It appears that the public is in resounding opposition to the possibility of cannabis consumption sites within their neighbourhoods, according to a recent release from the City of Calgary.
The city put a feeler out late last month, asking Calgarians for public feedback on four possible locations that could have become designated cannabis consumption sites once nation-wide legalization comes into effect on October 17.
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A September 12 release stated that the city was withdrawing the proposal, citing negative public feedback as one of the main factors in the decision.
“The intention in providing these public consumption areas was to ensure that everybody would have a safe, legal place to consume if they choose to,” said Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra in the release.
“Amidst the support and significant opposition to these proposed cannabis consumption areas, the argument that resonates with me is that only a couple of sites in a city this size does not meet the test of being broadly accessible and would lead to foreseeable challenges.
“Ogden, Bridgeland-Riverside, and Inglewood are at the forefront of the transformation Calgary is undertaking into a city of great neighbourhoods, and this is too much to ask of only them.”
The four proposed sites have all been halted from moving forward to the approval stage, though the release notes that Council can still start the process of having a consumption site in their ward.
The main reasoning behind creating a consumption site for the public is so that cannabis users who would not be allowed to have cannabis in their own homes due to building or living restrictions would have a safe place to consume the soon-to-be-legal drug.
“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,” said the leader of the city’s cannabis legalization project, Matt Zabloski, in the release.
“We want to thank everyone who took part in the engagement process. We take your feedback seriously.”
Roughly 1,700 people provided feedback on the four possible cannabis consumption sites by filling out a form either online or at the proposed locations.