A guide to the upcoming legalization of cannabis.
As the legalization of marijuana in Canada approaches, many are wondering how the substance will be regulated in schools, on the road and in public sectors starting Oct. 17.
According to Quebec’s legislation on cannabis, a person will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in a public space. In a private residence, possession will be limited to 150 grams regardless of the number of people living in the home. It will be prohibited for minors to possess or to be given cannabis. Growing or possessing a cannabis plant for personal use will also be prohibited.
Up until college, possession of marijuana will be completely prohibited on school grounds, premises, and inside school buildings. This prohibition applies to educational services in preschool, elementary and high schools, vocational schools, and adult education. At colleges, it will be prohibited to possess cannabis on school grounds or in buildings, except for student residences.
It will also be prohibited to smoke or vape cannabis where it is currently prohibited to smoke or vape tobacco.
According to Concordia University Spokesperson, Mary-Jo Barr, administration will adjust their smoke-free environment policy to reflect Quebec’s limits related to cannabis smoking on campus. As for impairment or behavioural problems due to substance abuse, Barr said “the existing Code of Rights and Responsibilities clearly states the kind of behaviours that are expected from all members of our community […] employees are also expected, currently and going forward, to ensure they are fit and able to carry out their duties.”
In the Cannabis Regulation Act, it is under the employer’s discretion how cannabis will be regulated among employees. Furthermore, the Act encourages employers to supervise employees so that cannabis use does not impair the performance of any employee at a given organization.
As for Quebec’s driving regulations, there will be a zero-tolerance rule for intoxication due to cannabis for drivers, and police officers reserve the right to test this through saliva. This specific measure will take effect once that equipment becomes available. According to the amendments to the Highway Safety Code in relation to the legalization of cannabis, the equipment should be used on the roadside by authorities and must have been approved by both federal authorities and the Minister of Public Security of Quebec. As for now, police officers will continue to conduct existing evaluations that detect impairment due to cannabis.
The retail sale of cannabis in Quebec will be authorized by the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). A person will be allowed to purchase up to 30 grams of dried cannabis per visit. Anyone below the age of 18 will not be allowed inside a cannabis retailer, and it will be prohibited for an adult to purchase cannabis for a minor. The types of cannabis that will be legal for sale include cannabis oil, as well as dried and fresh cannabis.
Graphic by Ana Bilokin.