“Selling edibles isn’t legal yet, but if you want to make your own, it’s OK,” SSgt. Sharon Brown told the SALT lunch Friday at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. “So no bake sale brownies, OK?”
In fact, Brown used humour to make many of her important points during her presentation on what cannabis now being legal means in Ontario from a policing perspective.
“You can smoke cannabis in a private residence or anywhere it’s legal to smoke a cigarette or vape,” she said. “When you’re walking down the sidewalk in downtown Sydenham, don’t crack open a beer, but you can smoke a joint.”
Brown wasn’t being flippant, she was just making a point that one is governed by the Liquor Licensing Act and the other by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and her audience certainly seemed to appreciate her candor.
“In vehicles and boats, you can’t have cannabis available to the driver, which means passengers can’t be smoking it either,” she said. “Now, in the case of an RV, it can’t be available while the RV is moving, but once you’ve stopped for the night, it becomes your residence and then it’s OK.
“There’s no charges applicable if you’re riding a bicycle because a bicycle is not considered a motor vehicle.”
She did say that passengers in a motor vehicle can consume edibles if they’re in the passenger seat.
She said people 19 and over are allowed to have .30 grams of dried leaf in public but more than that can get you into trouble in varying degrees depending on the amount.
You can’t have products that have been made with solvents such as butane but you can grow your own plants (maximum four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live there.)
“If I come into your house and see four plants, it’s OK,” she said. “More than that and you’re likely getting charged.”
She said that Oct. 17, the day cannabis became legal in Canada “came and went and it was pretty non-descript” in this area at any rate.
She said the best thing about legalization is the effect it should have in cutting down on the illicit drug trade, helping to make marijuana laced with things like cocaine and fentanyl less available.
“Right now, the only legal way to get cannabis is at the online government store,” she said.
When asked about all the ‘pot shops’ in Deseronto, she said: “I’m going to do a Gretzky-like pass and not talk about that.”
She did say that police are concerned about drivers impaired by cannabis and they are sending more officers for training in how to spot in and conduct roadside testing.
But, they aren’t going to be using anything like a Breathalyzer just yet.
“The OPP are not going with screening devices right now,” she said. “I don’t want a machine that ‘might’ work.”
There is another SALT talk on cannabis scheduled for Jan. 25 in the Verona Free Methodist Church at 11:30 a.m.
There is no charge for SALT talks admission and lunch is provided. The lunch at the Grace Centre was particularlly good.