Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jun 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Antonella Artuso
Page: 12


Recreational marijuana should be treated like tobacco in public places
and alcohol in motor vehicles, the City of Toronto health board recommends.

In a wide-ranging report that will go to Toronto Council, board
members asked that non-medical cannabis be sold by a
provincial-controlled agency - but not with alcohol - and that the
minimum age for purchase be set at 19.

Pot use should be banned where regular tobacco smoking is not
permitted, and - like drinking alcohol - prohibited in vehicles, the
board decided.

City health officials are also asking the federal government to
decriminalize recreational marijuana use immediately, pending the
passage of legislation to legalize and regulate it, to end the legal
no-man's-land that sees people still being charged with possession
while pot shops spread across the city.

Health board chair Joe Mihevc likened the coming legislation of pot to
the end of alcohol prohibition.

"They had to figure out, 'Where are we going to sell this product? How
are we going to sell this product? What are the age limits?' " Mihevc
said Monday. "I support the legalization of cannabis ... We're not
putting it in the paradigm of fruits and vegetables - this is not
about broccoli and carrots."

Instead, Toronto public health officials want regulations drawn up by
the federal and provincial governments for non-medical marijuana to
reflect possible health risks, including cancer, impaired operation of
a motor vehicle and addiction.

Health board members heard that second-hand marijuana smoke is a
concern, as is the impact of use on a youth's brain

The largest demographic of pot users in the country are those ages 18
to 24, the board heard.

The health board said people should not be able to smoke or vape pot
recreationally any place that tobacco smoking is prohibited, but that
would allow for its use in parks and other open spaces.

Councillor Sarah Doucette said residents report people parking
haphazardly by weed dispensaries and there's also the possibly that
customers are using cannabis while in those locations and coming out

"And residents are scared because they then get in their cars and
drive through our community, past our schools ..." she said. "The
federal government needs to hurry up and do something with this."

Councillor Mike Layton said there's little council can do under the
current regulatory regime to control the proliferation of the pot stores.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt