Edmonton Police Chief Says ‘We’re Not Ready,’ Questions Canada Legalizing Cannabis

Head of Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht. (File image via The Star)
Head of Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht. (File image via The Star)

Head of Edmonton’s police sounds the alarm over Canada legalizing recreational marijuana next summer, says people do not “fully realize and understand the consequences of this decision into the future” 

Edmonton‘s police force is “not ready” to tackle one of Canada’s major decisions, the legalization of cannabis, its chief told CBC in an interview published Monday.

Chief Rod Knecht replied with a “no,” when he was asked if Edmonton’s police force is ready.

Knecht questioned marijuana legislation, saying there is not enough time to fully find answers.  

“We’re not ready,” he said. “You’d be hard-pressed to find any police service that’s ready right now.

“I don’t think we fully realize and understand the consequences of this decision into the future and we’ll wrestle with this for a while.”

The recreational use of marijuana is expected to be legal in Canada by summer 2018. Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, is currently at the hands of the Canadian Senate to make their final decision, with Conservatives trying their best to delay legalizing marijuana. 

The police chief criticized the bill, saying it will make “our jobs more complicated.”

He explained that there is no reliable way to prove when drivers are impaired by marijuana.

“They’re going to test the system because we don’t have a benchmark … It’s going to plug up the system,” he added.

So far a team of Edmonton police officers and lawyers are trying to learn from the American side. They are studying how law enforcement is working in Colorado and Washington state, where the drug is legal.

“This is going to be a quagmire for a while,” he said, reiterating his fear. “Not just for the police, for a lot of folks.”

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