Quebec Health Minister Rejects Opposition Wanting Ban on Pot Use in Public

Quebec’s Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois on Monday rejected accusations by the province’s opposition parties especially when the latter pressed to impose a complete public ban on pot once legalization becomes effective.

The opposition parties in the French-speaking province accused the Liberal-led government of not taking legalization of marijuana seriously, Global News reported.

In response, Charlebois took her defense to a far more personal level.

“I have eight grandchildren … no one can say that I don’t care about children and that I’m not taking cannabis seriously,” she said during a National Assembly health and social services committee meeting on Monday.

The committee is currently studying Bill 157, which would allow people to smoke cannabis in public places just like they are permitted to smoke cigarettes.

Parti Quebecois (PQ) MNA, Marc Bourcier, was one of those who wanted a ban on pot’s public use.

Bourcier said marijuana is different than tobacco.

“We are talking about a different thing – we are in a different zone than tobacco.”

CAQ MNA, Simon Jolin-Barrette lent his counterpart some support when he said the fight against tobacco smoke has been going on for years, and cannabis smoke should be restricted before it gets out of hand.

Charlebois said only 20 percent of the people, who testified during Bill 157 public hearings, asked for a total ban on recreational cannabis.

“Eighty percent didn’t mention it at all.”