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Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Published: Sunday, March 7, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Calgary Herald
Contact: [email protected]

1908 -- The new Opium and Narcotic Act creates the framework for prohibiting illicit drug use in Canada.

1922 -- Social reformer Emily Murphy's book The Black Candle sounds an alarm about drug addiction in Canada. One chapter is devoted to "Marihuana: A New Menace."

1923 -- The addition of "Cannabis Indica" to the federal schedule of prohibited drugs makes marijuana illegal in Canada.

1932 -- Marijuana cigarettes are seized by police for the first time.

1938 -- Reflecting "reefer madness" scare, Toronto Daily Star runs story from U.S. headlined, Marijuana Smokers Seized With Sudden Craze to Kill.

1961 -- Canada signs UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs, toughens laws for possessing, cultivating and importing marijuana.

1966 -- The number of cannabis-related offences nationally exceeds 100 for the first time.

1973 -- With thousands of young Canadians being convicted annually for smoking pot, the federal Le Dain Commission recommends ending criminal charges for marijuana possession. The report is not implemented.

1980 -- A growing consensus in Canada on decriminalizing marijuana possession is derailed by U.S. declaration of war on drugs under new president Ronald Reagan.

1984 -- New Brunswick premier Richard Hatfield is charged -- but later acquitted -- of possessing marijuana after a small bag of dope is found in his luggage just before being loaded onto a plane during a royal visit by Queen Elizabeth.

1992 -- Marijuana activist Umberto Iorfida is charged with promoting use of illicit drugs. The case is thrown out of court two years later by a judge who rules it an infringement of free speech.

1992 -- Federal Conservative government introduces bill to double penalties for marijuana possession, but it dies when they are defeated in 1993 election.

1998 -- Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati is stripped of his Olympic gold medal after testing positive in Nagano, Japan, for trace levels of THC, marijuana's chief intoxicant. The decision is reversed a day later after Rebagliati claims he inhaled second-hand smoke at a party.

2000 -- The Ontario Court of Appeal declares the federal law prohibiting the possession of marijuana unconstitutional and gives Ottawa a year to amend it. The legislation is deemed a violation of the rights of sick people using marijuana for medicinal purposes.

2001-- (July) Canada becomes the first country in the world to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

2002-- Special Senate Committee on illegal drugs sparks national debate by recommending legalization of marijuana.

2003-- Ontario judge rules Canada's law on possession of small amounts of marijuana is no longer valid, dismisses charges against Windsor, Ont., youth.

2004 -- Liberal government introduces Bill C-10, which decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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