Written by Helen Pike for Metro.
On Wednesday, a Calgary woman facing several charges for smoking in a bus shelter didn’t pay a cent to the city because she was medicating with medical marijuana. Her lawyer pointed out part of the reason the city withdrew charges was because of the tobacco laden language in the bylaw.
The city’s smoking bylaw, which bans puffing in public places, was passed in 2006 and reinforced by the Tobacco Reduction act in 2008.
But pot isn’t tobacco.
According to the city’s chief bylaw officer Alvin Murray there’s no section or listed exemption for medical marijuana or recreational use, because the bylaw simply isn’t about marijuana at all.
“The federal government is working on a paper to potentially legalize the use of marijuana, the current city smoking bylaw covers the use of tobacco products, but doesn’t include marijuana,” Murray said. “We’re helping the federal government understand any impacts that may be at a municipal level.”