This October 17, the legalization of the cannabis recreational in Glen, first experience of this kind in a member country of the G20. The project presented by the liberals of the prime minister Justin Trudeau It was approved by the Senate on June 21. The herb will be produced by private companies under government license, the possession must not exceed 30 grams and 75% of the money collected in taxes will be for the provinces; the remaining 25% will go to Ottawa. However, legalization is showing in other places a tangle of federal, provincial and municipal provisions, especially regarding consumption.
According to Statistics Canada, 4.9 million Canadians consumed 20 grams or more of grass in the country. Before the Liberals presented their initiative in June 2017, a survey indicated that 7 out of 10 Canadians were in favor of legalization. In another survey carried out last June, 55% of citizens thought that the Government made a hasty decision and that they had to agree another year so that all the necessary adjustments could be made by all the authorities.
JC is Colombian and is 43 years old, 8 of them living in Canada, where he works in a renovation company. He prefers to only give his initials to this diary. "There is still a lot of social stigma. Some people think you're not serious if you smoke, "he says. It consumes the grass about three times a week and acquires it through a friend who knows a vendor. "I will buy the marijuana in the legal stores. It is a success that the authorities are responsible for regulating it. I remember all that scenario of violence and drug trafficking in Colombia"He adds.
The federal law stipulates that the minimum age for purchase and consumption will be 18 years, but allows the provinces to impose a different age. A) Yes, Quebec and Alberta will maintain the one indicated by Ottawa, while in the rest of the country it will be 19 years. Regarding domestic cultivation, the federation will tolerate a maximum of 4 plants per household, a point that Manitoba and Quebec decided to prohibit completely.
Another aspect that shows the interprovincial differences is the sales system. For example, in Saskatchewan the stores will be private. In Nova Scotia the herb will be available in government establishments that sell alcohol. The people of Ontario will only be able to buy it from the authorities online, as the government will grant licenses early next year for private stores. For its part, Quebec will have the Quebec Society of cannabis, a public company that will have premises and an online service.
The point of greater complexity, in terms of dispositions of the different governmental levels, has to do with the places of consumption. Some examples show the important differences in this matter. In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador it will be forbidden to consume in any public place. In Ontario, marijuana may be smoked on sidewalks, parks and authorized hotel rooms, but not on sports fields or terraces, in a regulation identical to that of tobacco. Visitors to the Banff National Park (Alberta) will not be able to light their cannabis pipes. The province of Quebec represents the most convoluted case. Cities such as Sherbrooke and Victoriaville will not approve consumption in public spaces. Montreal adopted a regulation similar to that of Ontario – with the same restrictions as tobacco. However, 5 of the 19 districts in which the city is divided threaten to impose a more restrictive framework.
Several committees of co-owners in the country meet to decide if the herb can be smoked on balconies or inside the apartments of a building. In turn, those who rent a house or apartment could receive a notice that indicates the interdiction in consumption. "My landlord has not contacted me yet," says Julie Dénommée, who works at an international organization in Montreal. He smoked marijuana a couple of times in his student years, but that's it. However, it supports legalization. He believes that there are no people who smoke the grass in his building, although he says that the smell is intense in his street. "I would be very surprised if the owner forbade consuming it, since my neighbor smokes tobacco all the time," he says.
Legalization will impose greater sanctions on those who drive under the influence of cannabis. A driver who has between 2 and 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood must pay a fine of 1,000 dollars (about 650 euros). Whoever exceeds 5 nanograms will also receive a prison sentence that, in serious cases, can reach 10 years. Ottawa has invested resources to train law enforcement officers through the International Association of Chiefs of Police. However, the figure to date does not exceed 900, when the target was at least 2,000 at the time of legalization.
The Government of Trudeau authorized the use of the Drug Test 5000 instrument, manufactured by the German firm Dräger, to detect the presence of cannabis in drivers by means of a saliva sample. However, the decision has provoked criticism. An article in The Journal of Analytical Toxicology He indicated that 14.5% of the analyzes carried out with this device in Norway were "false positives". Another study showed that the sensitivity of the instrument is higher in frequent users of the herb than among the occasional ones. It has also been found that it fails below 4ºC, an important factor in the Canadian winter.
The police authorities in Vancouver and Ottawa indicated that, for the time being, they will not use the Drug Test 5000. "Lawyers will surely resort to experts to question their reliability," Mike Boudreau, a renowned criminal lawyer, told La Presse newspaper. . It should be noted that the police officers of these two cities – like those of Montreal and Regina – will have the right to consume marijuana when they are not on duty. Instead, the company Air Canada announced a total ban for its pilots. The clock advances and Canadians do not stop receiving information about a whole packet of topics related to the next legalization of cannabis.