Under previous consumption rules, those over 19 would have only been able to smoke weed in a private setting, but now Ontario lawmakers have proposed legislation to ease regulations and allow consuming cannabis in the same places where cigarettes are smoked.
When it becomes legal, of course, on Oct. 17, 2018.
The details of the smoking regulations were announced by Ontario Attorney General, Caroline Mulroney, and Finance Minister, Vic Fedeli and first reported by GlobalNewsCa. Ontario is Canada's largest province.
“We’re aligning with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act,” said Mulroney, referring the province’s rules on tobacco use. “If you’re able to smoke tobacco in your home then you’ll be able to use cannabis as well.”
Smoking pot in vehicles or boats that are being operated will be prohibited. Breaking the rules would see people subjected to fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 upon conviction.
Also, as Canada moves toward full legalization on Oct. 17, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario said that it will regulate the marketplace, which includes issuing licenses as well as enforcing provincial rules on cannabis sales.
The government had previously announced that it would sell recreational cannabis online, with private retail stores set to be in place by April 2019.
As reported here, the government will not put a cap on pot shops when it starts licensing and regulating the province’s private cannabis retail marketplace. Municipalities will have until January to opt out of hosting the stores.
“We want to make sure the consumers are protected but we want to open up the marketplace,” Fedeli said. “This is an opportunity for small business to get involved. We want to have as many participants as possible be involved.”
Okay, my fellow Americans, let us not be envious as our northern neighbors move smoothly into becoming the second nation in our hemisphere (Uruguay was first) to legalize cannabis.
As Joe Hill said: “Don’t mourn, organize.”
How? Vote! The “Marijuana Midterms” are just around the corner.
Take a look at NORML’s online materials and #SmokeTheVote for the pro-cannabis candidates this year.