Controlled Substances Act and Marijuana Prohibition in Canada

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The Controlled Substances Act (Marijuana Prohibition)
CLN-4U Unit One Essay
Cailey Bazik

CLN 4U – Unit One Essay

Controlled Substances Act
Marijuana Prohibition

The Controlled substance act pertaining to Marijuana has been a long on going battle as to whether marijuana should be legal in Canada and taken out of this act. The law behind the drug has a long history and many failed attempts at decriminalization. There are both positive and negative effects to this law, but I believe the positive effects weigh out the negative and that because of this marijuana will be legal in the near future.

The Marijuana laws in Canada today are unresolved, as superior courts have ruled all cannabis laws to be of “no force or effect”. Although the federal level of courts have made this ruling it has not caused any changes to other Canadian jurisdictions, the Criminal Code or the Controlled Substances Act. (“Legal History of Cannabis in Canada) The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was passed in 1996 by the government under Prime Minister John Cretien. It is Canada’s federal drug control statue. This act outlines penalties for possession, trafficking and production of the substances established as illegal, including Marijuana. (“Controlled Drugs and Substances Act)

Canadian laws pertaining to drugs began in 1908 with the opium act, which was replaced by the opium and narcotic drug act in 1920. Marijuana however was not added to the confidential restricted list until 1923. (“Legal History of Cannabis in Canada”) Marijuana and the laws surrounding the issue only started to receive attention in the 1930’s and even then it was very minimal.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s where problems arose with the law. At this time the maximum penalty for possession of small amounts of cannabis was 6 months in prison and a $1000 fine. A government injury was commissioned and public hearings were held to analyze the law over a period of three years. A report on the findings...
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