Pubdate: Sat, 09 Sep 2017
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Joanne Laucius
Page: 9


Where will it be legal to use recreational cannabis?

Only in private residences, including apartment buildings and outdoor
areas such as decks, porches and yards. But not in public places,
workplaces or inside a vehicle, said the province in an announcement

This approach is guided by existing laws for consuming alcohol and the
Smoke-Free Ontario Act. In other words, if you can't use tobacco or
drink a beer in a place, you can't use marijuana there, either. So, no
smoking pot in parks or in front of a school.

But there are inconsistencies. While you can drink a beer in a bar or
a nightclub, you won't be able to smoke marijuana there - at least for
now, although the province has left the door open to introducing other
places where cannabis can be used. In the coming months, Ontario will
consult with municipal partners, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of
Ontario and other organizations to "explore the feasibility and
implications of introducing designated establishments where
recreational cannabis could be consumed."

Jeffrey Lizotte, the CEO of Next Wave Brands, a cannabis consulting
firm, said Friday he's concerned about inconsistencies in the Ontario

"You can smoke in your apartment in front of your children, but you
can't smoke a vaporizer on the street? That doesn't make sense. It's
not healthy to smoke around your kids," he said.

He's also concerned that some people will have few options for where
they can use cannabis - those who live in non-smoking apartment
buildings, for example.

"If you have a landlord who says 'no smoking,' what alternative do you
have? Telling people they have to smoke only in their own homes is not
viable," said Lizotte.

What might "designated spaces" look like?

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since
December 2012 for those over the age of 21, cannabis has been easy to
buy, but there are few legal places to use it. Tourists have been a
problem in Denver, smoking in alleys, hotel balconies and other places
were marijuana is not illegal. A patchwork of state, local and private
regulations bans marijuana use from public places including parks,
sidewalks, airport smoking areas, hotel rooms, gallery events and 

In June, Denver announced a pilot project that would allow people to
use marijuana at some businesses, as long as they have the support of
a group such as a registered neighbourhood organization or business
improvement district. Interested businesses have included yoga
studios, coffee shops with patios, restaurants and bars.

There are also "membership clubs" for cannabis users in Denver and
Colorado Springs, and customized party buses offer "mobile cannabis
lounges." But the legality of these pot clubs is unclear - some have
been raided by police.

Eugene Oscapella, an Ottawa lawyer who teachers drug law and policy in
the department of criminology at the University of Ottawa, also points
out that saying people can use marijuana in their "residence" is very
broad."What if your residence is a seniors residence? There are
seniors who will smoke medicinal marijuana and those who will smoke it
recreationally," he said.
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