P.E.I. campgrounds keeping eyes on plans for pot legalization

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Campgrounds will have to decide what rules to adopt once marijuana becomes legal.

As camping season kicks off on P.E.I., campground operators are expecting another busy season. And this year, in addition to regular preparations, owners and campers may have cannabis legalization to deal with.

Currently, recreational cannabis use is illegal in Canada, but campground owners are keeping a close eye on federal plans for legalization later this year.

Getting ready for legal pot

No campground CBC spoke with has put a policy in place specifically for the drug yet, except to say they will allow medical cannabis as long as users are following the province's Smoke-Free Act.

It has been around for a long time … I don't have a problem as long as it is confined and away from children.- James Schurman, camper

Management of P.E.I's provincial parks has not started developing policies related to marijuana, and plans to wait for provincial legislation to be developed before doing so, according to Parks Manager Shane Arbing. 

In a written statement, Parks Canada said it has not made any final decisions about future regulations, but said it is monitoring the development of legislation across the country.

"Relevant provincial cannabis legislation will be applied to national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas." reads the statement.

Policy already in place for alcohol, smoking

The province already has policies to deal with alcohol and smoking in provincial parks.

"Your site is basically your hotel room so alcohol is permitted on your site and alcohol is not permitted in public places," Arbing said. 

"Smoking is permitted in the park system but we do follow the regulations as far as no smoking in structures, office buildings, washrooms, shelters, no smoking near playgrounds."

Shane Arbing, P.E.I.'s provincial parks manager, says there's no plan yet for regulations once marijuana is legal.

Some campers and camp owners say pot has been a part of the camping scene for some time, and they aren't too concerned about legalization.

"It has been around for a long time and it is just going to be legalized soon … I don't have a problem as long as it is confined and away from children," said James Schurman, who went with his family to Linkletter Provincial Park for the first camping weekend of the season. 

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