On that date, Massachusetts lawmakers enacted the first statewide law criminally prohibiting the possession and sale of cannabis by adults.
Following Massachusetts’ lead, lawmakers in over 30 additional states — including California, Maine, Indiana, and Wyoming in 1913 — implemented similar statewide prohibitions.
Federal lawmakers in 1937 imposed a national ban on the plant by enacting the Marihuana Tax Act.
California NORML Director Dale Gieringer states: “The evidence is overwhelming that the 100-year war on cannabis has failed.[P]rohibition has served as a crime-creation program, criminalizing otherwise innocent Americans, promoting a criminal market, and generating disrespect for the law. … As in 1911, so today it is government officials, drug cops and bureaucrats, now entrenched in a multibillion-dollar complex of anti-drug agencies and programs, who are the staunchest supporters of the failed system that keeps them on the public payroll. Americans would be well advised to reject their bankrupt paternalism and reclaim their historical freedom to use cannabis.”
For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Dale Gieringer, California NORML Coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.