In April 2017, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada issued legislation to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide by Canada Day on July 1, 2018. In preparation for legalization, many provinces are discussing how they want to regulate the drug, if they choose to regulate. Newfoundland and Labrador is among one of the provinces preparing for legalization with regulations, but its history with the drug isn’t so positive, as it dates back to the 1920s during the War on Drugs.
During this time, Canada prohibited all forms of marijuana when it was added to the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act in 1923, because fear of the drug was at an all time high in the country. This law certainly didn’t stop Newfoundland and Labrador from consuming because by the 1960s the counterculture had emerged throughout all of Canada, which embraced young Canadians known as “hippies” who smoked marijuana. Now, the province is again embracing those who smoke marijuana, which was first noted in an online cannabis survey issued by the province, which received the most participation of any Newfoundland and Labrador survey. The survey revealed that there’s a broad agreement on a number of marijuana issues in the province, so once it’s legalized throughout Canada, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to purchase cannabis from private retail stores.