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This article was published 23/7/2019 (1074 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
RCMP and Manitoba park officers didn't issue a single ticket for cannabis consumption at the Winnipeg Folk Festival earlier this month.
The Manitoba government has outlawed the smoking and vaping of non-medical cannabis in provincial parks — as well as any other public place — on penalty of a $672 provincial ticket. The law doesn't currently cover orally-administered cannabis, which doesn't involve combustion or vaporization.
But even though the Free Press observed people at the folk fest lighting up, the two law enforcement agencies on hand said no tickets came of it.
Birds Hill Provincial Park patrol officers issued three cannabis-related warnings during the festival, a spokesperson said, adding they also issued multiple warnings and one ticket related to open liquor containers in unlicensed areas, and made one arrest for public intoxication.
An RCMP spokesperson said officers didn't record any cannabis- or alcohol-related charges at the festival.
"I think it worked out very well, things went very smoothly," said festival executive director Lynne Skromeda.
"I guess it's a relief, because I don't want people to have a negative experience at the festival. I mean, if they do get a ticket, they kind of bring it on themselves, really, because we did put out all the warnings. But I think being able to have that good record is good for us, and it's good for our audience."
Between recreational marijuana legalization last October and July 18, the province said park patrol officers have issued just one ticket and 12 cannabis-related warnings.
However, as of July 17 Manitoba RCMP had issued 192 tickets for "unlawful transportation of cannabis" under the Highway Traffic Act and the Off-Road Vehicles Act. In private vehicles, Manitoba law requires cannabis to be stored in the trunk or behind the last row of seats, where it's "not readily accessible." For off-road vehicles, cannabis must be stored in "an exterior compartment" or a similar space where it's out of easy reach.
RCMP have also issued 19 tickets for consuming cannabis in or on a vehicle, as well as 40 tickets for cannabis-related offences under the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act. Ticketable cannabis offences under that law include a $672 fine for consuming cannabis in a cannabis store, unauthorized purchase of cannabis, possession of cannabis by a young person or giving a young person identification to enter a cannabis store.
An even heavier fine — $2,542, the highest preset fine on Manitoba's books — applies to other provincial cannabis infractions under the act, including selling cannabis illegally, supplying someone with cannabis with the knowledge that they plan to sell it illegally, supplying cannabis to a young person or an intoxicated person or growing any amount of cannabis at home without a federal medical authorization.