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Learn rules of legal pot

(By Lance Goosen)

Oct. 17 marked a milestone in the history of Canada with the legalization of marijuana.

Advocates for legalization had this date marked on their calendars since early 2017 when the Liberal government brought forward legislation.

In fact, for others, it may go back to as far as 2015 when Justin Trudeau was campaigning to become Prime Minister.

In just the first 24 hours, there were approximately 100,000 online orders to the Ontario Cannabis Store.

There are arguments on both sides of the legalization question, but for now, it is a reality.

However, making something legal that was once illegal is not like flipping on a light switch.

There was significant effort and planning that went into this process, perhaps maybe not enough some argue.

This was evident when the Liberals had to push back from the original legislation date of July 1, 2018.

Unfortunately, it appears that some members of the public haven’t taken the chance to educate themselves about exactly what legal marijuana entails.

First off, residents need to realize that even though pot is legal here in this country, that it is not universally the case in the United States.

While there are nine states where it has been legalized, anyone traveling to our neighbour to the south will cross a federal border and they are setting themselves up for headaches and even criminal changes unless they leave the weed at home.

While the federal government has legalized cannabis, there are provincial and municipal laws that apply as well.

Provinces such as Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have more lax laws where it can be smoked while Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, the Yukon Territory, and Prince Edward Island have banned its consumption in public spaces.

Similar to alcohol, driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and has been for quite some time.

In addition, a passenger in a vehicle is treated the same as they would be if they were consuming alcohol.

These are just a few examples of the many regulations and laws that tie into legal marijuana. Whether you are a consumer or a concerned citizen, it would be beneficial for everyone involved to do a little reading and educate themselves about what exactly the world of legal marijuana means for all of us.


Welcome, new council

A shout goes out to all those who participated in the municipal election.

Win or lose, it says something about those individuals who ran in order to better our city. Politics is a rough business and those who are new to the realm have a period of adjustment to get used to not only a new job but the exuberance of public opinion.

To those who won, welcome back to the incumbents and those who held office in previous years. And to the new faces on council, congratulations on your victories.

The Oshawa Express looks forward to keeping a watchful eye, as always.