Fans of ecigarettes aren’t happy with a bizarre new law in Ontario. Beginning in January, ecigs will be prohibited in all areas where smoking cigarettes is already banned. However, legislators left a loophole for marijuana users by stating that people with valid medical marijuana prescriptions can actually use ecigs to vape their weed in public places.
Ontario Associate Health Minister, Dipika Damerla made it very clear that they don’t want to make life difficult for anyone using medical marijuana to treat health conditions, which is why they will still be allowed to vape even when they’re in a public facility. “The medical marijuana exemption is obviously very limited — it’s for people who have a doctor’s prescription,” Damerla told the press. “But equally important to understand that as an employer or a restaurant owner, you can say that there’s no vaping, smoking medical marijuana here.”
It’s no surprise that Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) are elated that the exception has been made for medical marijuana. Jonathon Said, the CFAMM founder made a recent announcement. “Ontario has taken a huge step forward by exempting medical cannabis patients and their use of vaporizers. Many patients, including myself, choose to vaporize their medicine, and any prohibition on vaporizer use would have severely limited the ability of patients to use their medication as prescribed.”
At this moment, people who use electronic cigarettes in Ontario are free to use them just about anywhere they desire, but all that changes at the start of 2016 when new regulations go into effect. On the first of January, you’ll no longer be able to enjoy your e-cig if you’re in a restaurant, anywhere near a playground or hospital, and in a number of other places. The new rules are meant to prevent any exposure to secondhand vapor, even though there hasn’t been any evidence to suggest the secondhand vapor is in anyway harmful.
It seems almost bizarre that Ontario would prefer to let people use ecigs for marijuana but they will ban ecigs with nicotine. How is this fair or mindful of public health? Many ecig advocates are protesting the legislation and asking the lawmakers to reconsider. Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has spoken out against the loophole. He’s concerned about the possibility of exposing individuals to secondhand marijuana fumes at places like parks, though he did use caution when he issued this statement. “There’s not going to be an overwhelming amount of people in Ontario running out to parks to have their medical marijuana. I’m not going to go so far as to say it’s a recipe for chaos.” Yet Brown still believes it’s a bad idea to allow ecigs for pot while regular vaping is banned.
What are your thoughts on Ontario’s new law? Should ecig use be restricted based on what people are vaping?