The places where Nova Scotians can use cannabis and tobacco will be guided by a stronger Smoke-free Places Act.
Government will introduce its legislative framework for cannabis legalization in the current legislative session. It will include strengthening the Smoke-free Places Act to include additional protections from second-hand smoke.
“We looked carefully at how we could balance the legalization of cannabis with our goals to reduce smoking of any kind,” said Attorney General and Justice Minister Mark Furey. “A stronger Smoke-free Places Act will ensure the appropriate restrictions are in place for cannabis, when legal, and tobacco.”
Nova Scotians will be able to smoke and vape cannabis in their own private residence, on their private property, in their apartment if it is permitted in the lease and in outdoor public spaces with some restrictions.
Smoke of all kinds, including cannabis, is already prohibited in all indoor public places and workplaces and in many outdoor spaces, including school and daycare grounds, bar and restaurant patios and within four metres of an entrance or air intake. It also prohibits smoking in vehicles where children are passengers.
The proposed amendments will expand the act to include no smoking or vaping of cannabis or tobacco:
— on or within 20 metres of playgrounds located in an outdoor public space
— on or within 20 metres of a publicly owned sport and recreation event or venue, located in an outdoor public space
— on and within nine metres of public trails
— in provincial parks and on provincial beaches, except for within the boundaries of a rented campsite
Cannabis use of any kind in vehicles will be prohibited. This will be covered under new legislation to be introduced during this legislative session. Drivers cannot be impaired while driving, passengers cannot use cannabis in any form in the vehicle and cannabis must be stored in a closed, fastened package and out of reach or not readily available to anyone in the vehicle.
The amended Smoke-free Places Act also prohibits the use of tobacco in vehicles used as part of one’s job or work. This does not apply to a personal vehicle used for work purposes if they are the only person using the vehicle for work purposes.
The amendments will also confirm that municipalities can pass bylaws that put additional restrictions in place. The stricter rules will apply.
“We have done a lot of work over the years to make non-smoking the norm in Nova Scotia,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “We know that smoke-free places support a smoke-free culture and play an important role in reducing both tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. With cannabis legalization on the horizon, it is right that we have expanded the number and type of smoke-free places in Nova Scotia.”
Smoking of any kind in these areas carries a fine of up to $2,000.
Until federal legislation comes into effect, it is still against the law to possess, use or sell recreational cannabis in Nova Scotia.
For more information on cannabis legalization, visit www.novascotia.ca/cannabis.
Source: Media Release