Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

RNAO feedback on: Proposed Places of Use Regulations under the Cannabis Act, 2017

As a partner in the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy (SFO) for more than a decade, RNAO knows it is critical not to undermine advances that have been made through the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. The primary public health concerns with respect to use of cannabis in public spaces are: harms from second-hand cannabis smoke; potential harms of exposure to second-hand cannabis vapour; and concern about the social renormalization of smoking. That said, restricting consumption of cannabis to private spaces would make it illegal to residents of multi-unit housing units to smoke within designated areas on their building's property, as it would be considered a public space. This would lead these residents to smoke indoors, which would in turn increase exposure to second-hand smoke for unit occupants and those in neighbouring units. Since this would be a step backward in public protection, consideration should be given to enable residents and guests in multi-unit housing to smoke and vape cannabis outside in designated areas (away from playgrounds and entry/exits). It would also be helpful for the government to create warning signage to inform multi-unit housing residents of the risks of exposure to both second-hand tobacco and cannabis smoke. These signs should be required to be posted in common areas of all multi-unit housing in Ontario, much the same as how signs warning of the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy must be posted where alcohol is sold (Sandy's Law).

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