ontario no smoking

Ontario relaxes public pot use rules: Cannabis allowed everywhere tobacco is

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.

As Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney told CTV News:

“We’re aligning with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. If you’re able to smoke tobacco in your home then you’ll be able to use cannabis as well.”

But before Ontarians get their joints all ready to be sparked freely wherever they are in the province, there are still significant limitations to where cannabis can be smoked.

Let’s have a look at all those places where smoking is still banned.

Places where smoking (of any kind) is banned

According to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, cannabis and tobacco smoke are banned from:

  • Outdoor patios
  • Childcare facilities
  • Motor vehicles with children inside
  • Enclosed workplaces
  • Outdoor smoking shelters with more than two walls and a roof
  • Areas where home healthcare workers work
  • Hospitals
  • 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
  • Schools
  • 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.


Featured image courtesy of Safety Sign.


CTV News: Ontario government to allow pot smoking wherever tobacco smoking allowed.

Daily Hive Grow: Where you can smoke cannabis in Ontario after legalization.