In a matter of weeks, pot will officially be legalized around Canada. With provinces like BC and Ontario announcing people will be allowed to toke up in public, some new questions have been floating around. If marijuana can be consumed in public spaces, then why can't alcohol?
Some mayors are considering whether or not to bring this new idea to their cities. For instance, allowing people to consume alcohol responsibly in parks or on beaches.
Currently, drinking in public is prohibited in all provinces. In most cases, bylaw officers will likely confiscate your booze. But, if they want to, they can also fine you. Fines vary from province to province, but they can be quite hefty in certain cities.
If you get caught with open alcohol in Toronto right now, you could face a fine of up to $125 and a whopping $230 in Vancouver.
As the country prepares for a seismic shift in how and where people consume marijuana, several cities are considering whether it would make sense to legalize drinking alcohol in parks as well https://t.co/fGcjahbL6i— 680 NEWS Toronto (@680NEWS) October 1, 2018
In Montreal, their rules are a little more lenient. While drinking in public is prohibited, they do have exceptions. For example, you can drink alcohol in a park -however, it has to be accompanied by a meal. Fancy, I know.
Truth be told, most people who wish to consume alcohol in public are going to do it, regardless of the rules. Toronto Mayor John Tory commented on this to reporters recently, "I know from being in the parks now that it's quite a widespread practice of people having a glass of wine, and it doesn't seem the world has come to an end as a result of that," he said.
Fresh from liberalizing the public use of cannabis, Premier Doug Ford says it may be time to loosen restrictions on drinking alcohol in public https://t.co/OnfqkpEuA4— Hamilton Spectator (@TheSpec) September 28, 2018
However, changing the public consumption rules isn't up to the mayor. It's the Ontario Liquor License Act which governs the rules. Premier Doug Ford has said that he plans to sit down with Tory to discuss the possibility of allowing drinking in parks and on beaches.
In Vancouver, city officials are proposing to sell beer and wine through concession stands at two beaches next summer. The pilot project would permit people to enjoy alcohol responsibly, although bringing your own alcohol to parks and beaches would still be illegal.
Other Canadian provinces and cities haven't had much to say on whether or not they plan on reviewing their laws come pot legalization. However, the shift which could be seen in Ontario and BC definitely sounds promising. If you're anticipating the days of cracking open cold ones on the beach, you may not have to wait much longer.
Source: CTV News