Colonial staple, ‘Reefer Madness’ and now legal weed





SEATTLE — The grass is no greener. But, finally, it’s legal — at least somewhere in America. It’s been a long, strange trip for marijuana.

Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize and regulate its recreational use last month. But before that, the plant, renowned since ancient times for its strong fibers, medical use and mind-altering properties, was a staple crop of the colonies, an “assassin of youth,” a counterculture emblem and a widely accepted — if often abused — medicine.

On the occasion of Thursday’s “Legalization Day,” when Washington’s new law takes effect, here’s a look back at the cultural and legal status of the “evil weed” in American history....



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