Petition going around against smoking cannabis in public

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Something like 80 per cent of respondents to an online survey last spring said they were in favour of cannabis sale and consumption being allowed in Slave Lake. That’s one side of the story. Another side is that a lot of people are not happy about having to smell the stuff all over the place and want it banned.

One of those is Linda Kreutzer, who lives on 3rd Ave. NW. She’s got a petition going around that last week had 278 signatures. Nearly everyone she talks to, she says, agrees.

“We don’t want it in our community,” she says, quite adamantly. “It’s not fair to the rest of us.”

The ‘rest of us,’ includes people who are allergic to the smoke, Kreutzer says, as well as those who “can’t stand the stench.”

And how about the kids? “Why should children have to walk through this smoke?”

Nor should people have to put up with it in their back yards, Kreutzer says.

Research of existing town bylaws shows smoke (generally, not any particular type) is covered under the nuisance bylaw. If it is a nuisance, you can complain about it and the bylaw officer can issue a ticket for a fine in the range of $300 to $600.

Anyway, Kreutzer has her petition, which she expects to grow in length over the next little while. She hopes to share the results with the mayor and one councillor she feels is sympathetic. She hopes it influences council to ban smoking cannabis in public. Other municipalities have done it, she says, including Okotoks.

“Why should anybody else have to smell it,” she asks. “Have respect for other people.”

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