Put your learning hats on, kids, because it's raining knowledge.  This week Mental Floss and I are teaming up to teach you about…

Marijuana Milestones

1200 (B.C.): Cannabis has been around for a while, but the 1200’s marks the first time it’s mentioned in religious Hindu texts. Dubbed one of five sacred plants, it’s consumed in religious ceremonies worshipping the god Shiva. Shiva, of course, is the God of Just Chilling.

1600’s (A.D.): Farmers are encouraged to grow hemp in burgeoning American colonies for rope, sails and clothing. Hemp is even accepted as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.  George Washington supposedly grew the sticky weed  at his plantation, which would explain all the camo netting and growing lamps I saw when I visited Mount Vernon last year. 

1920’s: What a Wonderful World? Growing up during Prohibition, American jazz giant Louis Armstrong learns to love him some pot (a supposedly healthier addiction than the moonshine other musicians were guzzling at the time). Not only does he start smoking 3 cigar-sized joints a day, but he also writes the song “Muggles” about his marijuana usage.  No wonder he was always so happy!

1936: An anti-drug scare film is released under the provocative title 'Tell Your Children' in an effort to keep kids off “marihuana.” Years later, in 1971, a print of the film is rediscovered in the Library of Congress, and sold to Ken Stroup for $297. Re-titled Reefer Madness the movie does ridiculously well with stoned college kids, and the profits help support a young film company: New Line Cinema.

1937: The Marijuana Tax Act passes because pot is believed to cause “murder, insanity and death.” Guns, however, remain legal, naturally. 

1964: The mop-topped Beatles’ fall victim to Bob Dylan’s peer pressure and smoke up for the first time with him.  Dylan, though small, was a vicious bully and threatened to dole out wedgies to any, "British homo" who refused to smoke up with him. 

1965: Now full-fledged pot enthusiasts, The Beatles nervously smoke an “herbal jazz cigarette” in the palace bathrooms before being decorated by the Queen. 1965 is also the year the Grateful Dead first form. 

1970: Elvis shows up unannounced to the White House, toting two guns, and begs Richard Nixon to become a “Federal Agent at Large.” Presley is intent on fighting drug abuse and communist brainwashing techniques. Instead, Nixon gives him a shiny badge, and lists him as a "Special Assistant."  Elvis, much like a crying toddler, could be easily placated with food or something shiny, apparently. 

1970: At age 20, Comedian Bill Murray drops out of college after he’s caught at O’Hare International toting 9 lbs. of marijuana. The arrest derails his (serious) plans of becoming a doctor, and he soon flees for the famous improv troupe, Second City forever depriving us of the chance to get a testicular exam from the funniest doctor in the world. 

1974: High Times magazine launches. Modeled after Playboy (fold-out and all), the magazine attempts to do for recreational drug use, what Hef did for sex.  Nothing like masturbating to a fold-out of some sweet Northern Lights. 

1978: Cheech and Chong star in their first feature movie together, Up In Smoke. The word “man” is said 295 times in the dialogue, creating a sub-culture vernacular that still echoes across Ultimate Frisbee fields to this day. 

1981: Bob Marley passes away. The Rasta is buried with, amongst other things, his guitar, a soccer ball, and a bud of marijuana. 

1982: Nancy Reagan uses her First Lady powers to champion the “Just Say No” campaign. Ironically, drug-abusing child stars Drew Barrymore and Corey Feldman are both recruited for the campaign.

1992: A slippery Bill Clinton admits to smoking marijuana, but not inhaling. He also inadvertently admits to having been a loser in college. 

1998: Snowboarding is added to the Olympics. Three days after winning gold, Canadian Ross Rebagliati tests positive for marijuana and was stripped of his medal. The international committee gives it back to him though, after a thoroughly convincing appeal: that he’d been the victim of second hand smoke. 96% of the snowboarding community breathes a smoky sigh of relief. 

Early 2003: People wonder whether hell has indeed frozen over as Snoop Dogg announces he’s quitting the chronic. The rapper tells Rolling Stone, “I’ve smoked enough sticky-icky-icky to keep me high for three lifetimes.” 

Three months later: Snoop realizes it wasn’t his best idea, and starts smoking again.

Today: Your roommate is going to meet his hookup.  You need anything?  No?  OK, sounds good.  Oh, make sure to Tivo Spongebob.  Cool?

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