Photo courtesy of Slate
And we thought Ontario’s LCBO-controlled monopoly was bad.
On Nov. 7, New Brunswick introduced its proposed Cannabis Control Act, which among other things, requires you to store your cannabis in a locked container or room when at home, treating cannabis the same way as firearms!
As New Brunswick’s justice and public safety minister told Global, “For people here in New Brunswick who have guns in their houses, it’s locked. It’s their responsibility. This will be the same thing”.
There’s no word yet on whether New Brunswick will force you to lock up your liquor or medicine cabinets, too.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa-based criminal defence lawyer, called NB’s proposal “completely absurd”, telling CBC, “It represents a myopic and outdated thinking that has characterized the war on drugs that has been unsuccessful for the last 100 years”.
What else is in New Brunswick’s Cannabis Control Act?
Other measures in New Brunswick’s Cannabis Control Act include a minimum age of 19 to possess, cultivate, and consume cannabis. Those under 19 are not only prohibited from purchasing cannabis smoking and vaping supplies, they aren’t allowed in any establishment that sells cannabis- even if they are accompanied by their parents.
Public consumption is also banned, and the provincial government hasn’t said whether consumption spaces will be allowed yet. Also, if you decide to do a little personal cultivation, you’re going to have to secure it somehow, regardless if you’re growing indoors or outdoors.
Three-step test for impaired driving gets criticized
The province is also amending its Motor Vehicle Act to establish drug-impaired driving sanctions such as immediate short-term roadside suspensions and zero tolerance for novice drivers and those under 21.
The amendments also include a “three-step test” consisting of:
- Saliva test
- Field sobriety test such as walking in a straight line
- Blood test
It’s worth noting that saliva and blood tests have been criticized and may not even prove impairment because THC can remain in the body for months depending on what’s being tested (saliva, blood, hair, etc.) and frequency of use. That means testing for cannabis impairment is not like testing for alcohol because the presence of THC doesn’t automatically mean you’re intoxicated.
As NB-based criminal defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux told CBC, “Just simple pot in the system, I don’t think is anywhere near the evidentiary criteria to convict somebody [of impaired driving] under the Criminal Code.”
In other news…
Today, NB Liquor, the Crown Corporation that controls New Brunswick’s liquor system and will soon be in charge of the province’s cannabis stores, received a “D” on its liquor policy report card from Restaurants Canada for its outdated policies and lack of action- not an encouraging sign at all.