Mark Twain and Other Matters on Marijuana Prior to Prohibition

By Sam Sabzehzar February 2, 2013

All were invited to California NORML’s conference marking the 100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California.

This two-day event, held January 26 & 27 at Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco, explored the history, causes and costs of the war on cannabis, and strategies for ending it.

Following up on Cal NORML’s “Next Steps” conferences of 2011, Cal NORML discussed concrete measures to reform California’s cannabis laws, both medical and otherwise, through legislation, litigation and ballot initiatives.

Speakers at this historic conference included leading experts on cannabis, reform movement leaders, public officials, attorneys, scientific and medical experts.

One of those leaders was Cal NORML’s Deputy Director Ellen Komp, who lectured on how cannabis was viewed prior to prohibition, and included quotes from Mark Twain, and others who speak kindly on the subject of cannabis.

Ellen Komp has been a hemp/marijuana activist since 1991 and is currently Deputy Director of California NORML. She edited the 9th edition of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer and was a volunteer petitioner for the California Hemp Initiative (1993, 1994) and Proposition 215 (1995). Komp was Deputy Director of Community Outreach & Communications at The Lindesmith Center in San Francisco (now Drug Policy Alliance) and sat on the Humboldt County medical marijuana task force, resulting in a county ordinance to implement SB420. For the past 10 years, Ellen has gathered information about prominent cannabis connoisseurs at her website,

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