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Cannabis in Canada: High standards to meet

- Posted: December 10, 2019

On October 17, 2018, Canada enacted legislation that Jerry Garcia fans had been clamoring for since the 1970s: legalized recreational marijuana. This was not decriminalization or systemic non-enforcement, but full-on permissibility. Within certain limits, it became legal to possess and consume cannabis products. And with criminal law in Canada being within exclusive federal jurisdiction, Canada became only the second nation in the world to legalize it across the country. Unlike the United States, individual provinces and municipalities could only assert control via laws regarding distribution channels and licensing of sellers; they could not outlaw or legalize it.

New law, new problems

Of course this meant that a host of new challenges were suddenly introduced nationwide. How do we deal with detection for impaired drivers? How long following consumption does it continue to impair an individual? Should edibles be treated differently than inhalants? 

Indeed, the snow removal industry saw immediate concern. For a country where every area experiences heavy snowfall for significant parts of the year, questions flew. How do we know that the person we are placing in the driver’s seat behind a several-thousand-pound snowplow wasn’t smoking an hour earlier? And what can we do about it?

The issues faced by employers are further compounded when considering that rules intended to restrict marijuana used by employees could be seen as discriminatory. Where an employee uses cannabis products for medical reasons, such as to treat chronic illnesses, preventing them from using those products as needed would constitute discrimination on the grounds of disability....Continue Reading

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