On April 20, 2017, marijuana enthusiasts will celebrate the national cannabis holiday known as "420." And with over half of U.S. states having some form of marijuana legalization, there will be a lot of celebrating.
That's why today, we want to share with Money Morning readers a brief U.S. marijuana history guide.
You see, the origin of cannabis use in the United States is unclear. According to Vice magazine, some believe Christopher Columbus brought cannabis with him to America in 1492.
Other theories suggest it was grown in Brazil and Chile in the 16th century and then spread from there. And a third theory is the growing hemp industry in American colonies in the 17th century led to the smoking of the cash crop.
But we do know how marijuana in America became illegal.
The Marijuana History Timeline in America
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was established in 1930. And according to CNN, Commissioner Harry Ansliner argued for marijuana prohibition by playing on Americans' fears of immigrants and crime.
Ansliner reportedly told Congress that Mexican citizens sell marijuana cigarettes to "white high school students."
Then, in 1936, the film "Reefer Madness" was released to tarnish marijuana's reputation. The movie described cannabis as a "violent narcotic."
The negative press took its toll, and Congress passed the Marihuana (how it was spelled then) Tax Act in 1937. This act effectively banned marijuana use and sales, according to DrugPolicy.org. It was eventually replaced by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
But it was around this time Americans began to question and even push back against marijuana laws. In October 1969, cannabis reform was the cover story for Life magazine. The magazine questioned if cannabis laws were too harsh.
Then, in 1973, Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana.
By 1977, former President Jimmy Carter saw the rising popularity and medical uses of marijuana. He called for the elimination of federal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis.
However, it took more time for significant change. California residents voted to approve medical marijuana use in 1996. That was 22 years after President Carter called for the elimination of federal penalties.
Fast forward to 2012, and Washington and Colorado were the first two states to vote for and approve of recreational marijuana use. This past November, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts all voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
Today, 28 states and the District of Columbia have some form of marijuana legalization.
You see, the vote across America for marijuana legalization is expected to create one of the biggest wealth grabs in history, transforming everyday Americans into millionaires overnight.
That's why Money Morning Director of Technology & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson has created the "bible of weed investing" for our readers.
Here's everything you need to know about your next big profit opportunity…