Smoking bans will make it difficult to puff on pot at Regina Folk Fest

People looking to smoke marijuana at the Regina Folk Festival will have to contend with Regina’s smoking bylaw and provincial regulations about smoking pot in public places. (Joe Mahoney/Canadian Press)

It’s no Burning Man, but the Regina Folk Festival, like any other music festival, has attendees who sometimes indulge in the green stuff in public.

By the time the August festival rolls around, recreational cannabis use is expected to be legal in Canada. But while smoking grass may be allowed, where you can smoke it will likely be limited by smoking bans imposed by the Saskatchewan government and the City of Regina.

“We still have some work to figure out how you actually make that livable for people, because there’s quite a large fine from the city if they catch people smoking and a large fine to us, which is not something that we really want to be dealing with,” said Sandra Butel, artistic director and CEO of the folk festival.

She said the festival will aim to abide by the city’s smoking ban.

The province said earlier this week that smoking marijuana will be prohibited in all public places, including Victoria Park, where the festival will take place.

It’ll be the second year in a row that the festival and concert-goers have had to adjust to new regulations around smoking.

Last summer, the city enacted a smoking bylaw that prohibited people from smoking on patios and public spaces.

“They brought in a non-smoking bylaw last year and it was brought in about a month before our festival, so they didn’t have everything clearly in place as to how it was going to be enforced,” Butel said.

Since it came into effect on July 15 of last year, the city says it has been called 55 times about the bylaw — but 21 of those calls were just to get information.

The other 34 calls were complaints about someone smoking in public. When that happens, the city sends a representative out to the property or business and notifies the owner of regulations. The city representative provides “no smoking” and “no vaping” stickers, if necessary.

“So far we have not needed to escalate above a warning,” a city spokesperson said in an email.

 

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