Manitoba

Winnipeg councillors want zoning laws in case marijuana is legalized

Ross Eadie and Matt Allard have put forward a motion to council that asks the administration to look at how other cities are regulating marijuana.
Councillor Ross Eadie says the city needs to control where marijuana is sold, if it is legalized. (CBC)

Two Winnipeg city councillors want zoning regulations in place to control where marijuana can be sold.

Ross Eadie, Mynarski ward councillor, says it's just a matter of time before the drug is legalized or decriminalized.

"It is coming and it is coming fast. Society is changing. This will happen," Eadie said. "There will be those who oppose marijuana completely whether it is for medical purposes or not. There are going to be parents who are going to be very concerned about this."

Eadie says based on what he sees happening in other cities, he doesn't see how Winnipeg can stop pot from being sold from a store front.

Eadie and St. Boniface councillor Matt Allard put a motion before council Wednesday asking the administration to look at what other cities are doing and come up with a bylaw amendment here.

No pot shops near children

"Because we have a responsibility to make sure that kind of thing doesn't happen near schools, community centres or parks. We don't want to promote a lifestyle, mind you medical marijuana is not a lifestyle, but smoking marijuana is," Eadie says.

Eadie and Allard want the city to get ahead of the wave and give the city power to at least control where these outlets can open.  He knows there are people who feel strongly on both sides of the issue and Winnipeg has to face it head on now. 

"So what we want to do is achieve that balance at least through the city's jurisdiction which is where you can locate these, what kind of signage they would be allowed to have," Eadie says.

The motion was referred to the property and development committee for consideration. 

Eadie says the outcome of the federal election could eventually decide if marijuana is legalized or decriminalized and Winnipeg should be ready. 

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