Florencia Bay in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Westerly File)

Parks Canada says cannabis will be treated like tobacco in Pacific Rim National Park

“We ask park users to be courteous to those around them.”

Cannabis is officially legal in Canada but, like tobacco, visitors to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will have limitations around where they can consume it.

Parks Canada spokesperson Laura Judson told the Westerly News that cannabis use is permitted in the Park Reserve’s day-use areas, like beaches and trails, as well as remote backcountry sites like the West Coast Trail and Broken Group Islands.

Within the Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground, cannabis consumption is limited to individual campsites.

“National parks in BC are following provincial regulations that generally permit the smoking or vaping of cannabis in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are allowed,” Judson said.

She added cannabis smokers will not be permitted to light up within six metres of any buildings, including the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, washrooms and shower facilities.

”As with cigarette smoking, cannabis use is only permitted in certain outdoor areas, where other visitors will not be unduly impacted,” Judson said. “We ask park users to be courteous to those around them.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tofino locals help blaze trail towards cannabis legislation

She said the Park Reserve will be adaptable to any legislation changes as well as visitor feedback as legal cannabis gets introduced to the landscape.

“We will monitor the implementation of cannabis legislation and its impact on visitors and develop additional measures if required,” she said.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve reminds visitors that all dogs must be leashed

She said Parks Canada does not expect the incoming cannabis use to lead to additional enforcement resources within the Park Reserve.

“By combining awareness, prevention and compliance measures related to cannabis consumption, and law enforcement actions when necessary, Parks Canada will continue to preserve our national parks and provide opportunities for Canadians to enjoy them,” she said.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tofino gets blunt about marijuana legalization



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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