Here at Neustar, we’re all about embracing alternative medicine, especially when it can help to reduce pain and improve quality of life, and that’s the basis behind all of the products that we sell. Marijuana is an area that is showing great promise for improving pain, inflammation and other areas of health. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done but so far, studies are suggesting that it could have health benefits.
For any Canadians who do want to see if cannabis could help them, we’re about to enter into new territory very soon.
From October 17th, it will be legal to buy and use cannabis for recreational use in Canada. Prior to this, cannabis has only been legal for medicinal use if it has been authorized by a health professional. So, what does that mean for the average Canadian?
There will be different cannabis rules for each province and territory in Canada so a lot will depend on where you live. That said, there are some moves that are definitely best avoided even after legalization takes place, and some that are more of a grey idea. Here are some of the things to stay clear of even after October 17th!
Don’t smoke marijuana where children may be present
Smoking in public places is a grey area even once cannabis legalization happens but one thing that is to be expected? It won’t be legal to smoke cannabis in places where children will definitely be there. That includes areas around schools and playgrounds but beyond that, it’s less clear cut. Potentially, you can get in trouble in some areas for smoking cannabis in any area that children may be (but won’t necessarily definitely be present). If you’re in any doubt about whether it’s going to be okay to smoke cannabis in a particular public place, save it for somewhere with less scope for problems.
Don’t buy through unofficial channels
Once cannabis is legal in Canada, it doesn’t mean that you can buy it anywhere. The Canadian government are keen to make sure that it’s only sold through channels that they recognize and have control over. Buying outside of this can land you in serious hot water.
In most places, you’re only expected to buy through licensed stores or online through recognized channels. If you’re not sure what the rules are in your province or territory, make sure you’re up to speed before you buy.
Don’t have marijuana visible in your car
Recreational cannabis use may be legal after October 17th but this doesn’t extend to using it in your car. In most provinces and territories in Canada, it will still be illegal to use it while in your driving and in most areas, you’ll be breaking the law if cannabis is even visible in your car. And if it’s deemed to be within your reach, you’re definitely in trouble! Your best move? Don’t keep marijuana in your car at all, even when you’re not on the move.
Don’t try to take marijuana between different provinces
Because there are lots of different rules and laws in individual provinces and territories, you can easily find that what is acceptable in one area is illegal in another. Taking marijuana between different areas can get you into trouble if you don’t brush up on local laws. If you plan to travel to another part of Canada and want to take cannabis with you, make sure you’re up to date with what is legal and acceptable there. You might find that it’s not okay to smoke cannabis in public places (which will be true in Manitoba and looks set to be the case in Alberta, for example).
And definitely don’t try to take it abroad!
Canada may be legalizing cannabis but that doesn’t mean that you’re okay to take it elsewhere … especially the US. On the Canadian side of the border at Ontario, there are prominent signs warning against transporting cannabis into the US. Possession and distribution of cannabis are tightly controlled You could face serious criminal charges if you go ahead and take it over the border.
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, it’s not legal to take cannabis into the US, even to a state that allows recreational or medical cannabis use. You can be potentially be refused entry into the US if officials think you might breach the Act by using cannabis.
It’s not just the US either. Taking cannabis out of Canada can mean criminal charges, even you’re going to a country where cannabis is legal.
Bringing it into Canada can be a problem too
Bringing cannabis into Canada will still be illegal and this is true if you’re traveling back home from a country that has less strict cannabis laws. According to Canada Border Services Agency, you can expect to be asked if you’re traveling with cannabis. If you are, you’ll need to declare it. And if you don’t? Prosecution is a possibility.
Check before you grow cannabis at home
In some areas of Canada, it will be legal to grow cannabis at home … but not everywhere. Quebec is one of the places where it won’t be legal to grow your own cannabis.
If it is okay, there are limits as to how much you can legally grow. In most places, this is a maximum of 4 cannabis plants per household (regardless of how many people are living in the household).