Residents and tourists would be able to enjoy a joint at any public park or green space as long as it is 30 meters away from playgrounds, outdoor pools, skateparks, and other child-centric areas.
After passing through the council’s public services panel with flying colors, the groundbreaking city ordinance must still be confirmed by the Edmonton’s full City Council before it can be signed into law.
And before the council makes that final vote next week, a number of high-profile Canadian health experts are trying their best to push cannabis consumption to private residences and designated clubs.
“The act of smoking or vaping has the potential to re-normalize tobacco use, and normalize cannabis use as it becomes nearly impossible to determine which substance has been used,” Maruti added.
Ahead of the full vote scheduled for next Tuesday, at least one Edmonton City Councilor has suggested amending the ordinance with more strict regulations for parks, suggesting an expanded 100-meter buffer zone around sports fields and playgrounds. Like Maruti, Councillor Michael Walters derided the public use of both cannabis and tobacco.
“I have always thought that we shouldn’t allow cannabis smoking or tobacco smoking in parks where there are playgrounds or sports fields,” said Councillor Walters. “If administration is able to give us a distinction between wellness-oriented parks and sports-oriented parks, or children’s activity parks versus the larger premium parks like Hawrelak, maybe we can have two sets of rules.”
As of now, no city in North America or elsewhere welcomes open cannabis consumption in parks or on streets, with nearly all legal weed regulations restricting smoking to private property.