The Middlesex-London Board of Health wants to see pot users face the same restriction as cigarette smokers, at least when it comes to lighting up in public.
The region’s Medical Officer of Health made the recommendation following news earlier this week that the process of legalizing and regulating marijuana will begin next spring.
At this point, the Ontario Health Ministry has proposed only medical marijuana users face the same rules regarding smoking in public places as tobacco tokers.
However, Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie feels we should take things a step further and extend the ban to anyone who smokes weed, whether medicinally or recreationally.
Dr. Mackie wants the ban to include the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vaporizers in public places where tobacco smoking is already banned, including playground, sports fields, restaurant patios, and parks.
He said it’s not about punishing pot users, it’s about protecting bystanders from second-hand smoke and young people from seeing examples of any type of smoking.
The Middlesex-London Board of Health approved the recommendations from Dr. Mackie without debate on Thursday, which have now been submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Health.
During a speech to the United Nations on Wednesday, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Canada will introduce legislation in the spring of 2017 to begin the process of legalizing and regulating marijuana.
Philpott says Canada’s plan on pot “challenges the status quo in many countries,” but is convinced it is the best way to protect youth while enhancing public safety.
Her announcement also came on the same day as a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute that shows that 68 per cent of Canadians feel pot should be made legal, and nearly 65 per cent feel the legalization will do more good than harm in the long run.