Canadian Drug Laws
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1. Updated 2013 - What are the Canadian drug laws like?
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3. Our Drug Laws
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Many people visiting this page are doing so because they are truly confused about the legal status of Cannabis (marijuana) in Canada, and with good reason. You've surely heard over and over in the media, from the courts, and straight from the lying mouths of our elected representatives, that changes are being made to our marijuana laws - but what changes actually have been made!? Well, sadly, not many good ones! To summarize very briefly: even simple possession of tiny amounts of marijuana is still completely illegal. And for "medical purposes" the situation is not pretty and is only getting worse. As of April 1, 2014 there will be no authorizations or licenses allowing people to grow even tiny amounts of marijuana, not even one plant, for their own use (medical or otherwise). There will only be a handful of large companies licensed to grow on a severely regulated commercial "pharmaceutical" scale for sale to a soon-to-be-shrinking number of Canadians authorized to purchase from them and possess only this commercialized, packaged and expensively-purchased marijuana.
It is still, as it has been for around a decade (since the introduction of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - CDSA 1996) and similarly for many decades before that, a criminal offense with serious penalties, for someone to be caught in possession of even a small amount of marijuana or a single plant or marijuana seed in Canada. And as ridiculous as this may be, it is also still very possible for one to be charged with Trafficking for so innocent an activity as passing a joint. And sick people are still being toyed with and are still having to jump through ridiculous hoops in order to potentially (against great odds) receive a not-very-helpful government-granted exemption from these idiotic laws as well as the ability to purchase sub-standard marijuana from the Health Canada marijuana mine monopoly, which is greatly lacking in variety, potency, accessibility and compassion. Sadly, we're now amazingly WAY BEHIND many U.S. States! And continuing to slide further and futher backwards. Surprised? So are we! We were promised, and have expected, major positive changes to our drug laws and efforts to end the damage and chaos created by prohibition, for many years now.
"But I thought the Canadian government 'decriminalized' marijuana!?" - Lots of people think that the Canadian government made changes, but that was proposed but never happened. What actually happened was that the Chretien government years ago drafted a 'legacy' bill that proposed to replace the potential jail time, criminal record and other sanctions for possession of a very small amount (30 and later 15 grams) of marijuana or a very small number (perhaps 3) of marijuana plants with a system of fines. This bill was introduced and debated, but was not made 'law' before the end of Chretien's parliament, then re-introduced and re-debated again a few times with various incantations of our government, never to be actually accepted or made law. This all involved quite a double-edged sword, however, because while the bill would undoubtedly have eased some of the problems caused by marijuana prohibition (primarily the saddling of countless thousands of Canadians with a criminal record for very minor marijuana possession and the restrictions that come with such a record), it was also a 'wolf in sheep's clothing' in that it would have made many 'bad' changes, counterproductive ones, such as doubling penalties for possession or cultivation of not-too-large quantities of marijuana or plants (50 plants for instance leading to a proposed 14 years in prison rather than the current maximum of 7). Clearly there was an unreasonable amount of misguided 'compromise' involved, and so the death of such a schizophrenic bill is not altogether a bad thing.
Our government also started (after being forced to by a couple court decisions), and continues, selling marijuana to very sick Canadians who have been able (against great odds) to convince their doctor to help them make the necessary application. Canadian doctors have gone from not at all wanting the slightest thing to do with the situation, to a small handful being willing (usually with liability release and other stipulations) to be somewhat cooperative with their generally dying patients' applications for exemption, to somewhat more widespread acceptance among some doctors, to now moving back towards complete non-cooperation due to the newly introduced "Marihuana For Medical Purposes" regulations. We currently still have a government-appointed marijuana farm (no longer in a mine deep down below Flin-Flon Manitoba as it amazingly used to be) which is the sole legal provider of marijuana to those 'exempted' Canadians (aside from the option they have to 'grow their own' or to designate a personal cultivator who also must apply and be accepted by the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations [MMAR] program). As most of you have probably heard, there have been major problems with the quality and effectiveness, and even the safety, of the government marijuana - most of the problems have somewhat improved over the years and with great effort, but people still generally are very unhappy with the whole program. The struggle has involved a handful of court cases, including one in which the Toronto Compassion Centre along with a handful of medicinal users took the Canadian government to court alleging (and proving) that the MMAR and consequently the CDSA are unconstitutional and unfair. Each time a case was won, the government was basically ordered to make some changes to their program, and often they did make some change although that change more often than not actually resulted in the situation being worse than it had been before - sounds like government, doesn't it!? All of these "Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR)" Regulations and gardens are NOW BEING PHASED OUT, soon to be replaced with the new commercialized corporate and more "pharmaceutical" regime of the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations!
