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5 Facts About How Cannabis Was Used During Alcohol Prohibition

On January 16, 1920, a mass of thirsty Americans flocked to the streets to enjoy their very last drink from a liquor store or bar, because the following day the United States outlawed “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” Prohibition went into immediate effect so the United States was completely dry, which is when other drugs, like marijuana were becoming popular in American culture. For this reason, many people used marijuana in the United States throughout Prohibition.

During the early years of Prohibition, Mexican immigrants moved to the United States to flee their homes, bringing with them marijuana. Before, marijuana was only consumed for medical purposes, but the Mexicans introduced recreational use into American culture. Many people began turning to marijuana as an alternative to alcohol, “It was especially popular as an alternative to alcohol, which was illegal [in the 1920s]. In some respects, the [widespread] use of marijuana may have been an ironic and unintentional outcome of Prohibition. I don't have firm evidence to justify that claim. But it does make sense.” The popularity of marijuana only increased the fear of the drug, so 29 states had outlawed marijuana by 1931. Now, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana and many more are pushing for recreational use.  


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