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Lloydminster prepared for cannabis legalization: Aalbers

Legalization of recreational marijuana is less than a week away and Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the city is prepared to deal with the change.

“I think our bylaws address the concerns of residents, businesses and certainly the healthcare side of cannabis being legalized.”

One thing that may help with the transition is having no cannabis shops open in the city on October 17. According to the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis, no licences have been issued to marijuana retailers in Lloydminster in order to open on legalization day.

“I think it’s going to be just a little slower that’s for sure for our city. They’ll be people that will be consuming cannabis on October 17 that have ordered it online through the process that exists that way so we’ll know it’s in the community,” says Aalbers.

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According to the city’s smoking bylaw, cannabis is banned from being consumed in public spaces, which includes Bud Miller Park, commercial buildings and vehicles, as well as all public gathering spaces.

“If you’re not allowed to smoke a cigarette you wouldn’t be allowed to smoke cannabis,” says Aalbers.

However, people will still be able to smoke pot on their personal property. People living in apartments or condos will have to check with their residence before consuming the substance. Aalbers says people smoking cannabis once it’s legal need to make sure they aren’t affecting others safety.

“Please consider the safety of yourself and others as a user and also be respectful of others around you. Some people don’t mind cannabis smoke, other people find it very offensive.”

The one area the city is not 100 per cent prepared in is detecting marijuana impairment with the RCMP.

“I have concerns that the RCMP haven’t been equipped with equipment yet for driver tests if there are questions of impairment, but the RCMP do have staff that are trained to deal with impairment judgement and things like that.”

The city is waiting on funding from provincial governments to put towards the RCMP equipment.

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