Cannabis now legal in Canada

Eli Ridder | Report

Possession and use of recreational cannabis became legal in Canada nationwide as each time zone ticked 12 a.m. on Wednesday morning, with the first wave of permissible purchases taking place on the east coast.

The only way residents can buy marijuana in the province is through the online Ontario Cannabis Store until April 1 of next year, when retail locations will come into effect.

The legislative process of legalization was a long, hard fought one that was spearheaded by the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau. The party added legalization and decriminalization to its official policy in 2013, and has been working to bring it into force since it took Ottawa in 2015 in the federal election.

Canada is the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to fully legalize cannabis. However, other countries such as the Netherlands have decriminalized it, effectively allowing a market to form.

In Ontario, the cannabis market will spread to private retailers at the start of next April, under the new direction mandated by the Doug Ford government, breaking with the plans of the previous administration to sell pot through an LCBO subsidiary.

Rules on cannabis: Toronto Star stat sheet

Where can you smoke?

The rules over legalization vary province by province, and even some municipalities set their own. In Ontario, only those age 19 or older can buy or smoke recreational marijuana, much like alcohol.

The provincial government has proposed legislation to make it legal to smoke cannabis essentially anywhere that one can smoke tobacco. It is against the rules to smoke in vehicles, at the workplace and near publicly owned sports facilities.

When it comes to campus, students will not be allowed to smoke on University of Guelph-Humber or Humber College grounds or facilities as they are public institutions where smoking is strictly prohibited.

However, those of age can possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in a public space, and there is no limit for possession or use while someone is in their own private residence.

More details to follow.

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