By Caroline Rodriguez-Charette

As the country is preparing for the legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, various policies are being implemented to encourage sensible use of the recreational drug. While all of these regulations continue to become public knowledge, what are the policies we should become familiar with?

According to the Province of Ontario’s website, people over the age of 19 will be allowed to buy, use, possess and grow a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis.

Until the legislation passes next month and is implemented, there will still be a lot of questions about how all these policies will play out specifically on the ground.

It will only be permitted for use in a private residence, which will also include the outdoor space of the person’s home, such as a porch or backyard. Rules will vary for those who live in apartments or condos and this will depend on tenants’ lease agreements.

The consumption of recreational marijuana will be forbidden in all public locations, workplaces or in motorized vehicles. Failure to follow these new laws will result in hefty fines – $1,000 for a first offence and $5,000 for any additional offences.

While the possession of cannabis first became a crime in Canada in 1923, medical use has been legal since 2001. Canada will be the second country to legalize marijuana, Uruguay being the first.

A mother plant at the Tweed facility in Smiths Falls, ON. Photo: Adam Ashby Gibbard

Canadian colleges and universities are still adjusting their own rules for the legalization, but it is important to know whether your college or university will permit its students to use cannabis on campus.

President of the Carleton University Students Association, David Oladejo, said the university is still working on finalizing its policies regarding cannabis, which are expected to be released by the end of the month.

It is already known that students will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana, but will be strictly forbidden to smoke it anywhere on campus – even residence – as it is considered a public place and a work space.

“Right now, there won’t be designated smoking zones on campus like we have for cigarettes,” said Oladejo, in an interview with the CBC.

Although the University of Ottawa will be the first Canadian university to offer courses on cannabis law, their policies will likely be the same as Carleton’s – prohibiting the use of marijuana on their campus.

But not all students agree with the current policies being implemented.

A third-year electrical engineering student at the University of Ottawa, who wishes to remain anonymous,  said that stopping people from using [cannabis] on campus only makes sense if they enforce it for alcohol as well. It’s a recreational drug, which affects perception so it should be treated the same as alcohol.

“Maybe they should consider a smoking area. The main reason is to keep students in a safe area where they can relax with others. It would keep them close to their dorms and there could be sober staff on site on the lookout for them,” said the engineering student.

However, La Cité Collégiale will be taking a different approach for their policies. Smoking marijuana will only be permitted in designated areas of the campus, but the rest of the campus, including the residences, will remain a smoke-free environment.

Ontario plans to sell cannabis online this upcoming fall using a website run by its Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), according to the OCS website. Once legislation has been established, they will then sell their product in private retails shops by April 2019.

Until the legislation passes next month and is implemented, there will still be a lot of questions about how all these policies will play out specifically on the ground.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *