Nova Scotia

Tories won't stop members from smoking up outside leadership convention

The nearly yearlong PC leadership race ends Saturday.

Exhibition Park is a private venue and not subject to the municipal smoking restrictions

There's nothing stopping members of Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative Party from smoking marijuana outside the leadership convention this weekend. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

When PC members gather to elect their next leader at Exhibition Park in Halifax this weekend, they won't be constrained by the municipality's smoking restrictions because the venue is privately owned.

Now that marijuana is legal to grow, own and smoke, this will be the first major political gathering in the province where participants will be able to toke out in the open.

Smoking is banned inside the building and the operators would prefer people smoke only tobacco outside, but security is the responsibility of the party and it doesn't plan to institute a pot patrol.

"We have not had any requests of our members that they want to be consuming cannabis, but at the same time we're not going to be policing it," said Chris d'Entremont, convention co-chair.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will speak at the convention Saturday in Halifax. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who has criticized the Trudeau Liberals for moving too quickly to make cannabis legal, is scheduled to speak at the convention Saturday just before the first-round voting results are announced.

Although Scheer initially refused to close the door on making pot illegal again if the federal Conservatives form government, he recently said the party would not re-criminalize its use.

Smoking recreational marijuana was legalized a week ago across the country.

"It is now legal in Canada and you know we might not totally agree but at the same time people are free to do what they feel is best for them," said d'Entremont.