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A brief history of cannabis culture in Canada

Considering the recent milestones in America's marijuana movement, a look at the history of cannabis culture in Canada, the States' neighbor, is particularly interesting. See below for a brief account of weed's history in Canada.

Justin Bieber Arrrested
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

1922 - Emily Murphy's book, The Black Candle, demonizes marijuana, and claims one of the results of its use is insanity.

1923 - Cannabis outlawed in Canada though no actual arrests are made for about 10 years.

1937 - First seizure of marijuana undertaken by Canadian police.

1960's - Canadians love cannabis! Marijuana culture sweeps the nation.

Early 2000's - American citizens charged for their use of medical marijuana begin fleeing to Canada as 'cannabis refugees.'

2000 - R. v. Parker declared the prohibition on marijuana unconstitutional as there are no exemptions for medical use.

July 2001 - Health Canada introduces Marihuana Medical Access Regulations.

2002, 2004 - Marijuana bills proposed set to decriminalize the substance if possessed within a certain quantity. They do not pass.

2005 - Marc Emery extradited by Canadian government and imprisoned in the States for five years for 'distribution of marijuana seeds.' The real reason is later revealed to be his political activity and financial backing of pro-marijuana organizations.

2007 - Harper government begins War on Drugs, focusing primarily on cannabis.

2009 - 2011 - Bill C-15/S-10 implementing mandatory sentencing for individuals possessing cannabis. Neither of the bills go through.

2013 - Justin Trudeau's open support of cannabis decriminalization creates controversy.

January 2014 - Bieber fever in danger? The pop star found with drugs again. Justin Bieber's house is raided and marijuana, along with other drugs and paraphernalia, are spotted.

April 2014 - Changes to medical marijuana access laws to be implemented.

As America embarks upon a new wave of cannabis culture, it will be interesting to observe how the changes will unfold in Canada. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, strongly supports decriminalization while the Harper government's War on Drugs has targeted marijuana use. The months and years ahead will show which side of the issue Canada lays.

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