From Mark Twain to Modern Day: San Francisco’s History as America’s Cannabis Capital

Mark Twain, The Grateful Dead, and Thee Oh Sees hail from three very different centuries. But these artists share something in common besides their San Francisco provenance: They could (or can) all easily buy marijuana in SF. Two of the three could do so legally.

When Twain arrived in the city in the 1860s, San Francisco newspapers carried advertisements for hasheesh candies, sold over the counter at pharmacies on Montgomery Street. By the time Thee Oh Sees formed a decade ago, there were city-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries (some selling knock-you-on-your ass-strength hash candies) all over town. Only the Dead, pioneers of the San Francisco sound during the Summer of Love 50 years ago, had the ill fortune of existing during the 20th Century intermezzo when cannabis was outright illegal. But even then, weed was easier to find in town than a fast-food drive-thru.

San Francisco’s History as America’s Cannabis

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