More information about the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations and the problematic related changes can be found at places like here: http://bccla.org/2013/03/how-the-new-medical-cannabis-regulations-are-set-to-throw-patients-under-the-bus/ and the main group we know of that is trying to work to fight against these horrible changes is the "MMAR DPL/PPL Coalition Against Repeal"
With the government exemption of medicinal cannabis users and distribution of cannabis products to some of the sick folks in our Nation who need them being very much less than adequate in many ways, "Compassion Clubs" a.k.a. Compassion Centres, a.k.a. Compassion Societies, a.k.a. Buyer's Clubs - (many of them non-profit and) somewhat underground but 'tolerated' dispensaries for Canadians with a verified medical necessity for cannabis products continue to exist and thrive and grow and evolve as the chaotic situation changes.
A number of court cases and acts of civil disobedience back in 2003 proved that for at least a short time the section of the CDSA regarding possession of marijuana was actually no longer constitutional or in effect (as a result of the government failing to acceptably make some of the legislative modifications they were ordered by the courts to make, as mentioned above). Later in 2003 the Ontario Court of Appeal, apparently overstepping the bounds of their jurisdiction, declared that the CDSA was back in effect (and hence the "Summer of Legalization" was over).
More recently, court cases have shown that cannabis-based 'edibles' ('pot brownies' and 'pot cookies' for example) may not necessarily be illegal - depending on how they are prepared, what charges the police choose to lay, and what happens when those 'edibles' are tested and more recently in British Columbia alone edibles and other preparations have been given even more legal support in court. It is still somewhat unclear to what degree 'baked goods' are against the law, depending on where you are in the country, etc..
Another recent trend is the widespread opening of "Cannabis Cafes" and "Vapor Lounges", coffee shops/lounges that have various forms of 'cannabis-friendliness' including allowing people to 'bring your own bud' and smoke or vaporize whatever herb they prefer in or around the cafe. It appears (as you will see much further below) that there is no law prohibiting the operation of cannabis-smoke-friendly cafes (even while the patrons, of course, may be guilty of possession) and that the legality and level of tolerance for activities like selling seeds and edibles varies and is somewhat 'up in the air.' One way or another, Cannabis Cafes / Lounges are here to stay, and they're popping up in towns all over including some hopefully near you!
Of course, lots of progress has been happening south of us in the United States, most of it state-by-state rather than federal, and it seems now more than ever that Canada will not ever be much of a 'leader' on this issue, constantly waiting to see what our 'big brother' next door does to lead us in our somewhat pathetic way.
So that's pretty much it, things are at least as confused and confusing as ever. We're going to keep on struggling and hoping for positive change, because believe it or not the prohibition of Cannabis (and other 'drugs') is one of the most idiotic and counterproductive policies in existence and horrendous human rights abuses of our time. So please, do what you can to educate yourselves and those around you, and to otherwise help make this world a better place.
A Chronology of Canadian Cannabis law.
Please consult our News Archives for more info and details.
I'll let some excerpts from newspaper and magazine articles that can be found in our archives tell part of the story:
As reported in the Vancouver Sun, February 28 2001;
The possession and use of marijuana became illegal in Canada in 1923 when the federal cabinet added it to the schedule under the Opium and Drug Act of 1911. This was largely as a result of the climate of "irrational fear" whipped up by the writings of crusading Edmonton magistrate Emily Murphy. Her writings were primarily based on misinformation from U.S. chiefs of police and were written under the name of Janey Canuck and serialized in MacLeans magazine.
As reported in the Toronto Star, May 16, 1999 (by our beloved friend and savior Barbara Turnbull);
Cannabis for recreational use became illegal in 1923, although it could be prescribed as a medicine until 1932, when prohibition of it became complete.
Many attribute the ban to the pharmaceutical companies, which began to wield great power and influence at that time. They theorize marijuana was too much competition for manufactured drugs.
Since that time, marijuana has been ``demonized,'' says noted scientist David Suzuki.
``It's obviously a very beneficial, useful drug,'' he told me last week. The evidence of its therapeutic value is ``indisputable.''
Millions of dollars and years of research on a Royal Commission of Inquiry finds enormous faults in, and recommends a serious overhaul of, our cannabis prohibition. The Ledain Commission Report (external link to druglibrary.org).
