Can you smoke it in a house? With a mouse?
Can you smoke it on a boat? With a goat?
Can you smoke it here or there?
The real question is…..Can you smoke it anywhere?
Not according to the latest from Ontario legislatures. In fact, it’s currently written that when recreational cannabis becomes legal in Ontario, people can only consume marijuana in their homes or “certain designated spots,” that have yet to be disclosed.
It gets even better. You cannot use marijuana at establishments such as bars and nightclubs that also sell alcohol, yet it will be prohibited in any zone where alcohol is not permitted (i.e. in a vehicle or school zone).
Advocates for the legalization bill argue that users need to have more options of where to consume cannabis instead of just their homes. Keep reading to learn more about the recreational cannabis legislation and the issue of where cannabis will be consumed after legalization.
Recreational Marijuana Becomes New Law in Canada
Canadian culture will change dramatically when the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) that legalizes recreational use goes into effect on October 17, 2018.
Easily passing the Senate with a 52-29 vote, it seems that lawmakers and the prime minister are confident about their decision and optimistic about the upcoming change. After the vote took place, the Canadian prime minister tweeted about the outcome:
Trudeau was also quoted stating:
“We work in partnership with the provinces, and since we’ve passed these measures in Parliament we’ve been listening to the provinces who have been asking for more time to implement it. That’s why we’re accepting the request of the provinces, and that’s why we’ll be legalizing it as of Oct. 17, 2018.”
Where Can People Consume Legalized Cannabis?
Naturally, the question arises of where the consumption of cannabis should take place. As the law is currently written, legally, a person can use cannabis products in private residences, porches, decks, and yards.
Where are people prohibited from using cannabis? Users are not allowed to smoke or ingest marijuana at work, inside a vehicle, or in public places. The government’s proposed approach to recreational marijuana in Ontario is guided by existing alcohol consumption laws and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Therefore, if tobacco or alcohol is prohibited in a specific zone, (i.e. schools and parks), so is the consumption of legalized marijuana. Interestingly, the bill prohibits the sale and consumption of cannabis at the same establishments that serve alcohol, such as bars or nightclubs.
Ontario has left the “door” open and is asking people to weigh in and offer other suggestions on where cannabis should be permitted. Designation of specific “cannabis-friendly” zones will result through consultation with other organizations, municipal partners, and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario in order to:
“explore the feasibility and implications of introducing designated establishments where recreational cannabis could be consumed.”
How will Legalization Affect Multi-Dweller Complexes?
It remains uncertain how people that live in apartment complexes will be affected by the restrictions on where one can smoke. In a single-family dwelling, the effects of second-hand smoke only impact the consumer’s household, whereas in an apartment complex more people could be affected.
An Ottawa lawyer who specializes in drug law and policy at the department of criminology at the University of Ottawa, Eugene Oscapella, explains that the term “residence” is far too broad. “What if your residence is a seniors residence? There are seniors who will smoke medicinal marijuana and those who will smoke it recreationally,” he said.
Gathering Public Opinion About Where Cannabis Should be Consumed
Across the nation, local governing bodies have requested input from citizens about where marijuana should be smoked following the legalization. The town of Devon is amending the Community Standards Bylaw and has requested that residents complete a survey in order to share their thoughts on where cannabis should be permitted for consumption.
We want to hear from you! Where do you think people should be allowed to consume cannabis after the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana goes into effect?