A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STRICT MARIJUANA LAWS IN QUEBEC
On October 17, 2018, people from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland celebrated the official legalization of recreational marijuana in their beautiful country. Since that time, our neighbor to the north has finally established federal authority over the little green plant but has enabled provincial power over pot. In other words, each province can control elements like age limit, quantity for sale, and places for consumption. Likewise, the Canadian federal government has also enabled some loopholes due to Sovereignty laws enacted by the Indigenous People of the country. While some regions are a bit more lenient towards marijuana consumption, one particular province has enforced some incredibly strict regulations. Let’s take a closer look at the status of legal marijuana in Quebec.
A Rigorous Set of Laws
A few days prior to the legalization of the drug, Dr. Melissa Genereaux (the head of public health in the Eastern Township region of Quebec) had urged public officials to decline from introducing a strict marijuana bylaw in the City of Sherbrooke. However, the council committee (including the mayor and Chief of Police) moved in the opposing direction by implementing the bylaw, making cannabis consumption 100% illegal in this city. In fact, Sherbrooke is just one of many areas of Quebec that are starting to enforce similar rules.
Canada’s Pot Enforcer
Although major cities like Gatineau and Montreal have opted for more lenient laws, Quebec (in general) has adopted a more rigorous approach to marijuana legalization. For example, while Alberta and Saskatchewan have permitted private sales of the little green plant, Quebec has (instead) established state-run stores. Keep in mind, also, that all operations for cannabis in this province are controlled by the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC).
Overall, major cities in the province have opted for a ban on public smoking as well as private cultivation (for safety concerns). Also, in an interesting twist, Quebec government officials have proposed raising the legal age of marijuana consumption from 18 years (also the registered age for drinking) to 21 years for health concerns. Overall, much can be learned from this beautiful province, in terms of federal enforcement resulting from legalization. Sometimes, to wield more control, you need to legalize the drug first.
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