What you need to know about recreational cannabis use
By Hannah Owczar and Gabby Piche
Cannabis, Kush, devil’s lettuce, weed, or whatever you want to call it is legal this week.
The long-awaited legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada hasn’t taken long to come into effect since its approval this summer. Country-wide legalization is set for Oct. 17.
Although the federal government approved legalization, recreational cannabis use is regulated by provinces, meaning they vary across Canada.
Here’s what you need to know about Manitoba’s laws, according to Bill 11.
The legal age for use, possession and purchase of cannabis is 19. Cannabis can legally be sold from a person who holds a retail cannabis licence. Tokyo Smoke, Delta 9 Cannabis, Canopy Growth Corp., and National Access Cannabis, which provide medical cannabis access, are the four companies who hold that licence in Manitoba. If you’re under 19 you can’t enter a cannabis retailer.
Don’t try growing cannabis at home; that’s illegal unless you have a licence. Smoking and vaping of non-medical cannabis are only permitted on private property. It’s illegal to consume cannabis in public spaces like street, parks, and restaurants patios.
Prices for cannabis are intended to be competitive with the black market. So, it’s likely around 1 gram will sell for 10 bucks.
Driving high is considered impaired driving under The Highway Traffic Act. Charges range from a three to 60-day licence suspension, or up to 10 years in jail for causing bodily harm. Just be safe and don’t do it.
Something to note about crossing the United States border: the federal government has warned that legal cannabis use could result in being barred entry to the States. It’s unlikely all Canadians will be questioned at the border, but be prepared if you’re planning on travelling south.
Red River College students weigh in
Caitlyn Chartrand, a student in the Youth Recreation Activity Worker program, said she believes that life on campus won’t change upon legalization.
“If they’re already doing [cannabis], they’re already doing it,” said Chartrand.
Dakota Witowitz, also in the Youth Recreation Activity Worker Program, said she won’t mind seeing people using cannabis once it’s legal.
“I feel like if it’s not bothering anyone and they’re just doing it by themselves, it wouldn’t bother me at all. It’s their choice,” she said.
Alicia Gauthier, in Business Administration, said she doesn’t think legalization will incentivize cannabis consumption around campus.
“[Cannabis] might be more common to smell, but if you’re here to learn, you want to have all your attention to learning instead of spacing out,” said Gauthier.
Despite claims that cannabis will be competitive to the black market, student Vinicius Gaudio Rosa said he thinks cannabis will be unaffordable for some.
“If people want to buy it, they have to spend a lot,” said Rosa, 26. “It’s expensive.”
For more information about legalization and recreational cannabis use, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/cannabis/faq.html.