This Ontario Town Just Completely Banned Smoking Weed In Public But It's Impossible To Enforce
By-law officers can't do anything about it.
There are a lot of different factors when it comes to restricting and regulating legal cannabis in Canada. First, there is the legislation from the federal government that makes it legal in the first place. Then it's up to the provinces to determine laws on its sale and use. Finally, municipalities are allowed to make their own rules for how weed is used or sold in their towns and cities.
For one Ontario town, that means banning marijuana altogether. In Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto, the council has voted to introduce an immediate ban on consuming marijuana anywhere in public.
Under the new rules, people are banned from smoking recreational weed anywhere that is accessible to the public, meaning parks, sidewalks, businesses and stores, and town facilities. Though this seems very straightforward, there's one huge problem with this ban - the town can't actually enforce it.
As it turns out, by-law officers in Richmond Hill are only allowed to approach people smoking weed and ask if they have a medical license. Other than that, there is nothing they can do. By-law isn't even allowed to ask to see ID, which is what they would need to issue a ticket.
In order to enforce this law, the York Regional Police force would have to get involved. But, as some town councillors in Richmond Hill have pointed out, the YRP has bigger calls to respond to and likely won't be using their resources to enforce it.
Which leaves Richmond Hill in an interesting position. They have now introduced a ban on marijuana, but for all intents and purposes, it's completely unenforceable.
Richmond Hill is the second municipality in Ontario to introduce a complete ban like this. The nearby town ofconsumption in public. Reportedly, York Regional Police also advised towns in their area that it will be easier for them to enforce the ban if all the York municipalities are on board to enforce it.
Source: York Region
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