As reported in HOUR Magazine, April 2 1998;
In December a Toronto judge ruled that Terry Parker, an epileptic, had a clear constitutional right to possess and grow cannabis to help control his seizures. The judge ordered Parker's confiscated pot plants be returned to him but police claim they were "probably destroyed."
Emboldened by these recent court decisions and public-opinion polls following the Ross Rebagliati-Olympics fiasco, Canadian cannabis advocates are now flexing their political and constitutional muscles.
Toronto AIDS sufferer Jim Wakeford is suing the federal government to provide him with marijuana. Wakeford argues that outlawing the pot needed to fight the nausea caused by the disease and by the 40 prescription pills he takes daily is a violation of his Charter rights. And in Regina, multiple sclerosis sufferer Grant Krieger is fighting a similar battle for his legal supply of marijuana.
The fight is also being waged on other fronts. In Vancouver, a compassion club providing free marijuana to the sick and needy has become an accepted part of the local landscape. The Toronto-based Medical Marijuana Resource Centre Centre recently announced formation of several such clubs throughout Southern Ontario ( membership is restricted to those able to prove they have serious or terminal diseases ). Medical marijuana clubs are also planned for Montreal and Quebec City later this year.
As reported in NOW Magazine, March 18 1999;
Its use in Canada thus remains strictly verboten under the Controlled Drugs And Substances Act, which prescribes six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for those caught taking a whiff to ease their aches and pains. This despite December's ruling by Ontario judge Patrick Sheppard in favour of Toronto's Terry Parker, an epileptic.
Benedikt Fischer, a scientist with the Addiction Research Foundation ( ARF ), now part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, is surprised that Rock's announcement hasn't addressed the "legal circumstances and regulation currently governing -- or not clearly governing at all -- the issue of medicinal marijuana use."
As reported in the Calgary Herald, October 6 1999;
Ottawa -- Another 14 Canadians are free to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes today even as the government takes an epileptic to court for suppressing his seizures with therapeutic pot.
As reported in the National Post, September 25 2000;
OTTAWA - A government-controlled supply of marijuana will be grown and federal regulations governing medicinal use will be made into law within a year, according to Allan Rock, the Minister of Health.
"The day may come when marijuana is available on pharmacists' shelves," predicted Mr. Rock in an interview.
As reported in the Halifax Daily News, December 12 2000;
CALGARY ( CP ) - A law that prohibits the cultivation of marijuana is unconstitutional because it doesn't allow for medical use of the drug, an Alberta judge ruled yesterday.
Justice Darlene Acton threw out a charge of cultivating marijuana against Grant Krieger, who grows and ingests pot to alleviate the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis.
As reported in the Vancouver Sun, February 28 2001;
On July 31st last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal, in a case involving Terry Parker, ruled that our marijuana laws are unconstitutional to the extent that they did not provide for access by medical patients requiring cannabis for their health or at least if there health is threatened in a serious way. The court also ruled that the existing exemption process was unconstitutional because it gave the minister of health an absolute discretion to grant or withhold such an exemption from the law without any criteria for so doing.
The court gave the federal government until July 31st of this year to remedy the situation.
Ottawa did not appeal this decision and is currently developing a new regulatory approach for the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The Terry Parker (Epileptic) case, whose lower court decision was upheld in July 2000 at the Ontario Court of Appeal found S.4 of the CDSA (Controlled Drugs and Substances Act) (the simple possession section), as it applies to Cannabis, unconstitutional for not providing appropriate medicinal access as s.56 was deemed insufficient (discretion of the minister, etc.). Government was given a suspension of the decision for 1 year to give them an opportunity to rectify the situation and keep s.4 re:marijuana valid. The judge also specifically stated that had the cultivation charge been in front of him he would have struck that down as well.
July 2001, Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) is announced BUT CDSA S.4 IS NOT REENACTED IN PARLIAMENT, a necessary step to keep the law alive? - (See J.P. case, below)
As reported in the National Post, August 8 2001;
Last week, Ottawa also signed on, though with some fairly rigorous limits. The federal government said patients who have a year or less to live or have certain debilitating conditions (among them arthritis, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis) can legally grow and smoke their own marijuana. A government pot crop is flourishing in a mine in Flin Flon, Man., and the first harvest will be distributed in the new year.
As reported in the Toronto Star, August 31 2001;
Police have practically given up trying to arrest pot smokers and are focusing on the organized criminals who profit from drugs, the head of the Canadian Police Association said today.
