If you love something, it does you a disservice to have a limited knowledge about it. I feel strongly that so many of us love, use, and enjoy cannabis, and do not know enough about it. Sure, we have watched the popular documentaries and been told by stoner classmates about the history of the plant, but those only go so deep. Schools are slowly improving and updating their curriculums of drug education, but until the mainstream weaves cannabis into its history lessons, good information goes beyond Netflix.
AdvancedHolisticHealth.org has an excellent starting point for your research, and is impressively thorough. Their timeline includes historical events from the first known discovery of human-made hemp, in modern Taiwan, to the addition of marijuana to Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board. Beyond 2015, events have not been listed, but the modern history of cannabis from 2010 has so many events, that within the United States alone, those are best viewed on a separate scale. For a grand, macroview of people’s relationship to cannabis throughout time and across the world, Advanced Holistic Health has you covered. They even kindly include a long list of official organizations and articles sourced.
One of my favorite books recently released and trusted to being accurate and up to date is Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabis by Joe Dolce. A basic timeline covers the widest scope of events in origin, western discovery, subsequent prohibition, and economic impact, but clearly you want more than those, you want the story that they make up. Some events carry more weight than others, and deserve to be detailed. Dolce looks not only at the rich history of the plant, but focuses on the most common misconceptions for framing this “guide” into modern cannabis. He provides context with stories that shock, disappoint, and excite. Reading about trial defendants who claimed marijuana made them murderous, or the incredible proof right before our eyes of cannabis’ effects on epilepsy gave me a deeper insight to how the culture arrived at this point. For $10, this is an easy and enlightening read.
For a little lighter, more entertaining enlightenment on cannabis, this 2018 podcast might be more your speed. Great Moments in Weed History with Abdullah and Bean covers in depth excellent little-known stories about cannabis like the theory that Jesus used it to heal, how hash came to Europe by way of Napoleon invading Egypt, and profiling the gay veteran who began the quest for legalization. Some of these episodes cover topics you may be vaguely familiar with, but the hosts bring a good sense of humor and thoughtful discussion to the table. Fingers crossed a season 2 is released soon!