Why Opinions Changed

  • Although Cannabis has been used for thousands of years it has endured considerable stigma in the past 100 years following prohibition.
    • Canada prohibited cannabis in 1923
    • The USA prohibited cannabis in 1937.
  • Former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Gerald Le Dain chaired a Royal Commission in 1969.  A 320-page report called cannabis penalties “grossly excessive” and recommended the decriminalization of personal possession.
  • The Ontario Court of Appeal stuck down a blanket-ban on medical cannabis in 2000 declaring it unconstitutional after the R v Terrance Parker case.
  • In 2001 the Canadian government enacted the first rendition of the country’s medical cannabis access program.  It was named the Marihuana for Medical Access Regulations (MMAR).
  • In 2002 a report by the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, confirmed the Le Dain Commission findings and said “criminalization of cannabis remains unjustified based on scientific data on the danger it poses”.  Unfortunately, nothing changed.
  • That situation has changed significantly in the past decade and one key influencer has been Dr Sanjay Gupta MD.  He is a neurosurgeon and Senior Medical Advisor for CNN. His dynamic documentary ‘Weed’ in 2013 acted as a catalyst for acceptance amongst the general population and also some in the medical community.  He has continued to make documentaries about medical cannabis and these are easily found on YouTube.
  • It is important to note that many separate court cases over many years have positively impacted patient rights to cannabis for medical purposes in Canada.
  • In 2013 the government implemented the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) which created a commercially licensed cannabis industry.
  • In October 2018 Canada became the first G7 nation, and only the second nation in the world after Uruguay to legalize adult-use of cannabis.

Canada Goes From Weed Prohibition To Legalization In 95 Years: