The Quebec government tabled legislation this morning that would raise the legal age for possessing and consuming cannabis in the province to 21.
Bill 2 aims to tighten the regulation of cannabis in the province. In addition to raising the minimum age, the new legislation would ban cannabis consumption in all public places, including parks and streets, as well as, prohibit possession of cannabis on the premises of colleges and universities.
If passed, the bill would also restrict the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) from operating a cannabis retail outlet less than 250 metres from an educational institution including colleges and universities.
Keeping Campaign Promises
Increasing the legal age to 21 from 18 was one of the Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) main campaign promises leading up to its Oct. 1 victory.
Lionel Carmant, Minister for Health and Social Services, has said he is worried about the effects of cannabis on the still-developing brains of young adults.
Carmant, a neurologist, has said he hopes to have the law adopted by March though the bill still has to be examined by a committee of the National Assembly of Quebec before it is given assent.
The federal law legalizing cannabis consumption sets the minimum age at 18 but gives provinces the power to increase it. In all other provinces and territories, the legal age is 18 or 19.