Calgary scraps proposal to allow people to use legal pot in designated areas

CALGARY — After some sober second thought the City of Calgary has ground out the idea of allowing people to use marijuana in four designated public areas once cannabis becomes legal next month.

A proposal called for setting aside four areas in Ward 9 that would be exempt from Calgary’s cannabis consumption bylaw.

The bylaw prohibits the consumption of recreational cannabis in any form in public places.

But after hearing what it calls significant feedback from the community, the city says the idea of granting exemptions in Ward 9 has been scrapped.

Protest over the sites came swiftly, with critics placing signs at one of the proposed sites with slogans such as “Don’t Doob It” and “Weed Rather Not.”

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says the proposal aimed to give people a safe, legal place to use pot.

The city says while this proposal won’t proceed, council still has the ability to begin the process to consider other designated cannabis consumption areas in the future.

“We understand that Calgarians have diverse views on the public consumption of cannabis, and we work hard to balance citizen opinion with regulations that benefit communities overall,” Matt Zabloski, head of the city’s cannabis legalization project said Wednesday in a release.

“We want to thank everyone who took part in the engagement process. We take your feedback seriously.”

The city says about 1,800 people gave their feedback to the city on the designated public pot consumption site proposal.