"In real terms, the police in this country don't spend resources or time or energy focused on the individual who has one or two joints in his pocket," association president Grant Obst said in an interview.
Possession of small quantities "has already been decriminalized" because it was changed to a summary offence four years ago under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, Obst said.
Small-time pot smokers don't have their fingerprints taken and don't have official criminal records anymore, said Obst, a vice officer in Saskatoon.
As reported in the Globe and Mail, November 21 2001;
OTTAWA -- Retired lawyer Rick Reimer believes he puffed his way to a pot-smoking landmark this weekend when jail guards allowed him to legally smoke marijuana in detention.
As reported in the Globe and Mail, December 01 2001;
... Bill C-344, sponsored by Canadian Alliance MP Keith Martin ( a most interesting man, a former corrections officer and emergency room physician ) would replace criminal penalties for personal use with civil fines. More than 200 MPs have expressed support, as have the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Council of Churches and, depending on who's doing the polling, anywhere from 47 to 74 percent of the Canadian public. The federal government is currently growing its own stone in a Manitoba mineshaft; a Ministry of Medical Marijuana seems inevitable.
It's in the air. Italy and Spain already handle cannabis possession with fines. This summer, Portugal startled Europe by decriminalizing personal amounts of any drug. A month later, Britain declared its intention to decriminalize pot, and is currently going forward despite some resistance.
Eleven states have already legalized medical marijuana in defiance of the U.S. government. And there's Holland...
Canadian Senate Report, led by Progressive Conservative Senator Pierre Claude Nolin recommends extreme liberalization of our drug laws.
Hitzig v. Canada (Warren Saul Hitzig, Toronto Compassion Centre co-founder/director, Alison Myrden, Stephen Vandekemp, Catherine Devries, MaryLynne Chamney, Jari Dvorak, Marco Renda, Deborah Anne Stultz-Giffin with lawyers Alan Young, Paul Burstein, Leora Shemesh) civil case applicants win in lower and middle (combined with Parker and Marc Paquette cases) Ontario courts (Superior court acting as court of appeal on Jan 9 2003) with Lederman deciding that the illusion of supply and forcing people to the black market is unconstitutional. MMAR declared unconstitutional but Canadian government allowed a 6 month suspension to fix supply to save them.
July 5 2002, Phil Lucas / Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS) decision involves a complete dismissal of all charges and statements of high praise by the judge, of Mr. Lucas' clear commitment and the benefit of his illegal actions to society.
December 2002, Marc-Boris St. Maurice and Hugo St. Onge of the Montreal Compassion Club have their trafficking charges stayed, and immediately start www.marijuanahomedelivery.ca, a medical marijuana home delivery service that required a notarized statement of illness by the membership applicant, rather than any doctor's involvement.
J.P. criminal case (with lawyer Brian McAllister) on January 2 2003 and then upheld in middle court in May (judge Rogin) finds that, as mentioned above, since the simple possession section was never reenacted, the law did in fact die, for all of Canada (but precedent setting only in Ontario of course and being appealed to Ont court of appeal), and that offences regarding the simple possession of marijuana simply do not exist any more.
May 2003, Canada's Department Of Justice announces a pathetic RE-criminalization bill which is cut apart from all angles (see comments below).
June 2003, judges in P.E.I., Nova Scotia and elsewhere rely upon Rogin to dismiss and/or stay charges and police across Ontario and beyond declare they will not lay simple possession charges. MARIJUANA POSSESSION IS OFFICIALLY LEGAL. Some judges (BC, ?) disagree with Rogin and feel that possession is still valid in their provinces, others even in the same provinces don't.
July 8 2003, Health Canada announces distribution of Flin-flon after the civil cases force their hand, with a scheme that is obviously rushed, ill-conceived and doomed to failure.
July 29th and 30th, the combined Hitzig case (with many 'Hitzig' applicants and Parker and Paquette and others all together)... Decision came down on October 7 and we won again - some restrictive parts of the MMAR eligibility and supply sections are struck down, effective immediately this time, and compassion centres are vindicated because the government has used the existence of such "unlicensed suppliers" to defend and support their system. But the OCA perhaps oversteps its bounds in its remedy and claim of reenactment of S4 of the CDSA.
December 2003, Health Canada announces that it will conform to only 2 of the 4 demands included in the OCA Hitzig decision. The decision clearly stated that the remedies were effective immediately, but our leaders continue to abuse and play games with the system and the lives of ill Canucks.
