Lawmakers in New Brunswick are so afraid of the dangers of cannabis that they want adults who possess it to keep it under lock and key.
This morning, the maritime province announced its Cannabis Control Act, detailing the laws it plans to establish around impaired driving penalties, legal age for consumption, possession, and more, at a press conference in Fredericton.
The province is the first in Canada to legislate how adults must store their cannabis at home: Its new law will require that all cannabis is secured in a locked room or container, ‘to ensure it is kept from minors’, according to an accompanying news release.
“For people here in New Brunswick who have guns in their houses, it’s locked,’ Denis Landry, the province’s minister of justice and public safety, told media in Fredericton. ‘It’s their responsibility. This will be the same thing.”
Like Ontario, New Brunswick has opted to outlaw the consumption of cannabis in public places. Details have not yet been released about where adults will be permitted to consume cannabis.
Individuals who decide to grow their own cannabis on private property will be required to secure their plants, whether grown indoors or outdoors.
The new legislation will set the legal age for the purchase, consumption and cultivation of cannabis at 19, and prohibit anyone underage from purchasing, attempting to purchase, possessing, or consuming cannabis ‘in any form’.
The same will go for the acquisition of seeds and plant-starter material, as well as paraphernalia including vaping and smoking supplies. Children will not be permitted to accompany adults inside a cannabis retail store.
Amendments to the province’s motor vehicle act will see immediate short-term roadside suspensions for those found to be under the impairment of drugs, and a zero tolerance approach for new drivers and anyone under the age of 21.
The province has created a Crown corporation to oversee pot sales and signed separate deals with two suppliers earlier this year. In September, Organigram and Canopy Growth Corporation both agreed that they would be able to supply the New Brunswick cannabis market in time for July 2018.