It’s time to clear the air on where a person in the Trail area can legally smoke pot beginning today.
The best way to go about that is to whittle away where residents cannot light up, because there are layers of government regulations already in place where smoking – whether it’s tobacco, marijuana or vaping oil – is not allowed.
“There are both provincial and municipal regulations at play,” began Michelle McIsaac, corporate administrator for the City of Trail. “The recently enacted Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Act) prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather,” she said.
“The Act also prohibits the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles.”
So where does this leave people to light up, other than, of course, their own residence?
Outside of the Act’s smoking restrictions, lighting up in other outdoor spaces is left to the municipalities.
Right off the top, Trail’s smoking bylaw doesn’t permit smoking at or within six metres of any recreational facility, in any park or at outdoor special events.
“The city’s Smoking Control Bylaw deals more specifically with smoking, of either tobacco or marijuana, at or within any city parks, recreational facilities or at outdoor special events; prohibiting smoking in these public spaces,” McIssac clarified.
So a person cannot light up smoke-ables in parks or at special city-events like an outdoor market or parade. And they must be six metres away from a facility, and air intakes, in places like the Trail Memorial Centre or aquatic centre.
The next question then becomes about enforcement. Pot is legal as of today, but technically, smoking it still can be enforced as a bylaw (smoking) offence. So who’s watching and who’s enforcing?
“(The city’s) bylaw was adopted with the intention that its enforcement would be more educational based and self-enforced,” said McIssac. “However, if it were observed by the Bylaw Enforcement Officer, yes, it could be actively enforced.”
A person, if found guilty of the offence, “is liable on conviction to a penalty of not more than $100.”
Adults are authorized to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces, and home cultivation will be banned in residences used as day-cares.