While Ottawa police are raiding dispensaries, it’s worth noting that the city’s demand for cannabis dates back to the early 1930s… A rare court case at the time revealed that there was a “great demand for weed”, and that “more people were smoking the hemp every day.” One local woman implored her friend to bring some weed since “supply was scanty” and she could sell at least 160 joints a day to the people calling at her house “begging” for it.
Two Sentenced in Drug Cases
Letter From Girl to Accused Says Great Demand for “Weed”
Ottawa Journal, May 12, 1932
Addicts who crave the deadly “cannabis sativa”, or Indian hemp, from which hashish is derived, are increasing in number in Ottawa and Hull, but they have difficulty getting the drug, it was stated in Police Court today at the trial of Leo Matte, 18, and Remeo DeBlois, 22, both of Windsor, charged with being in possession of Indian hemp, contrary to the Opium and Narcotic Drugs Act.
DeBlois, found guilty, was sentenced by Magistrate Glenn E. Strike to one year definite and two years less one day indefinite, and fined $200, or two months additional in default. Pleading guilty, Matte, who was termed “the goat” in the affair, was given six months in jail and fined $200, or two weeks additional in default.
William Green, Crown counsel, produced a letter from a girl in Ottawa, addressed to DeBlois, who had it in his pocket when he was arrested, which purported to disclose the extent of drug addiction in this district.
The letter imported DeBlois to bring some of the “weed,” as it was called, to Ottawa, as the writer said five or six persons called at her house every day begging for hemp.
If DeBlois brought some to Ottawa, the letter went on, the girl could easily sell it, in fact could sell 160 cigarettes made of the drug at once. The writer said more and more people were smoking the hemp every day, but the supply was scanty.