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Chron(ic)ology

A highly abridged Oregon-centric history of marijuana

1935 Oregon passes the Uniform State Narcotic Act, criminalizing cannabis

1936 Reefer Madness, cult classic anti-pot propaganda film, premieres

1937 U.S. Congress passes “Marihuana” Tax Act, “effectively criminalizing marijuana” nationwide

1952 The Boggs Act requires mandatory prison sentencing for cannabis possession offenses 

1968 The Grateful Dead play first Eugene show at Erb Memorial Union

1970 Lawyer R. Keith Stroup founds the nonprofit NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) 

President Nixon signs the Controlled Substances Act into law, creating five drug classifications, or schedules; marijuana is designated as a Schedule I drug — the category for drugs considered the most dangerous

1971 Snoop Dogg is born

1972 The Shafer Report, a study on marijuana abuse commissioned by Prez Tricky Dick, recommends ending marijuana prohibition; Nixon ignores recommendation

1973 The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) is established

Oregon becomes the first state to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of weed

1974 Underground journalist Tom Forcade starts High Times, a magazine devoted to cannabis advocacy; contributors have included Andy Warhol, Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote

1978 Cheech and Chong release debut pot buddy flick Up in Smoke

1986 President Reagan signs the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the foremost law in the War on Drugs

Oregon Ballot Measure 5 to legalize the possession and growing of marijuana is defeated with 24 percent voting in favor

1990 Bob Snodgrass, godfather of artistic hard glass and famous for his Grateful Dead skull pipes, settles in Eugene after a friend tells him the city has the “best herb”

1995 Oregon House Bill 3466 to re-criminalize pot dies in the Legislature

1991 Seattle Hempfest begins as the Washington Hemp Expo

1997 Oregon Measure 57, which would make possession of less than an ounce of pot a misdemeanor, is rejected with 34 percent voting in favor

1998 Cult stoner flick Half Baked, starring Dave Chappelle, hits theaters

Oregon becomes second state to legalize medical marijuana after California, with 55 percent voting in favor

2000 Rapper Afroman releases hit “Because I Got High”

2003 The DEA’s Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter bust 55 people in the glass blowing and head shop industry nationwide, including Eugene’s Jason Harris and Saeed Mohtadi of Jerome Baker Designs

2005 Portland hosts first Hempstalk Festival

2004 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, the cult stoner film for the millennial generation, premieres

2005 Showtime debuts suburban pot dramedy Weeds

2010 The Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassifies weed from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug — a less punitive classification; Oregon is first state to make this change

An Oregon ballot measure to establish a state licensing system for marijuana growers and dispensaries is defeated with 44 percent voting in favor

2012 ESPN The Magazine does an exposé on the weed culture of Oregon Ducks football, estimating that 40 to 60 percent of current and former players smoke the sticky stuff; let’s hear it for Duck Duck Green Duck

2012 Oregon Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, to legalize recreational marijuana use is defeated with 47 percent voting in favor; similar ballots pass in Colorado and Washington, legalizing recreational use

2013 U.S. Justice Department announces that it will not interfere with state cannabis laws

Oregon State police raid dispensaries statewide, including one in Eugene

Governor Kitzhaber signs HB 3460 into law, directing the Oregon Health Authority to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities

2014 Obama administration outlines rules for the first time ever allowing banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed marijuana businesses

Eugene hosts its first Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference at the Hilton

Organizers of three initiative petitions to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults begin collecting signatures for the November 2014 ballot

Compiled from various sources by someone who was not stoned (at the time).