The History of Marijuana in Ontario

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes to legalize marijuana in all of Canada by July 1, 2018, Canada Day.Though the country is still waiting on the legislation, it will allow individual provinces to practice and experience their own cannabis laws. Once legal, Ontario can issue separate legislation, but it’s very unlikely the province will attempt to ban the drug since it has a history with marijuana dating back to 1985. During this time, Bill Fitzgerald discovered 500-year-old pipes with resin scrapings in Morriston, Ontario, which proved that Native Americans used cannabis where they discovered the pipes.

The province didn’t take another step in marijuana reform until 2000, nearly 30 years after the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, or Le Dain Commission, recommended that the federal government repeal marijuana prohibition. Ontario finally responded to the Commission’s recommendation when a court of appeals ruled cannabis prohibition for possession and use unconstitutional because it infringed on Terrence Parker’s right to life, liberty, and security of the person. Terrence Parker consumed cannabis to treat his epileptic seizures because prescription drugs failed to help, but he was arrested in 1996 for marijuana possession, cultivation, and distribution.  The judge then ruled in his favor because Parker needs marijuana to control his symptoms, and by the following year, Canada introduced its first medical marijuana law.


Saying you work in cannabis is sure to raise some eyebrows. Some people might be curious, others might not take you seriously, and still others might ask how they can invest. These cannabis executives dish on the reactions they get when they say they work in the space, and how those reactions have evolved over the past 10 years.

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