Our Community Is Changing

Calgary Confederation e

Recreational marijuana use is now legal across Canada, but many people are still not clear on what each level of government is responsible for, where they can get information and how it is impacting our community.

I am personally very surprised at the number of proposed retail locations within our community.

In the riding of Calgary Confederation alone, there were applications for 48 marijuana stores filed with the City of Calgary.

The City has approved more than a dozen locations already and could end up approving as many as 28 more. To see the map and locations approved, denied, under review or under appeal, please visit www.lenwebber.ca/marijuana-sales-in-calgary-confederation.

Alberta’s marijuana usage rate is currently 8.9% while the national average is 10.5%. However, this statistic hides the fact that Alberta has the highest rate of lifetime users.

Alberta has the lowest age of accessibility of all provinces and Alberta parents are looking for additional information on how to discuss the legal use of recreational drugs with their children. The federal government has an information page for parents at www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/talking-about-drugs/talking-with-teenagers-about-drugs.html.

For adults who need help with any addiction, please contact Adult Addiction Services at 403-367-5000 or visit 707 10th Ave SW. All programs and services are voluntary, confidential and free of charge. They also offer services for those affected by the substance abuse of a friend or family member.

The legalization of recreational marijuana has created a great deal of work and cost for our provincial and municipal governments.

The Province of Alberta is responsible for matters dealing with impaired driving, public health, education, taxation, distribution, retail sales and public consumption. The Province has information available at www.alberta.ca/cannabis-legalization.aspx.

The City is responsible for land use and zoning issues (which includes the approval of sales locations), public education and awareness and enforcing bylaws regarding public consumption. For more information, the City has a dedicated webpage at www.calgary.ca/cannabis.

If you require further information, please contact my office for assistance.