You might think you’re an expert on your favorite herb, but chances are you won’t know all these facts. From the feds jailing Tommy Chong, to California banning weed at the turn of the 20th century and buds being the first thing sold on the Internet, there are probably a lot of things you don’t know about cannabis, seven of which are below.
1. The not-so-golden state
You might not know it, but California was the first state to both ban and legalize weed. Back in 1913, California was the first state to ban cannabis. But it was also the first state to legalize medical marijuana, doing so back in 1996, thanks to Prop 215.
2. America’s most wanted
Back in 2003, the federal government went after anyone that was supplying drug paraphernalia, specifically pipes and bongs used for smoking weed. Yeah, that’s right, the government investigated and prosecuted people for selling pipes and bongs for smoking herb.
From that operation – codenamed “Pipe Dreams” – there were 55 charged with trafficking illegal drug paraphernalia. One of those people was Tommy Chong (yes, that Tommy Chong), who was jailed and served nine months in a federal prison and lost a combined $123,000.
3. The Black Net circa 1971
Did you know that weed was the first thing ever bought and sold over the Internet? Now you do (and knowing is half the battle). That took place at the beginning of the Seventies when some students at Stanford University sold an undetermined amount of herb to a couple of MIT students.
4. One every minute
In the United States, every 51 seconds, someone is arrested on cannabis charges. That’s almost 1700 people a day.
5. America > Netherlands
Despite its reputation for being a country that smokes a lot of weed (that’s legally, too), a reported 43 percent of Americans have used cannabis, compared to just 25 percent of the Dutch.
6. The fake
At the end of the Forties, the United States government created a synthetic version of THC (for use in warfare, no less), which was named Dimethylheptylpyran. Even with a small dose, the effects could last for three days.
7. Almost a century
Just as Bob Dylan sang, times are a-changin’, with many states legalizing weed for both recreational and medicinal use. But it sure has taken its time, as it has almost been a century since weed – or “Marihuana” – was made illegal in the United States. Here’s hoping the change continues and the feds don’t interfere with the good that is being done.