Pubdate: Fri, 13 May 2016
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Brodie Thomas
Page: 8


Vaping Rules Restrict Use of Prescribed Medication

A Calgary medical marijuana user is looking for clarity on where and 
when he can use the substance.

Daniel - not his real name - told Metro he's been using marijuana to 
deal with anxiety, PTSD and depression.

He uses a vaporizer to consume his marijuana, which he gets legally 
through Aurora Cannabis, located in Alberta.

He said he's not looking to vape everywhere all the time, but said 
there are times when he has a panic attack and can't make it outside.

"If I need to have a quick vape, you know, very discreetly - I think 
I should be able to without having the repercussions," he said. "I 
don't want to be discriminated against because of the way I take my 

Daniel went looking for clarity on consumption regulations but he got 
differing opinions from the province and the city.

The province told him that Alberta's Tobacco and Smoking Reduction 
Act and Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Regulations do not apply to 
medical marijuana.

The City of Calgary, on the other hand, told him that the city's 
smoking bylaws do apply to marijuana.

Carissa Vescio, a spokesperson for the city, confirmed this.

"At this time, the municipal smoking bylaw includes any kind of 
smoking in a public place. It doesn't matter what substance is being 
burned, whether that's cannabis, tobacco or vapour."

Although the bylaw does specify tobacco in most cases, an update to 
the bylaw in June of 2015 includes electronic smoking devices, which 
is what Daniel uses.

She said there are no specific provisions for medical use in the 
bylaw, although individual officers might choose to write a warning 
ticket if the case was made.

"It's really up to the discretion of each bylaw officer," she said.

The bylaws can be enforced by any CPS officer, city bylaw officer, or 
peace officer.

Daniel remains confused about the reasoning behind this.

"If someone needs to take a puffer (for asthma), how is that any different?"
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom