Cannabis has been vilified, but as governments re-assess economic, social, and medical benefits, an estimated global 166 billion dollar industry is emerging from the shadows. Canada legalization has expanded ways to invest in the market, with a publicly traded sector. As many great strides of cannabis legalization are happening globally, it’s important to understand the history of prohibition.  

1870 Cannabis listed in the United States Pharmacopeia as a treatment for several medical conditions

1915 Reports of immigrant and minority use of marijuana circulate - Mexicans in Texas, Hindus in San Francisco, African Americans in New Orleans - prompting calls for prohibition.  

1920 Alcohol prohibition takes effect

1930 FBI formed, with anti-cannabis Harry J Anslinger as first commissioner

1933 Alcohol prohibition ends

1937 The Marihuana Tax Act is enacted, prohibiting the possession or transportation except for medical or industrial uses, but imposing such high tax rates on those uses that commercial hemp market collapses

1941 Cannabis is dropped from the United States Pharmacopeia  

1942 Department of Agriculture releases Hemp for Victory, a film urging farmers to cultivate hemp for WWII efforts

1961 The United Nations establishes a program to eliminate cannabis usage in 25 y ears

1964 Cannabis' psychoactive ingredient, THC, is isolated at Hebrew University in Jerusalem amid research on the endocannabinoid receptor system in humans

1967 Hippie movement stages large public cannabis events

1970 The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is passed by Congress and signed into law by Richard Nixon, classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug - the most dangerous category with "a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted  safety for use under medical supervision."

1972 Cannabis' first appearance on a US ballot - California's Prop 19 legalizing adult use - is rejected by 67% of voters

1996 California voters approve Prop 215, The Compassionate Care Act, which legalizes cannabis for medical use (over 30 states follow by 2018)

2012 Colorado and Washington voters legalize adult use (10 states and DC follow through 2018)

2014 Uruguay becomes the first nation to legalize cannabis for recreational use  

2018 Canada becomes first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis for recreational use

2019 World Health Organization recommends removing cannabis from the UN’s most restrictive list of controlled substances