With the legalization of non-medical cannabis set to occur on October 17, 2018 the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General, is encouraging Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to visit gov.nl.ca/cannabis to learn more about what this policy shift means for them and to find answers to their cannabis questions.
While the decision to legalize cannabis was made by the Government of Canada, the provinces and territories were given the ability to implement legislation specific to their own jurisdictions. In Newfoundland and Labrador, legislation was passed with the aims of:
- Protecting public health by providing access to a safe supply of legal cannabis and encouraging low-risk use by those adults who choose to use it, while keeping it out of the hands of children;
- Promoting safety on our roads, in public places and in our workplaces;
- Reducing the burden on our criminal justice system;
- Keeping profits from the sale of cannabis out of the hands of criminals; and
- Supporting new business opportunities.
As a result, once legalization takes place on October 17, residents in this province will be required to be at least 19 years old to purchase, consume or possess cannabis, will not be able to use cannabis in a public place and will be able to purchase it at licensed private retailers or through the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation’s online store.
To align with federal laws, residents will be able to grow up to four plants per private residence, will be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place, and of course driving while impaired will remain a serious criminal offence with zero tolerance under provincial law for anyone under 22 – just as with alcohol. There will also be zero tolerance for novice drivers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
Considerable work has been done to prepare for cannabis legalization in Newfoundland and Labrador and the province will continue to work with provincial stakeholders as well as its federal, provincial and territorial counterparts leading up to and beyond October 17.
“With such a significant policy shift, we recognize that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have questions about cannabis and we are doing our best to ensure they have the necessary answers. The provincial website contains a wealth of information that is easily accessible and understood and I encourage all residents to visit gov.nl.ca/cannabis to learn more.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General
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Justice and Public Safety