Cannabis to 21 years of age : the Bar is expected to challenge

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The raising to 21 the legal age to purchase and consume cannabis promised by the government, Legault may cause a wave of legal challenges, warns the law society of Quebec.

Failure to participate in the consultations by the parliamentary commission, which continued on Wednesday, despite the storm, the law society has published a brief in which he raises plusieux issues of law and order.

By increasing to 21 years the minimum age to purchase and possess cannabis, the bill introduced last December by the minister of Health, Lionel Carmant, could be vulnerable to legal challenges on the basis of discrimination based on age, fears the Bar.

“Opt for a minimum age higher would require the government to demonstrate that the 21-year rule is justified in a free and democratic society, where the choice of the legal age of 18 years for the consumption of cannabis was based on the legal age limit for tobacco and alcohol. We believe that there is a risk of disability constitutional, ” warns the president of the bar of Quebec, Paul-Matthieu Grondin, in a press release.

Restrictions ignored

The law society also issues a doubt in regards to the prohibition of the consumption of cannabis in public places.

“The restrictions of the premises provided for in the bill 2 may simply be ignored by those wishing to smoke cannabis if they have no opportunity that is legitimate and legal to do so,” believes the president.

Of transition to a parliamentary committee, the president and ceo of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), Nicole Damestoy, abounded in the same sense.

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Although the cannabis is a ” product that is not banal “, the prohibitions of places provided for in bill 2 will lead to an ” impasse “, according to the INSPQ, since many consumers will find themselves without a place to consume it legally.

As the representatives of the quebec Association of programs for first psychotic episodes heard yesterday, the INSPQ has advocated that the government consider instead a ressèrement access to cannabis for those 18 to 21 years, for example, by reducing the amount that it is possible to also buy and by restricting access to products with a low THC content only.

Gatineau suggests a ” withdrawal right “

Like all the other groups heard on Wednesday, the City of Gatineau has suggested to bet on more prevention and education.

“The wall-to-wall is not an adequate approach “, said mayor of Gatineau, Maxime Pednaud-Jobin. He claims a “right of withdrawal” for the municipalities, in the event of the adoption of the bill 2 in its current form.

All the stakeholders who appeared Wednesday have also expressed the fear of litigation most important consumers of cannabis if the bill of the CAQ is adopted as filed.

The Health minister, Lionel Carmant, which has warned from the outset, on Tuesday, he’d do not on the raising of the legal age of consumption and purchase of cannabis from 18 to 21 years of age, recalled that the first objective of his bill is to ” protect adolescents from the consequences of cannabis, trying to retader the more possible the introduction to the first consumer “.

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