Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.50.12 PMAs of now, medical marijuana is now OK to smoke in public places in all of Ontario, Canada. This is not only big news for Canadian patients, but also sets a huge precedent for medical marijuana states in the US, including right here in Maryland. Just this month, the province of Ontario passed an exemption to their current medical marijuana laws that allows people with medical marijuana cards to smoke in all public places, including schools, movie theaters, offices, and even in the provincial legislature chamber. This is unprecedented for medical marijuana patients, and will allow them much more access to their medicine, making day-to-day life easier to handle.

But wait, there is a catch, and it’s a big one…

While this law allows public consumption of licensed medical marijuana patients, there is a stipulation in the legislation that gives businesses the right to choose what to allow, and what not to. In other words, despite the law, the business has the right to prohibit use should they see fit. According to Ontario’s associate health minister, Dipika Damerla, “As an employer or a restaurant owner you can say ‘there’s no vaping, no smoking of medical marijuana here,” she told reporters. If a person were to continue smoking “they are breaking the law.”

Why the public medical marijuana consumption legislation is still important

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.52.37 PMDespite the caveat that allows businesses to make a personal decision on allowing medical marijuana consumption on premises, it’s still a huge positive move for the medical marijuana community. The reason why, is that now businesses can choose to allow consumption, and under the auspices of the free market, attract medical marijuana patients to patronize their businesses. In Ontario, and Canada in general, attitudes towards medical marijuana are overwhelmingly positive. And the idea of keeping someone from their legal medicine is one that many Canadians believe will rarely happen, if ever.

Even the most conservative Canadian politicians back public medical marijuana consumption

Another interesting aspect of this legislation is that with the provisions provided, it had very little pushback in Ontario’s congress. This was voiced by Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, who sees very little chance of anyone getting hurt over the new rules, or any chance of serious abuse. He stated:

“If it’s for medical purposes, it’s for medical purposes,” he said. “There’s not going to be an overwhelming amount of people in Ontario running out to parks to have their medical marijuana.”

To get more information on Canada’s new medical marijuana laws and regulations, check out this informative resource. To learn more about medical marijuana in Maryland, and how you can get your card, contact us today via our website.