.   J Exp Bot. 2008;59(15):4171-82.
  8.   The Histories. Herodotus of Halicarnassus. 430 B.C. Translated by G. Rawlinson.
  9.   Pure Food and Drug Act. 1906.
  10.   Anon. "Former Harvard Teacher Sent To Prison on Marijuana Charges", The New York Times, 1966(Mar 12):25.
  11.   Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Microgram. Sep 1968;1(1):2.
  12.   Pietri J. "The King of Nepal". 2001.
  13.   DEA. Microgram. Jun 1986;Vol XIX(6):75.
  14.   Federal Register. 79 FR 1776.