So the day is finally here and pot is now legal in Canada. You can light up a joint whenever and wherever you want.
Or maybe not.
Think of a joint as having all the qualities of a cigarette and a beer, with all the rules and social etiquette that go along with both.
It may lighten your mood, but there are still legal and – maybe even more importantly – social restrictions on where and when you can smoke, just like when you drink a beer.
Smoking a joint inside a house with kids present: Would you smoke a cigarette and force children to breathe second-hand smoke? Offer a four-year-old a beer? So why would you do that with a joint?
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Do you have a six-pack of beers with breakfast and then head into work? Then why would you think your boss would want you coming into work high?
Like to pound down a beer or two while you’re driving? For all our safety, let’s hope not. But we don’t want you getting stoned behind the wheel, either.
Just because possessing cannabis is legal now, doesn’t make these activities legal or sensible.
If you light up in a public place, don’t be surprised if someone complains about second-hand smoke.
Eventually, we’ll have licensed retail locations selling recreational cannabis, but police are already warning existing unlicensed stores to close down until they get a license. Police enforcement is going to be operating under much simpler rules: retail licence, legal; no licence, close down.
As for medicinal cannabis, expect some enforcement. The largely untested healing benefits of cannabis is going to be the domain of doctors and pharmacists, as with any drug.
Non-professionals dispensing medical advice from behind a glass showcase filled with bongs are likely to find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit when said advice goes wrong.
So, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em – but let’s all be sensible, shall we?