Wondering what the new era of legal cannabis might mean to you? The Barrie Police Service has released some details.
Recreational cannabis usage is now legal in Canada, effective today. “If you choose to use cannabis, use it in a manner that is respectful, lawful and in a way that keeps it out of the hands of young persons and does not impact the safety and security of others. The police have a responsibility to enforce the law, fairly, impartially and without compromise,” police advise, adding “cannabis users should become familiar with the Smoke Free Ontario Act which will govern where cannabis can and cannot be used.”
Did you know
• Cannabis has different effects on different people which vary depending on many factors including the type and amount of product used.
• These effects usually disappear within a few hours but can last longer, especially if the drug is consumed in edible form.
• It can also increase the risk of falls and other injuries, especially when you are doing higher-speed activities such as cycling, skiing or snowboarding.
• Regular use of cannabis has been shown to negatively impact a teen’s perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning.
• How long the impairing effects of cannabis last depends on how it was consumed (smoked, inhaled, and ingested) and how much was taken, but effects can last at least six (6) hours or longer after use.
Frequently asked questions
• What age to possess and use cannabis?
You will need to be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.
• How much can be purchased at one time?
You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.
• How much cannabis can be carried in public?
You will be able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public at any time.
Where to buy cannabis?
When it’s legal, people 19 and over will be able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store.
• Medicinal vs. Recreational – is there a difference?
Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government. If a health care professional has already authorized you to use cannabis for medical reasons, your access will not change when recreational cannabis is legal.
Can cannabis be smoked in a car?
No. Even as a passenger, you are not allowed to consume cannabis in any form while in a car or boat.
• Can cannabis be smoked in or near a playground?
No. The same laws apply for smoking tobacco: not within 20 meters of playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields. Each municipality can limit this further.
• Can I smoke cannabis in my apartment?
Yes. You can inside most personal residences (unless restricted by tenancy agreements), but not in common areas such as lobbies, stairwells or laundry rooms.
• Can I share cannabis that I have grown at home with my adult friends and family?
Yes. Sharing of cannabis is legal as long as you stay within the established limits (such as no more than 30 grams can be carried in public). Only authorized retailers can sell it.
Cannabis and driving
Cannabis, like many other drugs, impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle which increases your chances of being in a collision. If a police officer finds that you are impaired by any drug, including cannabis, you could face serious penalties, including:
• licence suspension
• vehicle impoundment
• financial penalties
• possible criminal record
• possible jail time
There will be zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers. You will not be allowed to have any cannabis in your system if you are driving a motor vehicle and:
• you are 21 or under (young driver)
• have a Class G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence (novice driver)
• the vehicle you are driving requires a Class A-F driver’s licence or needs a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
• you are driving a road-building machine
Cannabis in the workplace
For specific regulations regarding cannabis use in your workplace, contact your employer for further information. Members of the Barrie Police Service (both officers and civilians) are required to be fit for duty which means that the member is mentally, emotionally, and physically able to safely and competently perform assigned duties, without any limitations attributable to but not limited to, illness, injury, fatigue, mental stress or the use of and/or after effects of alcohol or drugs.
When to call police
Non-emergency, contact Barrie Police Service non-emergency line at (705)725-7025 if:
• If you are making inquires or for police support or resources
• You are reporting a crime with no suspect or when no suspect is present, like fraud or cyber crime
• You are reporting a non-emergency like missing property
• You are reporting suspicious activity, that may include and not limited to; vehicles, persons in an area, and etc.
• You or someone else is seriously injured or sick
• You witness an emergency such as an assault, a motor vehicle collision where someone is injured or if someone may be in danger (i.e. you hear screaming or gunshots)
• You see a crime in progress
• You see or know of any serious crime that has just occurred
• 9-1-1 emergencies cannot be reported through social media or e-mail. These accounts are not monitored 24/7.
Additional cannabis resources
• For further information on cannabis laws in Ontario visit the Government of Ontario
• For further information on cannabis in Canada visit the Government of Canada
• For further information on cannabis health effects visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website