Arizona’s Medical Marijuana History

If someone asked you to identify things used in the B.C. era that are still used today, how many items would be on your list? The first ones that come to mind are fire, the wheel, and marijuana. That’s right, the use of marijuana dates back thousands of years! (Come on, weed wasn’t born yesterday—even Martha Stewart knows how to roll a joint!) With such a long-spanning history, it’s interesting that marijuana has only just become a topic of regulation and legislation in relatively recent history. While, every state has its own unique relationship and past with marijuana, no state has had quite the same wonky history and contentious relationship with pot as Arizona.

Marijuana in Arizona History

– Some people think that the use of marijuana for recreational use began with the beatniks. False! The U.S. government encouraged marijuana production for the manufacturing of hemp products. In the 1600s, marijuana was even used as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Over in Arizona, visitors in the 1800s noted a lot of marijuana use.

– By and large, most people think Californians began the whole medical marijuana movement. This isn’t technically true because Arizonans also passed medical marijuana laws in the same 1996 election. It was passed by voters and only thwarted by government officials. Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, legalizing medical marijuana.

– In pop culture, the Grand Canyon is mentioned as a place for marijuana tourism. This merely confirmed what we all knew: the Grand Canyon is definitely on many bucket lists as a place to smoke.

– In 2006, rappers Birdman, Lil Wayne, Daz, and Kurupt release the track “Cali Dro.” The song features the lyric, “I get my kush from California, get my dro from Arizona.”

In 2016, legalizing marijuana for recreational use popped up on the state radar. This time around, things got weird for marijuana in Arizona.

– Arizona is “a state in which some of the leading pro-cannabis crusaders are actively campaigning against their own state’s legalization measure.” How could this happen? And why? Simply put, there were two separate movements for legalization and one side believed the current marijuana legalization bill did not go far enough in its regulatory measures.

– County attorney Bill Montgomery took aim at marijuana users while campaigning and a Vet in the audience spoke up about how he was in favor of the bill. Bill Montgomery’s response caused much outcry and did not bode well for the cause.

Some Other Weird Marijuana History Facts From Around the U.S.

– Marijuana was first sold in U.S. pharmacies in the 1850s.
– One of the first items sold on the internet was a bag of marijuana between Stanford and MIT students.
– In Michigan, marijuana is still spelled with an “h,” as marihuana.
– In Oregon, the signage for dispensaries is limited to 80 point font in Times New Roman or Arial variations only.
– The discovery of THC only happened 54 short years ago.
– More than half of the U.S. has legalized marijuana in one form or another.

Arizona, and the rest of the U.S., has a weird and wacky marijuana history, with more history in the making every day. Stop by one of our four awesome Valley store locations to chat with us about history or learn more about our products. Contact us today!

  1. I am traveling thru town, I have a med lic from cali & a driver’s lic from oregon …..I’m on HEAVY NARCOTICS S and have slowly have rehabiliyated myself off of soma 350 mg, 4 times a day… my self down to 1….. But I REALLY NEED MY GUMMY BEARS♡ Please help…….I have enough flower, but I need my beats for during the day….I don’t want these pharmaceutical’s in my system…..Thank you soo munfh

    1. Hi Debbie, so glad to hear you’re replacing pharmaceuticals with medical cannabis. Unfortunately, dispensaries in Arizona require patients to have valid AZMMJ cards to purchase products. Hopefully in the future we will be able to serve patients traveling through from different states. Wishing you best of luck.

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