Since October 7, 2018, the use, sale, possession, and consumption of recreational marijuana or cannabis in Canada are legal. Even though marijuana is fully legal in the country, the provinces still have the authority to set their own rules and regulations pertaining to using, buying, and particularly, growing Canada seeds.
In Ontario, for example, the province has a lot of laws on the sale and usage of marijuana similar to their alcohol and tobacco laws.
Who Can Buy Marijuana?
In most provinces, you need to be 18 years old is the minimum age required to buy marijuana. There are some provinces though that pushed the minimum age to 19 to be allowed to buy marijuana.
Selling marijuana to minors is a criminal offense. If caught, you’ll be sentenced for up to 14 years in prison.
How and Where to Buy Marijuana in Canada?
A person can buy up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana one time for personal use. Recreational marijuana can be bought either online or in authorized stores. Each province also has its own government-owned physical stores where you can buy them.
Stores that sell recreational marijuana are also regulated by the government. Buying any form of marijuana from unauthorized producers or stores is considered a crime.
As for growing marijuana, you are only allowed to cultivate up to 4 per plant per household. The Canada seeds should be purchased from an authorized cannabis store.
Where Can I Marijuana in Canada?
You won’t be caught by the authorities if the amount of marijuana you have in you doesn’t exceed 30 grams. And, even though marijuana is fully legal, you are still not allowed to use it anywhere you like.
You are only allowed to use marijuana if you are in :
- You must be in a private residence whether it’s yours or someone else’s.
- If you are living in a multi-unit building like an apartment or condo, you are only allowed to smoke it if you are inside your unit or on your balcony.
- If you are in parks, sidewalks, or other public places.
You’re not allowed to use it in:
- long-term homes and retirement homes
- places where there are children such as schools, parks, playgrounds, daycare centers, etc.
- while driving
- publicly-owned places such as sports fields, restaurants, and bar patios
- sheltered outdoor areas such as bus shelters
These are rules implemented strictly by the federal government to protect minors from exposure to cannabis and second-hand marijuana smoke.
If you are caught using marijuana at the wrong place, you can be fined up to:
- $1,000 for the first offense
- $5,000 for repeated offenses
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
Just like alcohol, the federal government is also very strict with driving under the influence of drugs. It is a crime to drive a vehicle of any kind while under the influence of marijuana in Canada. Marijuana, just like other drugs, decreases your capability to drive properly. It decreases your reaction time significantly which increases your chances of getting involved in a vehicular accident.
If you are caught impaired by marijuana or any other kind of drugs while driving, you will face some serious penalties which include:
- suspension of your license
- pay hefty fines
- your vehicle could be impounded
- you’ll get a criminal record
- you could spend some time in jail
Canadian police officers are complete with all the devices needed to examine you if you are intoxicated by marijuana or other drugs. They are authorized to use these devices at the spot.
You can learn more about the offenses and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana from the Government of Canada website.
Traveling with Marijuana In or Out of Canada
The legalization of cannabis in Canada does not change the country’s border rules. This means that it is still a criminal offense to bring cannabis into or out of the country. You could be facing some serious criminal charges and penalties against you if you are caught trying to bring cannabis into or out of the country.
This law also applies if you are from another country that has legalized or decriminalized marijuana and is traveling to Canada. Even though marijuana is legal in Canada this law doesn’t apply abroad. If you are to visit another country, you’ll be subject to the laws to that country particularly about marijuana. You need to make sure that you do your own research first about marijuana laws in the country before you visit.
Keep also in mind that your Canadian citizenship will not give you immunity or preferential treatment when it comes to marijuana-related crimes in other countries. If you have previously used marijuana after it became legal in Canada, you could still be denied entry to other countries.
Most countries have a zero-tolerance policy, especially against illegal drugs. Illegal possession, use, and the sale of these drugs could result in severe penalties. Even the possession of a small number of illegal drugs in some countries can result in a life sentence.
Traveling to the United States
Even if you are traveling to a US state where cannabis is legal, it is still illegal to transport marijuana between the US and Canada. If caught, there’s a possibility that you won’t be able to enter the US or face some serious criminal charges and jail time.
It’s definitely not a good idea to run to the US state where marijuana is legal. Marijuana, in general, is still illegal under federal law in the US. You could be prosecuted and face some serious penalties. As long as you won’t leave the Canadian territory and its airspace, you won’t be caught if you only have 30 grams of marijuana with you at one time.
The United States border patrol always take things seriously when it comes to illegal drugs. The country has made it clear even before Canada announced that they are legalizing marijuana, that Canadians who use cannabis or invest or work in the marijuana industry could face a lifetime ban in the US. This is because the United States government strongly believes that these people are called drug traffickers.
What are the Health Risks?
Just like alcohol and tobacco, using marijuana also has health risks. For adults, using marijuana can affect our brain function regardless of our age. It can affect our memory, learning, and attention.
The younger you are when you began using it and the more often and longer you use marijuana, the more damage it can deal with your brain. Our brain will stop developing once we reach the age of 25.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also advised to not use marijuana as it can put the fetus or your newborn child in danger. Heavy marijuana usage is also the cause of low birth weight on newborn babies. A baby’s development can also be affected by too much exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (the chemical that’s responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana).
While the research on the effects of THC on newborn babies is still limited, there are findings that show how marijuana can affect a baby. If you are pregnant and is using marijuana during pregnancy, your baby could develop:
- memory or attention problems
- problems controlling impulses
- poor school performance or a slow learner
Wrapping it Up
So, these are the rules and regulations you need to know when you use marijuana in Canada. There are still so many questions to be answered especially on the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in the country. A lot of organizations are even questioning if doing something like this is really okay, especially now that illegal drug-related crimes are still going rampant in other countries.
But regardless of your view on this issue, Canada still one-upped us in legalizing the use, sale, possession, and cultivation of recreational marijuana. Canadians know that the world is closely monitoring them. Whether other countries will follow Canada or not is yet to be seen.