Alberta won’t have public pot smoking areas until at least summer 2019
Pot will be legal to smoke in Canada next month, but it’s looking like you won’t be able to use the drug in public in Alberta until at least next year.
The city already put the kibosh on a plan to set up a series of public pot parks last week after the algorithm that council came up with ended up placing four parks in Ward 9.
The public lashed out against the idea and the area’s councillor Gian-carlo Carra decided to drop the idea.
Now, it’s unclear where anyone who wants to light up will be able to do so.
Alberta is staying away from the possibility of pot lounges or cafes until the federal government comes up with solid rules on pot edibles.
Under current rules in Calgary, you’ll only be able to smoke pot within the privacy of your own home, but even those rules are unclear if you happen to live in a rental.
Ward 3 councillor Jyoti Gondek says that there is a clear lack of communication between all three of the levels of government when it comes to rules about marijuana.
“If they had talked about the actual implications on the ground to people who want to consume a legalized product and not having a public place to do so and that it would be an issue, we could have dealt with all of this stuff fairly early on.”
She says that people who are interested in smoking pot need to have every piece of information to make an informed decision and a public place to consume the drug is imperative.
“The pot park idea would have been really difficult to figure out; I’m glad that’s off the table. However I do believe the idea of lounges or patios or something should have been contemplated.”
Gondek says the province also hasn’t said anything about the issue of revenue sharing either, but she hopes to hear from the appropriate officials soon.
“We’re going live, so to speak, on October 17 so I’d love to know what our share is.”
She also adds that there are other communication issues between some areas of government, particularly with Alberta Health and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, the agency responsible for setting out the rules of what is and what isn’t permitted.
“The folks in Health are saying ‘absolutely this should not even be a legal product’, although it is, and then you’ve got AGLC trying to regulate how exactly this legal product will be sold and consumed.”
Pot becomes legal in Canada on October 17.
(With files from Mark Villani)