The infamous video that launched one of the biggest political scandals in Canadian history has been released

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Rob Ford's infamous crack video

The infamous video that features former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine was released Thursday after a Canadian court lifted a publication ban.

Ford died of cancer in March.

The video was played in open court after a judge dropped a charge of extortion against Alexander "Sandro" Lisi, who was Ford's driver, according to The Canadian Press. Lisi had been accused of attempting to extort a gang member to obtain the video.

RELATED: Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford through his career

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Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's career in photos
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Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's career in photos
Toronto Councillor and Mayoral candidate Rob Ford entered the lunchroom at the Ford family owned Deco-Labels printing factory in Etobicoke to the cheers of a couple of his staff members. He jokingly played along with them by raising his arms in victory. For a Diebel weekend feature. (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Rob Ford celebrated his election as Toronto Mayor at the Toronto Congress Center Monday night with his mother Diane (left) and his wife Renata (right). (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
ROB FORD01.RPJ. Couns. Rob Ford reads in his office at City Hall with show of support to Tory Leadership hopeful Jim Flaherty in his window. Ford is in hot water with the Mayor for the signage which Lastman feels is too close to the window of the Mayor's office. . (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
FORD FREAKS---02/27/03--Ward 2, Etobicoke North city councillor Rob Ford is agitated during a recess after a motion he inititated was voted down before he could get to council in Toronto, February 27, 2003. Councillor Joanne Flint, Ward 25 tries to calm him. (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
March 22, 2010 Toronto coucillor Rob Ford shrugs his shoulders during his morning rounds in his ward. Toronto Star/Andrew Wallace (Photo by Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
March 25, 2010 Rob Ford, with his brother Doug on his right registers as a candidate at the Election Services office at City Hall in Toronto. Toronto Star/Steve Russell (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
August 18, 2010-FORD MISHAP-Toronto Mayoral candidate Rob Ford defends himself to the media Wednesday August 18, 2010 after four leading mayoral candidates continued to attack Rob Ford and his recent comments on newcomers to Toronto. Toronto Star/Tara Walton (Photo by Tara Walton/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
September 14 2010. Rob Ford loses his umbrella in the storm. Rob Ford coached his Don Bosco football team to a win in the rain on Thursday. (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
September 14 2010. Rob Ford coached his Don Bosco football team to a win in the rain on Thursday. (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
December 16 2010. The expressions of the new Mayor Rob Ford's first council meeting as he gets his election wish, the 60 dollar vehicle tax, removed. (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
05/11/11 - TORONTO, ONTARIO - Argo defensive tackle Adriano Belli, in a sailor's suit, gives Mayor Rob Ford a hug and kiss just before announcing his retirement from the Toronto Argonauts. Belli held a party on the Tall Ship Kajama docked at Queen's Quay. (Photo by Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Giorgio Mammoliti signals how Mayor Rob Ford would like council to vote on a motion as Council debated and voted on whether to expand private garbage and recycling collection to 165,000 homes between Yonge St. and Etobicoke's eastern border in Kingston. May 17, 2011 STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford conveys his thoughts outside the Premier's office after he met with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. August 17, 2011 (Photo by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 30: Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, waves the pan american flag during the Closing Ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games at the Omnilife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Toronto, Canda will host the XVII Pan American Games in 2015. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Mayor Rob Ford buys a Jamaican Patty from a lunch truck at the site just before he and Premier Dalton McGuinty visit an Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT construction site at Keelesdale Park, 2801 Eglinton Ave West (East of Black Creek Dr, South side of Eglinton Ave West) November 9, 2011 (Photo by David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Rob Ford listens as Toronto City Council begins debate on a motion put forward by councillor Josh Colle to take to 15 million of the surplus to prevent some cuts in Toronto. January 17, 2012. STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smiles prior to the start of the press conference. Councillors Norm Kelly, Gary Crawford, Michelle Berardinetti, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Mike Del Grande held a press conference regarding the Eglinton - Scarborough Crosstown LRT. The press conference was held at the south east intersection of Eglinton and Victoria Park. February 1, 2012 (Photo by Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Mayor Rob Ford speaks to media after his meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty , Police Chief Bill Blair, and other officials at Queens Park to discuss ways to reduce gun crimes in the city on July 23 2012 .VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR (Photo by Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 5: Mayor Rob Ford leaves University Avenue Court after a day of answering to charges of breaking a provision of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, September 5, 2012. Ford appeared to be on the ropes Wednesday, admitting, for the first time, he would have abstained from a February vote had city staff warned him he risked breaking the law. ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE/TORONTO STAR (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford checks out the hardware , gold and silver, as he meets Para athlete Michelle Stilwell just moment before the start of the parade. Ford attended the Parade for Olympic Heroes on Friday. (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 21: Ford is lifted by his team following the victory. Mayor Rob Ford and the Don Bosco eagles beat St. Andrews 27-11 in Metro Bowl semi-final. The game was held at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 21: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen in a hallway at the Air Canada Centre during the home opener of the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Buffalo Sabres on January 21, 2013 CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 7: Mayor Rob Ford holds a North American Great Horned Owl at the Toronto Sportsmen's Show at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. Feb. 7, 2013. RANDY RISLING/TORONTO STAR (Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches as the motion he put forward and others he supported are voted down during the casino debate at Toronto City Hall, he faces allegations that there is a video which he reportedly appears to be smoking crack cocaine. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 5: Mayor Rob Ford waves as he arrives for the press event. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tours the Dufferin Street bridge just south of Springhurst Avenue. The Mayor addressed the media about the closing of the bridge on June 12 due to safety concerns. It will be closed to traffic to allow for repairs. The bridge will still be open to pedestrians and cyclist. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 6: Veteran Weldon Clark (left) sits on the stage as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford looks over his notes just prior to the start of 69th D-Day celebrations in Nathan Phillips Square. Today media identified the house where the picture of the Mayor and murder victim Anthony Smith was taken. The House at 15 Windsor Road is notorious for drug problems, according to people living in the area. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video at this house smoking crack cocaine. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 11: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs during a city hall meeting. Today It was made public that Toronto City Councillor Jaye Robinson was fired from the mayor's executive committee. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine. Robinson publicly urged Ford to take a leave of absence to deal with the scandal. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 16: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in the centre of a crack cocaine scandal arrives at CFRB 1010 without answering any questions for his weekly radio show that he co-hosts with his brother councillor Doug Ford (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: TORONTO, ON -JUNE 20 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in the Argo game in the stands at Varsity Stadium. He was very into the game. .Toronto, June 20, 2013. Rene Johnston/Toronto Star (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO ON - JULY 16: Mayor Rob Ford has a snack (it looked like pink grapefruit segments) in the early going as council prepares to debate the Scarborough subway. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 23 - Mayor Rob Ford with the help of councillors , Denzil Minnan-Wong(left) and Frances Nunziata (in yellow top) paint in red the curb on a University Ave to launch a pilot project to alert motorists of no-parking zones. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 24: Toronto mayor Rob Ford watches the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 24, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 18: Mayor Rob Ford touring a TCHC property at 3101 Weston Ave in Toronto on September 18, 2013. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 11: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes his first official pubic appearance at a wreath laying Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph at Old City Hall. Toronto, November 11, 2013. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto, ON - NOVEMBER 12: Toronto news photographers position for a closeup of a Mayor Rob Ford bobblehead. Over 500 Torontonians lined up for hours, some of them since 5AM to buy one of 1000 Rob Ford Bobbleheads. The dolls sold for $20 with some of the proceeds going to the City Hall employees United Way Campaign. November 12, 2013. (Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- NOVEMBER 13 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford gestures as he has the last word during debate on councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong's motion at City Hall in Toronto. November 13, 2013. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- NOVEMBER 14 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wades through media with his wife Renata in tow after a press conference in his protocol office at in Toronto. November 14, 2013. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 18: The Last speaker Mayor Rob Ford wags his finger at the councillors warning them before the vote is called as council debates the motion to limit the Mayors office budget. Toronto, November 18, 2013. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 5: Mayor Rob Ford quenches his thirst drinking from a large frosty mug during a council meeting. December 5, 2013. (Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TTORONTO, ON- FEBRUARY 23 - Mayor Rob Ford and a fan hold up fake medal after game. Canadian Olympic hockey fans erupt while watching Canada s three goal shut out of Sweden for the Gold medal in the 2014 Olympic gamesFans watched the game inside the Real Canadian Sports Bar on York St and outside in Maple leaf Square as The Canadian team trounced SwedenEven The Mayor Rob Ford was in attendance and excited about the win he was also surrounded outside by fans as he was leaving cheering for the team at in Toronto, February 23, 2014. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for MONDAY, MARCH 3 included Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and The Great Gonzo('Muppets Most Wanted'). (ABC/Randy Holmes) ROB FORD, JIMMY KIMMEL
