Pubdate: Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Liz Braun
Page: A2


Public parks? Coffee shops? The province wants your input on

What are the three most important rules of consuming

You know the joke - location, location, location.

With the legalization of marijuana looming, the conversation has
turned to where it can be safely consumed.

Where should people smoke pot? Where should they consume cannabis

Last week, the province asked for public feedback on the issue.
Ontario has nixed consumption on the job or in public places. The
'public places' bit immediately presents problems - lots of people
smoke dope in parks, and for obvious reasons.

A park can provide a measure of privacy and will keep the smell of
dope out of your house or your neighbour's house. And away from the
children therein.

The law says you can smoke marijuana at home, but if home is a condo
or apartment, what then? Most apartments and many condos ban smoking
of any kind indoors.

For people such as the aptly-named Abi Roach, owner of the Hotbox
cafe, private cannabis lounges are the only solution to this quandary.

Would it make sense to have private lounges, all properly regulated of
course, where adults can consume pot?

As with so many other pressing social issues - bike lanes, elder
housing, marriage equality, euthanasia - the Dutch seem to know how to
manage all this.

Coffee houses where people can also buy and smoke dope have been a big
attraction in Holland's cities for years.

An estimated 600 cafes in the country allow the purchase of small
quantities of cannabis (up to five grams) and people can stay right
there and smoke what they buy.

What's interesting is that all of this is still illegal. But as they
do in so many other areas, the Dutch have a policy of tolerance around
cannabis consumption, and that flexibility has yielded interesting

(Holland has no tolerance for hard drugs such as coke or heroin. As in
most other places on the planet, those are verboten. The country has a
clear division between soft and hard drugs; it's important for all
kinds of legal and health reasons that the coffee shops have helped
keep those factions separate.)

The Dutch believe that making soft drugs fairly easy to get and
removing the "illicit thrill" has helped diminish the allure of said
drugs in their country. Maybe so, because statistically, the Dutch
consume less marijuana than other Europeans.

It's overwhelmingly tourists who flock to Amsterdam and other cities
in Holland to smoke dope in one of these famous coffee shops.

Do the math: those tourists spend billions of dollars while

Any money they spend in the coffee shops puts money into government
coffers via taxation.

You can be very sure that money is the subtext in this ongoing
conversation about where cannabis can be consumed in Ontario.

The government has already shown its hand on the sales front - dope
will be sold at 100-plus LCBO outlets here.

Now they'll be looking for their cut on any special club or lounge
where that dope will be consumed.

Whether or not there's room for private enterprise remains to be

Here's where you can tell the government your thoughts on all this:

You have until March 5 to speak up.
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MAP posted-by: Matt