2003/12/23 We were all let down by our Supreme Court when only 3 of the 9 justices were able to grasp the stupidity of the situation. The Clay/Caine/Malmo-Levine case arguied the unconstitutionality of prohibition of recreational cannabis use and sale. The SCC decision included very powerful positive statements by the dissenting justices amidst all of the ignorant bullshit from the others.
The following is a list of relevant regulatory documents.
Benzodiazeines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations (1091)
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act sec 462.2 (Paraphernalia)
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Police Enforcement) Regulations
Food and Drug Act and Regulations (much of which was replaced by Controlled Drugs and Substances Act)
Industrial Hemp Regulations
Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) - OLD
Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) - NEW
Narcotic Control Regulations
Qualifications for Designations as Analysts Regulations
Regulations Exempting Certain Precursors and Controlled Substances from the Application of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
Health Canada's Therapeutic Products Programme's Therapeutic Products Compliance Guide
Ontario Municipal Act
Toronto Municipal Code
Smoke Free Ontario Act
Liquor Licensing as it relates to Cannabis-Friendliness
Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR)
For information about how to become a LEGAL medical marijuana user and/or grower, take a look at this page of helpful information and links to the Health Canada website
Appendix: NHPD Consultation 2001 Page 83
Proposed Definition of Natural Health Products and Companion Definitions
It is proposed that natural health products be defined in regulation as:
products manufactured sold or represented for use in
(i) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder, or abnormal physical state or its symptoms in humans;
(ii) restoring or correcting organic functions in humans, or
(iii) maintaining or promoting health or otherwise modifying organic functions in humans.
Specifically, medicinal ingredients of natural health products are those set out below, alone or in combination:
(a) a herb set out in Table 11 (to be developed),
(b) a homeopathic preparation,
(c) a substance or substances used as a traditional medicine,
including, but not limited to, a substance used as a traditional Chinese medicine, a traditional Ayurvedic medicine or a North American aboriginal medicine, and
(d) a mineral or a trace element, a vitamin, an amino acid, an essential fatty acid1 or other botanical, animal or micro- organism derived substance.
Natural health products do not include the following:
1. an antibiotic,
2. a substance set out in Schedule D to the Act,
3. a substance included in Schedules I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,
4. a substance regulated under the Tobacco Act,
5. a substance described in Schedule C to the Act, or
6. a substance or a combination of substances intended for parenteral administration, except for those that are homeopathic preparations or vitamins or minerals.
1.The purpose of this list would be to distinguish between herbs sold as foods and ones sold for their medicinal properties. Those herbs which for health or safety reasons should be captured independent of the form in which they are sold would be listed on this short list of herbs. The list of medicinal herbs will be developed with the assistance of the Directorate’s Expert Advisory Committee. Through the present consultation, your views are also sought.
Ontario's New Smoking Laws (December 2004) - http://www.ontla.on.ca/documents/Bills/38_Parliament/Session1/b164_e.htm
"9. (1) No person shall smoke tobacco or hold lighted tobacco in any enclosed public place or enclosed workplace. "
INFORMATION PERTAINING TO TOBACCO BY-LAWS, SMOKING IN PUBLIC, ETC.
Some Excerpts from the Ontario Municipal Act:
Municipal Act, 2001
S.O. 2001, CHAPTER 25
Notice of Currency:* All amendments have been incorporated into this document.
A proclamation has been issued naming January 1, 2004 as the day on which the amendments made by 2002, c. 24, Sched. B, ss. 25, 42 come into force.
*This notice is usually current to within two business days of accessing this document. For more current amendment information, see the Table of Public Statutes (Legislative History).
Amended by: 2002, c. 8, Sched. I, s. 17; 2002, c. 17, Sched. A; 2002, c. 22, ss. 151-161; 2002, c. 24, Sched. B, ss. 25, 42; 2002, c. 33, s. 145; 2003, c. 4, s. 12.
115. (1) A municipality may prohibit or regulate the smoking of tobacco in public places and workplaces. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (1).
(2) A by-law under this section binds the Crown. 2001, c. 25, s. 115
(3) A by-law under this section shall not apply to a highway but may apply to public transportation vehicles and taxicabs on a highway. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (3).
