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Dos and don'ts of smoking pot in Montreal after Oct. 17
With the high times about to arrive, Montreal officials laid out the city’s dos and don’ts for legal cannabis on Wednesday.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said the city will be ready when recreational marijuana is legalized across Canada on Oct. 17. Last week, St-Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa accused Plante of dragging her feet on the issue.
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.
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.
Cannabis will be banned where tobacco is already not permitted, such as in hospitals, schools, universities, sports facilities, bus shelters and others.
Plante said the decision was made because 60 per cent of the island’s 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.
“It is absolutely clear that no city employee may endanger public safety by showing up to work impaired,” she said. “We have opted for a responsible approach, it is namely for this reason we have made the educated choice to conform with the provincial legal framework in this regard. Therefore, we will not further restrict the consumption of cannabis for non-therapeutic purposes on public property.”
Five boroughs, many suburbs, have more restrictive bylaws
Regardless of the city's basic rules several boroughs have passed their own restrictions on cannabis which will override the city, creating a patchwork of legalized areas across Montreal.
That means as of Oct. 17, people in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, St. Laurent, Montreal North, St. Leonard, and RDP-PAT will not be allowed to use cannabis in public.
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.
Plante added there would be zero tolerance for driving under the influence.