Pubdate: Thu, 26 Nov 2015
Source: Sentinel Review (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Woodstock Sentinel Review
Author: Allison Jones
Page: A2


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 rights."

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.

"So it doesn't really mean anything new because it has always been
allowed. There haven't been regulations pertaining to vaporizers in
the past, but what it does mean is the provincial government is taking
a step forward and actually recognizing medical marijuana as a
legitimate medicine."

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

"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.
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