The Canadian province of Ontario has become a battleground over the right of medical marijuana patients to consume cannabis in public spaces. The provincial government first revealed last week that medical marijuana users could vape or smoke in public places like bars, restaurants, shopping centres, and even at work. But the day after news of the policy became public, the associate health minister backpedaled in the face of public criticism, and said the government would reconsider the policy.
After a Liberal Party convention Saturday, Premier Kathleen Wynne weighed in with some contentious comments of her own.
"I would have a problem with it," Wynne replied when asked if she'd like to be watching a movie and have a patron sitting beside her vaping medicinal marijuana.
"We need to think this through."
Premier Wynne has admitted to cannabis use in her own past, but she hasn't been a strong supporter of reforming cannabis laws. In a Canadian Press interview two years ago (posted below), she refused to say whether she supports the legalization and regulation of cannabis. Nonetheless, she did enthusiastically endorse pro-legalization Prime Minister Trudeau during the recent federal election campaign.
Medical marijuana patients in the province thought new regulations were set to take effect on Jan. 1. Now they are in a wait-and-see period as officials consider possible changes.