BY JESSE CECCHETTO
In 1923, Canada was one of the first countries to criminalize marijuana, with the United States following in our footsteps 14 years after.
Fast forward 95 years, and Canada has made cannabis legal, setting an example for the rest of the world.
Although Canadians are now able to spark up their favourite strain of weed across the nation, the laws and regulations are slightly different province to province.
In Ontario, those 19 and older will be able to purchase cannabis through the Ontario Cannabis Store online portal.
You can legally purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use (a little over an ounce), and you may possess that amount in public as well.
As for actual stores, Ontario is pushing legislation that if passed, will open the market for private retail stores starting on April 1.
Ontarians interested in legally purchasing cannabis can take a tour of the Ontario Cannabis Store inventory, which features dry flower, as well as oils, capsules and pre-rolled joints.
They also offer cannabis accessories such as vaporizers, grinders, storage containers, rolling papers, and bongs.
Now once you’ve made your first purchase of the finest legal weed Canada has to offer, where can you smoke it?
To put it simply, roughly anywhere that cigarettes are acceptable. You can smoke in your residence, on the sidewalk, or at the park. Avoid non-smoking areas for cigaretes as a guideline.
While it is legal to smoke cannabis on your free time, smoking at your workplace, or consuming cannabis before work is illegal, and will continue to be illegal moving forward.
While it is legal, cannabis is being treated as a drug. If you wouldn’t go to work drunk, you shouldn’t go to work high.
Purchasing cannabis online costs roughly $8 per gram. If you’re looking to save some money or develop your green thumb, you can legally grow up to four plants per residence (not per person).
As far as taking cannabis outside of your home, you can freely travel with up to 30 grams of dried flower in public at any time. That includes travelling within Canada.
When it comes to driving while under the influence of cannabis, the penalties are strict. That being said, there is no clear answer from government or law enforcement officials that tells us how much we can smoke before driving, and how long before.
Until more research is presented and the confusion is cleared up, the answer could be none at all.
Overall, people seem to agree when it comes to legal recreational cannabis according to a recent study in Ontario:
- 86% of people said they support a minimum age of 19
- 74% believe there should be restrictions on where cannabis can be consumed
- 61% of respondents agreed that drug-impaired driving penalties should be stricter
- 69% believe that keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth is important
Whether or not you plan on celebrating the freedom of smoking cannabis today, when you’re walking down the street and get a whiff of a skunky aroma, just remember, it’s legal.
Take a tour of the OCS website: