Whether you are a full on stoner, social smoker, or weed virgin, it is probably a good idea to know the marijuana laws in Canada. There has been a lot of debate surrounding medical marijuana lately, but the majority of weed smokers are of the recreational variety.

These days smoking weed at a party, or sharing a joint at a concert, or sampling your friend’s batch of weed brownies is as commonplace as having a couple drinks. We may not be able to order a bong hit at a bar like we can with a shot of tequila, but that certainly doesn’t stop anyone from getting high whenever they feel the urge to do so.

In 2014, the Canadian government passed legislation that allows for large commercial producers of marijuana to sell their product to people who require it for medical reasons. Health Canada used to distribute medical marijuana personally, but now large, publicly traded companies are taking over that business. Of course, if you don’t have a prescription written by a doctor, you aren’t going to be able to get your weed that way.

Luckily, whether you are aware of it or not, you probably at least know someone who knows someone that can hook you up with a gram or two. But there are probably a few things you should know before you start passing that joint.

The Law

Talk about marijuana being decriminalized has been swirling around for over a decade now, but it still hasn’t happened. But it is looking good because all of Canada’s political parties (except the boring old Conservatives) are for decriminalizing or legalizing it to some extent. Until then, it is probably a good idea not to be too obvious about your pot habits.

Right now, if you are caught with weed in your possession you technically could be prosecuted. But precedent suggests that the anti-marijuana laws in effect go almost entirely unenforced at this point. Just don’t be obnoxious about it, and the police are unlikely to care.

Paraphernalia

Even though marijuana can’t be sold in corner stores just yet, selling everything you need to smoke it is not illegal. Places like The Friendly Stranger, and Roach-O-Rama in Toronto, and Puff Smoke Shop in Vancouver all offer top of the line bongs, pipes, rolling papers, and anything else you could ask for related to weed.

Roach-O-Rama, located in Toronto’s Kensington Market, even has a place in the back called the Hot Box Cafe where you can go to smoke your own stash. The rules are 18+, no dealing, no asking, and no mooching though, so don’t go there looking to score.

Activism

The staff at most head shops are pretty knowledgeable about cannabis culture, and the status of the laws in Canada. Websites like CannabisCulture.com also provide tons of up-to-date information on the status of marijuana across Canada.

Change is on the horizon when it comes to marijuana, and there are plenty of politicians who have been vocal about their support for ending the weed prohibition. Liberal party leader, Justin Trudeau is on board for the change, and has added marijuana legalization to the party’s official policy. The next federal election is only seven short months away, and the Liberals will need all the support they can get in order to make marijuana a legal reality for all of Canada.