With the legalization of cannabis just around the corner, the Town of High River is working to make sure all by-laws are in place.

One of these by-laws regards consumption of cannabis in public.

The Town held various opportunities for the public to share their thoughts and those results were presented to Town Council on Monday, September 24 at their regular meeting.

The Town's Manager of Emergency Management and Protective Services, Peter Genereux, says people's opinions were pretty clear.

"The higher percentage of residents and public of High River indicated that they did not want public consumption of cannabis at all, so we put that into the proposed by-law and brought that forward for the first hearing."

This ban on public consumption would include medicinal use.

The smoking of tobacco, however, would be allowed at a distance of five metres from businesses.

A public hearing will take place on Tuesday, October 9, which is when both the second and third reading of the proposed bylaw will be made.

In a release from the Town:

The primary purpose behind the community engagement initiative was to address the upcoming legalization of cannabis and inform the creation of a Cannabis Consumption Bylaw.

“If the Town of High River does not bring a Bylaw into force prior to cannabis legalization, cannabis consumption in public spaces would be permitted because there would not be a local Bylaw prohibiting public consumption of cannabis,” says Genereux.

Additionally, the Town used the community engagement process to collect feedback on the current Smoking Bylaw, which had not been updated since 2003.

The overall results of the community engagement process indicated:

  • 81 per cent of respondents were in favour of eliminating smoking at child and fitness-focused public facilities.
  • 69 per cent of respondents did not want to see cannabis consumption in public spaces.
  • 68 per cent of respondents were not in favour of granting an exemption for medical cannabis consumers.
  • 51 per cent of respondents were in favour of a medical exemption following the Smoking Bylaw and 25 per cent were in favour of those with a medical exemption utilizing designated areas for public consumption.

For more information, visit highriver.ca


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