Pubdate: Mon,  9 Sep 2002
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Copyright: 2002 The Salt Lake Tribune


Utah Was The First State To Ban Marijuana, In 1915.

The LDS Church, said to be worried about marijuana use among members 
returning from Mexican exile for their polygamous beliefs, decreed in late 
summer of 1915 that it was against church doctrine. And with virtually no 
publicity, the Utah Legislature wrote the church's ban into state criminal 
law a few months later, forbidding its sale or possession by adding the 
plant to the state's omnibus laws on banned narcotics and pharmacy.

While New York City sanitary laws prohibited cannibis as early as 1914, 
Utah's was the first statewide prohibition.

Many Western states followed suit in ensuing years, fueled in part by 
sentiment against Mexican immigrants. Nearly 27 states had marijuana 
prohibitions by 1937, when one of the first national anti-marijuana laws, 
the Marihuana Tax Act, took effect.
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