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Smoking cannabis will be permitted on private property and, unless municipal governments introduce bylaws to increase or expand on areas where smoking cannabis is prohibited, residents will also be permitted to smoke cannabis on trails, roadways (when not operating or riding in a motor vehicle), and parks when not in use for a public event.
Once the legislation is in force, smoking cannabis in defined public places will be prohibited in the NWT. The legislation provides for the definition of a public place. It also includes regulation making powers to prescribe additional areas where smoking cannabis is prohibited such as areas frequented by children, youth, and crowds.
Municipal governments have the ability to create and enforce bylaws that increase the restrictions that are set out under the territorial legislation, but they cannot lessen them.
For example, where the territorial government prohibits smoking within 30 meters from children’s playgrounds, a municipal government can expand that prohibition to prohibit smoking within 40 meters from a playground. The municipal government will not be able to reduce the territorial restriction by allowing smoking of cannabis at playgrounds.
There are limited areas where smoking cannabis will be permitted. Unless municipal governments introduce bylaws to expand on areas where smoking cannabis is prohibited, residents will be permitted to smoke cannabis on trails, roadways (when not operating or riding in a motor vehicle), and parks when not in use for a public event. Cannabis may be used within designated campsites as well.
The same prohibitions and rules that apply to non-medicinal cannabis users will also apply to medical cannabis users.
Territorial parks users will be subject to rules similar to those currently in place for smoking cigarettes. Cannabis will not be allowed to be used in or around a building, structure or facility, whether covered by a roof or not, and any place within 30 metres of playgrounds and sports fields (such as volleyball courts, and horseshoe pitches).
Cannabis may be used within designated campsites. Smoking cannabis will be allowed on trails, roads (while not operating or riding in a motor vehicle), and in parks when not in use for a public event.
A large number of public places are also considered worksites. The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) is responsible for regulating smoking cannabis at worksites, to protect employees and ensure workplace health and safety.