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The History of Marijuana in Indiana

Indiana is known for having some of the strictest marijuana laws in the United States, though the state’s history with the drug wasn’t always so harsh, since it started as early as 1821. Hemp was commonly grown in the state at the time, so much so, that some farmers even had two separate patches of hemp, one for clothing and one to smoke after a long day of work. These farmers certainly earned their second patch, because the United States soon launched its "Hemp for Victory" program, encouraging growers to grow more hemp, so by 1943, farmers registered in the program harvested 375,000 acres of hemp.

By that time, even though many Indiana farmers were cultivating hemp, the state had already outlawed the plant. In 1913, Indiana prohibited all forms of marijuana in the state. The state law also didn’t stop the pharmaceutical companies from growing, because the local company Eli Lilly listed a number of cannabis products in 1919, prescribed for a variety of ailments including epilepsy, mental health, and more. The state soon adapted some of the harshest marijuana laws, punishing anyone in possession of a single joint with a year in prison. The majority of Indiana voters support legalizing medical marijuana though, so progress is possible.


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