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Quebec increases legal age for buying cannabis to 21

If you can buy booze in the States, you can buy weed in Quebec.

Yesterday, the province increased the legal age for buying cannabis to 21, the highest in Canada. Nationwide, cannabis is permitted at 19, with the exception of Alberta, where the minimum age is 18.

The new law, passed by Coalition Avenir Québec government, means premises of all Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) outlets are restricted to those 21 and older. The SQDC is the only authority that is legally allowed to sell cannabis in the province.

Fines up to $100 will be issued to anyone under 21 buying or being in possession of cannabis.

Furthermore, Quebec is cracking down on edibles. According to the CBC, chocolates, sweets, candies, and desserts containing cannabis that could be considered attractive to people under 21 are banned from SQDC shelves. Can you think of a single chocolate, sweet, candy, or dessert that is not attractive to children and teens? Quebec is the last province to allow the sale of edibles, which were rolled out nationwide in December.

The problem of higher age restrictions and prohibition, of course, is that it may push young people to the black market. Which is exactly what this whole legalization thing was supposed to solve.

“The problem is the amount of cannabis that’s already present in the illegal market,” said Daniel Weinstock, director of the institute for health and social policy at McGill University. We have to think long and hard about our ability to effectively enforce prohibition. And if we can’t — and I strongly suspect we won’t be able to — … we risk finding ourselves in the worst of all possible situations.”

Sounds promising.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.