According to researcher Dale Gierlinger, the first U.S. State to ban MJ -- without a prescription -- was Massachusetts with its 1911 statutes' requirment of such for any of the substances listed in Harvey Wiley's 1906 U.S. 'Pure' Foods & Drugs Act's inconsistent labeling requirement list (of essentually habit-forming agents other then caffeine and nicotine).
alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide, or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein
opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, or any other hypnotic drug or any salt, compound or preparation of said substances is kept .
Richard M. Evans, a Northampton lawyer and the author of H1371, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, who blogs at www.cantaxreg.com, writes:
One hundred years ago today, Massachusetts Governor Eugene Foss signed into law Chapter 372 of the Acts of 1911, "An act relative to the issuance of search warrants for hypnotic drugs and the arrest of those present." Since then, marijuana has been illegal in Massachusetts, although the voters reduced possession of a small amount to a civil infraction in 2008. Remarkably, the 1911 law was the first state prohibition of marijuana in the United States.
Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town writes:
Friday marks an unhappy anniversary in hemp history. On April 29, 1911, Massachusetts enacted the first state law making it illegal to sell or possess cannabis without a prescription, becoming the first U.S. state to institute marijuana prohibition.
Violators of the new law were subject to a $100 fine and up to six months in jail, and just being present in the same room with marijuana could get you three months, according to cannabis historian Dale Gieringer of California NORML.
Ironically, marijuana was merely collateral damage of the Massachusetts law, which was aimed primarily at other “hypnotic” drugs such as opium, morphine and heroin. Abuse of opiate painkillers had become a concern among reformers and temperance advocates in the early 20th century, and cannabis was added to the list “for the sake of completeness,” since it was also a hypnotic palliative commonly found in pharmacies.
'Collateral' insofar as being included in the list of substances in the 1911 Massachusetts statute.
A portion of chapter 372, acts of 1911, entitled, "An Act relative to the issuance of search warrants for hypnotic drugs, and the arrest of those present," is as follows: —
Section 1. If a person makes complaint under oath to a police, district or municipal court, or to a trial justice or justice of the peace authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, that he has reason to believe that opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa or any other hypnotic drug or any salt, compound or preparation of said substances is kept . . .
Section 2. Whoever is so present where any of the aforesaid drugs is found shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment in the house of correction for three months.
Section 3. Whoever, not being a manufacturer or jobber of drugs, wholesale druggist, registered pharmacist, registered physician, registered veterinarian, registered dentist, registered nurse or an employee of an incorporated hospital, or otherwise entitled by law to have possession of any of the above mentioned drugs, is found in possession thereof, except by reason of a physician's prescription, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for six months in the house of correction.
opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, or any other hypnotic drug or any salt, compound or preparation of said substances- 1911 Massachusetts statute
alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein- 1906 U.S. Food and Drugs Act (includes alcohol only for drugs and not for foods)