Even though both medical and recreational cannabis are now legal across Canada, there are limits to legalization you need to know. Below are some areas of the law that may be most relevant to youth.
The minimum age to possess and consume cannabis legally is 18, 19 or 21 (depending upon your province or territory).
You may be asking “if we don't know how weed can affect brain development until age 25, why is the legal age much lower than that?”
Provinces and territories, for the most part, matched their legal age for cannabis with their existing legal age for alcohol (18 or 19 years) because:
When leaving Canada:
When entering Canada:
There are strict penalties ranging from license suspension to jail time if criminally prosecuted and convicted of driving high. There are no known safe wait times to drive after getting high—it’s best to not drive and arrange alternate transportation.
As of July 1, 2018, young (16-21 years) and novice drivers (drivers of any age with G1, G2, M1, or M2 licenses) are prohibited from having any presence of cannabis in their system (zero tolerance) as well as other drugs that can be detected by an oral fluid screening device.
Just as it is against the law to provide alcohol to a minor, it’s illegal for someone of legal age to sell, share, or give cannabis to people who are under the legal age.
Each municipality has its own by-laws around cannabis. They vary and may be more restrictive than provincial or federal cannabis laws. Know the rules where you are.
In addition to the laws and restrictions mentioned above, there are many more to know. Review what the laws are in your province and if you visit or move to another province, familiarize yourself with the laws there.