Marijuana is legal in Canada but expect tougher rules in Quebec
While marijuana has only been legal for less than a day in Canada, the incoming Quebec government is already promising changes across the province.
Simon Jolin-Barrette, the Coalition Avenir Québec MNA for Borduas, said the province’s current legislation has “some serious holes” that will be addressed in the coming weeks.
“We need to be clear and we need to have a bill, a law that will be applicable,” he said.
The newly-elected CAQ government will move to ban smoking cannabis in public places as soon as possible, according to Jolin-Barrette.
As it stands, some municipalities have prohibited smoking in public spaces while others, like Montreal, have opted not to ban consumption in parks and on sidewalks.
“Right now, it’s chaos,” he said.
The CAQ will also stand firm on its controversial pledge to raise the minimum age and implement a uniform law across Quebec, said Jolin-Barrette.
Premier-designate François Legault has already said he plans to increase the minimum age to buy and possess cannabis from 18 to 21. The change would move Quebec from having one of lowest cannabis ages in the country to the highest — the minimum age is 19 in most provinces.
WATCH: Montrealers line up on the first day of legal marijuana sales
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he personally agrees with a legal age of 18 and said the plan could leave an opening for organized crime.
Jolin-Barrette, however, argues the move to raise the minimum age has support from Quebecers across the province. The plan comes down to protecting Quebec’s youth, he added.
“We have a responsible approach and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
The CAQ, which swept a majority and ousted the Quebec Liberals on Oct. 1, will officially take over the Quebec legislature on Thursday.
— with files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez, Patrick Cain and The Canadian Press
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