Where pot smoking is allowed under new legislation
Published Thursday, September 27, 2018 4:53PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 28, 2018 3:28PM EDT
When the new marijuana legislation comes into effect in Ontario next month, residents will be allowed to smoke weed in the same places people smoke cigarettes or cigars.
It is part of the legislation tabled by the Ontario government on Thursday.
Under previous consumption rules, those over 19 would have only been able to smoke cannabis in a private Ontario residence when pot becomes legal Oct. 17.
But the new proposed legislation eases the regulations to allow marijuana to be smoked in the same places as cigarettes – whether it be a sidewalk or smoking patio.
Smoking pot in vehicles or boats will be strictly prohibited. Fines for breaking those rules will range from $1,000 to $5,000 upon conviction.
Windsor police chief Al Frederick calls the new rules a game changer.
"Our role is of course community safety and so when the target keeps changing, it's very difficult for us to plan," says Frederick.
Frederick tells CTV News they will focus on three key areas, beginning with training officers on how to detect people in a vehicle that may be impaired by pot.
“It's not as simple as blowing into a breathalyzer with alcohol, it's based on observation and tests, physical tests, that sort of thing."
The city's top cop also wants to be clear on what enforcement will be policed by his officers.
“We have a number of leaders working on that peace and until the wheels stops we really don't know what to expect," he says.
Frederick also wants to make sure the Windsor police service has its own internal policy for employees.
“Most organizations are engaged in that process, and its quiet robust and we're looking forward to having a very thorough policy in place on that piece," says Frederick.
The proposed legislation appoints the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario as regulator for the marketplace, when the province starts licensing and regulating private cannabis sales.
Under the proposed rules, anyone looking to open a pot shop will have to apply for both a retail-operator license and a retail store authorization for each potential location.
Breaching provincial rules on cannabis sales would preclude someone from ever obtaining a license in the future, it said.
The government announced last month that it would sell recreational cannabis online when pot is legalized in October, with private retail stores to follow next year.
Under the new bill, a government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. is slated to handle the online cannabis sales, and a private retail model is scheduled to be in place by April.
Ontario municipalities that want to opt out of hosting pot shops will have until Jan. 22, 2019 to do so under the new legislation. The province would also have the ability to set a distance buffer between pot shops and schools.
Opposition critics have said they prefer a public sale model because LCBO staff have the experience and training to ensure socially responsible access.