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What does Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Mean For You?

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It goes by many names: weed, pot, grass, or cannabis, but whatever you want to call it, recreational marijuana is poised to be legalized in Canada later this year on October 17.

What does pot legalization mean for you?

The Cannabis Act, known as Bill C-45 is now law.

“Parliament has now passed Bill C-45, which will legalize and regulate access to cannabis. We will soon have a new system in place, one that keeps cannabis out of the hands of our kids and keeps profits out of the hands of organized crime,” – PM Justin Trudeau.

Canada is the first country of the G-20 group of industrialized nations to legalize weed.

Canada is in a position to be at the forefront in research on cannabis. “Canada’s progress will galvanize support for drug policy reforms around the world,” says Hannah Hetzer, Senior International Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance

Canada’s reform is also a grave blow to the War on Drugs. Legalizing pot takes the drugs out of the black market, and decriminalizes those who use it.

Who Can Use it and How Much?

The age limit will be 18 and older, 19 in some provinces such as Ontario.

The maximum limit a person can legally possess is 30 grams or 1 ounce of weed.

30 grams (1oz) of dried marijuana is the limit set by the federal government’s proposed cannabis legalization plan, the maximum a person can legally possess in a public place. Carry any more and you could be subject to fines, jail time, or both.

Each household is limited to growing 4 marijuana plants.

Where Can You Use It?

Whether you plan to use it or not, you should be aware of the policies that restrict where you can use recreational marijuana.

You will only be able to use recreational cannabis in:

  • 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
  • workplaces
  • motorized vehicles

Where Can You Get It?

Many new stores are setting up to sell the drug.

As well, Shopper’s Drug Mart, a common pharmacy in most Canadian communities will be offering it for purchase.

What Are the Laws Regarding Usage?

Driving under the influence of marijuana use is just as dangerous as drunk driving and it is illegal in your vehicle or boat. As well, consuming it in the workplace or any public place is also illegal.

If a police officer finds that you are impaired by any drug, including cannabis, you will face serious penalties, including:

  • an immediate license suspension
  • financial penalties
  • possible vehicle impoundment
  • possible criminal record
  • possible jail time

Roadside breathalyzer tests will be used. Impaired driving involving marijuana poses enforcement problems that don’t arise with alcohol. B.C.’s new marijuana regulations include a 90-day driving ban that will apply to anyone caught driving while impaired by drugs.

If you have never tried it, you may now be tempted to see what all the hype is about come October 17. You may choose to smoke it, eat in in a cookie or brownie, or maybe even drink it. 

If you’re looking for another form of relaxation and want a switch from alcohol, you will have the choice to give it a try.

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