Province Also Officially Bans Certain Edibles, Restricts Public Consumption – LPC
A year after Quebec tabled Bill 2, the province passed the bill to raise the cannabis consumption age to 21. That portion of the law will take effect January 1, 2020. The vote follows up on a Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) campaign promise to raise the cannabis consumption age.
CAQ junior health minister Lionel Carmant said that the new law is designed to protect teenagers.
“We want to send a clear message that we want to protect the most vulnerable people from the effects of these toxic products,” Carmant said. He stated that 70 per cent of Quebecers wanted to see the cannabis consumption age to up to 21.
Members of the National Assembly (MNA), the provincial legislature voted along party lines. The CAQ voted 64 for, and the three opposition parties voted 43 against. This supported some claims that the vote was political and not about health. Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of the Québec solidaire party, said the law was “useless”.
“All this law will do is drive youth into the arms of organized crime,” Nadeau-Dubois said. Black market cannabis use is already among the highest in Canada.
Cannabis Consumption Age Just Part of the Law – LPC
Quebec will now have the strictest cannabis laws in the country. Along with raising the cannabis consumption age, the law also bans cannabis candies, chocolate, and desserts. The article does not mention a topicals ban, which the province had talked about. Further, the law also restricts public consumption. These two parts of the law take effect November 2, 2019.
The province had already disallowed growing cannabis at home. That law was struck down by a Quebec judge though, who said a homegrown cannabis ban was unconstitutional. The provincial CAQ government is appealing that decision.
Meanwhile, CTV News in Montreal reports that many health professionals are applauding the move to raise the cannabis consumption age. They say that we don’t know enough about cannabis consumption and brain development in youth. Current research suggests cannabis use does have negative effects on brain development. One health professional also said that alcohol consumption is lower in countries where the drinking age is 21. Therefore, she said, raising the cannabis consumption age would reduce use among youth in Quebec as well.
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