Scope of by-law
(4) A by-law under this section may,
(a) define "public place" for the purpose of the by-law;
(b) require a person who owns, occupies or operates a place to which the by-law applies to post signs setting out such information relating to the smoking of tobacco as is required by the by-law;
(c) establish the form and content of signs referred to in clause (b) and the place and manner in which the signs shall be posted;
(d) permit persons who own, occupy or operate a place to which the by-law applies to set aside an area that meets criteria set out in the by-law for the smoking of tobacco within the place;
(e) establish criteria applicable to smoking areas in clause (d), including the standards for the ventilation of such areas;
(f) require areas set aside for the smoking of tobacco in places to which the by-law applies to be identified as an area where the smoking of tobacco is permitted; and
(g) require the owner or occupier of a public place, the employer of a workplace, other than a public transportation vehicle and a taxicab, or the owner or operator of a public transportation vehicle or a taxicab to ensure compliance with the by-law. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (4).
(5) A by-law passed by an upper-tier municipality under this section shall not come into force unless,
(a) a majority of all votes on the council of the upper-tier municipality are cast in its favour;
(b) after the by-law is passed, a majority of the councils of all its lower-tier municipalities have passed resolutions giving their consent to the by-law; and
(c) the total number of electors in the lower-tier municipalities that pass resolutions under clause (b) form a majority of all the electors in the upper-tier municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (5).
(6) A by-law passed by an upper-tier municipality under this section is repealed if,
(a) after the by-law comes into force, a majority of its lower-tier municipalities rescind their resolutions under clause (5) (b) giving their consent to the by-law; and
(b) the total number of electors in the lower-tier municipalities that have rescinded resolutions form a majority of all electors in the upper-tier municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (6).
Power of entry
(7) A municipality may, at any reasonable time, enter any public place or workplace to which a by-law under this section applies to determine whether the by-law is being complied with and for this purpose may make such examinations, investigations and inquiries as are necessary. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (7).
(8) A judge or justice of the peace may, upon application by a municipality, issue a warrant authorizing the municipality to enter, examine, investigate or make inquiries with respect to a public place or workplace if he or she is satisfied by evidence under oath that,
(a) the entry, examination, investigation or inquiry is reasonably necessary to determine whether the by-law under this section is being complied with; and
(b) the municipality has been prevented or is likely to be prevented from exercising any of its powers under this section. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (8).
(9) If there is a conflict between a by-law passed by a lower-tier municipality under this section and a by-law passed by an upper-tier municipality under this section, the by-law that is the most restrictive of the smoking of tobacco prevails. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (9).
(10) Despite section 14, if there is a conflict between a provision of any Act or regulation and a provision of a by-law passed by a municipality under this section, the provision that is the most restrictive of the smoking of tobacco prevails. 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (10).
(11) In this section,
"elector" means a person whose name appears on the voters' list, as amended up until the close of voting on voting day, for the last regular election preceding the coming into force of a by-law under subsection (1) or the repeal of a by-law under subsection (6), as the case may be; ("électeur")
"smoking of tobacco" includes the holding of lighted tobacco; ("usage du tabac")
"workplace" includes a public transportation vehicle and a taxicab. ("lieu de travail") 2001, c. 25, s. 115 (11).
Toronto's No Smoking By-law:
Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 709 - Smoking
CLASS “E” PUBLIC PLACE — An enclosed building or an enclosed portion of a building used for the sale and service of food and drink to the public for consumption on the premises which is licensed under the Liquor Licence Act3 and where no patron under the age of 19 years of age is admitted to the premises at any time. A class “E” public place includes a bar, an entertainment lounge and a nightclub. A class “E” public place does not include a premises otherwise defined in this chapter.
PRIVATE CLUB — A not-for-profit corporate establishment that operates solely for the benefit and pleasure of its members, that directs its publicity and advertisements to its members and has passed by-laws regulating the admission of persons and the conditions of membership, the fees and dues of members, the issue of membership cards, the suspension and termination of memberships, the qualification of and the remuneration of the directors, the time for and the manner of electing directors and the time, place and notice to be given for the holding of meetings of the members and of the board of directors.
SMOKE or SMOKING — Includes the carrying of a lighted cigar or cigarette, pipe or any other lighted smoking equipment.
§ 709-2. Applicability to public places and private clubs.
A. Where a workplace is also a public place, the provisions of this chapter respecting public places shall prevail.
B. Where a workplace is also a private club, the provisions of this chapter do not apply.
§ 709-6. Smoking regulations in public places.
A. No person shall smoke in a public place.
G. Despite Subsection A, a proprietor of a class “E” public place may establish and designate an unenclosed smoking area no greater in size than 25% of the occupiable public space in the premises. The designated smoking area must be contiguous and clearly identifiable.
