Calgary city council committee recommends no recreational public pot use
A marijuana plant is seen before harvesting at a rural area near Corvallis, Ore. in this Sept. 30, 2016 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Andrew Selsky
April 03, 2018 - 5:32 PM
CALGARY - A Calgary city council committee is recommending a recreational cannabis policy that would largely ban anyone from lighting up anywhere but in their own homes.
The committee says cannabis use should be banned in public with the exception of those who need it for medical reasons.
The idea of allowing people to use pot in "cannabis gardens" at sanctioned events, similar to beer gardens, needs further study, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart said Tuesday.
"We really feel that the province could have taken bolder steps had they wanted to when it comes to the whole area of cannabis gardens," she said. "That’s not going forward from the committee at this point in time."
The committee's recommendation is expected to be debated by council later this week.
Alberta Health Services recommended no exemptions for medical users and no cannabis gardens.
After the committee meeting, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brent Friesen said the rules should not stigmatize users, but they should not normalize cannabis use either.
"It is going to be legal substances, but not creating environments where young people are seeing people smoking and vaping and thinking that’s the normal thing to do,” he said.
A city report says surveys suggest most people in Calgary would prefer cannabis consumption rules that mirror those for drinking alcohol in public places.
Keith Fagin of the cannabis advocacy group Calgary420 said people want to be able to use pot somewhere in public.
"It's just not something that's going to be a public safety issue whatsoever," he said.
Fagin said if condo and apartment buildings also ban smoking and vaping cannabis, that would mean some users would have nowhere to smoke.
Earlier this month, the Montreal suburb of Hampstead adopted a bylaw that bans all smoking in public places. It prohibits tobacco and marijuana on municipal property, including sidewalks and streets.
The bylaw does not prohibit electronic cigarettes.
The federal government plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults later this year. (CFFR, The Canadian Press)
News from © The Canadian Press, 2018