Ed­mon­ton po­lice will pur­chase road­side test de­vices for mar­i­juana, but Cal­gary isn’t buy­ing in

StarMetro Edmonton - - EDMONTON - NA­DINE YOUSIF

The Ed­mon­ton Po­lice Ser­vice has an­nounced it will be pur­chas­ing road­side test­ing de­vices to mea­sure mar­i­juana con­sump­tion, but Cal­gary’s po­lice are still pro­ceed­ing with cau­tion.

Ed­mon­ton po­lice will be pur­chas­ing the Drager DrugTest 5000, a de­vice that mea­sures THC (tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol, the main psy­choac­tive com­pound found in cannabis), am­phet­a­mines and co­caine lev­els in saliva.

The de­vice was green-lit by the fed­eral government in Au­gust.

Ch­eryl Vo­or­den­hout, Ed­mon­ton po­lice spokesper­son, said the force will be pur­chas­ing a num­ber of the de­vices this fall on a trial ba­sis.

“Fu­ture pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions will be based on eval­u­a­tion of the Drager 5000’s per­for­mance in the field, as well as de­vel­op­ment and fed­eral ap­proval of other road­side test­ing de­vices in the com­ing months,” she wrote in an email.

No date has been set on when the de­vices will be in the hands of Ed­mon­ton po­lice, she added in an in­ter­view.

But the Cal­gary Po­lice Ser­vice isn’t buy­ing in. The Drager DrugTest 5000 is the only ap­proved road­side THC test­ing de­vice in Canada at the mo­ment, but the force said it’s an­tic­i­pat­ing sev­eral more will soon be ap­proved.

“The Cal­gary Po­lice Ser­vice, in con­sul­ta­tion with other law en­force­ment agen­cies, will make a se­lec­tion of one of those de­vices when they be­come avail­able,” a po­lice spokesper­son said.

The test sys­tem DrugTest 5000 is de­vel­oped by Ger­man com­pany Drager.

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