Pubdate: Wed, 13 Dec 2017
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Times Colonist
Author: Dirk Meissner
Page: A6


Marijuana smokers in British Columbia might have to abide by the same
public smoking rules as tobacco users when cannabis becomes legal,
Premier John Horgan said Tuesday.

Horgan said his government is still formulating its marijuana policy,
but might follow the same provincial smoking laws and community-clean
air bylaws that prohibit smoking near buildings or public spaces.

"Cigarette smokers can no longer smoke in public places," Horgan said
in an interview.

"I think that may well be how we have to proceed with cannabis. We'll
make a decision in the new year."

Recreational use of marijuana in Canada will become legal on July 1,
and the provinces and territories are developing their policies for
the sale, distribution and use of cannabis.

Horgan said some people have raised health concerns about second-hand
smoke from marijuana, while others have told the government they look
forward to smoking pot in community areas.

"Those are the issues people have raised with me," he said. "At the
same time, I've heard from people that they'd very much like to go for
a walk and smoke a marijuana joint in their local community."

He said public use of marijuana comes down to a balancing act that
manages people who want to use a legal product and those who want
nothing to do with cannabis.

"I think of the great smoke-ins in Vancouver on the 20th of April
every year, where you've got tens of thousands of people all lighting
joints at the same time," Horgan said. "That's a significant health
issue there for other people."

In Ontario, marijuana users will be barred from consuming pot outside
of private residences.

British Columbia's current Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act
sets a six-metre smoke-free buffer zone around doorways, air intakes
and open windows to public and work places.

Stores, offices, and entrances to apartment buildings are considered
public spaces or work places under the act, which also includes work
vehicles, public transit, taxis, cafes, casinos and pubs and bars.

The Capital Regional District clean air bylaw makes all parks,
playgrounds, playing fields, public squares and bus stops smoke-free.
It also extends smoke-free buffer zones outside of business doorways,
windows and air intakes to seven metres.
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