By Cole Parkinson
The legalization of marijuana in Canada is only a few days away and the Municipal District of Taber council started to discuss what they wanted to see in relation to public consumption.
While council had talked about retail of cannabis in the past, they had yet to talk about the public consumption aspect but they had a chance to talk about the topic during their regular meeting on September 25.
In order to get a sense of what other Alberta municipalities were doing, administration provided council with public consumption bylaws from the City of Calgary, Town of Okotoks and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Wood Buffalo has passed bylaws completely banning all public consumption of cannabis, the City of Calgary was pursuing public consumption spots but after resident backlash, they gave up on it and Okotoks has strict limits within their smoking bylaw.
“I think we should get something inline before it comes. I think a lot of areas are banning the out and about, like drinking. You can’t walk down the street with a beer so why should you be able to walk down the street smoking this. You aren’t saying no to the cannabis,” said Coun. Leavitt Howg. “I think if you are starting to affect your neighbour, that’s where an issue would be, and that’s my biggest concern. No different if somebody has too many drinks and they are affecting their neighbours, it’s the same type of thing. I would hate to have some family trying to enjoy a nice evening when they keep getting the smell and they pack up and leave.”
With most municipalities electing to not allow public cannabis consumption, M.D. council was thinking the same thing as they all highlighted their thoughts it should only happen on people’s own property.
Town of Taber council updated their Community Standards Bylaw earlier this summer to prohibit cannabis consumption in any public place other than a residence or temporary residence.
“My thoughts on consumption is it only occurs on your own private dwelling,” added Coun. Tamara Miyanaga.
A motion was made by M.D. of Taber council advising administration to work on a Cannabis Non-Smoking Bylaw that prohibits public cannabis consumption and the motion was passed unanimously.