B. Section 709-6E, F, G and H of this chapter are repealed on June 1, 2004. C. Despite Subsections A and B, this chapter, as it read before § 709-6C, D, E, F, G and H were repealed, continues to apply to proceedings in respect of offences that occurred before § 709-6C, D, E, F, G and H were repealed.
Ontario's new smoking laws - The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 1994, as amended by the Tobacco Control Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 - In effect as of May 31, 2006
AND Smoke-Free Ontario Act Ontario Regulation 48/06
CONTROLS RELATING TO SMOKING TOBACCO
Definitions 1. In this Act,
“employee” means a person who performs any work for or supplies any services to an employer, or a person who receives any instruction or training in the activity, business, work, trade, occupation or profession of an employer;
“employer” includes an owner, operator, proprietor, manager, superintendent, overseer, receiver or trustee of an activity, business, work, trade, occupation, profession, project or undertaking who has control or direction of, or is directly or indirectly responsible for, the employment of a person in it;
“enclosed public place” means,
(a) the inside of any place, building or structure or vehicle or conveyance or a part of any of them,
(i) that is covered by a roof, and
(ii) to which the public is ordinarily invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication, whether or not a fee is charged for entry, or
(b) a prescribed place;
“enclosed workplace” means,
(a) the inside of any place, building or structure or vehicle or conveyance or a part of any of them,
(i) that is covered by a roof,
(ii) that employees work in or frequent during the course of their employment whether or not they are acting in the course of their employment at the time, and
(iii) that is not primarily a private dwelling, or
(b) a prescribed place;
“Minister” means the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, unless otherwise specified;
“prescribed” means prescribed by the regulations;
“regulations” means the regulations made under this Act. 1994, c. 10, s. 1. Private dwelling
(2) For greater certainty, and without restricting the generality of the expression, the following are primarily private dwellings for the purposes of the definition of “enclosed workplace” in subsection (1):
1. Private self-contained living quarters in any multi-unit building or facility.
2. Any other prescribed place. 2005, c. 18, s. 3 (2).
2. This Act applies to tobacco in any processed or unprocessed form that may be smoked, inhaled or chewed, including snuff, but does not apply to products intended for use in nicotine replacement therapy. 1994, c. 10, s. 2.
9. (1) No person shall smoke tobacco or hold lighted tobacco in any enclosed public place or enclosed workplace. 2005, c. 18, s. 9.
(3) Every employer shall, with respect to an enclosed workplace or a place or area mentioned in subsection (2) over which the employer exercises control,
(a) ensure compliance with this section;
(b) give notice to each employee in an enclosed workplace or place or area that smoking is prohibited in the enclosed workplace, place or area in a manner that complies with the regulations, if any;
(c) post any prescribed signs prohibiting smoking throughout the enclosed workplace, place or area over which the employer has control, including washrooms, in the prescribed manner;
(d) ensure that no ashtrays or similar equipment remain in the enclosed workplace or place or area, other than a vehicle in which the manufacturer has installed an ashtray;
(e) ensure that a person who refuses to comply with subsection (1) or (2) does not remain in the enclosed workplace or place or area; and
(f) ensure compliance with any other prescribed obligations. 2005, c. 18, s. 9.
(6) Every proprietor of an enclosed public place or a place or area mentioned in subsection (2) shall,
(a) ensure compliance with this section with respect to the enclosed public place, place or area;
(b) give notice to each person in the enclosed public place, place or area that smoking is prohibited in the enclosed public place, place or area in accordance with the regulations, if any;
(c) post any prescribed signs prohibiting smoking throughout the enclosed public place, place or area, including washrooms, in the prescribed manner;
(d) ensure that no ashtrays or similar equipment remain in the enclosed public place, place or area, other than a vehicle in which the manufacturer has installed an ashtray;
(e) ensure that a person who refuses to comply with subsection (1) or (2) does not remain in the enclosed public place, place or area; and
(f) ensure compliance with any other prescribed obligations. 2005, c. 18, s. 9.
Definition (12) In this section,
“proprietor” means the owner, operator or person in charge. 2005, c. 18, s. 9.
14. (1) The Minister may appoint inspectors for the purposes of this Act. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (1).
(2) For the purpose of determining whether this Act is being complied with, an inspector may, without a warrant, enter and inspect places referred to in subsection 4 (2) and section 9 and the establishments of tobacco wholesalers and distributors. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (2).
(3) The Minister may, in an appointment, restrict the inspector’s powers of entry and inspection to specified places or kinds of places among those referred to in subsection (2). 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (3).
