June 23rd, 2018

Cannabis survey not being padded by users

By Gillian Slade on March 14, 2018.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

You can still have your say about cannabis restrictions in the community until Wednesday afternoon but concerns have been raised about people being able to submit more than one survey.

“Yes, there are no restrictions based on IP addresses as this is city policy,” said Jim Genge senior planner, planning and development services.

Restrictions would make it difficult to complete the survey, including for the more than 500 who completed it at the Home and Garden Trade Show, he said. It would also restrict more than one person in a household from having a say.

“All IP addresses are logged through (an online service) and if we notice any significant misuse of the survey we will be able to deal with it,” said Genge.

In that case it is “not an honest survey” and the number of submissions does not mean the number of people surveyed, says Cathy Smith, local resident and former councillor.

Those who did not know you could submit more than one survey from a computer will have missed out, and others may have abused the situation and submitted many more, said Smith.

Genge says it is unlikely anyone is going to take the “time to ‘pad the stats’ of the survey by completing it hundreds and hundreds of times, as that is what it would take to make a difference.”

If the city notices hundreds of surveys from one IP address that was not at the trade show, library or some other public Internet connection, the matter will be referred to the city’s corporate communications department, said Genge.

Without local restrictions related to cannabis, a retail location could sprout up in any commercial or industrial area as long as it is 100 metres from a school or public health facility. That means they could be next to coffee shops or at your neighbourhood convenience store, said Genge.

Provincial restrictions on operating hours for retail cannabis stores in Alberta will be 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. but municipalities can restrict that further.

The survey is about conveying community values to council.

From the city’s website you can participate in the survey or print a copy and submit it.

Genge says most seniors’ residences and churches are making printed copies of the survey available. You can also obtain a printed copy at city hall or ask someone at the library to help you access the city’s site and print a copy if you are not able to do so at home.

Completed copies must be submitted by the end of the day on Wednesday.

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