The changing of marijuana laws has been a hot-button issue with Canadians since prior to the last federal election. Since taking over from his predecessor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seemingly keeping one of his campaign promises and Canadians will be able to access marijuana for both medical and recreational use as soon as Canada Day 2018. The issue at hand is that many people across the country have begun to treat marijuana as legal already, which can and will pose immense issues should you be “420 friendly” and become too laisses-faire with your habits. Here are a few things you need to know:
There Will Be an Age Limit
Just like alcohol, marijuana users will be subject to an age limit. According to a report from the CBC, the initial legislation will dictate a minimum age of 18. Moreover, the provinces and territories will then be able to initiate their own age limit which again, like alcohol, may mean different ages for use depending on where you are in Canada. An extension of provincial control may also include pricing. As of now, provinces will have the power to establish prices on recreational marijuana.
The Feds will Dictate Who Produces Marijuana
From a few standpoints, this makes total sense. In terms of safety, having producers who are using growing practices that put the health of the end user first and foremost is completely necessary. With any new legislation, having unhealthy product in the market wold completely defeat the purpose. Also, this will also help neutralize where the supply is coming from. This should make it more difficult to procure marijuana for underage users.
Criminal Laws Regarding Distribution & Possession Will be More Strict
“Huh? But I thought it was completely legal, “is a question users will be asking at their own peril even after July 1st, 2018 (the proposed day recreational use becomes legal). With increased government regulation comes greater government control. Anyone caught circumventing the legal process involving marijuana, much like alcohol and cigarettes currently, will face stiffer penalties than current law dictates.
Reminder: Non-Medical Marijuana is Still Illegal
As we just mentioned, please remember that recreational use has yet to pass through the House of Commons. As we’ve seen with many dispensaries in the GTA, you must wait until the law passes before you can legally partake in the distribution and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. Current laws in various provinces lean towards decriminalization depending on weight (in Ontario, up to 28 grams can be possessed by users) however the law gets a little dicey should the driver of an automobile be caught with the substance and there’s course for DUI charges if found guilty of being high and driving.
Should you find yourself on the wrong side of a DUI or marijuana possession charges and want to know your rights, it’s important you have an experienced Toronto criminal lawyer on your side. At Mass Tsang, our team of expert legal professionals in Toronto have fought and won cases involving marijuana and can help to keep your record clean until the new laws come into play as soon as next year. Call us today should you need a legal consultation.