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 16: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends the annual St. Patrick's day Parade, takes selfies with passers by. March 16, 2014. (Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 26: David Soknacki squared off with Mayor Rob Ford during the CityTV debate. March 26, 2014. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks during the kick off of his re-election campaign at a rally in the city's north end April 17, 2014. Ford, who made worldwide headlines last year after admitting binge drinking and smoking crack, has been stripped of most of his powers. AFP PHOTO / GEOFF ROBINS (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JUNE 30 - After a seven week paid leave of absence Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returns to office and delivers an speech about Greenstone and then delivering stump speech at City Hall in Toronto. June 30, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 7: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shared laughs with his brother and other councillors today on his first day back at city council since leaving rehab. City Council met today to chose two replacement council members. Replacement councilor for Etobicoke Lakeshore ward 5 is James Maloney, while councilor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh was voted in as Adam Vaughans replacement for Trinity-Spadina. Toronto, July 7, 2014. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 8: Mayor Rob Ford kets a kiss as The Carnival Festival Season begins with the Official Launch ceremony of the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival at City Hall today with Mayor Rob Ford officially reading a city proclamation to start the festivities. July 8, 2014. (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 15: Mayor Rob Ford addresses his supporters and the audience at the Toronto mayoral debate held at Global Kingdom Ministries, organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress. July 15, 2014. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JULY 25 - Mayor Rob Ford moves through the crowds. In the midst of an election campaign, Mayor Rob Ford stages another 'family' barbecue called Fordfest in a city-owned park in Scarborough. July 25, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 27: Mayor Rob Ford left his office for council chambers Wednesday afternoon. Toronto city council is meeting this week for the last time before the upcoming municipal election. Aug 27, 2014 (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- DECEMBER 2 Former Mayor Rob Ford watches as Mayor John Tory delivers his first speech to council as mayor of Toronto December 2, 2014. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- APRIL 2 - Rob Ford accepts well wishes as he waits outside the hospital entrance for his brother Doug. The Ford family is to reveal whether or not Councillor Ford is able to have potentially life-saving surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his abdomen. at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. April 2, 2015. Steve Russell/Toronto Star (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- APRIL 2 - Councillor Rob Ford with his brother Doug nearby announces that he will have potentially life-saving surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his abdomen on May 11th. at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. April 2, 2015. Steve Russell/Toronto Star (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Monday, May 11, 2015 photo provided by Dan Jacobs, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford gives a thumbs up before surgery in Toronto, to remove a cancerous tumor from his abdomen. On Thursday, March 17, 2016, Ford's chief of staff, Jacobs, said doctors are working on building his strength to be able to resume chemotherapy. In October 2015, doctors also discovered two cancerous growths on his bladder. He has been in the hospital since late February. (Courtesy Dan Jacobs via AP)
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Ford was Toronto's mayor until 2014, when he withdrew his candidacy for reelection because of health concerns. He served as city councillor for Toronto's Ward 2 until his death.

The video — which had not previously been seen by the public — garnered international media attention in May 2013, when journalists from Gawker and The Toronto Star reported they had viewed it.

The video shows Ford appearing to smoke crack in a basement and slurring his words while speaking to Elena Basso, a friend of Ford's who has since been convicted of trafficking cocaine.

Although Thursday is the first time the video was played in open court, a small number of people — including journalists, court officers, lawyers, police officials, and students on a field trip — saw the video in a courtroom on the first day of Lisi's preliminary hearing in March 2015, according to The Star.

When the video was first reported, Ford vehemently denied it existed and insisted he did not smoke crack cocaine. He later admitted to smoking the drug in one of his "drunken stupors."

The incident sparked an avalanche of media coverage and a roiling debate among Torontonians over Ford's behavior and mayoralty. Ford faced numerous public calls to resign, but his staunch base of supporters known as "Ford Nation" — who favored his aggressive tax-cutting proposals — insisted he was fit to hold elected office.

Ford was never charged with a crime.

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