David T. Courtwright teaches history at the University of North Florida, where he is presidential professor. He is writing a history of pleasure, vice, and addiction with the help of a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Grant Award.
Since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana has been a Schedule I drug. Congress placed it in the most restrictive category of psychoactive substances, those with no currently accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse or dependence. The upshot was a renewed ban on marijuana, except for highly restricted