6000BC: Cannabis seeds are a dietary staple in China.
4000 BC: Hemp is used to weave the first known fabric.
2737BC: Father of Chinese Medicine Shen Nung includes cannabis in his catalog of over 300 medicinal plants and refers to it as a superior herb.
1200-800 BC: Cannabis is deemed a sacred grass and listed as one of the top five sacred plants in India in the Hindu text Atharvaveda. During this time it is used as a medicine and an offering to the Hindu god Shiva.
550BC: Hemp tops a list of 10,000 medicinal plants contained in the Zend-Avesta, a sacred text written by the Persian Prophet Zoroaster.
First Century AD: Hemp is used to make paper in China.
400: Hemp cultivation is recorded in England.
800: Cannabis use is permitted by the Islamic Prophet Mohammed, but alcohol use is forbidden.
1150: Hemp is used to start Europe's first paper mill, and continues on as the primary papermaking material for the next 850 years.
1379: Emir Soudon Sheikhouni prohibits the use of cannabis by the poor, destroys all cannabis crops, and removes the teeth of offenders in Egypt.
1484: Cannabis is deemed an unholy sacrament of the Satanic mass and banned from medicinal use by Pope Innocent VIII.
1545-55: Cannabis is cultivated in South America by Spanish conquistadors.
1563: As per Queen Elizabeth I, any landowner with 60+ acres MUST grow cannabis or pay a fine.
1564: King Phillip orders cannabis cultivation throughout the entire Spanish empire.
1619: Hemp cultivation is mandatory in Jamestown Colony of Virginia as well as most other new colonies. Non-compliance results in jail terms. Hemp seeds are accepted as tax payment.
1753: Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus classifies Cannabis sativa.
1776: Hemp is used to clothe George Washington's troops.
June 1776: The first and second drafts of the Declaration of Independence are written on hemp paper.
1783: French biologist classifies Cannabis indica.
1798: Napoleon bans the purchase and use of cannabis among his troops while in Egypt. The prohibition fails and cannabis is brought back to France.
1841: Experimentation with cannabis on human and animal patients leads psychologist Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours to document its mental and physical benefits. Cannabis is also introduced to Western Science in On the Preparation of the Indian Hemp or Ganja, by Irish physician William O'Shaughnessy.
1850: US Census reports 8,327 hemp plantations, each at least 2,000 acres in size, for industrial cannabis production.
1857: The Hashish Eater is published by US writer Fitzhugh Ludlow.
1868: Possession of cannabis is deemed a capital offense by Emir of Egypt.
1870: South Africa bans the possession and use of hemp by Indians.
1877: Cannabis is made illegal by Sultan of Turkey.
1883: Hashish-smoking parlours begin to open in major US cities. New York City alone hosts at least 500 hashish-smoking parlours.
1890: Physician Sir Russell Reynolds prescribes Queen Victoria with cannabis to ease her menstrual cramps. In the same year, Greece bans the import, cultivation, and use of hashish.
1898: Pancho Villa's seizure of 800,000 acres of Mexican timberland belonging to US newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst sparks a 30-year propaganda campaign by Hearst that denounces Spaniards, Mexican-Americans, and Latinos as lazy potheads.
1911: South Africa outlaws cannabis in an attempt to control the religious practices of blacks.
1914: The Harrison Narcotics Act is passed by US Congress in the first attempt to control recreational use of drugs.
1925: US Government sponsors the Panama Canal Zone Report, which concludes that marijuana does not pose a problem, and recommends that no criminal penalties be imposed on users.
1931: Harry J. Anslinger is appointed as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
1936-38: Hearst newspapers demonize marijuana through a propaganda campaign with stories claiming that marijuana is addictive and linked to violence. These stories also effectively demonize Mexicans and blacks. Hearst is credited with introducing the word marihuana into the English language.
1937: ˜Marijuana Tax Bill' is secretly introduced by The US Treasury Department in April. That spring, Congress holds hearings on the Marijuana Tax Act during which Dr. James Woodward testifies on behalf of the American Medical Association that the act could deny the world access to a valuable medicine. Anslinger and the House Ways and Means Committee denounce Woodward and the AMA. Anslinger testifies before Congress that marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. In December, the Marijuana Tax Act becomes Federal Law. Cannabis is made illegal and the multi-billion dollar hemp industry is destroyed.
1937-39: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics prosecutes 3,000 doctors for prescribing cannabis-derived medications. The AMA and FBN reach a deal so that only three doctors are prosecuted over the course of the next decade.
1941: Henry Ford introduces a plastic car manufactured from and fueled by cannabis in Popular Mechanics. Ford had grown cannabis illegally in hopes of finding an alternative to petroleum.
1943-48: Anslinger orders FBN agents to spy on jazz and swing musicians in hopes of arresting them for marijuana related crimes. Among his targets were Louis Armstong and Dizzy Gillespie. Anslinger is ordered to abandon the project by his superior at the Treasury Department.
1944: A study conducted by NYC Mayor LaGuardia's Marijuana Commission finds that cannabis does not cause violence and actually has beneficial affects. In response, Anslinger denounces LaGuardia and threatens prison time for any doctor who conducts independent research on marijuana.
1948: Anslinger abandons his earlier claims that cannabis is linked to violence, and now declares that Communists will use cannabis to make American's peaceful and pacifistic, thereby weakening the will to fight against it.
1961: UN Treaty 406 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs moves to ban cannabis worldwide in hopes of eradicating its use within 30 years.
1962: Anslinger is forced into retirement by President Kennedy.
1970: National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws is formed by Keith Stroup.
1973: The US Shafer Commission recommends the legalization of marijuana for personal use and not-for-profit sale.
1975: ˜Compassionate Use' program is established by the FDA for medical marijuana patients.
1990: Over 325,000 marijuana related arrests in US.
1996: Cannabis made available for medical use in California.
1998: Cannabis made available for medical use in Oregon and Washington.
1999: Cannabis made available for medical use in Alaska and Maine.
2000: Cannabis made available for medicinal use in Hawaii. Over 730,000 marijuana related arrests in US.
2001: Cannabis made available for medical use in Colorado and Nevada.
2004: Cannabis made available for medical use in Montana and Vermont.
2006: Cannabis made available for medical use in Rhode Island.
2007: Cannabis made available for medical use in New Mexico. Over 870,000 marijuana related arrests in US.
2008: Cannabis made available for medical use in Michigan.