Pubdate: Sun, 14 Aug 2016
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 The Calgary Sun
Author: Shawn Logan
Page: 23


Tracing marijuana's journey from menace to medicine

1922 - Famous Five member Emily Murphy, who helmed the battle to have
women declared "persons" in Canada, publishes The Black Candle, an
anti-drug (and unabashedly racist) manifesto that raises alarm over "a
new menace" in the world of drugs: Marijuana. The book calls marijuana
"a weed of madness" and suggests only three ways of escape from its
addictive clutches - insanity, death or abandonment.

1923 - Cannabis is added to the restricted list under Canada's
Narcotics Drug Act after a vague reference to a "new drug" is
mentioned during a late-night session in the House of Commons. It,
along with codeine, is added with no debate. Historians believe the
influence of Murphy's book was one of the primary reasons for its addition.

1937 - Nearly 15 years after being declared a restricted drug, the
first reported seizure of marijuana is made. Between 1946 and 1961,
marijuana was seized in only 2% of drug arrests.

1954 - The federal government adds "possession of cannabis for the
purpose of trafficking," to the criminal code.

1969 - The federal government launches the Le Dain Commission of
Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, which recommends
decriminalizing marijuana possession and cultivation for personal use.
The conclusions are largely ignored by the Liberal government under
then prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

1997 - In a landmark ruling, Ontario Judge Patrick Sheppard rules part
of Canada's marijuana laws are unconstitutional, staying charges of
cultivation and possession of marijuana against 42-year-old epileptic

Terry Parker. He was, however, convicted of trafficking marijuana,
though Justice Sheppard ordered police to return 71 seized marijuana
plants, arguing it's unconstitutional to deprive Parker of a substance
he uses to treat his condition.

2000 - Calgary's Grant Krieger, who suffers from multiple sclerosis
and had become a prominent advocate for legalizing marijuana, wins a
judicial ruling allowing him to use the drug for medical purposes.
Over the next decade, Krieger, who operated a "compassion club"
supplying marijuana to hundreds of sick people, is in and out of court
on possession and trafficking charges. After his last conviction in
2007, he agrees to give up his crusade for legalizing pot in exchange
for being granted probation instead of jail time.

2001 - Health Canada establishes regulations allowing legal access to
cannabis for patients suffering medical symptoms including HIV/AIDS,
severe forms of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, severe forms of
epilepsy, among other afflictions. Authorized patients are also
granted the right to grow their own medicinal pot. The legislation is
dubbed the Marijuana Medical Access Program (MMAP).

2003 - The ruling Liberal government under Jean Chretien introduces a
bill that would decriminalize the possession for personal use of small
amounts of cannabis. Under the proposed law, possession of under 15
grams would be punishable only with a fine. The bill dies on the floor
after Parliament is prorogued. An identical bill is drafted by new
prime minister Paul

Martin but dies after his minority government is defeated on a
confidence vote.

2011 - Concerned the existing MMAP is open to abuse and exploitation
by criminal elements, the federal government announces it is
considering improvements to the regulations.

2013 - Health Canada scraps MMAP in favour of new rules under
Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), which essentially
moves medical marijuana growing operations from personal properties to
large-scale commercial settings, ensuring patients "can access quality
controlled marijuana grown under secure and sanitary

2015 - Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, running to unseat the
ruling Conservative government, vows to make legalizing marijuana a
priority if he becomes prime minister.

2016 - Following through on his pledge, the Liberal government
announces plans to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana by
spring 2017. However, the government quickly rules out decriminalizing
the drug prior to the new legislation coming into force.
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MAP posted-by: Matt