Ontario has created a section on their website that is based on giving everyone the information they need to get their heads around the new cannabis laws. Under their law and safety section, there is a sleek, well-designed page dedicated to the topic of legalizing and regulating cannabis. It also provides information that details who, what, where, when and how you can use cannabis recreationally or medically in the state of Ontario.
The Smart Approach to Regulating Legal Cannabis
With the legalization of recreational cannabis by the Canadian Federal Government back on the 17th of October, 2018, Ontario felt pressured to create a space online where people can develop a better understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding its consumption. The Ontario Government states that the reason behind this is to combat the black market, keep the streets and roads safe, and to keep the plant well away from children.
Ontario’s approach to its legalization is extensively informative due to surveys and consultations in cities of Ontario with law enforcement, health experts, other states where it has already been legalized, municipalities, and business owners. Through the surveys, the government found that
“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 it out of the hands of youth is important”.
So now that it is legal in Canada, what does this allow Canadians and Ontarians to do?
Rules and Regulations in Relation to Cannabis
First of all, cannabis-based products cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18. The minimum age for consumption, possession and buying/selling is 19. For parents who are concerned that marijuana is a gateway drug and are worried for their child’s safety in regards to the plant, there are programmes available for parents on how to talk to and educate their children on the topic of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. There are also programmes for educators who educate young people and ways they can help teach the dangerous and safety of the plant.
Cannabis can be bought online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. This is the only way to purchase it in Canada and they provide very strict guidelines when it comes to purchasing and delivering the derivatives of the plant. For example, customers need to have their ID verified to have the package handed over to them once they are 19 years old or older. Through the site, one person can purchase small amounts of the plant (up to 30 grams) which is the same amount that you are allowed to possess in public.
If you wish to grow your own plant within your own home, you can do so, however, you are only allowed to grow 4 cannabis plants per household/residence, and not per person.
There are also strict rules and regulations regarding consumption, the workplace, and transportation. As cannabis can impair your vision just like alcohol can, driving under the influence is illegal. The same goes for the workplace. Working under the influence is illegal because people can be hazardous to themselves and others. The laws provided are set in place to make sure that people are in a safe environment when working or even for transport.
Canada is setting the bar high for cannabis legalization and countries should be taking notes. I was looking at a few stats since cannabis was made recreationally legal, and the worry parents have been under due to cannabis being so easily accessible to their children. This worry led to the belief that after the legalization of the plant, the percentage of children consuming the plant would go up. Currently, child rates of cannabis consumption have lessened whilst the number of adults over the age of 50 has increased. Whatever Canada is doing with regulating cannabis is pretty impressive, to say the least!
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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any cannabis-based company, of any sort. My opinions and my experiences are my own and genuine.