A timeline of Indigenous Cannabis

1491 Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas harvest, trade, and smoke a wide variety of plants for recreational and medicinal purposes free from colonial control or interference.

1535 Jacques Cartier, one of the first French explorers to visit Turtle Island reports that hemp is being cultivated in Iroquoian gardens as he came up the St. Lawrence River.

1600s Iroquoian peoples teach the French, Dutch and English visitors how to smoke both tobacco and cannabis. Prior to this time, the Europeans did not smoke cannabis flower. The cigar, cigarette, and blunt are indigenous inventions.

1700-1800sHemp is widely grown throughout the Americas as a vital industrial and agricultural product. Cannabis is a widely used medicine in tinctures, salves, and ointments.

1923The Canadian government criminalizes the cannabis plant with zero discussion, parliamentary debate, or any scientific or evidence-based argument that cannabis is harmful.

1937The first recorded instance of the Canadian police seizing cannabis, despite it being banned for 14 years.

1938 The Montreal Gazette reports that colonial authorities have been destroying 3500 pounds of cannabis a day over a three week period in Caughnawaga (Kahnawake), a Mohawk community located across the river from Montreal.

2015Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his liberal party were elected into a majority government on a wave of support for their promise to legalize cannabis.

2016 Indigenous cannabis dispensaries in Tyendinaga Mohawk territory open up.

2017 There are over 30 indigenous cannabis dispensaries open in Ontario alone.

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