Today, Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, goes into effect nationwide. This Act legalizes recreational use of cannabis across Canada. Each province and territory were given authority to further set restrictions.
As per Ontario’s Cannabis Act, adults 19 years and older, will now be permitted to purchase, use, possess a maximum of 30 grams and grow cannabis for non-medical purposes. This is the same minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario. Recreational cannabis users will be allowed to grow four cannabis plants per residence. Landlords will be able to prohibit the growing of cannabis on their property. Until Bill 36 gets passed in the legislature, smoking / vaping of cannabis is prohibited everywhere except in a private place. Smoking of cannabis in vehicles or boats while being operated is also prohibited. Driving, while impaired by a drug, remains illegal.
Officers are currently and will remain, legally bound to arrive at work ‘fit for duty’ as prescribed under the Police Services Act O.Reg.268/10 under Code of Conduct section 2 (1) (i). Chief Gary Conn is confident that members will be responsible and show up for work ‘fit for duty’, the same as they do if they choose to consume alcohol.
There will be a learning curve for all law enforcement agencies moving forward with this new Legislation. Here in Chatham-Kent, our Police Service currently has 24 officers trained to perform standard field sobriety tests and two drug recognition experts in an effort to detect and reduce drug-impaired driving in our community.
We hope that our Police Service and the community, can navigate through Bill C-45 together as we are committed to removing illicit drugs from our streets and keeping them out of the hands of our youth while ensuring no one drives while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Const. Renee Cowell
Chatham-Kent Police Service
Public Information Officer