HOW LONG SHOULD COPS BE POT-FREE?
Depends whom you ask
twenty-eight days. that’s how long members of the rcMP and toronto Police have been ordered to abstain from smoking or vaping recreational pot before reporting for duty.
calgary police officers won’t be allowed to use cannabis at all while off the job.
Such prohibitions have sparked a growing firestorm, with the national association representing front-line officers calling the policies “offensive” and the union for toronto cops describing the ban as “illcontrived” and “arbitrary.”
but is demanding that Mounties and municipal police officers forgo a soon-to-be legal substance for such a lengthy period justified, when there’s no similar policy governing alcohol or potentially mind-altering prescription medications?
that depends on how much a person consumes and how often, said dr. James
MacKillop, co-director of the centre for Medicinal cannabis research at McMaster university.
“So if you smoke today, within a few days it will be entirely out of your system because a single instance may be longer-lasting than alcohol but it still nonetheless will be metabolized and will be excreted,” MacKillop said from Hamilton. “If a person is a regular, frequent user, then that window gets much longer because cannabis is what’s called lipophilic, which means it’s absorbed into the body’s fat cells and then it leeches back out from the fat tissue into the bloodstream. and that’s why it’s also detectable in urine.
“So if a person’s a heavy user, it may indeed be detectable for up to a month.”
but rielle capler, a researcher with the b.c. centre On Substance use, considers such lengthy periods of prework abstinence unreasonable based on how long the active psychoactive component of cannabis and breakdown products known as metabolites can affect the brain.
“While the metabolites might still be present in the urine or blood that long, there is no connection to actual impairment,” she said Friday from Vancouver.