The Ontario government is beginning to amend a prior policy. Last November, Ontario legislators gave the okay to use medical marijuana in public. The original policy allowed smoking in areas that would otherwise be prohibited: movie theaters, restaurants, and stadiums, even playgrounds full of children. Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, which represents patients, said the policy was an ““important milestone in the recognition of the legitimacy of the use of cannabis as a medicine.”
But recently, The Canadian Cancer Society claims that second-hand marijuana smoke may cause similar health problems as second-hand tobacco smoke. The initial policy left many opportunities for bystanders—specifically children—to be exposed to second-hand smoke. It was also brought into question how one could prove that they are smoking for a legitimate medical issue.
The change in policy bans smoking and vaping on restaurant and bar patios, schoolyards, playgrounds, condominium common areas, stadiums, and hospital grounds—all places previously allowed under the original policy.
Queen’s Park has already banned smoking and vaping medical marijuana in all enclosed public places as well as many outdoor areas. They have also prohibited the use and sale of E-cigarettes. The diversion from the initial policy is “to strengthen smoking laws to better protect people from second-smoke, whether from a tobacco product or medical marijuana,” one official said.
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