Calgary recreational pot bylaw bans public consumption of non-medical weed
Production staff harvest marijuana plants inside the flowering room at Harvest One Cannabis Inc. in Duncan, B.C., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito_
Calgary city council has approved recreational marijuana rules that ban the consumption of any form of non-medical pot in public.
The bylaw will apply to smoking, vaping and edibles once the federal legalization of recreational weed comes into effect later this year, likely sometime this summer.
Medical cannabis will still be allowed to be consumed in public, but under the same restrictions that apply to smoking tobacco.
City council has said no to a proposal to allow recreational pot to be consumed at approved areas at festivals and events, similar to beer gardens.
Council says the idea of "cannabis gardens" needs further study.
The city says the ban on public recreational pot consumption is similar to laws in all nine American states where cannabis is legal, including Colorado, California, and Nevada.
"We believe that the decisions that council has made regarding cannabis strike a mindful balance between citizen feedback, best practices of other jurisdictions and practical considerations based on existing bylaws," Matt Zabloski, a city official, said Thursday in a release.
Alberta Health Services had recommended that Calgary grant no exemptions for medical users. It also opposed the idea of allowing "cannabis gardens" at events.
Earlier this week, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brent Friesen said the rules should not stigmatize users, but they should not normalize cannabis use either.
He said it is important not to create environments where young people see adults smoking and vaping marijuana, thinking that it is the normal thing to do.