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The Chronicles of Kaya
A History of Hemp and Marijuana
“Music and herb go together. It’s been a long time now I smoke herb. From 1960s, when I first start singing.”
BOB MARLEY, Jamaican Singer, Musician & Songwriter
What is The Chronicles of Kaya
The Chronicles of Kaya is a mixed media project from IRIE Magazine that chronicles the true history of Hemp and Marijuana throughout the world. Narrated by Kaya, Leno and friends, the book series is designed to edutain (‘educate & entertain’) us about the use of Hemp and Marijuana around the world since its early beginnings. The first book in the series will begin shipping after the November 2016 elections. We invite you to participate in the Chronicles of Kaya by choosing a perk to support this project. To do so, visit https://www.iriemag.com/chronicle/the-chronicles-of-kaya/. Here are a few important dates from The Chronicles of Kaya to pique your curiosity.
1908 – Ford’s Hemp Car
Henry Ford made his first Model T with hemp plastic. The car was fueled with hemp ethanol.
1936 – Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness (originally made as ‘Tell Your Children’ and sometimes titled as The Burning Question’, ‘Dope Addict’, ‘Doped Youth’, and ‘Love Madness’) is a 1936-1939 American propaganda exploitation drama film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana—from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, hallucinations, and descent into madness due to marijuana addiction. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors.
October 2, 1937 – Marijuana Tax Act
Harry Jacob Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics’s, was the architect behind this propaganda campaign that convinced the public that marijuana was in fact a “killer drug.” On October 2, 1937, without any open debate, scientific enquiry, or political objection, President Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Law.
The law made it illegal to possess marijuana in the U.S. without a special tax stamp issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. In theory, growing and selling marijuana was still legal as long as you bought the government tax stamp for $1.00. However, the Treasury Department did not issue any tax stamps for marijuana, effectively making growing, selling and possessing marijuana illegal under the Act.
February 1938 – Popular Mechanics: New Billion-Dollar Crop
Popular Mechanics describes hemp as the new billion dollar crop in the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine (Vol. 69, No. 2). The article was actually written in the spring of 1937, before cannabis was criminalized. Just as this article went to press, The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 took effect, which effectively killed the hemp industry.
1969 – Mr. X by Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was a user and advocate of marijuana. Under the pseudonym ‘Mr. X’, he contributed an essay about smoking cannabis to the 1971 book ‘Marihuana Reconsidered’. The essay explained that marijuana use had helped to inspire some of Sagan’s works and enhance sensual and intellectual experiences.
Nov. 5, 1996 – First U.S. Medical Marijuana Law Passed
Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law allowing the use of medical cannabis despite marijuana’s lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.
The proposition was a statewide voter initiative authored by Dennis Peron, Anna Boyce RN, John Entwistle, Jr., Valerie Corral,Dale Gieringer, William Panzer, Scott Imler, attorney Leo Paoli and psychiatrist Tod H. Mikuriya, and approved by California voters. It allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation, and the patients’ designated Primary Caregivers, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use, and has since been expanded to protect a growing system of collective and cooperative distribution. The Act added Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code. California Proposition 215 was the first medical marijuana ballot initiative passed at the state level; causing a conflict in the United States between states’ rights advocates and those who support a stronger federal presence.
October 7, 2003 – US Government’s Medical Marijuana Patent
The United States Government as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services was granted a U.S. Patent (#6630507) on any and all uses and applications of Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. LINK: http://goo.gl/tdwtb
November 6, 2012 – Colorado Amendment 64
Colorado Amendment 64 was a popular initiative ballot measure to amend the Constitution of the State of Colorado, outlining a statewide drug policy for cannabis. The measure passed on November 6, 2012, and along with a similar measure in Washington state, marked “an electoral first not only for America but for the world.”
Enacted as Article 18, section 16 of the state constitution, the law addresses “personal use and regulation of marijuana” for adults 21 and over, as well as commercial cultivation, manufacture, and sale: effectively regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, namely for recreational use. The commercial sale of cannabis to the general public began on January 1, 2014, at establishments licensed under the regulatory framework.