With the legalization of cannabis coming to Quebec in just two months, the provincial government launched a campaign aimed at educating the public about the nuances of pot law.
“This is an issue that has to be addressed and I think everybody across this province and across this country are waiting for something like that to happen,” said Health Minister Gaetan Barrette on Monday.
Among the issues addressed in the campaign, which will include television advertisements, is informing the public about who will be allowed to own, grow and sell pot once it’s been legalized.
In the legalization bill passed by the National Assembly in June, a Crown Corporation dubbed the Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis was given the sole right to oversee marijuana sales in the province via brick-and-mortar stores and online. Nobody under the age of 18 will be permitted to enter the SQC stores.
Adults will be permitted to possess up to 150 grams of dried cannabis products at home and 30 grams in public areas, except where prohibited.
Cannabis will become legal across Canada on Oct. 17.
The campaign also warns cannabis fans against driving after having consumed marijuana. The legislation promised zero tolerance for those caught driving under the influence.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Montreal spokesperson Theresa-Anne Kramer praised the Quebec government’s handling of legalization.
“MADD Canada is very happy with the way the Quebec government has handled the situation,” she said. “They have zero tolerance, the government is in charge of sales and there’s not going to be any advertising of the product.”
According to Surete du Quebec Cpt. Paul Leduc, who is in charge of the force’s traffic safety department, driving under the influence is the third leading cause of car crashes. He said the SQ is prepared for legalization and dismissed concerns that legalization could lead to an increase of drivers who are impaired.
“We’re ready with the field sobriety test,” he said. “We’re ready to face any increase of any drivers under the influence.”