Medical Marijuana Users Should Butt out Like the Rest of us Cigarette Smokers

marijuanaMarijuana Can Now Be Smoked Anywhere in Ontario: As a Cigarette Smoker and Frequent Business Traveller, I Disapprove.

Smoke on a plane? I don’t think so!

The Ontario government here in Canada recently passed a new legislation legalizing the smoking of medicinal marijuana in all public places where cigarette smoking is not permitted. As a cigarette smoker and frequent business traveller, this completely enrages me.

In Ontario, it is legal for anyone over the age of 19 to buy cigarettes but not smoke them anywhere however under this new law, if you have a license for marijuana, you can smoke it anywhere. This includes restaurants, offices, stadiums, movie theatres and “any other places where cigarette smoking is prohibited”. Does this include taxis? Airports? What about airplanes? Are they off limits if they depart from Ontario? How about police stations?

I have been a cigarette smoker for over 20 years now. It’s not something I’m proud of but rather something I’ve chosen to live with and it is an addiction. We all need some sort of vice right?

As a smoker, I am vehemently opposed to smoking indoors. I have never smoked in my home because it is disgusting just as I find the smell of smoke while I am eating completely off-putting. I find the smell of marijuana even more repulsive than cigarette smoke.

Being frequent business traveller who smokes cigarettes can be quite challenging.  If you’re travelling all day long on flights and within airports, you cannot smoke unless you exit the airport and have to re-enter security.  I have almost missed flights trying to do this.  The last time I connected through Denver and had 2 hour stopover, I thought that I had plenty of time to go outside and come back in through security however I was wrong.  Fortunately a security guard allowed me to bypass the over hour long security lineup (there is only 1 in all of DEN!!!!!) with my Nexus pass so I barely made my flight.

When booking hotels, I spend a lot of time searching for ones that have balconies so I can easily smoke outside.

When renting cars, I am careful not to stink up the car.

It is a lifestyle choice and I don’t have a problem with that. I put a significant amount of effort into abiding by the laws and keep my smoke out of the way of others. I

But now with these new laws in place, anyone with a medical marijuana license can smoke their stinky cancer-causing weed anywhere and we are all just supposed to suck it up?

What if you have children? In Ontario it is illegal to smoke cigarettes in your car if you are driving with a child under the age of 16.  What kills me (no pun intended) is that our government has a “Smoke-Free Ontario Act” devoted to “protecting children and youth from the dangers of smoking” and yet under this legislation, a parent with a medical marijuana license can legally smoke away even on playgrounds.

I studied toxicology extensively in university and know full well that second hand smoke from both cigarettes and marijuana contains all of the same toxic compounds. In particular, over 150 of the same carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) have been identified as being present in both cigarette and marijuana smoke.  

A good friend of mine who was a heavy marijuana smoker (but not cigarette smoker) developed lung cancer.  Why? Because it contains all of the same if not more carcinogens as cigarettes never mind 30 times the tar content.

That being said, I’m sorry but just because you have cancer (which you probably don’t since most of the people who get these medical marijuana licenses do not have cancer), doesn’t mean it’s OK for you give other people cancer.  Be respectful of your environment just as us cigarette smokers do.

I smoke cigarettes and that is my choice. I don’t impose this bad habit on others. I stay out of the way. If I am in an area where I am unable to smoke I either hold off until later or chew Nicorette gum.

If you have a medical marijuana license, do us all a favor and just like us smokers who either refrain from use or use cessation aids, how about you pack a marijuana brownie or cookie and chew on that instead?

Under this legislation, business owners do have the right to overrule medical marijuana smoking and prohibit in their workplace, so if I am in a restaurant and someone lights up a joint or “vapes” next to me because that business owner thinks this is acceptable, I will leave the restaurant. Same goes for any other business establishment.

If a sales representative smoked marijuana in front of their client, how do you think that would go over?

If someone lights up on an airplane or in the airport, they should be arrested just as a cigarette smoker would be.

This double standard should not exist. Our government should be focusing on more pressing issues.

So that’s my rant of the day.  Now that I have shared how I really feel, how do you all feel about this topic?

Would you allow your workers to smoke marijuana in your workplace if they had a medical license?

If you were allowed to smoke marijuana in your workplace, would you?


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