Early last week Premier, Kathleen Wynn announced new rules that prohibited anyone from vaping in places where smoking of regular cigarettes is outlawed.
Medical Marijuana laws under review
While there are still many uncertainties for those living under prescription of Medical Marijuana in Ontario, the new regulations will be posted for 45 days to allow further consultation, for which Associate Health Minister, DipikaDamerla answers that there could be even more changes made after that.
Speaking about the original set of regulations that were made in November, Damerla says that these have struck a balance between the rights of medical marijuana users and all other Ontarians.
“We committed to reviewing the regulations around medical marijuana and we’ve kept our commitment,” she added.
This followed months after the liberal government backtracked on electronic cigarette regulations a day after an exemption for medical marijuana had emerged. However, e-cigarette rules were supposed to have come into effect on January1st, to ban their use in enclosed public places. The original exemptions included restaurants, movie theatres, movie theatres, children’s playgrounds, stadiums and offices.
In a recent release, government explains that it is still trying to strengthen smoking laws in a bid to protect its citizens from the harmful effects of second hand smoking.
However, this has left critics unhappy with the government backtracking on the rules allowing vaporizing or smoking of medical marijuana any place in Ontario.
And as vaping advocates continue to support that e-cigarettes should be allowed wider use since they help users quit smoking,Damerla remarks that Ontario is waiting to see if Health Canada officially labels them as a smoking cessation device and she repeats that these regulations could still be changed.
But this may not only work in the interest of concerned citizens who feelthat their children need to be protected from ‘second hand smoke’, it could also stand as an enormous threat to more than 400,000 Canadian patients who are using medical cannabis under Health Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
Not only do they use the product to fight symptoms of cancer related illnesses, but also use it to manage epilepsy, chronic pains, among other conditions.
The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) has been left in utter shock regarding the Ontario government’s proposal, via amendments to the Smoke- Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act; to ban the use of vaporized medical cannabis in all enclosed public places as well as specific outdoor places.
CMCIA, which represents majority of Canada’s licensed Cannabis producers, has at the same time expressed concern saying this could put all patients of Medical Cannabis at a health risk, given that they cannot freely take their prescription like before.