Uncertainty in Bonnyville Council as legal marijuana date looms
Town finance staff has presented a few ideas for freeing up budget space by moving a planned census to 2020 and increasing water, sewer and garbage fees by about two percent - Mike Marshall
As the legalization of marijuana draws closer, Bonnyville town council is still trying to scratch out the details over what’s legal and what’s not. In their October 9th meeting, council mulled over their public consumption bylaw. As it stands right now, the smoking or consumption of the drug will be prohibited in some public places but will not be considered illegal in a scenario such as walking down the street and smoking.
Councillor Lorna Storoschuk is in favour of tightening the public laws.
“The information from the people that I’ve been speaking with is they do not want to see someone walking down the street and smoking pot.”
Bonnyville isn’t the only place that has had problems with hashing out bylaws. The 2018 Alberta Urban Municipalities Conference passed a resolution calling on the Alberta government to change its way of thinking. The group says the province is treating cannabis use too much like tobacco.
Councillor Brian McEvoy says he’s worried council may be jumping the gun before legal pot becomes a potential problem.
“I’m a little unsure why we’re going back to this now. We collectively and unanimously passed the bylaws as they are. Even before it’s legal and we have a chance to see whether or not the bylaws will work, we may start changing them.”
Confusion over how marijuana consumption could be regulated like alcohol had council back in forth in debate. A few councillors believe the ability to enforce a heavy-handed bylaw would be tough in town. A motion to amend the bylaw raised by Councillor Rene Van Brabant was eventually passed in four to three vote.
Marijuana use is legal in Canada on October 17th