A Brief United States Marijuana History Guide

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.

marijuana history

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."

Special Report: Cannabis Is the Gold Rush of the 21st Century - 30 Stocks to Invest in Now

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.

marijuana ETF

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...

How to Cash In on Marijuana Stocks

[mmpazkzone name="end-story-hostage" network="9794" site="307044" id="138536" type="4"]

Before we share this exciting opportunity, we want to let our readers know a little bit more about marijuana stock guru Michael Robinson.

Michael is one of our most prominent and respected investing "gurus" here at Money Map Press - and for good reason. He is one of the top financial analysts working today. Make no mistake: Michael's ideas are completely his own. He's a true original. He works solely for Money Map Press... and receives absolutely no compensation from companies he writes about.

His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style.

Michael's 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too.

As editor of the financial newsletter American Wealth Underground, Michael amassed an amazing track record using rigorous investing. The first analyst to uncover the rare earth mineral crisis, he amassed cumulative gains of 990% for his readers in just 16 months.

His research is world class, too. The Oakland TribuneDetroit NewsThe San Francisco ExaminerThe Kansas City TimesWealth Magazine, and American Banker all publish his reporting. He has appeared on Larry King's syndicated radio show.

Robinson has an honors economics degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a minor in journalism.

And as a service to Money Morning readers, we're now making available a 90-page cannabis investing guide called The Roadmap to Marijuana Millions.

This "bible of weed investing" reveals the world's top marijuana stocks every serious investor should consider right now.

Normally valued at $499, it can be yours absolutely free. To learn how to get your free copy, click here.

This offer is only available to the first 500 people who respond today. So please go here now to reserve your copy.

Follow Money Morning on Facebook and Twitter.