Legalization Of Cannabis In Canada


Cannabis is now legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. The federal government's decision to legalize the "pot" is causing both criticism and acclaim, and comes with a lot of questions. How will this legalization be framed in Quebec? In which cities will "pot" consumption be banned in public places? What will be the minimum age to consume?

Officially, the rules for smoking cannabis should be the same as for cigarettes, that is, it should be possible to smoke a joint in public, provided it is nine meters or more from the entrance to an establishment. Smoking should also be prohibited on a terrace, on the grounds of a health facility or in a playpen. Nevertheless, this regulation could be called to change, since the Caquist government of François Legault announced after being elected that he wanted to ban the use of cannabis in all public places in the province. These measures should not come into force until several weeks after the date of legalization, since the government of François Legault has not yet been sworn.

Some cities have already decided to adopt a by-law banning the use of cannabis in all public places. This is the case, for example, in Sherbrooke, Granby, Repentigny, Saguenay and Mascouche. Other cities, including Gatineau and Trois-Rivières, mentioned that they would defer to Quebec law.

On the Montreal side, Mayor Valérie Plante announced in October 2018 that her administration wanted to comply with the provincial law and that, therefore, unless the Caquist government changed the regulations, it would be possible to consume cannabis in the provinces. public places of the metropolis. The goal of the mayor is not to trivialize cannabis, but rather to direct people who already consume it to the legal market.

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Also in Montreal, police officers will be able to consume cannabis outside of their hours of service, provided they are fit to work. The SPVM therefore does not provide for a minimum delay between consumption and the next shift, even if it will obviously be prohibited to work under the influence of drugs. In comparison, police in Toronto, Ontario, will not be able to smoke cannabis if they work in the next 28 days.

It is the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQC), a sort of marijuana SAQ, that will be in charge of legally selling cannabis to consumers. In total, more than 150 branches could be created within three years. It will also be possible to buy cannabis online.

Products derived from cannabis, such as muffins or cookies containing marijuana, will not be allowed. However, it will be possible to make cannabis products at home, as long as you do not sell them.

The SQC will have nothing in common with the SAQ. Thus, the SQC will not pay any royalties to the government, will not offer discounts to consumers and stores will not be "attractive", so as not to encourage consumption. SQC employees will be there to inform consumers, not to encourage them to buy. Forget the Inspire cards and the taste pads for cannabis!

It will be strictly forbidden to drive after using cannabis. The government will apply a "zero tolerance"; thus, the presence of THC in a saliva sample will result in a driver's license violation and suspension for a period of 90 days, regardless of the detected rate. Devices for detecting THC are not yet developed; in the meantime, the police will simply use the traditional screening test.

Since the beginning of the project, the legal age to consume cannabis was 18 years old. But just days after his election, Prime Minister François Legault announced that he would defer the legal age of consumption in Quebec to 21 years, another rule that could come into force in the weeks following the legalization.