Pot le­gal­iza­tion to make more work for po­lice, RCMP of­fi­cial says

The Prince George Citizen - - Local / Weather - Jeremy HAINSWORTH

Com­mu­ni­ties’ re­sponses to mar­i­juana le­gal­iza­tion must be co­or­di­nated with po­lice and the prov­ince as us­age be­comes more widespread, Union of B.C. Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties del­e­gates heard Sept. 10.

And, said RCMP as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner Eric Stubbs, “it’s not go­ing to be less work be­cause it’s le­gal­ized. It’s go­ing to be more.”

Canada will le­gal­ize, reg­u­late and re­strict ac­cess to cannabis na­tion­ally on Oct. 17.

New laws will al­low peo­ple over 18 to pos­sess up to 30 grams of legally-pro­duced cannabis; al­low adults to grow up to four plants per house­hold; reg­u­late pro­duc­tion, sale and dis­tri­bu­tion; and es­tab­lish pro­vi­sions for im­paired driv­ing.

Clay­ton Pec­knold, di­rec­tor of po­lice ser­vices with the Min­istry of Pub­lic Safety and So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral, said B.C.’s Cannabis Con­trol Act re­quires po­lice to con­sider di­rec­tion from lo­cal coun­cils in mar­i­juana con­trol op­er­a­tional plans.

Stubbs said the RCMP is ready for stoned driv­ers.

“We have a new, ro­bust pro­gram on hand to spot im­paired driv­ers,” he said. “We cer­tainly have to be ready for it.”

Pec­knold isn’t sure, how­ever, that us­age will in­crease.

“Peo­ple who smoke and drive al­ready are al­ready (do­ing) that,” he said

The cannabis is­sue is one be­ing ad­dressed through­out the five-day Whistler con­fer­ence.

Other an­gles in­clude tax­a­tion rev­enue shar­ing, cannabis pro­duc­tion in the Agri­cul­tural Land Re­serve work­place con­cerns and gen­eral im­pacts on mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

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