Before cannabis was prohibited in the US (and later, Britain), alcohol was banned from 1920 to 1933. This creation of an unmet need led to the sophistication of the American Mafia from street gangs to organized and efficient providers to those willing to pay.

During World War 1, citizens were accused of being unpatriotic by spending money on beer, much of which was brewed by German people.

The following pictures were kindly provided by Claire from the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. More are available on their website.

If at first you don't succeed....

Alcohol prohibition ended in 1933 and is widely regarded a failure.

Enter Reefer Madness.....

And still it continued....

The Wikipedia Foundation (2022) The Wootton Report. Available at: (Accessed 26 November 2023)

Nutt, Prof. D., FMedSci, King, L.A., PhD, Saulsbury, W., MA and Blakemore, Prof. C. (2007) Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse. Health Policy. Vol. 369. Iss. 9566, P1047-1053, . MARCH 24, 2007. Available at: (Accessed 26 November 2023)

Home Office (August 2022 update) List of most commonly encountered drugs currently controlled under the misuse of drugs legislation. Crown Copyright (UK). Available online at: (Accessed 26 November 2023)

President Joe Biden (October 2022) Statement from President Biden on Marijuana Reform (White House Briefing). U.S.  Government. Available at: 26 November 2023)

Catt, H. (3 October 2023) Make cannabis Class A drug, say Conservative police commissioners. BBC News online. Available at: (Accessed 26 November 2023)

Further Reading

Busby, M. (19 September 2023) UK drug advisers recommended decriminalising possession in 2016, leak reveals. The Guardian (UK Edition) Online. Available at: (Accessed 26 November 2023) (online resource) A Chronology of Cannabis Hemp. Available online at:

Jones, Cefyn (September 2022) Legalisation vs Decriminalisation of recreational cannabis use in the UK? Hemp Hound Agency. Available at: (online resource). Available online at: The History of Marijuana as Medicine: 2900BC to present. Available online at: 26 November 2023)

Seed our Future Campaign (2021) Cannabis history.

Stamp, J. (27 October 2014) Timeline: Marijuana Prohibition in the UK. Cannabis Digest. Available online at:

Or CLICK HERE to go to a YouTube playlist I put together about prohibition.

If we weren't continuing to essentially criminalise Cannabis, we might be following the scientific evidence for why it's so good for us.

Click here to head over to my 'How Cannabis Works' page

Updated: February 2024