How pot-smoking became illegal in Canada – iPolitics

In 1923, when it became illegal to possess cannabis in Canada, very few Canadians would have heard of the drug, let alone tried it.

So why did legislators target weed?

Emily Murphy is seen in this photo from the 1920s. (Creative Commons)

Cannabis advocates have long blamed women’s rights activist Emily Murphy. Her 1922 book on the drug trade in Canada, The Black Candle, claimed that marijuana users “become raving maniacs” and “are liable to kill or indulge in any sort of violence.”

But even though Murphy’s drug activism played an important role in strengthening Canada’s drug laws in the early 1920s, the real reason cannabis was criminalized has much more to do with Canada’s attendance at international meetings.

In the early 1920s, the panic over drug use had much to do with the drive to ban Chinese immigrants from entering Canada. Drug crusaders

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