Figuring out where to smoke a joint in Canada is slowing down legislation and authorities are unsure of what rules have been put in place. The Canadian Attorney General suggested that smoking marijuana would follow the same guidelines as Canadian rules on smoking tobacco.
As the provincial government continues to hammer out the details of cannabis legalization in Ontario, the issue of where pot smokers will be allowed to light up is at the top of some people’s minds.
Last week the province posted a public survey online to solicit opinions on various aspects of the impending legalization of marijuana, and it has already received commentary on the question of where cannabis smokers should be able to toke.
In an interview with CBC’s Metro Morning on Friday, the province’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi seemed to suggest that the public could look to tobacco bylaws for answers, adding that cannabis had already been written into the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
“So the same restrictions that apply to smoking [tobacco] apply to cannabis use as well,” Naqvi said.
That would mean that just like cigarettes, it’d be illegal to smoke weed on restaurant or bar patios, enclosed workplaces, common areas of multi-unit residences and anywhere near schools, to name a few places.
Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says the province has been consulting experts and government departments. The Wynne government has also been consulting the public through an online survey. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)
However hours after the attorney general’s interview, a spokesperson for his office told CBC Toronto that Naqvi had made an error.
“The Attorney General misspoke when he indicated that cannabis is covered by Smoke Free Ontario. Cannabis is illegal, so it cannot be legally consumed anywhere,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
“The government has made no decisions with respect to places of use once cannabis is legalized by the federal government,” the statement read.
After his initial comments, though, Naqvi did say in the same interview with Metro Morning that consultations on the specifics around indoor and outdoor use in private and public dwellings are subject to adjustment.
“What I want people to know is that these issues are at the front and centre of our deliberations.”
The federal government introduced the Cannabis Act this past April. If it’s passed, marijuana will be legal across Canada by next July.
Ottawa has called on the provinces and territories to establish a framework to regulate the distribution, sale and consumption of cannabis.
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