Cannabis revealed: why is marijuana illegal?


2 thoughts on “Cannabis revealed: why is marijuana illegal?

  1. The criminalization of cannabis in Canada (in 1923), however, was, without exception, the most questionable and utterly dubious drug enactment this country has ever legislated.

    How “cannabis” specifically ended up on the schedule (instead of “there is a new drug in the schedule” as recorded by Hansard) is not clear beyond the fact that it was taken from the Propriety or Patented Medicines Act – this is mentioned on pages 50 – 51 of Panic & Indifference (Giffen, Endicott, and Lambert, 1991) – consolidated with other matters, then transitioned as an amendment, for the purposes of controlling the trafficking of narcotic drugs, to the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act in 1923 – see the House of Commons, Debates, 1923, according to Hansard on pages 1136 – 2124, under the title, “Narcotic Drugs Act Amendment Bill”.

    It was 14 years before the first arrests was made; by then the demonization and propaganda machines were churning out misinformation (circa 1937) ad nauseam.

    Tergiversation is defined as “falsification by means of vague or ambiguous language” and that is precisely what Liberal Health Minister Henri Sévérin Béland effected in 1923, but exactly how “there is a new drug in the schedule” translated specifically into “cannabis”, is something else. The authors of Panic and Indifference (Giffen, Endicott and Lambert) go into considerable detail regarding the addition of “cannabis indica” (hasheesh) on page 179:
    “Interestingly enough, a draft of the 1923 Bill found in one file made no mention of marijuana on the schedule. The file following this contained several carbon copies of the draft. One of these had obviously been put into the typewriter again, and “Cannabis Indica (Indian Hemp) or Hasheesh” had been added to the schedule. Whoever added those words was apparently under the impression that hasheesh was simply a synonym for cannabis indica.”

    Whoever added those words in 1923, undoubtedly did so at the request of Health Minister Béland.


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