With Pennsylvania becoming the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana, many lawmakers are weighing whether to decriminalize the drug. Here is a timeline of marijuana’s journey from restricted substance to everyday commodity:

  • 1933: The United States collectively decides against learning any lessons from the Prohibition era
  • 1940-1970: The term “reefer” tried on for size
  • 1952: The Boggs Act imposes mandatory minimum sentencing for cannabis possession, an effort aimed at curbing prison violence by flooding penitentiaries with nonviolent offenders
  • 1969: President Richard Nixon urges strong anti-marijuana legislation as part of his signature “War on Blacks” initiative
  • 1975: Some narc explains gateway drugs to Nancy Reagan
  • 1983: Newly founded D.A.R.E. program teaches America’s youth that pot is both forbidden and mysterious
  • 1996: California is the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal pretenses
  • 2012: Colorado legalizes the sale and possession of marijuana for nonmedical uses after decades of totally spacing on doing so
  • 2026: Federal government begins mulling a tweak to its cannabis laws upon noticing majority of U.S. populace serving time on drug charges

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