Authorities in Olmsted County ban marijuana consumption in public spaces

Authorities with the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance to ban the consumption of marijuana in public places on Tuesday.

The ordinance states that smoking or vaping marijuana in shared Olmsted County spaces like city and county parks, restaurants, bowling alleys, and performance auditoriums could result in a misdemeanor, according to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS sister station KAAL.

“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 ordinance aims to include areas where children are likely to be present and could potentially inhale secondhand smoke.

KAAL reported that Olmsted County Public Health Director Denise Daniels says marijuana secondhand smoke could be a safety risk to public health.

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

The board voted unanimously to pass the ordinance.

The ban does not have any impact on edibles, but if you’re caught smoking in a public space, you could face up to $300 in fines and community service work, according to KAAL.