"Now that using marijuana is legal in Canada, I guess I can buy it anywhere and walk around with as much pot as I like, right?" The short answer is NO. Read on for the longer answer.
Adults are now allowed to buy, use and grow cannabis legally in Canada. However, the age of majority varies across the country. In Quebec and Alberta, the legal age is set at 18 year old; in the rest of the country it is 19.
For the time being, marijuana can only be purchased from official stores. Buying it "on the streets" is still illegal. You are only allowed to have 30 grams, which is just over 1 ounce. While that may not sound like very much, dried pot is light and in fact that equals about 60 joints.
Weed can be purchased and shipped by mail. However, Canada Post will be the only official transportation and delivery option for marijuana. Any other delivery method will be considered illegal.
Weed may now be legal in Canada, but that does not mean that you can leave or enter Canada legally possessing marijuana. If you do, you could face criminal charges. For example, you cannot travel into the USA even if you are going to a state that has legalized marijuana use.
If you have a prior pot conviction, the Canadian Government plans to pardon eligible individuals if they were convicted of possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less. It is to be expected that there will be no charge to get a pardon. It still is an offence and it is expected to be remain an offence to produce or sell cannabis if you are a minor, or to sell minors.
The Canadian Government's stated intent in legalizing marijuana is to reduce pot related crimes and to keep pot away from underage users. There has been much criticism of this policy and it is expected that cases of drug-impaired driving will increase, especially initially when individuals are unsure of the extent of their inebriation. The Ontario government states they have specifically trained officers to deal with cannabis impaired driving, but it is clear that there are not enough trained law enforcement officers in Canada to handle the number of instances expected. Accordingly, in the first few months at least, individuals should be aware of possibly intoxicated cannabis users. Should these users' actions cause injury to others, whether behind the wheel of a car or otherwise, consulting a personal injury lawyer can be an important first step for victims to seek compensation.
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