Pubdate: Thu, 26 Nov 2015
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Allison Jones
Page: A5


TORONTO - Medical marijuana users in Ontario are now legally able to
use vaporizers just about anywhere in the province.

The Liberal government quietly exempted them this week from a law that
bans the use of e-cigarettes anywhere regular cigarettes are
prohibited. It means medical marijuana users can vaporize in
restaurants, at work or on playgrounds.

Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla said under the exemption for
medical marijuana users, employers or restaurant owners could still
ban them from smoking on the premises.

"If it's bothering somebody, find another place to go and smoke," she
said Wednesday. "Somebody who really needs it for medical reasons may
need to be able to smoke it or vape it. On the other hand, we are very
sensitive to people around them. It really is about balancing those

The exemption is about letting people who are very sick or in a lot of
pain to take their prescribed medication when they need to, Damerla

Jonathan Zaid, the founder of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical
Marijuana, said the new regulations don't change much since medical
marijuana users could already smoke "pretty much" anywhere before the
e-cigarette law was passed in May.

"Public places like parks or sidewalks are for sure allowed now in the
regulations," he said.

But Zaid highly doubts the change in regulations will mean medical
marijuana users flooding playgrounds and restaurants.

"There's one thing to have a right and there's another thing to abuse
it," said Zaid, who uses medical marijuana to treat chronic headaches.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath didn't sound especially shocked by the
exemption either.

When asked what she would do if someone was smoking marijuana next to
her at a restaurant, she laughed and said, "I'll probably eat more."
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