Cannabis users who venture out to Canada’s national parks might be somewhat apprehensive about getting high on federal land. After all, sparking up around campsites or while just taking in the scenery is something that has always been off limits as far as the federal government was concerned. However, considering that the nation just legalized marijuana for recreational use, giving adults at least 18 years of age permission to carry a personal stash, one would think that officials would relax this policy to some degree. The good news is they have. Parks Canada announced last week that it is accepting of those who want to take in nature under the influence of the herb.
“While Parks Canada campgrounds are public areas, the agency treats individual campsites as temporary domiciles for our visitors. For this reason, at Parks Canada campgrounds, consumption of cannabis will be permitted in campsites,” spokesperson Marie-Hélène Brisson told CBC News.
But there are still some rules that must be adhered to. For starters, some provinces — British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories — are only granting visitors the freedom to consume cannabis on hiking trails that are separate from the campgrounds and in the backcountry. Since campsites are family friendly, smoking marijuana is not permitted in common areas, like playgrounds, shelter houses, bathrooms and any of the locations designated for parking. Yet, each province gets to decide how they want to handle this issue.
It is a policy similar to the one established for alcohol, Brisson said. “As with alcohol, from time to time Parks Canada may implement specific prohibitions on consumption in specific campgrounds or at specific times of year as operational requirements arise, or in an effort to ensure that all visitors enjoy their stay,” she added.
So, as long as a camper is in an area where alcohol is considered as acceptable as s’mores and gut-wrenching verses of Kumbaya, marijuana can be used, as well.
But there are some towns and villages located in national parks that are not open to the idea of people smoking weed in their neighborhoods. So, don’t expect to catch a buzz while hanging around Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park and Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park, reports the Global News. These destinations have ruled out public smoke sessions.
“At Parks Canada locations in the Town of the Banff … it would be the same as within the Town of Banff so smoking or vaping would be prohibited there,” Greg Danchuk, manager of visitor experience for Banff National Park, told the Globe and Mail. “The rest of the park, outside of the Town of Banff, we’re taking an approach that’s consistent with the province of Alberta.”
This doesn’t mean marijuana is banned in those areas. Rest assured, the population will be getting high in the privacy of their own homes and backyards. The rule was created to prevent outsiders from burning it all down.
In any event, it is essential to check the local, provincial rules before firing up a joint in certain areas of the parks. But when it comes to marijuana edibles, which are not yet legal but will be at some point next year, we doubt anyone is going to say anything to campers who choose to get ripped out of their minds of smokeless forms of the herb. Nothing is stopping Canadians from making their own edibles from their homegrown supply. Perhaps a cannabis-infused s’more?
TELL US, have you ever included cannabis while camping?