Police Not Ready For Marijuana Legalization

As the date October 2018 fast approaches, Canadians are preparing for cannabis legalization. However, some elements within society are concerned that not everyone is as prepared as they should be. For one, London Ontario Police Chief John Pare has voiced his opinion that Police are not ready for marijuana legalization.

What Are His Concerns?

Chief Pare believes that Justin Trudeau and the Federal Liberals might be rushing the process without considering the enforcement side of things.

There is a couple of issues. One was the impaired driving, the second one was access [to marijuana], and there’s some concerns around the ability to grow up to four plants in your home
Impaired driving has been of particular concern to Canadians as legalization approaches. As of late, there has been no reliable method of roadside sobriety testing for marijuana. However, the Draeger Drugtest5000 which is currently in use in Europe is a recently created device that can detect weed use within a window of 6 hours. The device can also detect cocaine use.

In the United States, Hound Labs have created a less effective device capable of detecting THC within 2 hours of use. It appears Canadian law enforcement will elect to use the Draeger Drugtest5000, but it is currently awaiting the attorney general’s approval to see if it violates any existing Candian laws.

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Police Chief John Pare
Police Chief John Pare has expressed concerns over marijuana roadside sobriety testing… He believes the Police are not ready for legalization (image via BlackburnNews.com)

However, Chief John Pare expressed doubts as to whether police will be properly trained in marijuana sobriety testing as the deadline approaches.

The impaired driving is a huge concern, there is a fair bit of training that needs to go into this to ensure that we’re prepared to address impaired driving by drugs. The training is time-consuming, there’s huge resource implications, so I think that’s the bigger piece right now
This sort of training would involve officers being familiar with the new legislation and well as preparedness for field operations. These factors will require a vast amount of resources and time to achieve as well as the help of highly trained drug recognition experts. 

Justin Trudeau’s government has allocated $274 million towards the enforcement side of cannabis legalization. Pare, however, was doubtful that this would suffice.

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The Grow Your Own Weed Issue

Delicious Cannabis Plants
Many have expressed concerns that Police might not be ready for legalization because of the grow your own Pot policy (image via Dutch Passion)

Under Justin Trudeau’s Federal Liberal Government, citizens will be able to grow as many as 4 marijuana plants of their own. Many have expressed concern over whether this could create a sort of grassroots black market.

Not everyone will be willing to dedicate the time and effort into growing their own cannabis, and they might lack the knowledge of how to do so. This allows for the potential of a small-time black market to develop which could undermine the success of dispensaries in the upcoming months.

Concerns are amplified by the fact that Doug Ford’s Conservative Government only has 3 months to ensure that the 40 dispensaries he promised, will be operational.

By: Stefan Hosko
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