A timeline of some significant events in the history of medical marijuana in Canada
(Andrew Selsky/AP Photo)
• 1922 Pioneering feminist Emily Murphy publishes an inflammatory book, The Black Candle. She claims that marijuana turns its users into homicidal maniacs.
• 1923 Cannabis is added to the Schedule of the Opium and Narcotic Control Act.
• 1969 Canadian government establishes a Commission of Inquiry Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, known as the Le Dain commission after its chairman, Gerald Le Dain.
• 1972 The commission recommends decriminalizing simple cannabis possession and cultivation for personal purposes.
• 1976 The Netherlands effectively decriminalizes marijuana.
• 1977 Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau tells a group of students: "If you have a joint and you're smoking it for your private pleasure, you shouldn't be hassled."
• 1978 New Mexico passes the first state law recognizing the medical value of marijuana.
• 1996 California becomes the first state to legalize medical marijuana.
• 1999 Two Canadian patients get the federal OK to smoke pot.
• 2000 Court rules Canadians have a constitutional right to use cannabis as a medicine.
• 2001 Canadian Medical Marijuana Access Regulations grant legal access to cannabis for individuals with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. Authorized patients can grow their own pot or obtain it from authorized producers or Health Canada.
• 2012 Ballot measures in Colorado and Washington legalize recreational use of small amounts of marijuana.
• 2013 New regulations change the Canadian medical marijuana access rules, shifting to licensed commercial growers for supply and away from homegrown. Some 37,800 people authorized to possess marijuana under the federal program, up from fewer than 100 in 2001.
• 2014 The federal government says the unforeseen growth of its medical marijuana program has “seriously compromised” the goal of providing the drug to patients while ensuring public safety. It says the number of people authorized to possess marijuana under the federal program has risen to 37,000 from fewer than 100 in 2001.
• 2014 Patients and producers authorized under the old regulations required to destroy stocks of pot and cannabis seeds, although a Federal Court has granted a temporary injunction allowing continued use of home-grown medical marijuana until legal arguments can be heard.