Canada Can’t Decide Where People Should Be Allowed To Consume Marijuana

Each province will decide their own rules and it's getting complicated.

Photo by Scott Webb via rawpixel.com

With Canada set to begin cannabis sales on Oct. 17, some questions linger about how such marijuana reform will interface with Canadian’s daily lives. Chief among these concerns is an issue that has also plagued states that have legalized recreational marijuana: once people buy the marijuana, where can they use it?

Public consumption has been left to individual provinces, each determining a different set of regulations. In Ontario, where Toronto and Ottawa, the nation’s capital, are located, public smoking has been banned, except for those with a medical marijuana card. However, universities have been scrambling ahead of the legalization to determine rules for students on campus.

While both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University will prohibit marijuana consumption on campus, Carleton will still permit students to possess up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana. La Cité collégiale, meanwhile, will create a specific spot on campus where students can go to consume marijuana, according to CBC. Other Ontario universities are still finalizing their policies on marijuana.

British Columbia, on the other hand, is having an issue outside of the classroom. Though the province allows for public consumption, brows were raised following a poll from the B.C. Golf Association about using marijuana on the course.

The poll surveyed thousands of members and found that more than half of players age 35 and under plan on using cannabis on the green. Of those 55 years and older, only 10 percent admitted they’d use cannabis on the course. The news has some from the older crowd worried about running into marijuana users on the links.

“They have some concerns about being paired with someone who is smoking marijuana on the golf course,” Kris Jonasson, the association’s chief executive, told CBC.

Once the date of legalization passes, says the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, players and staff must know and comply with the policies. Though municipal law will take precedence on public courses, private golf club will be allowed to decide their own rules on marijuana consumption.

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