In the context of cannabis, prohibition refers to the criminalization, banning, suppression, and policing of the growth, distribution, and use of cannabis. Prohibition of cannabis began in the early twentieth century, when casual use of cannabis in the U.S. was on the rise. Cannabis was fully prohibited by the 1970 creation of the DEA. It has remained prohibited federally ever since.

Possession or sale of cannabis in the United States is prohibited by federal law. In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, establishing marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the strictest level of prohibition. Voters then rejected California Proposition 19 (1972), which sought to remove the criminalization of marijuana under California law.

In California, prohibition is considered over because the state has fully legalized the sale and distribution of cannabis to the public for non-medical purposes.

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