Updated: Dec 16, 2022
The current American cannabis culture is still young since the 1970s, it is only in 1996 that the first state (California) legalized medical marijuana. The cannabis movement has made gradual, consistent and significant progress. It has blossomed beautifully. The stigma, once associated with the plant, is slowly shedding off: what the plant stood for and what it depicted has dramatically changed. Taking marijuana in the past was seen as an act of rebellion, but now, taking the best buds is considered a leisure activity - a way to create good times and kill boredom.
History of cannabis culture
The modern cannabis culture can be traced back to around 2000-1500 BC during the Vedic era. During these times, cannabis was considered one of the five sacred plants that brought about happiness, joy, and liberation. It was a widespread belief among the Hindus that their god Shiva had brought cannabis from the Himalayas as a gift to the people.
Evidence shows that cannabis was first used in rituals in 2500 BC in China. This trend spread from China to East and Southeast Asia, Persia, East Africa, and southern Europe. In America, cannabis first appeared in the 1500s. The British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonists used hemp to make textiles, ropes, and other fibers. Slaves from Africa used to grow marijuana on the sugar plantations they worked on. It is believed that marijuana helped keep them productive when working on farms.
From here, marijuana became widely used by blue-collar employees in both rural and urban areas in bars. The plant was also used in prison and military barracks. In the 1900s, marijuana arrived in Jamaica. Soon, the local working-class adopted the cultivating and smoking culture of marijuana brought by East Indian indentured laborers who had been brought to the country by the British.
Modern weed culture
Modern weed culture began in the 1920s in Jamaica and neighboring islands. The people used the plant to facilitate reasoning and meditation.
In the USA, smoking ganja became popular between 1920 and 1940. The weed lovers of this era were referred to as hepcats or hipsters. They would smoke weed, listen to jazz, and engage in casual sex. This was when the famous ‘reefer madness’ movie was made to warn people about the adverse effects of marijuana. The marijuana stigmatization would continue until the 1970s.
In the 1960s, marijuana use became rampant, which saw the plant acquire many names like pot, Mary Jane, grass, marijuana, and weed. Weed smokers used hookahs, bongs, and pipes.
During this time, the use of marijuana for spiritual and religious reasons resurfaced.
In the 1970s, the Cheech and Chong movies were viral. They dominated the movie across America. Several Musicians sang marijuana-inspired songs using slang words or metaphors since the product was illegal. The high times’ magazine was first published in 1974.
Today’s weed culture
Today, weed culture has spread across the globe. Cannabis enthusiasts have unique personalized humor, language, music, film, literature, art, and films. The term 420 is primarily associated with weed smoking. In fact, the 20th of April is dubbed national cannabis day.
During this day, cannabis enthusiasts gather at Hippie Hill to celebrate marijuana.
Currently, a majority of states have legalized marijuana: some for medicinal reasons, while others allow marijuana consumption for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Cannabis dispensaries are popping up in various states. Internet sales are skyrocketing, with more people preferring to have their weed delivered anonymously to their doorstep. Weed lovers purchase ganja for either of two reasons: for recreational reasons or for promoting homoeopathic healing. Today’s weed enthusiasts are entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and educated.