As of midnight this morning (Oct. 17), recreational marijuana use is legal across Canada, leading social media users to rename the day “Weed Wednesday”.
Even with the legalization, authorities are quick to remind residents there are still rules to follow.
In summary, individuals 19 and older are now able to:
- buy fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants and seeds for cultivation from a
provincially regulated retailer
- possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent in public
- share up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent with other adults (19 and older)
- grow up to four plants per residence
- prepare cannabis products (e.g., edibles) at home for personal use only
Currently, the only place cannabis can be legally purchased in Ontario is through the provincial government website, although this is expected to change in April 2019.
Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace continues to be illegal. Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. Click here to learn more.
Durham Regional Police have issued a fact sheet further explaining the legislation surrounding cannabis, as of Oct. 17. Details include:
- No smoking in or near a playground. Just as with tobacco, you cannot smoke within 20 metres of playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields. Each municipality may limit this further;
- No smoking cannabis in cars. Even as a passenger, you are not allowed to consume cannabis in any form while in a car or boat;
- Those over 19 are permitted to share cannabis with others 19 and older as long as they stay within the established limits (such as no more than 30 grams can be carried in public);
- Those of age are allowed to make edible products with cannabis but they can only be made without solvents (such as butane, propane, etc…) and consumed in a private residence;
- Unless restricted by tenancy agreements, those of age are permitted to use cannabis within most personal residences but not in common areas such as the lobby.
To help people understand just how much 30 grams of cannabis is, police have offered the following reference, noting that one gram of dried cannabis equals (approximately):
- 5 grams of fresh cannabis, or
- 70 grams of liquid product, or
- 1/4 gram of concentrates, or
- 1 cannabis plant seed, or
- 1-2 cannabis joints.
The federal government also announced Wednesday that there will be no fee or waiting period for Canadians who want to apply for a pardon of their past marijuana possession convictions.
“As previously indicated, we will be proposing another new law to make things fairer for Canadians who have been previously convicted of simple possession of cannabis,” said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in an announcement Wednesday morning.
“As a general principle, removing the stigma of a criminal record for people who have served their sentence and then shown themselves to be law-abiding citizens enhances public safety for all Canadians. It’s good public policy to remove road blocks to the the successful reintegration of previous offenders. That principle is even stronger, it becomes a matter of basic fairness, when older laws from a previous era are changed.”
Minister Goodale noted, now that the previous laws surrounding cannabis have changed, those who were previously charged with simple possession “should be allowed to shed the burden and the stigma of that record…this will eliminate what are disproportionate consequences and break down barriers, which could mean greater access job opportunities, education, housing and even the ability to simply volunteer for a charity in your local community.”
For more information about cannabis legislation in Ontario, click here.