Know the cannabis laws

Now that cannabis is legal, you will have the opportunity to smoke a joint and buy nuggets of marijuana. But for some professions, such as police, train engineers, teachers and physicians, there are restrictions on what employees are allowed to do. Photo contributed

Even though recreational use of cannabis has now been legalized, there are still many restrictions in place designed to protect young people and ensure users obey federal, provincial and municipal laws.
The federal government’s Cannabis Act came into effect on Oct. 17 — the day marijuana became legal — and is designed to protect the health and safety of Canadians, according to a government news release.
Legalization is intended to keep cannabis out of the hands of youths and to keep profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.
Federal rules
There are several issues of which people should be aware about marijuana:
• To buy, possess or use marijuana in Saskatchewan, you must be 19 years of age or older
• The act includes strict penalties for selling or providing cannabis to youths under the legal age
• Legal marijuana has an excise stamp appearing in different colours for each province and territory on product labels
• Learn how to use cannabis responsibly and know the health effects. Similar to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis has risks, especially for youths and young adults
• You cannot drive high or work impaired. Cannabis can impair your ability to operate vehicles or equipment safely. Driving while impaired by cannabis or any other drug is a criminal offence
• Store cannabis away from children, youths and pets
• It’s illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border, whether you’re leaving or coming to Canada. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not
• Under the Cannabis Act, access to cannabis for medical purposes will continue to be provided to those who are authorized by their health care provider
For more information visit www.canada.ca/cannabis or call 1-800-O-Canada.
Saskatchewan rules
According to the Government of Saskatchewan website:
• The possession limit of marijuana is 30 grams per adult in a public space. Minors are prohibited from possessing any amount, while possession of more than five grams can result in a criminal prosecution for minors
Some financial penalties include: $300 for a minor purchasing, consuming, possessing or selling cannabis, $750 for selling, giving or distributing to a minor, $2,250 for a retailer that fails to demand proof of age, or $750 for knowingly providing a minor with false ID
• Cannabis can be sold only through online and private stores, while the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority regulates it. It is legal to purchase cannabis only from a licensed retailer; selling or buying illicit cannabis is still illegal.
The cannabis retail business in Melville has not opened yet, nor is it known where the new business will be
• In Saskatchewan there is zero tolerance for drug-impaired driving. In addition, consumption by a driver or passenger in a vehicle is prohibited
• Households are allowed to grow a maximum of four plants.
• Consuming cannabis in public places is prohibited to protect public health
In Saskatchewan, you are allowed to light up in your private residence, but you are not allowed to smoke at any public venues, walking down the street, in parks, playgrounds or even while camping.
Don’t drive impaired
“Cannabis can slow down your reaction time and increase your chance of a crash,” says the Government of Saskatchewan website. “If you use cannabis, it’s important that you do not drive. If you drive impaired, you will be charged.”
A driver who has used cannabis won’t react or make decisions as quickly as a sober driver. Attention, judgment, motor skills, balance and co-ordination are all affected. Mixing drugs or mixing drugs with alcohol can also increase impairement.
Obey municipal bylaws
Municipalities already have broad authority through bylaws, land use and zoning, and business licensing to deal with business-related issues, including where marijuana businesses can be located. They decide how best to use this authority regarding cannabis wholesalers/distributors and retailers.
In Melville, a marijuana retail outlet and production plant is not permitted to operate within 150 metres (450 feet) of a school, educational building, playground, daycare centre, library, or recreation centre.
Growing plants at home
The Government of Saskatchewan has passed The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, 2018, giving landlords the right to impose reasonable rules prohibiting the possession, use, growth, and sale of cannabis in a rental unit.
Condominium boards also have the ability to pass bylaws around the smoking or cultivation of cannabis in their complexes.
More information can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/cannabis