The CBC on pot: Chronicling decades of cannabis coverage

With cannabis legalization now in effect, take a look back at how the CBC has covered pot over the span of several decades.
Public perceptions of pot have evolved in 95 years of prohibition. So, too, has media coverage. (Mark Blinch/REUTERS)

In the 95 years cannabis was prohibited in Canada, politics and public opinion on pot have seen and continue to see major shifts. So has the media coverage.

In 1923, it became illegal for Canadians to possess marijuana. At the time, cannabis was hardly known to the average Canadian. It was nearly a decade before anyone was even charged with a cannabis-related offence in Canada. But over time, the drug became vilified, and linked with criminality and anti-social countercultures. 

"It's striking to me that even now that legalization has arrived, most of the conversations about cannabis frame it as a problem," said Geoff Turner, the host of CBC PodcastsOn Drugs

"One of my big takeaways from visiting Colorado was the extent to which cannabis had already been normalized as a mainstream option, like choosing wine. It's really shed some of that Cheech and Chong baggage," he said, reflecting on how Canada's relationship with cannabis might evolve with legalization.

And as it has in the past, the media's take on marijuana will adapt, too.

Take a look back at how the CBC has covered pot over the span of several decades.  

For more on how cannabis legalization will affect you, read stories from CBC Radio and articles from CBC News.