Canadian cannabis decriminalization has earned the support of Toronto’s Board of Health. On June 12, 2017, the board voted unanimously to request that the Government of Canada immediately decriminalize the possession of cannabis for personal use.
“Some of my residents are being charged with possession and trafficking for hand-to-hand sales of marijuana. It does not seem fair at all,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher, as reported by City News.
The Board of Health’s call for Canadian cannabis decriminalization was a part of a larger agenda item directed at the province of Ontario and the Government of Canada regarding recreational cannabis legalization in the country.
The approved agenda item asks Ontario to establish the age of 19 as the minimum age of purchase, create a provincially-controlled recreational cannabis agency, prohibit public smoking and vaping of cannabis, ban cannabis use in motor vehicles, implement requirements for cannabis law enforcement and consult with cities and local public health agencies when drafting provincial legislation for recreational cannabis.
Beyond Canadian cannabis decriminalization, the Board of Health is also requesting that the country enforce “plain packaging” regulations for all cannabis product packages and labels, implement requirements for cannabis law enforcement, strengthen cannabis marketing regulations and regulate edible products.
While Toronto Mayor John Tory supports decriminalization, he doesn’t support illegal dispensaries operating in his city.
“The federal government has said nothing about having some wide network of shops on every street corner pop up to sell marijuana,” Tory said, as reported by City News. “That’s why I support police continuing to enforce that law.”
Canada is expected to legalize recreational cannabis by July 2018.