CANADIAN MARIJUANA LEGAL HISTORY
1923 — Cannabis is made illegal under the federal Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill.
1937 — The first marijuana seizure is made by Canadian law enforcement.
1962 — Cannabis gains popularity and the number of convictions jumps from 25 between 1930 and 1946 to 20 cases in 1962 alone.
1968 — Convictions jump to 2,300 as marijuana use increases, particularly among college students and the hippie counterculture.
1972 — The Le Dain Royal Commission of Inquiry in the Non-medical Use of Drugs releases its report recommending that the government remove criminal penalties for the use and possession of cannabis, although the report does not recommend legalization outright. No steps are taken.
2000 — The Ontario Court of Appeal overturns the conviction of Terrance Parker, who was arrested for possession, cultivation, and trafficking in 1996 after he is caught growing cannabis to control his epileptic seizures. The court rules that the prohibition of cannabis use infringes on Parker’s right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
2001 — The federal government enacts the first medical marijuana law, the Marihuana (sic) for Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), allowing licensed patients to grow their own cannabis or buy it from licensed growers.
2003 — The Liberal government of Jean Chrétien introduces the first federal marijuana decriminalization measure, reducing the possession of up to 15 grams to a civil fine. The bill dies, mostly due to pressure from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
2006 — Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces a new national antidrug strategy, imposing mandatory prison sentences on cannabis dealers. Anyone charged with growing more than 500 plants faces a two-year minimum sentence. Maximum penalties for producing cannabis increase from 7 to 14 years in jail.
2018 — Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, is passed and goes into effect on October 17, legalizing the possession, use, cultivation, and purchase of limited amounts of cannabis by adults 18 years of age and older nationwide.