Medical Cannabis in the 90s:Flashback to Proposition 215

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November 5th 1996 will forever be remembered as a landmark day in cannabis history. It was the day that the state of California passed Proposition 215, legalising cannabis for medical use and effectively opening the floodgates for cannabis use across America. While the after-effects took place as a series of slow drips rather than an actual flood, it’s hard to imagine the impact this result had at the time unless you were there – but it’s safe to say it was a monumental day, and one which cued great celebration. The effect of Prop 215’s victory at the ballot box can’t be overstated. A Brief History of Proposition 215 The bill was brought to being by Dennis Peron, and activist and businessman who had been a leader for the movement to legalise cannabis during the 1990s. Peron had served in the Vietnam War, and upon returning to the United States, moved to California where he would sell cannabis from storefronts in the Castro District. Peron would advocate heavily for medical cannabis after seeing how patients with AIDS benefitted from its use, and was inspired to work on the bill in memory of his late partner, Jonathan West, who had used marijuana to treat the symptoms of AIDS. As far back as 1991, Peron arranged the passage of Proposition P, which had no legal backing, but served to highlight the city of San Francisco’s support for medical marijuana. Later that same year, Peron and John Entwistle Jr co-founded California’s first public marijuana dispensary, the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club. California’s legislature would go on to approve other medical marijuana bills, but these were ultimately vetoed by then-Governor Pete Wilson. In 1996, Peron and others would co-author Proposition 215, which would create the world’s first legal medical marijuana system if it passed…

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