Canadian Police Association Calls Restrictions On Soon-To-Be-Legal Pot Smoking ‘An Outright Prohibition’

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The Canadian Police Association (CPA) is fighting restrictions on off-duty marijuana smoking for its members just one week before Canada’s national legalization of the drug on Oct. 17.

As the Canadian Press reports, despite the Trudeau government’s legal pot bill becoming law, many police forces across Canada are not enthusiastic about the idea of cops toking in their spare time; officials intend to issue regulations for when police are allowed to consume the drug when off duty. (RELATED: Trudeau Government Says Judging Marijuana ImpairmentDepends On ‘Case-By-Case’ Basis)

While the Vancouver and Ottawa police forces are not considering any regulations, the restrictions on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Toronto police would prohibit marijuana use within 28 days of working.

CPA president Tom Stamatakis told the Canadian Press that cannabis is being considered in a different light than other legal drugs — such as alcohol — that are not permitted to be used while on the job but are not regulated at home.

“It’s effectively an outright prohibition,” Stamatakis said in reference to the RCMP policy.

“Effectively, what they’re saying is, ‘We don’t trust police officers to make the right decision when it comes to reporting for work fit for duty,’” Stamatakis said, “and I just find that to be an offensive approach.”

He argues the potential regulations are inconsistent and not based on police-wide consultation.

“You want to create policies that are relevant and effective and that apply to the vast majority of your members, not policies that are designed to cater to the exception rather than the rule.”

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