Because legislation on recreational cannabis is so new here in Ontario, people may not understand what is legal and what is not when it comes to cannabis consumption. We will try to clear this up.
THC or CBD?
Cannabis products can come in different variations of chemical components, some psychoactive and some not. The active chemical component in cannabis that has psychoactive properties is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD — or cannabidiol — is not psychoactive. Consequently, legislation is very different for the consumption of a product containing THC and one that contains CBD. But here’s the caveat: some products that contain predominantly CBD can also have traces of THC. As a consumer, you need to be aware of how much THC your particular product has to understand your responsibilities.
Your Legal Parameters
In order to purchase or grow recreational cannabis containing THC in Ontario, you must be at least 19 years of age. You are allowed to buy up to 30 grams of dried recreational cannabis at a time at the Ontario Cannabis Store or a designated retail store. Buying unauthorized cannabis is still considered illegal. You may grow up to four marijuana plants per residence and can purchase seeds and seedlings from the Ontario Cannabis Store.
Areas Where Consumption is Legal
You can consume cannabis products containing THC at a private residence including personal outdoor spaces or balconies as well as some other outdoor spaces. You cannot consume cannabis products in schools or within 20 metres of any place where children congregate, workplaces, restaurants and bars, sheltered outdoor public places or while driving a motorized vehicle.
Driving While Impaired
If you consume a cannabis product containing any THC and you are operating a motor vehicle, you will be considered impaired. If you are suspected of driving while impaired and pulled over, you can be detained and tested to determine if you have THC in your system. As Mississauga personal injury lawyers, we want to ensure you that any level of THC in your system can result in some form of punishment. These are as follows:
- 2 – 5 nanograms of THC per mL of blood can result in a summary conviction and up to $1,000 in fines.
- 5 nanograms and over of THC per mL of blood can result in more serious penalties including a charge of a criminal offense.
- 5+ nanograms of THC and .5+ blood alcohol concentration can result in the same level of penalties as having in excess of 5 nanograms of THC in your system. It is more dangerous to be behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of both substances, consequently, Ontario has implemented stricter penalties for these offenses.
Since legislation has made recreational cannabis legal to grow and consume, the government is working to establish more accurate testing for THC impairment. There is no doubt that as time goes by, we will be seeing tweaking of our current systems of enforcing cannabis consumption.
If You Have Questions About Your Rights
If you have questions about your rights as a cannabis consumer or have been injured due to another’s cannabis impairment, call our Mississauga injury lawyers at MPC Law. We would be glad to discuss your rights under the law.