Canada Mar­i­juana Le­gal­iza­tion: Po­lice Ser­vices Ask Feds To Post­pone July 2018 Start Date

The Miracle - - Politics - Source: Cana­dian Press

OT­TAWA Canada’s po­lice ser­vices say there is zero chance they will be ready to en­force new laws for le­gal­ized pot by next sum­mer.Of­fi­cials from the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice, On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice and the Saska­toon Po­lice Ser­vice are among dozens of wit­nesses tes­ti­fy­ing to the House of Com­mons health com­mit­tee this week as it stud­ies the gov­ern­ment’s bill to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana. They said Tues­day they need more time to prop­erly train of­fi­cers about the new laws and more than dou­ble the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers who are certified to con­duct road­side drug im­paired driv­ing test­ing. There also needs to be more time for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, the po­lice said. If the gov­ern­ment doesn’t post­pone the start date there will be a win­dow of six months to a year when po­lice aren’t fully ready, which will al­low or­ga­nized crime to flour­ish, said OPP deputy com­mis­sioner for in­ves­ti­ga­tions and or­ga­nized crime Rick Bar­num. The po­lice also want Ot­tawa to re­con­sider al­low­ing in­di­vid­u­als to grow up to four of their own mar­i­juana plants be­cause it will be dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive to en­force and pro­vide an ad­di­tional way for young peo­ple to get ac­cess to pot. “Why do you need home grows when we’re go­ing to have a good sys­tem to ac­cess mar­i­juana legally?” asked Bar­num. Bar­num said the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice of­fi­cially wrote to the gov­ern­ment this week to re­quest a de­lay in im­ple­men­ta­tion. The Lib­er­als have pledged pot will be le­gal in Canada by the sum­mer of 2018.While le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational pot will lighten their work­load there were 16,000 charges laid for sim­ple pos­ses­sion in 2016 po­lice said it brings a whole host of other prob­lems, in­clud­ing an ex­pected rise in com­plaints about neigh­bours own­ing pot plants, sus­pected grow- ops, and rob­beries and home in­va­sions.Why do you need home grows when we’re go­ing to have a good sys­tem to ac­cess mar­i­juana legally? The po­lice re­quest for a de­lay comes after Canada’s pre­miers warned the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in June that they may not be ready with pro­vin­cial laws and reg­u­la­tions to ac­com­pany the fed­eral bill by next sum­mer. Thus far the gov­ern­ment has not changed course.While Ot­tawa’s bill sets 18 as the min­i­mum age for us­ing le­gal mar­i­juana, prov­inces can choose to make that age higher if they want. They also have to de­ter­mine how and where le­gal pot will be sold.

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