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Is smoking weed in public legal?

Is smoking weed in public legal?

Generally, in Canada, there are the same restrictions around smoking cigarettes as smoking cannabis. In British Columbia, for example, cannabis products are not allowed to be smoked in public parks. Cannabis laws are changing, though, and there is currently a review underway in order to assess the impact that legalization of cannabis has had on Canadians nationwide.

Is Canada reviewing cannabis laws right now?

In order to assess the current system of cannabis laws in Canada, the Canadian government will assemble an independent panel of experts. The goal of this panel is to look at the impact of pot legalization on Canadians health and safety. One impact that has been seen so far is that Statistics Canada says young people are using cannabis less. The percentage of young users of cannabis products has dropped substantially from 20 down to 10.

This, of course, was one of the primary goals behind legalization; to put in place a legal process which would make it more difficult for youth to access cannabis. It seems that Canada’s goals so far have paid off in that regard. 

Has legalization under the Cannabis Act been positive?

However, legalization has created new health issues. For example, the number of children accidentally consuming cannabis has skyrocketed. Hospitals have seen a six fold increase in kids under the age of 10 being admitted with cannabis poisoning. It is worth noting, though, that none of these children have died, as cannabis poisoning is not lethal – just incredibly uncomfortable for those who experience it!

The Canadian review will also assess how the fledgling legal industry is doing. The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show more than two thirds of users now consume legal cannabis, but the gray market continues to thrive due to the shortcomings associated with the legal markets: price, quality, and convenience.

What is the Cannabis Act?

In October 2018, the Cannabis Act came into force in Canada. The objectives of the Cannabis Act were twofold. First, it aimed to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Second, it provided for the establishment of a diverse and competitive legal industry made up of small and larger players to displace the illicit market. This balanced approach with a focus on protecting public health and safety guided the implementation of the act. 

The review will help ensure that the act adapts to the current situation and continues to meet Canadians needs and expectations. As far as proving how the legislation meets Canadians needs and expectations, the review was supposed to start back in October of 2022 – three years after Canada legalized recreational cannabis – but the process was delayed. Cannabis industry stakeholders are hoping the review will result in meaningful changes. The panel conducting the review has actually broadened the focus of the review to include the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the Cannabis Act. 

How does the cannabis industry feel about the Cannabis Act?

The fact that the review of the cannabis industry is going to examine every aspect of legalization in Canada is seen as good news for an industry that feels over-regulated and over-taxed. Many in the cannabis industry don’t think the law as it stands has served them very well. It has been a kind of a crazy few years for the industry. 

Why didn’t the Canadian government do a review of the cannabis industry earlier?

The government is a whole year late beginning for a few reasons. They had the election, they had the pandemic, on and on. They’ve given themselves 18 months to come up with some regulatory recommendations – things parliament might want to consider as far as legislative changes. 

Was legalization the same in all provinces?

Legalization in Canada is very much a patchwork. It has unfolded in different provincial jurisdictions in very different ways. In some cases, people believe that the government has held the industry back. For example, edibles and other non-flower items were legalized differently in different provinces. 

Are there any dedicated spaces for cannabis in Canada?

A place called Cannabis Carnival is the first cannabis consumption area in Canada that promotes safe and responsible consumption for cannabis users outdoors. What you find when you arrive there is a space where you can consume cannabis. There’s different activities to do throughout the space. There’s some games, there’s some seating areas. 

The creators of the area are trying to cultivate a space where people aren’t rushed when they’re smoking cannabis so they don’t have to over consume. People were consuming in cars, in parks, and playgrounds because they didn’t have anywhere specific to smoke. The area is only for those of legal consumption age, and allows them to consume safely and responsibly and not be rushed. 

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