Cannabis use at Parks Canada places
by Stéphane Comeault
Cannabis use became legal and regulated across Canada on October 17, 2018. Relevant provincial and territorial cannabis laws will be applied at Parks Canada parks and sites. It is up to visitors to be aware of and follow all applicable federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal laws on cannabis when planning their trip to Parks Canada places.
For users visiting Parks Canada places in Ontario, the consumption of cannabis is permitted in campsites, day use areas and trails. Consumption is however not permitted within 20 metres of playgrounds and campground common areas such as cooking shelters, pathways, public washrooms, etc. Provincial legislation regarding public smoking and public intoxication will be enforced. The minimum age required to possess cannabis and/or cannabis products in Ontario is 19 years of age.
Further to provincial legislation, Parks Canada sites may implement supplemental restrictions on the use of cannabis through Restricted Activity Orders (RAOs) to ensure the health and enjoyment of all visitors and management of the protected area. Although the consumption of cannabis is permitted in general day use areas of Pukaskwa National Park, it will be prohibited in and around the Anishinaabe Camp and Fire Circle, out of respect to First Nations who carry out cultural practices in these spaces. When Pukaskwa National Park has alcohol bans in effect during peak holidays and long weekends, a cannabis possession ban may also apply to ensure all visitors have a safe, fun and memorable experience.
At this time, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and Fort St. Joseph National Historic Sites, as well as Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, will follow provincial and municipal legislation without further restrictions.
Parks Canada is dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all visitors across its sites from coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visitors are encouraged to visit Parks Canada’s Plan your visit page, as well as individual park or site pages for information prior to their visit.