The City of Richmond today made it clear that cannabis may be legal now in Canada but just like alcohol and tobacco, there are rules to where, when and how you can use it.
“The City of Richmond is encouraging residents to know the rules and respect the rights of their neighbours now that non-medical cannabis use has been legalized across Canada,”says city spokesperson Ted Townsend.
Public Health Regulation Bylaw No. 6989 applies to all types of smoking activity including use of tobacco and cannabis products and vaping. It was updated effective May 1, 2018 to further extend prohibitions on any type of smoking in additional public spaces.
The latest version of Richmond’s smoking bylaws says:
• No smoking at public parks and school grounds (including beaches, trails, playgrounds, playing fields, golf courses, docks, piers, heritage sites, public recreation centres, arenas, swimming pools, city hall plaza, and other city properties that are open to the public).
• No-smoking within nine metres (30 feet) of transit shelters, transit signs, customer service areas (patios), doors, windows and air intakes.
It is also clear that smoking or vaping of any substances is prohibited in workplaces and other indoor spaces frequented by the public. So, no smoking at work.
Federal minister for border security and organized crime reduction, Bill Blair said that he hopes people will enforce the no smoking areas for marijuana products as vociferously as they do tobacco. He says today few bylaw tickets need to be issued because the public enforce the rules themselves.
While smoking of cannabis may be permitted in your home and some public areas, residents are encouraged to be aware of the impact of their second-hand smoke on others and take steps to limit the spread. Renters or residents of strata properties should also be aware of and abide by any smoking prohibitions established by their landlords or strata corporations.
Townsend says, “Under provincial and federal regulations, adults aged 19 or older can grow up to four non-medical cannabis plants per household. These plants cannot be grown in a space that is visible from a public place such as parks, streets, sidewalks, sports fields and school properties. Growing cannabis at home is banned in homes that are licensed daycares. Landlords and strata corporations can further restrict or prohibit growing non-medical cannabis on their properties.”
Townsend, says, “The City of Richmond has chosen to prohibit the retail sale of cannabis within Richmond. The city will vigorously enforce its bylaws should any retail cannabis outlet attempt to operate within Richmond. Local residents wishing to purchase non-medical cannabis can do so through the province’s online distribution centre or licensed outlets elsewhere in British Columbia.”
At a recent press conference, Blair stressed that protecting youth and children was a high priority.
“You must be 19 or older to buy, possess or use cannabis in British Columbia. It is a criminal offence to drive while impaired by cannabis or any other drug. The provincial and federal governments have enacted comprehensive regulations governing the purchase, possession and use of cannabis, Townsend says.
Blair talked of the severity of the penalties for selling cannabis products to underage, younger than 19 years, people. The legislation allows for penalties of up to 14 years in a federal prison for selling to underage persons. The same maximums apply to taking cannabis across Canada’s borders or using a youth to commit a cannabis-related offence. These are sentences comparable to those for facilitating a terrorist activity, threatening to commit a nuclear offence, bribing a judge, child luring, recklessly discharging a firearm, aggravated assault, torture and human trafficking.
Click for more information on these regulations.
Click for more information on Richmond’s smoking bylaws.