While Canada has legalized weed, it’s still interesting to look back at the history of weed in Canada. The legalization in 2018 has brought up a lot of debate, but we forget the dark past of weed’s prohibition. Weed legalization made another huge step during the 2015 election. When the Liberals won a majority of seats, legalization became even more realistic. Now that weed is legal, it’s time to look back and see why it took so long to happen.
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Medical weed in Canada has always had a very big role in the medical community in regards to its ability to help and heal. This has and will always be a big topic when thinking about legalization. The Medical Marijuana Analysis Program (MMRP) created in 1999 has been slowly changing Canada’s law on medical grade weed.
The next big wave of weed laws came in the form of the Marijuana Regulation for Medicinal Purposes (MMPR). Later replaced by (MRCA) in 2014 and the Cannabis Act in 2015. These laws allowed governments and businesses to trade weed products with other nations. The thing is, weed wasn’t even illegal as little as a century ago.
Canada in 2018
In October 2018, Canada legalized recreational weed use and you could have a small amount on your person. This was a great step up after the approval of medical use in 2000. This was after California had legalized medical consumption in 1996. Since then many states and countries have followed suit.
In this era, weed legalization has become one of the most important events in the history of weed in Canada, and perhaps, the world as a whole. The American counterculture also grew dramatically over the decades. A group called the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) was founded in 1970, after the end of the weed prohibition. This group, along with several other groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), End Marijuana Prohibition, End Drug Abuse (DEAP), and other anti-drug groups, has continued to try and expanded weed prohibition.
Starting from the end of the 19th century, a wave of new regulations made access to weed more difficult. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, effectively made it a federal offense to use weed for any purpose. Starting in 2000, a new wave started, one of the regulations to make access to weed easier for medical users. This also allowed lawmakers to create the Maribeth act(weed tax.)
Banned since 1923
Canada first banned cannabis in 1923. This law was first enforced in 1937 when weed was first seized by Canadian police. These laws were being seen enacted all over the USA and Canada as a means to control the ever-growing immigrant population. These laws were originally formed against opium in the 1920s and grew to include the list of drugs you see today.
Before 1923, when cannabis was banned in Canada, few people in the country had even heard of weed, let alone seen it. North American varieties of cannabis plants were not psychoactive at the time, and are known as hemp today. The new laws not only banned the psychoactive family of weed but also the hemp family. This affected farmers and our environment drastically. It took nearly 80 years for us to evolve past our ideals of the 1920s.
Canada legalized recreational marijuana in October 2018 and it was legalized under the Canadian Cannabis Act, which largely took effect on the 17 of October. The reason they implemented the Cannabis Act was to establish a controlled legal framework for production, distribution, possession, sale, taxing, and legal enforcement of weed.
While everyone was debating making weed illegal medically and recreationally Vancouver turned the tables. They passed a law that forced wholly illegal dispensaries to apply for licenses to operate retail stores, this was later followed by different municipalities and eventually lead to nationwide legalization.