Letter to the Editor: The Liberal government of 1923 manufactured a social problem in a suspect manner.

“There is a new drug in the schedule” was altered to add, “cannabis indica”.

Dear Editor,

Re: Tyson’s Thoughts: Legalize it already, Aug 24th

Tyson asks, “First outlawed in Canada in 1923, 14 years before the US ever made the drug illegal, the history books seemingly don’t have any recorded parliamentary debate regarding why it was even made illegal in the first place. Bizarre. There were also no recorded police seizures of marijuana in Canada until 1932. Even more bizarre. Which begs the question, why was it made illegal in the first place before it was ever deemed a “social problem”?”

It was under Liberal William Lyon Mackenzie King’s stewardship that Dr. H. S. Beland simply said “there is a new drug in the schedule” then altered the bill to say, “cannabis indica”. The Senate read it and passed it, but the bill never received Royal Assent, it was then added to the restricted list of the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act of 1923. In effect, the Liberal government of 1923 manufactured a social problem in a suspect manner. There is every likelihood that when Great Britain criminalized cannabis in1928 cannabis indica would have been added to the restricted list anyway.

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