Health, News

Cannabis (Pot) Now Legal In Canada

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Marijuana. Image: Ravenhurst~commonswiki
Marijuana. Image: Ravenhurst~commonswiki

On October 17, the Cannabis Act came into force and cannabis became legal for adults in Canada. The recreational drug, also known as marijuana or pot, is often smoked like a cigarette.

It is still illegal to buy or use pot in the United States (except in rare cases such as for medicinal use).

Children may not legally buy or smoke pot; it is not healthy for bodies and brains that are still growing.

“Protecting the health and safety of youth is a top priority,” a Government of Canada website states. It notes that there are “serious criminal penalties for those who sell or provide cannabis to youth.”

Only adults, 19 years of age or older, may legally smoke cannabis. They can also legally buy it and grow marijuana (for their own use, not to sell).

There are some limitations for adults. For example, there are some places where you can’t smoke pot: inside public buildings like schools and restaurants or on the grounds of hospitals or sports fields. There are limits for people who decide to grow marijuana plants at home. And it is also illegal to cross the Canadian border with cannabis–either coming to Canada or leaving it.

Until last week, it was illegal to buy, sell or consume most types of marijuana in Canada. (Unless you had a prescription from a doctor for it.)

The Canadian government now regulates and conducts the sale of cannabis.

Related Links
This Government of Canada website has many resources and links to information about cannabis use in Canada, and about Canada’s Cannabis Act.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: CHALLENGING STORIES

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Will the legalization of cannabis effect your life, now or in the future? How and why?

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
When today’s article was written, it was a complex article that included 3 additional paragraphs explaining the new laws, the reasoning, the sale of cannabis, and the dangers. It was edited to the simple form you read today. What type of article do you prefer and why?

Intermediate
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8)

Language Feature: Commas and Quotations
Quite often, commas are used right before a quoted text. For example: Steve hollered, “Come home for dinner!” However, sometimes the structure of the sentence. Look at this shining example:

“Protecting the health and safety of youth is a top priority,” a Government of Canada website states. It notes that there are “serious criminal penalties for those who sell or provide cannabis to youth.”

In the first sentence, the only comma is placed inside the second quotation mark. The comma is used to separate the introductory material from the body of the sentence. However, since the intro material is at the end, the comma precedes it.

Interestingly, in the second sentence, there isn’t a comma at all and that’s because it’s simply not needed. The quote blends in to the surrounding text.