New rules restricting pot smoking in Langley City will impose progressively heavier penalties for using marijuana near young people.
Langley City Council gave preliminary approval Monday night to a City bylaw that sets fines for smoking marijuana in an area frequented by children at $150 for a first offence, $300 for a second offence and $500 for every ticket issued after that.
There is an identical rising scale of fines for smoking marijuana in a vehicle under any circumstances, that also applies to smoking tobacco with someone under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
The overhaul of the current municipal smoking regulations adds cannabis within the definition of “smoke” or “smoking.”
Rules governing tobacco use will apply to pot, including a ban on smoking too close to “any opening into any building, including any door or window that opens or any air intake.”
The changes are in response to new provincial laws restricting the sale, display, promotion and use of tobacco and vapour products and banning cannabis smoking near children, including community beaches, parks and playgrounds.
The City bylaw was revised from a previously proposed set of regulations approved in July.
That was because staff discovered the wording covering fines referred to “various smoking activities under the same numbered subsection” and needed to be adjusted.
A review of the proposed City regulations by the Fraser Health Authority said the smoke-free buffer zone nears doors and air intakes should be expanded from the proposed six metres to between 10 and 25 metres and called for a complete ban of smoking on sidewalks and boulevards.
Before the revised regulations can be adopted, they will have be filed with the ministry of health.
It’s expected they will take effect some time in January.