Celebrating 25 years of medical cannabis in California
It’s been 25 years since California passed Proposition 215, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which made medical cannabis legal in California once again.
We attended a large celebration in San Francisco with a veritable who’s who in the cannabis world in attendance, From notable cannasseurs, to politicos, to weed farmers from the top pot farms in California’s Emerald Triangle. Among the attendees were Dale Gierenger, Director of California NORML, Ed Rosenthal, cannabis cultivation expert, who wrote the Ask Ed column in High Times Magazine for years, answering the questions of cannabis growers from all over the world, Jackie McGowan, the cannabis lobbyist who ran for Governor in California’s recent recall election, and some of the top boutique cannabis farmers from Mendocino farms, like Marty Clein of Martyjuana Farms, and Jerry Munn of First Cut Farms.
There was much to celebrate. Since the Compassionate use act was passed in California in 1996, medical cannabis has been legalized in 36 states, four out of the five permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, 18 States have legalized adult use cannabis, and 12 states have decriminalized cannabis, (obviously, there is some overlap there). Federal legalization is closer than ever with billionaires like Charles Koch and Jeff Bezos pushing for legalization, and political heavy hitters like Ex Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, now working as a cannabis lobbyist.
As much as there is to celebrate, we have a long way to go before we just get back to where cannabis used to be in America. At one time, pharmaceutical companies Merck, Brystol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly were growing 60,000 pounds of cannabis annually for prescription cannabis medications they produced. Cannabis was in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1850 till 1942, when it was removed, not by the medical establishment, but by Congress – against the objections of the American Medical Association. We’ve had medical professionals on our cannabis farm tours lament that they can’t prescribe or even recommend cannabis for their patients without placing their medical licenses in jeopardy.
It’s high time that cannabis be not only legalized federally, but worldwide, and reinstated in the United States Pharmacopoeia so medical professionals can prescribe it once again without threatening their medical licensing.
Part of our mission with our weed tours is normalizing, or rather, re-normalizing cannabis by showing people these are just American farmers, growing a plant that has been a fundamental part of human civilization ever since there’s been human civilization. Going on a 420 tour, whether you’re a cannasseur, or are just curious about the culture, and never touch the stuff is a great way to see that there’s nothing to fear from this benign plant or the people that cultivate it. The next time you’re in Northern California, rather than just visiting one of the many San Francisco dispensaries, take a short day trip north of the Golden Gate bridge, and come on a cannabis farm tour with us. If you’re into wine tasting, we offer weed and wine tours as well. Mendocino County has award winning wineries as well as some of the best weed farms on the planet!
See you in Mendo!