Cannabis club launches petition challenging public consumption bylaw in Calgary

The Calgary Cannabis Clubs says it is “unjust” to have no public area to consume weed.

The City of Calgary prohibits a person from using recreational cannabis in any public place. RossHelen/Getty Images

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Before recreational cannabis became legal in Canada in the fall of 2018, the City of Calgary passed a bylaw regarding public consumption of weed.

Council approved Bylaw 24M2018 in the spring of the same year, which prohibits the use of cannabis in a public place.

The prohibition does not cover medical cannabis.

The measure imposes a fine ranging from $50 to $100 on violations.

Despite the prohibition, the bylaw provides for some exemptions.

For example, cannabis can be used in a designated area at a public event approved by city hall.

As far as the Calgary Cannabis Club is concerned, this is an “unjust” situation.

And so, the nonprofit has launched a petition challenging the city’s public consumption bylaw.

“Please stop the stigma that Nancy Reagan started in 1980 with her war on drugs, classifying cannabis in the same family as cocaine and heroin,” the club stated in the petition started by its director of events, Neil Linton.

The petition noted that consumption of alcohol is allowed in some public parks in Calgary.

“The Consumption, Smoking or Vaping of Cannabis should be permitted the same as Tobacco in public places as in many other Canadian Provinces and City’s [sic] currently allow,” the document stated.

As an example, it noted that the province of Ontario allows cannabis consumption in “many outdoor public places (for example, sidewalks and parks)”.

The same goes with the Province of Nunavut, which allows cannabis to be used in some public places where tobacco is consumed.

Moreover, cannabis use in the Northwest Territories is allowed on “on trails, roadways (when not operating a motor vehicle), and parks when not in use for a public event”.

In British Columbia, cannabis consumption is allowed where tobacco can be used.

Stated conversely, in B.C., cannabis is prohibited in areas where tobacco cannot be used.

The Calgary Cannabis Club petition indicated that the same situation applies in Edmonton and Toronto.

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