The Ontario legal age to buy weed is set at 19, leaving the province’s 18-year-olds in a legal grey area. According to the latest, a special law regarding cannabis purchase and possession will be applied to 18-year-olds caught with pot. Is all this legal hoopla really worthwhile?
Canada and Cannabis
Although the legal sale of recreational cannabis will not begin until next year, the provinces are prepping for pot.
Most of the preparations are of a legal nature. Namely, the restrictions and regulations of legal marijuana sales. The big question on everyone’s mind is, of course, who can buy pot? And who can’t?
When legal recreational weed legislation was still in its beginning stages, the Canadian federal government set some preliminary groundwork—particularly about the age of prospective bud buyers.
As dictated by The Cannabis Act, introduced to Canada’s Parliament on April 13, 2017, the legal age to purchase recreational weed, nationwide, will be 18 years old. However, The Cannabis Act also allows some provincial provisions. Specifically, the different provinces may establish their own legal minimum age.
As we reported two weeks ago, the Canadian province of Quebec has officially decided to keep the minimum age of 18. Even after much debate and outcry, and despite calls to raise the legal age to buy recreational weed to 21 years old, the Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard confirmed himself that the province will remain in accordance with the federal regulation regarding this aspect of legal weed.
This is not the case in the province of Ontario.
Instead of the national minimum age of 18, the Ontario government has raised the age to buy recreational cannabis—to 19 years of age.
While the age may seem random, it’s actually the age one needs to be to legally buy alcohol in Ontario. So while it may seem arbitrary, it’s consistent with other laws regarding substance use among Canadian youth.
But this puts said Canadian youth in a bizarre area from a legal standpoint.
Nadine Ricketts, the spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General, shared some insight on the matter. She has assured the Ontarian public that those under the age of 19 will not face legal trouble if they’re caught. The police will simply confiscate the goods.
“Our proposed approach,” she said, “will prohibit youth under 19 from possessing or consuming recreational cannabis, regardless of where it was purchased.”
Does that clear everything up? No? We didn’t think so.
Final Hit: Ontario Legal Age To Buy Weed Is Set At 19
The Ontario legal age to buy weed is set at 19. But this raised minimum age raises a ton of questions. Will those under 19 years old be able to have weed mailed to them? Is it going to be possible for Ontarians under the legal age to purchase cannabis in another province? Or will their residential IDs prevent them from doing so? Plus, there’s the issue of cultivating cannabis, which isn’t under provincial jurisdiction at all– it’s under federal regulations. Sources say that for those under 18 years of age, possession of pot is a criminal matter. But for 18-year-olds, the matter is provincial. In other words, there will have to be a law that applies only to them. And only for one year. If it seems impractical, that’s because it is.