No cannabis consumption in Sylvan’s public places

The Cannabis Consumption bylaw passed second reading at Monday night’s meeting

Sylvan Lake Town Council passed the second reading of the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw Monday night. The new bylaw, once passed the third reading, will prohibit the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

Council was originally expected to give second reading to the bylaw at a past meeting, though it was tabled for further discussion on definitions.

Ron Lebsack, director of public services, gave the added definitions of public places, public properties and private properties, all of which have been added to the bylaw.

“Most municipalities, generally speaking, are using the definition of public places, which is what we recommend,” said Lebsack.

A public place is defined in the proposed bylaw as “any proper, whether publicly or privately owned, to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation whether on payment of any fee or not.”

Lebsack said a public place would include areas such as parking lots at grocery stores. These are areas that are technically private property, though the general public has an implied right of access.

Public property is considered to be “any property owned by a governmental legal entity; municipal, provincial or federal.”

Public property, according to this definition would include parks and places such as the library and Municipal Government Building.

“By going with the public places definition in this bylaw, it would mean allowance cannot be changed or rescinded by the owner,” said Lebsack.

“Public places is a general definition that they won’t be able to get around.”

The definition of a private property has also been included so the differences can be clearly seen.

“Private property means the ownership of the property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity and from collective (or cooperative) property, which is owned by a group on non-governmental entities; as members of the public do not have access.”

According to Lebsack, a person must be given explicit permission to be on another’s private property.

“Someone couldn’t just step on to a random private property and claim they are safe. They must first be invited,” he said.

When it comes to the consumption of cannabis, it can be done on private property as long as it is the property owners or they have given permission for it to be consumed on their property.

Council approved the second reading of the bylaw.

A third reading will not be made on the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw until it is officially legalized by the federal government.

Cannabis is expected to be made legal across the country by Oct. 17 of this year.

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