Victoria city council is pondering how to set up sites where people can legally smoke marijuana. That could be beneficial — especially if it protects the rights and health of people who choose not to smoke the drug. But it won’t mean much if the restrictions on smoking pot elsewhere are not enforced.
Marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17, but that doesn’t throw the door wide open. Rules set by the Capital Regional District, landlords and strata associations forbid cannabis smoking in many places, public and private.
Coun. Ben Isitt says those regulations discriminate against renters and strata dwellers, so they need a place where they can consume marijuana legally.
Like restrictions on alcohol and tobacco, the rules on marijuana consumption have been drawn up for good reason. Those who choose not to imbibe shouldn’t be forced to inhale secondhand marijuana smoke. So it would make sense to set aside places where pot users can imbibe without infringing on the rights of others.
But it would be naïve to think streets, parks and apartments will suddenly be free of skunky pot fumes.
If places are set aside for the legal consumption of marijuana, then sincere efforts should also be made to curb illegal consumption.