A History of Cannabis’ Legal Status in America

On November 6, voters will decide the next chapter of hemp’s ever changing legal status in America. With marijuana-related measures on the ballot in six states, federal and state laws will come to a head should any of these initiatives pass.

From Jamestown colony’s law requiring settlers grow hemp in 1619, to the ratification of Proposition 215 by California voters in 1996, cannabis has had its name and legality changed numerous times since before the United States of America was a country.

Below is a brief legal history of cannabis in the USA. How would you vote if a measure to legalize marijuana was proposed on your state ballot next week?