Brampton Highlights Safety As Priority In Preparation For Legalization Of Cannabis

Matthew Macdougall smokes a joint during a "Wake and Bake" legalized marijuana event in Toronto on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

BRAMPTON,: Ahead of the legalization of recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018, the City of Brampton is asking residents to put safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis.

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services data shows that 31 per cent of fatal fires in the home over the past five years were caused by improperly discarded smoking material. Smoking of cannabis will be regulated the same as tobacco, and cannabis users need to be responsible for safe use to protect themselves, their families, minors, pets, and property.

Fire safety

Cannabis users are advised not to cook while under the influence. Residents are also reminded not to grow beyond the legal limit of four cannabis plants per household, and not to make any modification to their electrical system or use high heat lamps as they pose a serious fire risk.

Where cannabis is prohibited  

Smoking of cannabis is prohibited in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited, e.g. enclosed public places/workplaces, within 20 metres of children’s playgrounds and play areas within parks, public sporting areas (e.g., splash pads, soccer fields) and in all bars and restaurant patios. For a full list of locations, visit the FAQ section on the City’s website.

Hundreds of people line up at a government cannabis store Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Montreal as the legal sale of cannabis begins in Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Who to contact

The City of Brampton along with Region of Peel will look into complaints about smoking on City property such as municipal buildings, recreation centres, transit shelters, and in proximity to children’s play areas, including within parks.

Residents can report these concerns by calling 311 or emailing Only call 911 in the event of an emergency.

For incidents related to driving under the influence of cannabis, selling to underage users and illegal possession of cannabis, contact Peel Regional Police:

• Emergency situations: 911

• Non-emergency situations: 905.453.3311

• Peel Crime Stoppers: 1.800.222.8477

For health-related information about cannabis, contact Peel Public Health at 905.799.7700 or visit the Government of Canada’s official resource on Cannabis in Canada.

Cannabis retail stores 

The new City Council (effective December 1, 2018) will decide whether or not cannabis retail establishments should be allowed in Brampton. The Province of Ontario requires this decision to be made by January 22, 2019.

City staff is working on a “for information” report about cannabis retail stores, to be presented to the new Council on December 5, 2018, to help them make an informed decision.

Mayor Linda Jeffrey sa id: “Community safety is our priority. This includes promoting fire safety concerns related to cannabis use, preparation and growing, as well as enforcement of use of cannabis in public spaces.

“The City will also continue to work with our partners and with the Provincial and Federal governments to ensure community safety remains top of mind.”

At the end of October, the City will issue a public poll to gauge residents’ opinion about Brampton opting in/out of retail cannabis stores.

Results of the poll will be provided as part of the report to Council to consider as part of their opt in/opt out decision.

Impaired Driving

Road Safety is of paramount importance to the Peel Regional Police and officers are trained to detect drug impaired drivers. Those charged with drug impaired driving face the same consequences as those impaired by alcohol, which can include: an immediate licence suspension, financial penalties, vehicle impoundment, a criminal record and Jail time.

Regional Councillor and Chair, Community Services, Michael Palleschi, said: “As recreational cannabis becomes legal, we have to work together as a community in ensuring that our neighbourhoods are safe and enjoyable for everyone. Whether in public spaces or using cannabis in your home, we ask that residents are mindful of their safety and that of the community as a whole.”

There will be zero tolerance for young, new drivers and commercial drivers. It is illegal to have any amount of non-prescribed cannabis in your system if you are a commercial driver, a driver under the age of 22 or have a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence.

Cannabis Possession

Cannabis possession limits are a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public. There is a maximum of four plants per residence (not per person). Additional information can be found on the Peel Regional Police Cannabis and the Law webpage.

Fire Chief Bill Boyes, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, said:  “With freedom comes responsibility. We’ve experienced the tragedy of fatal fires here in Brampton, and we need everyone to be responsible for safe use of any kind of smoking material. Lives can depend on it.”

Superintendent Manuel Rodrigues, Peel Regional Police added:   “We know there will be an adjustment period once the new Cannabis legislation takes effect.

“Community Safety remains our number one priority and we will continue to work closely with our community partners to provide members of the public with the information required to ensure their safety and well-being.”