Sylvan Lake considering cannabis ban

Recreational marijuana use is expected to be legalized by late summer

Sylvan Lake town council is mulling a public cannabis ban.

Recreational marijuana use is expected to be legalized by late summer. Legal or not, public cannabis consumption would be prohibited if council goes through with a bylaw proposed when it met as a committee of the whole last week.

Last month, Calgary passed its Cannabis Consumption Bylaw, which bans the public consumption of cannabis, similar to the regulations around alcohol. It is the only municipality to take that step so far.

However, at Monday’s council meeting councillors appeared to be having second thoughts on an outright cannabis ban. After debating the issue, staff were directed to bring back options that would treat cannabis consumption like smoking, which is banned from some venues and must be done outside certain distances from doorways.

At the same time, council is looking at how to deal with cannabis it is toughening up its smoking bylaw. Under proposed changes, setbacks from doorways would be increased to five metres from three metres. Smoking would be prohibited in public parks or playgrounds, school or child care facility properties, playgrounds, sports or playing fields, skate or bike parks, outdoor theatre, pools or splash pads, and any municipal facility that is frequented by children.

The bylaw is also being updated to include hookahs and the increasingly popular vaping.

Town communication officer Joanne Gaudet said council gave the bylaw amendments for smoking first reading. But councillors held off on first reading on cannabis until it gets a report back.

“I would say they are considering a blanket ban,” said Gaudet, adding that are other options, such as treating cannabis like tobacco, remain under consideration.

An outright ban on cannabis may not be as easy at it looks.

Town administration recommended that council treat cannabis like tobacco rather than risk legal issues.

“Administration is making this recommendation as we believe a total ban on the consumption of cannabis in public places will incite a legal challenge that could cost the municipality many thousands of dollars to defend as there is no legal precedent set,” says a report to council from interim chief administrative officer Ron Lebsack.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CP Rail talks set to resume in Calgary after unions reject railway offer

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. is resuming contract talks with its train operators… Continue reading

No indication Mississauga restaurant blast was terrorism, hate crime: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police say there is no indication an explosion that… Continue reading

For CEOs, $11.7 million a year is just middle of the pack

NEW YORK — Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer walks to reduce stigma associated with schizophrenia

First annual Strides for Hope walk takes place across Alberta

Waterline work closes 48th Avenue in Red Deer this weekend

Drivers can expect a major closure in downtown Red Deer this weekend.… Continue reading

Stettler police looking for alleged shoplifter who stole shoes

Stettler Mounties are looking for a woman they say stole a pair… Continue reading

Teamsters union members vote 98.1 per cent to reject CP Rail final offer

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says its members at Canadian Pacific Railway… Continue reading

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

DUBLIN — Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether… Continue reading

Tesla in Autopilot mode sped up before crashing

SALT LAKE CITY — A Tesla that crashed while in Autopilot mode… Continue reading

Harvey Weinstein turns himself in to face sex crime charges

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to police Friday morning… Continue reading

NFL players, coaches grapple with new anthem policy

RENTON, Wash. — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wanted to be talking about… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month