Marijuana consumption banned in Olmsted County public spaces

Marijuana consumption banned in Olmsted County public spaces

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(ABC 6 News) – Since marijuana became legal in Minnesota in August, cities and counties have been working to enforce laws around the issue with public health and safety in mind.

On Tuesday, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners voted on their regulations to ban consumption of the plant in public places.

These public places include city and county parks, restaurants, bowling alleys and performance auditoriums. Smoking or vaping marijuana in any of these locations could result in a misdemeanor.

“We really want to protect the general public from exposure if they don’t choose to be exposed and we certainly want to protect children,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden.

The county enacted an ordinance banning smoking and vaping of marijuana in public places, especially in areas where minors are most likely to inhale second-hand smoke.

Olmsted County Public Health Director Denise Daniels says marijuana second-hand smoke could be safety risk to public health.

“There’s been multiple studies done, right, looking at, are there dangers with second hand cannabis smoke of which they have said, yes there is. And some of those chemicals they have seen in the cannabis second hand smoke than even in tobacco second-hand smoke.”

No one member of the public spoke during the meeting’s public hearing session. With little to discuss after that, the board voted unanimously to pass the ordinance.

Kiscaden says it was important to come together for, what they see, as the best option for the people of Olmsted County.

“This is our role as a public health entity, we are the public health board, to protect the public from exposure and children from exposure. We had many debates about it and we came to agreement today,” said Kiscaden.

This ban will not have any impact on edibles if they do or do not contain cannabis. But if you’re caught smoking in the wrong places, it could cost you up to $300 dollars and community service work.