A year after federal Canadian cannabis legalization, Quebec is finalizing its new cannabis laws. New regulations have curtailed access in ways some consumers are not happy about. On Tuesday, the province government voted to ban most marijuana edibles, prohibit cannabis use in public spaces, and raise the legal age to purchase to 21, the highest in the country.
The legislation was opposed by all political parties except for the Coalition Avenir Québec, which is currently in power. Public health agencies have opined that the age restriction is unlikely to keep young people from consuming cannabis. The ban on public consumption, officials say, will put tenants of properties where marijuana has been prohibited at a disadvantage.
“It’s concerning,” said the spokesperson for the province’s health agency, Marianne Dessureault, on the heightened age restriction, which inspired a junior health minister to consider raising the drinking age as well. “It’s clear that [the bill] has a populist appeal and that it doesn’t have its place in public health policy.”
Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also came out against the age restriction, saying, “[A]n 18-year-old this week could buy cannabis legally, but in a few months maybe he’ll just have to buy it