Pubdate: Fri, 11 Mar 2016
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Allison Jones
Page: 6


E-cigarette and medical marijuana users in Ontario will soon be 
banned from smoking or vapourizing anywhere regular cigarettes are 
prohibited, unless the Liberal government changes its mind - again.

Premier Kathleen Wynne thinks the new rules are common sense.

"We have made a determination that smoking, whatever it is - whether 
it's vaping, whether it's medical marijuana, whether it's cigarettes 
- - that there should be restrictions on that," she said Thursday. "And 
so the rules will apply to marijuana, to medical marijuana, to vaping 
as they do to cigarettes."

The new rules come months after the Liberal government backtracked on 
electronic cigarette regulations just one day after an exemption for 
medical marijuana came to light.

The e-cigarette rules were supposed to come into effect Jan. 1 to ban 
their use in enclosed public places, workplaces and certain outdoor areas.

But after the public learned of a medical marijuana exemption and 
that it meant users could vapourize in restaurants, at work or on 
playgrounds, the government put the rules on hold and went back to 
the drawing board.

The new regulations are now posted for consultation for the next 45 
days. Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla would not rule out 
more changes to the rules after that time. "We look forward to the 
feedback and that is the point of consultations," she said. These 
regulations have "struck a balance" between the rights of medical 
marijuana users and all other Ontarians, Damerla said - repeating 
comments she made about the original set of regulations in November.

When asked why this new balance is better, she said, "We committed to 
reviewing the regulations around medical marijuana and we've kept our 

Jonathan Zaid, the founder of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical 
Marijuana, had applauded the original exemption, saying users need 
their medication to live a better quality of life.

He said Thursday he is disappointed the government has reversed its position.

"I thought the government was willing to work with medical cannabis 
users to create a regulation and an exemption that works for both the 
public health and public safety and medical marijuana users, but it 
seems like this backtrack has kind of made it fully inaccessible for 
people to use their medicine, which I believe is against their human rights."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom