If someone has a medical marijuana card, can they smoke in areas that don't allow smoking (for example inside restaurants or at work)? I'm curious about Vancouver, BC in particular.

  • 1
    "No smoking" means exactly that. It's not about what you have some irrelevant permission for, it's about what you do not and cannot have permission to do to others. – Nij Jul 20 '17 at 11:16
  • This is two questions in one, and they are largely unconnected. VTC too broad. Pick one, remove the other and ask t separately. – Nij Jul 20 '17 at 11:17
  • @Nij doesn't medical conditions override some rules, such as needing to smoke marijuana and having a doctors note? – raceinorbit321 Jul 20 '17 at 11:28
  • 1
    Again, it's not about you, it's about what you cannot do to other people, regardless of why you want or need to do it to yourself. – Nij Jul 20 '17 at 11:34
  • 1
    @Nij Umm... That's quite harsh. If you have an issue with a question, then try to improve it yourself. Regardless, from what I can tell, there's only a single question here - can you use medical marijuana in areas that are no-smoking zones. Nothing terrible here. – Zizouz212 Jul 20 '17 at 14:20

The fact that you have a medical condition doesn't change the rules set by a private establishment or business.

A restaurant can bar all types of smoking (Including Vaping). Your medical condition would not be an exemption to this rule.

Your employer can have terms of employment that would prohibit you from smoking tobacco or even medicinal marijuana. So even thou you have a "doctors note", it doesn't change the fact that your job can randomly drug test you and subsequently fire you for testing positive for marijuana.

Furthermore, while many countries are relaxing drug laws and allowing for recreational and medicinal marijuana. Most still have stipulations that you must smoke it in private.


That card means that the person will not be arrested for smoking marijuana if they smoke marijuana. But they can get thrown out of a building for smoking if they smoke, and smoking marijuana is no exception.

If you need to smoke marijuana, then you need to do the same thing as someone who needs to smoke tobacco: Find a place where it is allowed to smoke.

  • 1
    Is that really what the card means? I always thought that a medical marijuana card authorized the bearer to purchase marijuana, though I suppose it is different in different jurisdictions. – phoog Jul 21 '17 at 1:47

The issue could come down to what the proprietor says, since the BC general law is limited to tobacco (Tobacco and Vapor Control Products Act, 2.1):

a person must not smoke tobacco, hold lighted tobacco, use an e-cigarette, or hold an activated e-cigarette

The medical marijuana law does not proscribe any particular mode or venue of consumption. Sections 3-7 only address legality of possessing and obtaining.

Since no law prohibits public consumption of medical marijuana, prohibiting a person with a medical condition from taking their medicine could be discriminatory. The Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on disability (and other characteristics); the case of P.G. v. Baton Rouge Restaurant is an application of that law. This limits the right of proprietors to govern conduct on their property, just as they may not discriminate in providing service to a person based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Although there has been some call for specific laws addressing the matter, it appears that the strongest restriction is a recommendation from Health Canada that you not smoke marijuana in public.

  • "Since no law prohibits public consumption of medical marijuana, prohibiting a person with a medical condition from taking their medicine could be discriminatory." Since forcing bystanders to endure an undesired high against their consent would essentially be assault, I don't think that anyone could reasonably claim this to be discrimination. – Nat Jul 21 '17 at 1:30
  • @Nat I've certainly never been high from second-hand marijuana smoke, and I have certainly been in situations where I ought to have if it were possible. I don't find your argument convincing. – phoog Jul 21 '17 at 1:51
  • @phoog I dunno what your personal biology's like, but marijuana smoke puts THC in breathers' lungs. It's basically the same thing as smoking it yourself, just at a lower concentration. Exactly what that concentration is depends on the situation. – Nat Jul 21 '17 at 2:32
  • The downvoter really should say why you think my answer is in error. For example, do you know of a BC statute that outlaws all public smoking? – user6726 Jul 21 '17 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.