Victoria’s Smoking Bylaws Persecute some of Society’s Most Vulnerable

A heavy-handed approach to cannabis law is devastating both economically as well as socially, yet here we are. The results are always an irresponsible abuse of many different resources, the spreading of social division and the most disastrous outcome by far: the authorities ’s medical interference for societies most vulnerable- the sick.

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The responsible thing to do is to upgrade our current smoking laws and regulations so that they are appropriate for our adapting society.

Our laws should prefer and protect those most vulnerable instead of the wealthy or unaffected. When it comes to modernizing the new Clean Air Bylaws, the Capital Regional District (which governs the Greater Victoria area) undoubtedly failed.

Rather than amending the current Bylaws to include regulations that focused on where cannabis could be smoked or vaped, all public use is prohibited. Clearly, the men and women that are making the rules have no experience with the situations where a person will want to use cannabis in people.

As a result of my medical history, I have a great deal of experience with people cannabis use and would be happy to discuss how the new Clean Air bylaws will affect somebody who uses cannabis medicinally.

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Like most people, smoking weed in my house is prohibited and with the leasing market the way it is, I won’t risk losing my place even though it’s medicine. Luckily for me, my landlord is ok with me using my medicine outside on the property. If this were not true, I would need to place myself at risk by smoking somewhere in public.

Additionally, with the new Recreational Regulations giving extra eviction rights to landlords and strata councils, the danger of smoking cannabis at home depends completely on luck.

At Work

It’s not feasible to only take your medicine at home (see paragraph above), at the end of the night when everything on your day is done.

Medical needs need to be fulfilled and a 10 hour shift is a long time to go without your medication.

Most employers do not offer an onsite intake room for their employees to use if they want cannabis to live. An epileptic worker relying on a fast couple of puffs at the park on their lunch can now face a bylaw fine without any other option.

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At the Hospital

Due to the vast variety of illnesses treated, social stigmas and the amount of preparation and money it would take, the turn-a-blind-eye approach has ever been embraced with cannabis use at a hospital.

Rather than us reshaping our bylaws to harmonize, govern and protect our citizens, the Capital Regional District has ignored the people who are most vulnerable.

Now, the moment a cancer patient eases their symptoms by smoking a joint out, they are breaking a completely new bylaw and can be fined accordingly.

The most likely to offend are people who need to, like people that are marginalized, sick or on disability; there’s nothing to be gained socially from fiscally draining somebody who might be unable to work in the first place.

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