Cur­rents

Ar­mistice de­clared in the war on weed. His­tory: take two. Cana­dian soldier hon­oured in Bel­gium. Canada’s of­fi­cial lan­guages. Brush Strokes: Peter Clapham Shep­pard’s Ar­rival of the Cir­cus.

Canada's History - - CONTENTS - — Kaitlin Vitt

Mar­i­juana — it’s the burn­ing weed with roots in hell, of­fer­ing a mo­ment of bliss but a life­time of re­gret. At least, that’s what anti-cannabis films from the 1930s warned. Many of these films came from the United States, though Canada had its share of scare tac­tics. In 1922, Emily Mur­phy, the first fe­male mag­is­trate in Canada, pub­lished The Black Can­dle, warn­ing peo­ple of the al­leged dan­gers of mar­i­juana and quot­ing a Los An­ge­les po­lice chief who said the drug “has the ef­fect of driv­ing [peo­ple] com­pletely in­sane.” Canada made mar­i­juana il­le­gal in 1923, though there’s not much ex­pla­na­tion as to why — no par­lia­men­tary de­bate was recorded when mar­i­juana was added to the list of il­le­gal drugs. On Oc­to­ber 17 — ninety-five years after ban­ning mar­i­juana use — Canada be­came one of the few coun­tries where recre­ational use of the drug is le­gal.

Top: A poster for the movie The Devil’s Weed, which was also shown un­der the ti­tle She Shoulda Said No! Right: A se­lec­tion of posters for other films warn­ing against the al­leged dan­gers of mar­i­juana and list­ing pos­si­ble side ef­fects of us­ing the drug.

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