October 19, 2018, Canada
The legality of cannabis experiences some interesting incongruities in the United States of America. The glaring difference between federal and state legislation is the primary reason for the legal paradox faced by cannabis and its stakeholders. Case in point, Californians are not allowed to consume cannabis in National Parks and other such natural reserves because they are owned and controlled by the federal administration.
Similarly, commuters can’t carry marijuana on highways traversing through legal states since they come under federal jurisdictions. Such contradictions or rather impediments are commonplace in the US. However, things will remain non-contradictory on the Northern side of the border because Canada’s Cannabis Act 2018 allows the consumption of marijuana in the country’s National Parks.
National Parks and reserves in Canada
Canada is a country gifted with lots of natural and primitive landscapes. In total, there are 47 national parks and wildlife reserves in Canada covering approximately 3.3 percent area of the country. In the exact measurement, these natural facilities are spread over 126,700 square miles and every of 13 provinces and territories of the country has at least one of such parks and reserves.
Due to proactive management and upkeep, Canada’s park system is a major tourist attraction, and not just for Canadians. Visitors from all over the world flock to these natural sites particularly duing summers. According to statistics furnished by Parks Canada, more than 15 million people visited these national parks and wildlife reserves during 2016-2017.
And with Canada’s Cannabis Act have come into effect, all those millions of campers and hikers are now allowed by the law to consume cannabis in those spaces. Parks Canada made this momentous announcement just two days before blanket legalization came into effect. According to the new rule, campers and visitors will be allowed to consume cannabis in/on:
- Registered campsites
- Hiking trails
- Anywhere in the untamed backcountry
However, people strolling in common areas like playgrounds and picnic shelters won’t be allowed to indulge in cannabis. This restriction has been adopted to minimize children’s exposure to marijuana and its smoke.
Moreover, public consumption rules in National Park facilities will be implemented according to provincial and town rules. It is important to mention that different towns in the same province have dissimilar rules regarding public consumption. For example, the province of Alberta has different public consumption rules varying in accordance with local town legislations. So, campers and hikers in Banff National Park are not allowed to consume cannabis in public areas due to local laws while people can enjoy their cannabis in reserves around Lake Louise in the same province of Alabama.
For visitors, it will become a tad difficult to keep the track of laws of each and every town before rolling a blunt. For that matter, local town administrations must put up relevant signboards in all those areas to make it convenient for visitors. Many think that Park administrations won’t be hard on pot consumers post-legalization because the sites were already known for the recreational use of cannabis even before October 17.
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