Legalized pot will soon be a reality, thanks to Bill C-45, the government’s legislation to legalize marijuana.
So, what does that exactly mean? How will it all work? Here is what we know so far:
1. Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Alberta and Yukon have passed marijuana laws. The other provinces and territories are in various stages of finishing theirs.
2. In every province and territory, the federally-mandated public possession limit of 30 grams of dried cannabis has been maintained, though some provinces, like Quebec and Alberta, will let you to keep more at home.
3. The legal age for drinking will also be the legal age for smoking, with the exception of Manitoba.
4. Individuals can grow up to four marijuana plants per residence, though some provinces, like Manitoba, Nunavut and Quebec, plan to ban growing.
5. Smoking in public: Provincial and territorial plans vary widely on whether you’ll be able to smoke in public.
6. Provinces and territories also differ on whether pot shops will be publicly or privately owned.
In Ontario, here are the rules we know so far:
Where to buy: Government-operated storefronts and online sales.
Grow your own?: Up to four plants.
Where to smoke?: Only on private property and in private residences.
Stores: 40 cannabis stores will be open in July. 150 will be in operation by 2020.
Driving: Police officers will be authorized to use oral fluid screening devices at roadside. Once a federally approved device is available, we will implement the use of those devices to help police enforce the law.
Work: Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal, and will continue to be after legalization.
Where to Use it:
You will only be able to use recreational cannabis in:
a private residence, including the outdoor space of a home (for example, a porch or back yard)
your unit or on your balcony, if you live in a multi-unit building like an apartment or condo, but that depends on your building’s rules or your lease agreement
You will not be allowed to use recreational cannabis in:
any public place
These rules will be in place to protect people from second-hand cannabis smoke, and reduce youth and young adult exposure to cannabis.
Using cannabis in public can result in a fine of up to:
$1,000 for a first offence
$5,000 for subsequent offences
On a final note, things are still subject to change and the exact date of legalization is still unclear. For a full breakdown of rules in Ontario, you can visit the government website’s information at this link HERE.
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