Marijuana Laws and Penalties in Canada

The Cannabis Act legalized recreational marijuana in Canada on October 17th, 2018. The act, also known as Bill C-45, restricts and regulates access and possession of marijuana in Canada. As a result, buying, possessing, and using recreational cannabis is now legal across the country.

Generally, the implementation of the marijuana laws is a shared responsibility of the territorial, provincial, and federal authorities. However, each province still has specific regulations regarding the drug’s distribution, sale, and use. Ontario is no exception.

Marijuana Laws and Penalties

Notably, the federal Cannabis Act provides a regulatory framework for producing and distributing weed across Canada. Still, Canada’s marijuana laws and penalties vary from province to province.

On top of the federal regulations, Ontario has an additional set of laws outlined in Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017.

The law regulates the amounts of weed and places where a resident can smoke or vape it. Conspicuously, the act defines smoking as inhaling or exhaling. Also, it defines smoking as holding lighted cannabis or tobacco. On the other hand, it defines vaping as inhaling or exhaling vapour emitted from an e-cigarette.

Youth below the legal age of possession should not have any plants and can be charged pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act for growing, possessing, or distributing weed.

Most laws cover the following aspects:

  • Legal age to smoke weed in Ontario.
  • Driving while intoxicated with cannabis.
  • Poor transportation of recreational marijuana.
  • The amount and where to purchase legal weed Ontario.
  • Penalties associated with breaking cannabis laws and regulations.

Limits for Cannabis Possession

Is marijuana legal in Canada? Although recreational cannabis is legal across Canada, marijuana possession laws in Canada limit the amount of weed you can have in public or private spaces.

In Public

Marijuana possession in public is limited to under 30 grams in Ontario. The 30-gram stipulation only applies to dried weed and not to other forms of cannabis. Lawfully, 1 gram of dried marijuana is equivalent to:

  • 0.25 g of concentrates;
  • 1 seed of cannabis plant;
  • 5 grams of green marijuana;
  • 15 grams of any form of edible cannabis products;
  • 70 grams of liquefied cannabis.

It implies that it is still legal to possess up to 150g of fresh weed, 30 cannabis seeds, or 2,100 grams of liquefied cannabis in public.

At Home

You can have up to 1000 grams of dried marijuana at home or use the above conversion units for any form of cannabis you opt to have. It is also legal to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence and not per person.

Penalties for Possession over the Legal Amount

A conviction for illegal possession of weed happens under the Cannabis Act. Anyone found guilty under the Cannabis Act is liable to fines ranging from $200 for petty offences and up to $500,000 for larger quantities. Jail terms of less than a day and up to two years are also applicable under the Cannabis Act.

Convictions under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 happen due to the illegal use of weed. Anyone convicted of vaping or smoking cannabis in restricted spaces is liable to fines of $1,000 for the first offence. Each subsequent offence attracts $5,000 in fines.

What is the Legal Age for Weed Usage?

Ontario recreational marijuana laws are more or less the same as Ontario’s Alcohol laws. And like in most provinces, the legal age to smoke weed in Ontario is 19 years.

Anyone younger than that cannot purchase, possess, consume, grow, or distribute marijuana. It is also illegal to distribute or sell cannabis to anyone under 19 years.

Using for Medical purposes

Marijuana possession laws in Canada allow you to possess and use more weed than accepted under ordinary laws if advised by a licensed medical practitioner. This exemption permits you to have up to 150 grams or a supply for up to 30 days. You can use medical marijuana anywhere, including in transit points or school property. However, you should be able to prove that you need it.

The following measures are ideal if your marijuana intake is on medical grounds:

Where Is It Legal to Buy Weed?

It is only legal to purchase marijuana from licensed retailers or the government’s online store. Whichever point you opt to source your recreational cannabis from, ensure that it prominently displays its license. Besides, all legal non-medical marijuana has excise stamps.

Where Can I Smoke Weed in Ontario?

According to the Act, it is legal to smoke or/and vape marijuana in any area where tobacco smoking is permitted. They include:

  • Private homes and residences.
  • Smoking rooms in hotels, inns, or motels within expressly set out as smoking rooms.
  • An array of public outdoor places, including parks and sidewalks.
  • Scientific testing and research facilities. It is legal to smoke within scientific research facilities for research purposes.
  • Parked or anchored residential boats and vehicles with permanent cooking facilities and accommodation spaces.
  • Controlled spaces within long-term care homes, residential hospices, supportive housing facilities funded by the province, some retirement homes, veteran’s facilities, or psychiatric facilities.
  • In or around schools.

On the flip side, the BC Law illegalizes smoking or vaping of cannabis in the following areas:

  • Within six meters of ferry docks, bus stops, train stations, or any other transit points
  • Any enclosed public spaces such as government office buildings, outdoor shelters with a minimum of two walls and a roof, restaurant or bar patios, child care centers with or without children, etc.
  • An enclosed workspace.
  • Regional, municipal, and provincial parks, save for designated smoking zones.
  • Skate parks, sports fields, playgrounds, or swimming pools, as well as their designated seating or viewing spaces.
  • Any areas designated as vape-free or smoke-free.

Can I Smoke Weed in A Car?

Similar to alcohol, it is illegal to transport cannabis in a car if it is not sealed in the original. Drug-impaired driving is chargeable by law under the Criminal Code. And drinking while intoxicated with marijuana can attract hefty fines, impounding the vehicle, imprisonment or driving license withdrawal.

What to Do If You Get Charged?

Illegal possession and use of marijuana always illicit complex legal issues. It is almost impossible to handle the problems yourself if you happen to be on the wrong side of marijuana. If you’ve been charged with drug possession or trafficking, it is highly recommended to contact a professional lawyer. Call Vilkhov Law and get your consultation today.

Reach out to a member of our team to schedule your consultation in the following areas:

Criminal Lawyers Toronto
Criminal Lawyers Etobicoke
Criminal Lawyers Scarborough
Criminal Lawyers Newmarket
Criminal Lawyers Brampton
Criminal Lawyers Mississauga

By |2023-10-18T18:57:59+00:00October 29th, 2021|Drug Charges|

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