Time of entry
(4) The power to enter and inspect a place without a warrant may be exercised only during the place’s regular business hours or, if it does not have regular business hours, during daylight hours. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (4).
(5) The power to enter and inspect a place without a warrant shall not be exercised to enter and inspect a part of the place that is used as a dwelling unless reasonable notice has been given to the occupier of the dwelling. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (5).
Use of force
(6) An inspector is not entitled to use force to enter and inspect a place. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (6).
(7) An inspector conducting an inspection shall produce, on request, evidence of his or her appointment. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (7).
Powers of inspector
(8) An inspector conducting an inspection may,
(a) examine a record or other thing that is relevant to the inspection;
(b) demand the production for inspection of a record or other thing that is relevant to the inspection;
(c) remove for review and copying a record or other thing that is relevant to the inspection;
(d) in order to produce a record in readable form, use data storage, information processing or retrieval devices or systems that are normally used in carrying on business in the place;
(e) question a person on matters relevant to the inspection. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (8).
(f) if he or she finds that an employer is not complying with subsection 9 (3), direct the employer or a person whom the inspector believes to be in charge of the enclosed workplace to comply with the provision and may require the direction to be carried out forthwith or within such period of time as the inspector specifies; and
(g) if he or she finds that a proprietor is not complying with subsection 9 (6), direct the proprietor or a person whom the inspector believes to be in charge of the enclosed public place to comply with the provisions and may require the direction to be carried out forthwith or within such period of time as the inspector specifies.
(12) A demand that a record or other thing be produced for inspection must be in writing and must include a statement of the nature of the record or thing required. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (12).
Obligation to produce and assist
(13) If an inspector demands that a record or other thing be produced for inspection, the person who has custody of the record or thing shall produce it and, in the case of a record, shall on request provide any assistance that is reasonably necessary to interpret the record or to produce it in a readable form. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (13).
Records and things removed from place
(14) A record or other thing that has been removed for review and copying,
(a) shall be made available to the person from whom it was removed, for review and copying, on request and at a time and place that are convenient for the person and for the inspector; and
(b) shall be returned to the person within a reasonable time. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (14).
Copy admissible in evidence
(15) A copy of a record that purports to be certified by an inspector as being a true copy of the original is admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original, and has the same evidentiary value. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (15).
(16) No person shall hinder, obstruct or interfere with an inspector conducting an inspection, refuse to answer questions on matters relevant to the inspection or provide the inspector with information, on matters relevant to the inspection, that the person knows to be false or misleading. 1994, c. 10, s. 14 (16).
(17) In this section,
“record” means any collection of information however recorded, whether in printed form, on film, by electronic means or otherwise and includes any data that is recorded or stored on any medium in or by a computer system or similar device as well as drawings, specifications or floor plans for an enclosed workplace. 2005, c. 18, s. 12 (3).
From Smoke-Free Ontario Act Ontario Regulation 48/06
(2) For the purposes of sections 13 and 14, “roof” means a physical barrier of any size, whether temporary or permanent, that covers an area or place or any part of an area or place, and that is capable of excluding rain or impeding airflow, or both. O. Reg. 48/06, s. 1 (2).
Bar and restaurant patios
13. For the purposes of paragraph 7 of subsection 9 (2) of the Act, a place or area is prescribed if it meets all of the following conditions:
1. The public is ordinarily invited or permitted access to the place or area, either expressly or by implication, whether or not a fee is charged for entry, or the place or area is worked in or frequented by employees during the course of their employment whether or not they are acting in the course of their employment at the time.
2. The place or area has a roof.
3. Food or drink is served or sold or offered for consumption in the place or area, or the place or area is part of or operated in conjunction with a place or area where food or drink is served or sold or offered.
4. The place or area is not primarily a private dwelling. O. Reg. 48/06, s. 13.
Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson yesterday tried to clear up the situation. “If you have every single table that has umbrellas overlapping, I would view that as a canopy,” he said. “If it’s like most patios that have a table with an umbrella that can go up and down and they’re not touching one another, then people are able to smoke in that circumstance.” Watson added he’s sure that “most people will respect the law and the spirit of the law.”
Combining Cannabis-friendliness with licensed liquor distribution can be a very bad idea. First, liquor service brings undercover officers. Second, the liquor licensing authorities do not look favorably upon Cannabis use at licensed outlets. And, of course, liquor-related violence and other bad behavior (including driving) can bring heat and bad attention on a business. Here's an example of how Cannabis-friendliness can negatively impact a licensed establishment:
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