History of Cannabis Legalization in Canada
Cannabis is a psychoactive intoxicant and is also known as marijuana. Cannabis was banned in Canada from 1923 until 2001 when the Canadian Government made cannabis legal. Seventeen years later, in October 2018, the Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-45 (called the Cannabis Act), and the use and sales of recreational cannabis were legalized and regulated.
Here is a condensed recap of the history of cannabis in Canada.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 5000 BC - 1923 - For millennia, the cannabis plant has been valued for its highly fibrous qualities and as a food and medicine.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 1923 - 2001 Cannabis cultivation and consumption are prohibited nationally in Canada.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2000 - Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the prohibition of cannabis was illegal because there were no exceptions for medicinal use.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2001 - Medical Cannabis becomes available by prescription. Canada has over 1000 patients being prescribed cannabis.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2013 - New federal legislation allows medical cannabis to be cultivated and consumed both medically and recreationally, and thereby establishing Canada as having the largest regulated cannabis industry in the world.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2015 - The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that banning the smoking of cannabis by medicinal patients was unconstitutional. This decision made the extraction of cannabis oils legal in Canada.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2015 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declares the Government's plan to legalize the use of cannabis and control its sale.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2016 - Task Force on Cannabis Control and Legalization, chaired by Anne McLellan, a former Minister of Health and Justice, was established.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2017 - Government passes Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, which is intended to legalize and control the cultivation and sale of cannabis.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2018 - The Act obtains royal assent and comes into force on Oct. 17, 2018. The new legislation makes Canada the world's second nation to legalize cannabis.
Canada Cannabis History Covering 2021 - Canada has over 350,000 medical cannabis patients, and the numbers are growing. Cannabis is perceived from a more modern and informed perspective, and deregulation continues globally.
The new legislation allows Canadians aged 18 and older to buy cannabis by mail order or provincially regulated retail stores.
Under Bill C-45, adults are now permitted to cultivate up to four cannabis plants at home and openly possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis (or the equivalent in non-dried form).
The Cannabis Act has created new federal offenses that have even harsher penalties than before legalization. One example is penalties of up to 14 years in prison to sell cannabis to young people or sell cannabis outside the regulated system.
The sale of Edibles and Extracts under the Act was not immediately permitted. It was 2019 before the Sales of Edibles, Extracts, and Topicals Regulations entered into force on Oct. 17, a year after legalization.
Items that mix alcohol, tobacco, or nicotine with cannabis are also banned.