Montreal follows Quebec, but not Toronto polices lead on cannabis regulations

Montreal follows Quebec, but not Toronto police\s lead on cannabis regulations
You Will Officially Be Able To Smoke Marijuana In Public In Montreal
Montreal police will be allowed to smoke cannabis during their time off as long as they show up to work "fit for duty," according to the city's new marijuana policy, which is one of the most lenient in the province.

Both the RCMP and the Toronto police forces are reportedly planning on strictly controlling their members' use of cannabis by prohibiting any pot smoking within 28 days of a shift.

"It's the same for anything else. It's what we call the 'fit for duty' (principle)," he told reporters at city hall. "Whether it's under the influence of cannabis, alcohol or medication."

Plante said the decision was made because 60 per cent of the islands residents are tenants and preventing them from smoking them outdoors would penalize not only them, but neighbours in their apartment buildings if they were forced to smoke indoors.

Montreal police will be allowed to smoke cannabis during their time off as long as they show up to work "fit for duty," according to the citys new marijuana policy, which is one of the most lenient in the province.

Both the RCMP and the Toronto police forces are reportedly planning on strictly controlling their members use of cannabis by prohibiting any pot smoking within 28 days of a shift.

The recently elected Coalition Avenir Quebec provincial government has said it plans to raise the legal age to purchase cannabis from 18 to 21 and is also considering a ban on using it in all public places.

"Its the same for anything else. Its what we call the fit for duty (principle)," he told reporters at city hall. "Whether its under the influence of cannabis, alcohol or medication."

However, Plante said the city has been preparing for over a year, including consulting with North American cities that have already dealt with legalized pot, as well as other Canadian cities.

Durocher said the citys marijuana policy was created "according to our culture, our organization and what we think is best." He said the policy is the best way to ensure "the safety of our officers and of our population."

While many Quebec municipalities have announced bans on smoking marijuana in public spaces such as parks, Montrealers will allow it to be smoked wherever tobacco products are permitted.

As for civilians, those of legal age will be able to smoke marijuana almost anywhere that smoking tobacco is permitted, said Mayor Valerie Plante. The few outdoor exceptions, such as bus stops, schoolyards and hospital grounds, are contained in the provincial legislation adopted last June.

Cannabis will be banned where tobacco is already not permitted, such as in hospitals, schools, universities, sports facilities, bus shelters and others.

She said the city spent more than a year coming up with a plan and in the end decided not to introduce any additional bylaws.

With the high times about to arrive, Montreal officials laid out the citys dos and donts for legal cannabis on Wednesday.

Montreal will simply follow Quebecs cannabis law, which bans private sales of marijuana and outlaws residential plant cultivation.

Other municipalities across the province have gone further, banning pot smoking in all public areas. But Plante said Montreals policy needs to "reflect our reality."

Kicking cannabis smokers out of all public areas forces them to smoke indoors, which could lead to second-hand smoke concerns, Plante said.

There is also an equity issue, she added, as most Montrealers are renters. Landlords are allowed to ban marijuana smoking inside their units, which would leave tenants with nowhere to smoke if they could not smoke outdoors.

Montreals year of research and consultations might have been for nothing if premier-designate Francois Legault follows through on his election promise to clamp down on cannabis.

Aside from raising the legal age for consuming cannabis to 21 from 18, his Coalition Avenir Quebec has promised to prohibit all public pot smoking in Quebec.

Plante insists the work put into the citys marijuana policy was not a waste of time. She said the city would not seek out a fight with the province, but it would share "all the research and data" that supports its position allowing smoking in public.