Le Dain Commission

The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, 1969-1972 (a.k.a. the “Le Dain Commission”)

Front cover of the 1972 Le Dain report on cannabis

Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations
of Gerald Le Dain, Heinz Lehmann, J. Peter Stein

Summary Statement of Conclusions and Recommendations


1. The focus of our social concern should be the use of cannabis by adolescents, and the principal object of our social policy should be to restrict its availability to them as much as reasonably possible by the methods which appear to be most acceptable on a balance of benefits and costs.

6. (e) Trafficking should not include the giving, without exchange of value, by one user to another of a quantity of cannabis which could reasonably be consumed on a single occasion.

7. The costs to a significant number of individuals, the majority of whom are young people, and to society generally, of a policy of prohibition of simple possession are not justified by the potential for harm of cannabis and the additional influence which such a policy is likely to have upon perception of harm, demand and availability. We, therefore, recommend the repeal of the prohibition against the simple possession of cannabis.

8. The cultivation of cannabis should be subject to the same penalties as trafficking, but it should not be a punishable offence unless it is cultivation for the purpose of trafficking. Upon proof of cultivation, the burden should be on the accused to establish that he was not cultivating for the purpose of trafflcking, but it should be sufficient for him, as in the case of possession for the purpose of trafficking, to raise a reasonable doubt concerning the intent to traffic.