Duluth City Council moves one step closer to finalizing marijuana smoking ordinance

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) -- The Duluth City Council is one step closer to finalizing a recreational marijuana ordinance that creates smoking boundaries in the city.

Since the state law legalizing marijuana went into effect last week, Duluth city councilors are working quickly to create an ordinance restricting where you can smoke pot across the city.

“What we’re proposing as of now is we’re going to take all of the places that you currently can’t smoke tobacco, and we’re going to add marijuana to that,” said Arik Forsman, a Duluth City Councilor. “Then we are going to broaden both to all city parks.”

During an agenda session Thursday, city leaders clarified that the ordinance will make it illegal to smoke pot at all public parks, anywhere within 100 feet of a medical facility, inside any Duluth Transit Authority, and 15 feet from the nearest point of any DTA transit shelter.

“Your rights end where somebody else’s lungs begin,” said Forsman. “It doesn’t matter what you’re smoking, there should be some reasonable regulations in place for that.”

The council now has to consider two different options if someone were to violate the ban. The first option they considered was a more expensive fine.

“It would be $75 for a first violation, $125 for a second violation, and $300 any subsequent violation,” said Forsman.

The second option was a less expensive option, lowering the price to $25 for the first violation, $50 for the second violation, and $75 for the third violation.

“Essentially our amendment follows the same format as the ordinance existing, just having different dollar amounts,” said City Councilor Mike Mayou.

The city council is hoping they can finalize the details so they can vote on Monday during a scheduled council meeting to implement the ban as soon as possible.

“I think what we are proposing is fairly common sense and I would call it a first step,” said Forsman.

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