On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the Ontario government announced that cannabis use will be permitted anywhere that tobacco is, which is a huge step forward from the previous government’s harsh position on public use.
Initially, Ontario’s government under Liberal Kathleen Wynne took a hard stance against public consumption- it was banned everywhere except private property with fines of up to $1000 for a first time offence. Repeat offenders could face fines of up $5000!
Thank god the Liberals got voted out and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives took over (a sentence I never thought I’d write!). Although as recently as last month it appeared the PC government would maintain the ban on public consumption, they came around to common sense and aligned their cannabis consumption laws with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
According to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, cannabis and tobacco smoke are banned from:
Motor vehicles with children inside
Outdoor smoking shelters with more than two walls and a roof
Areas where home healthcare workers work
Common areas of hotels, motels, and inns
Common areas of multi-unit residences
Residential care facilities, although it should be noted there is an exemption for Aboriginal people to use tobacco for spiritual or cultural use
Children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields
The list above pertains to tobacco in particular, and so there are a few places where the rules for cannabis are different, like vehicles or boats, for example. Cannabis use in either is prohibited, regardless if children are present or not, so no, you can’t be hotboxing your car as you drive it down the street.
If you’re caught breaking any of these regulations, you’ll be facing fines between $1000-$5000, which is one of the only holdovers from the previous government.