1994: Study Shows Cannabis Boosts Immunity
A 16 year study of Marijuana use in HIV-infected women begins. With funding from several national organizations, the Women’s Interagency HIV Study collaboratively finds that: “Although many women reported using marijuana for social and relaxation reasons, marijuana use for symptom relief was also noted as an important motivator among these HIV-infected women.”
The report continues: “Reasons for marijuana use in this study were also consistent with previously reported studies showing appetite stimulation, reduction of pain, relaxation/social use, anxiety reduction, and help with sleep. Research supports the utility of marijuana in reducing these symptoms with improvements in appetite, nausea, anxiety, depression, tingling, weight loss, and tiredness reported from marijuana use in other observational studies of HIV-infected individuals.” The study, which concluded in 2010, shows that “Daily marijuana use was also significantly associated with higher CD4 cell count and improved quality of life.” CD4 cells are beneficial for immunity and are an important factor in determining the progress of an HIV patient’s condition.
Source: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2012
1994: First Prototypes of Electronic Vaporizer Developed
A Canadian company develops and releases prototype vaporizers for cannabis, with an article in the Vancouver times appearing within a year stating: “It heats up to the point where it doesn’t smoke but vaporizes the THC; it re-condenses in your lungs.” In 1996, Markus Storz filed a patent in Germany for a vaporizer that featured a removable balloon. Further development led to the release of the “Volcano Inhaler”, one of the most popular models of vaporizers in use today.
1994: White Widow Strain Makes Its Debut
Although the exact origins of this strain are shrouded in mystery, one popularly held belief is that Shantibaba, founder of the Green House Seed Company in Holland, is credited for creating one of the most successfully commercialized strains on the market today. Bringing back indica hybrid seeds from the Kerala Mountains of India, Shantibaba crossed the indican males with a female of the Brazilian sativa landrace Manga Rosa. While the actual method and persons responsible for the discovery of this strain may never be fully known, it is undeniable that this strain is a favorite among patients and caregivers worldwide. Said to help increase energy levels and stimulate creativity, this sativa’s dominant flower is often described as having a peppery citrus taste and smell. White Widow’s genetics have gone on to become the basis for many more popular strains including White Russian, White Rhino, and Blue Widow.
1995: Friday Released
Now considered a classic among ‘stoner’ comedies, Friday, starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, “Zeus”, WC, and others, depicts a day in the life of two guys hanging out at home in Southern California. Smokey (Chris Tucker) delivers some of the most memorable and hilarious lines in the movie. The iconic soundtrack to Friday featured songs by Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill, Bootsy, Rick James, and others, and held the #1 spot on the Billboard charts for two weeks before going double platinum. Memorable Quote: “Weed is from the earth. God put this here for me and you. Take advantage man, take advantage.” -Smokey
1996: U.K. Study Assesses Therapeutic Profile of Cannabis
Commissioned by the Department of Health, Philip Robson conducted an assessment of the therapeutic uses and applications of cannabis and known cannabinoids. Among other findings, Robson notes that for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, “THC is an effective analgesic... and may have special merit in neuropathic pain.” Robson also mentions the advantages of using cannabis for appetite stimulation, sedative qualities, and improved sleep patterns. He also states that cannabis should be funded for more research, citing an as of yet “unknown mechanism” by which cannabinoids seem to inhibit tumor growth.
Source: British Journal of Psychiatry
1996: Proposition 215 Enacted
Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is enacted, making California the first state to allow patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation to possess and grow marijuana for medical use. With 55.6% support of the voters, California set a precedent that would cause a chain reaction of acceptance across the U.S. and Canada in the years to come.
1996: Woody Harrelson Busted for Planting Industrial Hemp Seeds
Actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson got into trouble for planting nonpsychoactive industrial hemp in Lee County, Kentucky, as a challenge to the laws which prohibit this versatile plant from being cultivated. Knowing he would be arrested, Harrelson planted the hemp as an act of defiance, claiming the failure of the government to distinguish between marijuana and hemp to be unconstitutional. After four years of trials in three different courts, Harrelson was finally found to be not guilty in 2000 by a jury of his peers.
1997: Newt Gingrich Proposes Death Penalty for Cannabis Possession
As Speaker of the House, Gingrich introduced the “Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.”The bill would have required a “sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances.” It would have applied to anyone convicted more than once of carrying 100 doses — or about two ounces — of marijuana across the border. Defendants would have had a window of 18 months to file their one and only appeal. When confronted with his own admission to using marijuana by Wall Street Journal reporter Hilary Stout, Gingrich explained: “See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral,” ... “now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn't change, only the morality… That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t.”
1997: “Pot Palace” Shut Down by LA County Sherrif
Over 4,000 marijuana plants were seized from a Bel-Air castle, making it the largest indoor marijuana bust ever made in Las Angeles County. Complete with turrets, a moat with drawbridges, and a king’s quarters, this “fairy-tale like” mansion was apparently supplying compassion centers across the state. Todd Patrick McCormick, the man responsible for the operation, is considered to be an authority on plant genetics and medical cannabis breeding. Although most of the plants seized were tiny seedlings, the police reported a street value of “well over $20 million.”