MEDICINE HAT, AB -- The first camping season has started where cannabis is legal, and sites in and around Medicine Hat are allowing campers to consume cannabis.
When it comes to provincial parks, the rules align with the Alberta Cannabis Framework, allowing consumption at campsites, RV’s and public areas where tobacco use is also allowed.
There are some limitations. Just like tobacco, cannabis use isn’t allowed within five metres of washrooms, playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor theatres and outdoor pools.
In addition, it’s not allowed to be consumed inside motor vehicles like cars, trucks and SUV’s.
Those same rules align with national parks in Alberta.
When it comes to privately-run sites, like the Golden Sheaf Park, they set their own rules.
After discussing the topic on Wednesday night, the parks directors decided to allow cannabis consumption inside RVs, and at least 20 metres from any public areas.
In municipally-owned sites like Medicine Hat’s Gas City Campground, the rules align with city bylaws.
“Were just using the smoking bylaw as the background,” says Scott Richter, superintendent of parks operations with the City of Medicine Hat. “That's what the city and the council has decided as well so were just in line with that and its actually no different from the provincial and national way that they're treating it as well.“
The rules are similar to those for provincial and national parks.
“So we’re asking people that are within the campground that they’re not smoking anywhere close to a public place like this administration buildings or the outdoor cookhouses or the washrooms or the playgrounds, they have to stay at least 10 metres away,” says Richter. “Same with the trails and roads, its best to consume the cannabis on your site.“
When it comes to any possible complaints, Richter says they will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
“With alcohol or cannabis or somebody playing music too loud, that's all situational so we'll deal with it one-on-one,” says Richter.
Gas City Campground has been open for roughly three weeks, and hasn’t had any inquiries about cannabis.
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