CAQ government poised to ease restrictions on cannabis use in parks: report

- Posted 9 months ago

The Legault government is poised to ease some proposed restrictions on the smoking of cannabis in certain public places such as parks, Radio-Canada reported Tuesday.

The government is ready to drop a proposed ban on the smoking of cannabis in parks, according to the report, and the necessary amendments to the Coalition Avenir Québec’s cannabis control legislation are expected to be tabled on Tuesday afternoon.

However, the provincial government will maintain its decision to make 21 the minimum age to legally consume cannabis.

Quebec associate health minister Lionel Carmant, who is overseeing the proposed law, has yet to confirm the report, his press attaché saying on Tuesday to wait to see what amendments are, in fact, tabled.

Interim-Parti Québécois leader Pascal Bérubé told reporters Tuesday the government is having a consistency problem if it allows cannabis to be smoked in public places but continues with a ban on alcohol consumption in public.

He added that the CAQ promised during the election campaign that it would ban cannabis in parks.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante welcomed the apparent change of heart.

Plante said the city had told the CAQ government that in Montreal, at least, people should be allowed to smoke cannabis in parks.

“Sixty per cent of Montreal residents are renters and (many) can’t smoke at home,” Plante told reporters. “Cannabis is legal, so we have to let people consume it legally in some places.”

She said that “ideally, the city of Montreal would decide exactly where people could and couldn’t consume cannabis, and it would be the same rules as for the consumption of tobacco. For example, you can’t smoke near a playground and near certain buildings.”

This report will be updated.